ELECTRICAL CONNECTOR HAVING A
MECHANISM FOR SUPPLEMENTING
SPRING CHARACTERISTICS OF A
This invention claims priority to prior Japanese patent application JP 2003-134207, the disclosure of which is incorporated herein by reference.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
This invention relates to an electrical connector for connecting a substrate as a mother board and a connection object as a daughter board.
For example, Japanese Patent Application Publication (JP-A) No. H6-196230 (corresponding to U.S. Pat. No. 5,273,450) discloses an electrical connector for connecting a mother board and a daughter board. The electrical connector comprises a connector body mounted on the mother board, and a compressible connector element carried by the connector body. The daughter board is inserted into the connector body and disposed to be substantially perpendicular to the mother board. The daughter board is provided with a circuit element to be electrically connected to the connector element. The connector element is used as a contact for electrically connecting the mother board and the daughter board to each other.
In recent years, the electrical connector of the type is required to be reduced in size. However, if the electrical connector is reduced in size, the contact is also miniaturized. It is therefore difficult to provide the contact with sufficient spring characteristics. This results in permanent deformation of the contact or insufficiency in contact force, thereby decreasing a contact reliability.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
It is therefore an object of this invention to provide an electrical connector which is capable of supplementing spring characteristics of a contact so as to improve a contact reliability of the contact even if the contact is reduced in size.
It is another object of this invention to provide an electrical connector which is easy to make design change for adjusting spring characteristics of a contact and to carry out replacement of parts.
According to this invention, there is provided an electrical connector comprising an insulating housing, a conductive contact held by the housing, an operating member for applying a pressing force to the contact to bring the contact into contact with a connection object, and an elastic member elastically deformable and interposed between the operating member and the contact.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
FIG. 1 is a sectional view of an electrical connector according to one embodiment of this invention together with a connection object;
FIG. 2 is a plan view of the electrical connector illustrated in FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is an exploded perspective view of the electrical connector illustrated in FIG. 1 together with the connection object;
FIG. 4 is a front view showing a shaft portion of an actuator of the electrical connector illustrated in FIG. 1;
FIG. 5 is a perspective view showing a cam portion of an operating member of the electrical connector illustrated in FIG. 1;
FIG. 6 is a front view showing a state where the electrical 5 connector illustrated in FIG. 1 is attached to each of upper and lower ends of the connection object; and
FIG. 7 is a right side view of the electrical connectors and the connection object illustrated in FIG. 6 together with two base boards.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED
Referring to FIGS. 1 through 3, description will be made 15 of an electrical connector according to one embodiment of this invention.
The electrical connector 1 illustrated in the figure is generally called a card-edge electrical connector and comprises an insulating housing 11, a plurality of conductive 20 contacts 21 disposed within the housing 11, and a plurality of contact moving mechanisms 50 coupled to the housing 11.
The housing 11 comprises a frame member 12 and a plurality of (four in the illustrated example) header members
25 13 fixed to the frame member 12 and aligned in a single line. The frame member 12 has a pair of first frame portions 15 extending in a longitudinal direction of the housing 11 and facing the header members 13 with a space kept therefrom in a transversal direction of the housing 11, and a pair of
30 second frame portions 17 connecting longitudinal opposite ends of the first frame portions 15. Thus, a combination of the first and the second frame portions 15 and 17 surrounds the header members 13.
Each of the header members 13 has a header base portion
35 13a mounted on a base board 41 as a mother board, such as a printed circuit board, a header holding portion 13fc extending from a center of the header base portion 13a upward in a vertical direction, and a pair of contact holding portions 13c formed integral on left and right sides of the header base
40 portion 13a, respectively. The header holding portion 13fc has an upper surface provided with an object receiving portion 13d for receiving an end portion of a connection object 31 as a daughter board, such as a printed circuit board, and holding the connection object 31 in the vertical direc
45 tion. In FIG. 1, the vertical direction is a direction perpendicular to a center line C.
Each of the header members 13 has a pair of bearing portions 13/formed as grooves. The bearing portions 13/are positioned on left and right sides of the header base portion
50 13a above the contact holding portions 13c.
In FIG. 1, the contacts 21 and the contact moving mechanisms 50 are provided on left and right sides of a virtual plane containing the center line C and perpendicular to a drawing sheet, respectively. Each of the contacts 21 has a
55 holding portion 21a held by the contact holding portion 13c, a contact spring portion 21b extending upward from one end of the holding portion 21a, and a terminal portion 21c extending outward from the contact holding portion 13c. The contact spring portion 21b extends upward from the one
60 end of the holding portion 21a along each of a pair of vertical side surfaces of the header holding portion 13fc.
As will later become clear, each of the contact moving mechanisms 50 serves to move each of the contacts 21 in a first direction A (FIG. 1) to bring the contact 21 into contact
65 with the connection object 31 and to move the contact 21 in a second direction B (FIG. 1) opposite to the first direction A to separate the contact 21 from the connection object 31.