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Title:
ANGLED ELECTRICAL CONNECTOR WITH A SECOND PLUG FACE OPENING AND ELECTRICAL CONNECTOR MODULE WITH TWO HOUSING ELEMENTS WHICH ARE EACH PROVIDED WITH AT LEAST ONE INSULATION EXTENSION
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2011/160971
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
The invention relates to an angled electrical connector (73) and an angled electrical connector module (1).In order to avoid malfunctioning of the connector (73) or the connector module (1), the invention provides that the angled connector (73) comprises a first plug face opening (52) and an insertion opening (59) which are arranged opposite to each other and a second plug face opening (60), which is arranged perpendicular to the first plug face opening (52).Furthermore, the invention provides that the angled electrical connector module (1) comprises two housing elements (2, 3) of which each is provided with at least one insulation extension (9, 9').

Inventors:
ROBERT GERARD HENRY RAYMOND (FR)
CORRIOU THIERRY (FR)
PETRONIN YVES (FR)
KELL GEORGE (US)
SHOWERS JAMES (US)
Application Number:
EP2011/059752
Publication Date:
December 29, 2011
Filing Date:
June 13, 2011
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
TYCO ELECTRONICS FRANCE SAS (FR)
TYCO ELECTRONICS CORP (US)
ROBERT GERARD HENRY RAYMOND (FR)
CORRIOU THIERRY (FR)
PETRONIN YVES (FR)
KELL GEORGE (US)
SHOWERS JAMES (US)
International Classes:
H01R13/04; H01R12/72; H01R13/516; H01R13/518; H01R13/53; H01R27/02; H01R107/00
Domestic Patent References:
WO1996013879A11996-05-09
Foreign References:
US20040248467A12004-12-09
DE19907846C12000-09-21
Other References:
None
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
HEINZ-SCHAEFER, Marion (European Patent DepartmentFaraday Road,Dorcan, Swindon Wiltshire SN3 5HH, GB)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS

1. An angled electrical connector (73) with at least one connector module (1) and a casing (49), the connector module (1) being at least section- wise arranged in the casing (49), the casing (49) comprising at least one receiving passage (50, 50'), in which the at least one connector module (1) is arranged and which comprises an insertion opening (59), via which the module (1) can be inserted into the receiving passage (50, 50') in an insertion direction (I), and a first plug face opening (52) for a first plug face (5) of the module (1), the insertion opening (59) and the first plug face opening (52) being arranged opposite of each other in the insertion direction (I), characterized in that the receiving passage (50, 50') comprises a second plug face opening (60) for a second plug face (20) of the module (1), the second plug face opening (60) being arranged between the insertion opening (59) and the first plug face opening (52) in and parallel to the insertion direction (I).

2. The connector (73) according to claim 1, characterized in that the second plug face opening (60) and the insertion opening (59) are connected to each other at an open end (61) of the second plug face opening (60), the open end (61) facing against the insertion direction

(I)-

3. The connector (73) according to claim 1 or 2, characterized in that the receiving passage (50, 50') and the second plug face opening (60) each have a clearance (C50, C60) transverse to the insertion direction (I), the clearance (C60) of the second plug face opening (60) being less than the clearance (C50) of the receiving passage (50, 50').

4. The connector (73) according to any of claims 1 to 3, characterized in that the second plug face opening (60) is flanked by two guiding protrusions (63, 63') projecting from opposite lateral sidewalls (62, 62') of the receiving passage (50, 50') towards each other.

5. The connector (73) according to any of claims 1 to 4, characterized in that the casing (49) comprises a latching structure (64) for affixing the module (1) in a mounted state of the connector (73), the latching structure (64) being arranged on a fastening sidewall (65) of the receiving passage (50, 50') opposite the second plug face opening (60).

6. The connector (73) according to claim 5, characterized in that the latching structure (64) comprises a latching element for the module (1) and an unlatching opening (75) for releasing a latched connection between the module (1) and the casing (49), the unlatching opening (75) extending through the fastening sidewall (65) towards the second plug face opening (60).

7. An angled electrical connector module (1) with two housing elements (2, 3), which each define a plug face (5, 20), and with at least one contact element (4), which extends from one of the plug faces (5, 20) to the respective other plug face (50,20), characterized in that each housing element (2, 3) is provided with at least one insulation extension (9, 9') that extends from one of the plug faces (5, 20) towards the respective other plug face (5, 20) along the contact element (4).

8. The connector module (1) according to claim 7, characterized in that the insulation extensions (9, 9') end at a plane (P), which bisects an angle between the two plug faces (5, 20).

9. The connector module (1) according to claim 7 or 8, characterized in that each of the insulation extensions (9, 9') comprises an end (O, O') facing away from the plug face (5, 20) of the respective housing element (2, 3), the ends (O, O') being arranged opposite of each other along the at least one contact element (4).

10. The connector module (1) according to any of claims 7 to 9, characterized in that at least one of the two housing elements (2, 3) comprises at least one insulation extension (9, 9') with a cylindrical shape, whose footprint at least partially surrounds a section of the at least one contact element (4).

11. The connector module (1) according to any of claims claim 7 to 10, characterized in that at least one of the two housing elements (2, 3) comprises at least one insulation extension (9, 9', 28) with a tube-like shape and that the at least one contact element (4) is at least partially inserted into the insulation extension (9, 9', 28).

12. The connector module (1) according to any of claims claim 7 to 11, characterized in that at least one of the two housing elements (2, 3) comprises at least two rows (31, 32) of insulation extensions (9, 9'), the insulation extensions (9, 9') of one row (31) having a con- stant length that differs from the length of the insulation extensions (9, 9') of the other row (32).

13. The connector module (1) according to any of claims claim 7 to 12, characterized in that at least one of the two housing elements (2, 3) comprises at least one insulation extension (9, 9', 29, 30) that is arranged next to a lateral side (26) of the one housing element (2, 3) and that has a footprint, which opens towards the lateral side (26).

14. The connector module (1) according to any of claims claim 7 to 13, characterized in that at least one of the two housing elements (2, 3) comprises a mounting opening (18), via which the housing elements (2, 3) can be mounted to each other, thereby sealing the mounting opening (18).

15. The connector module (1) according to any of claims 7 to 14, characterized in that at least one of the two housing elements (2, 3) comprises a latching member (37) for affixing the connector module (1) in a casing (49), the latching member (37) being arranged on an outer face of the one housing element (2, 3) opposite of the plug face (5, 20) of the other housing element (2, 3).

16. The connector module (1) according to any of claims claim 7 to 15, characterized in that a casting compound (48) is arranged between the at least one contact element (4) and the at least one insulation extension (9, 9') of at least one of the housing elements (2, 3).

17. The connector module (1) according to any of claims claim 7 to 16, characterized in that the connector module (1) is adapted to be inserted into a casing (49) of a connector (73) according to any of claims 1 to 6.

Description:
ANGLED ELECTRICAL CONNECTOR WITH A SECOND PLUG FACE OPENING AND ELECTRICAL CONNECTOR MODULE WITH TWO HOUSING ELEMENTS WHICH ARE EACH PROVIDED WITH AT LEAST ONE INSULATION EXTENSION

The present invention relates to an angled electrical connector with at least one connector module and a casing, the connector module being at least section- wise arranged in the casing, the casing comprising at least one receiving passage, in which the at least one connector module is arranged and which comprises an insertion opening, via which the module can be inserted into the receiving passage in an insertion direction, and a first plug face opening for a first plug face of the module, the insertion opening and the first plug face opening being arranged opposite to each other in the insertion direction.

Furthermore, the present invention relates to an angled electrical connector module with two housing elements, which each define a plug face, and with at least one contact element, which extends from one of the plug faces to the respective other plug face.

Angled electrical connectors and angled electrical connector modules are known from the prior art. Contact elements are inserted into the module in a contact direction, which may extend parallel or transverse to the insertion direction. At least one plug end of the contact elements is angled with respect to the other plug end and an angled section between the two plug ends protrudes from the module against the contact direction. The sections protruding from the module may complicate mounting the module to the connector and/or the connector to a device. It is also generally suitable that the insulation between the nearby contact elements be maintained as high as possible. The insulation between the nearby contact elements may be insufficient. Moreover, the sections protruding from the module may complicate mounting the module to the connector and/or the connector to a device.

In view of these disadvantages of the known electrical connectors, an object underlying the invention is to provide an angled electrical connector and an angled connector module, which provide improved assembling properties and improved short circuit protection.

The object is achieved according to the invention for the angled electrical connector as mentioned in the beginning, in that the receiving passage comprises a second plug face opening for a second plug face of the module, the second plug face opening being arranged between the insertion opening and the first plug face opening in and parallel to the contact direction. For the angled electrical connector module mentioned above, the object is achieved according to the invention in that each housing element is provided with at least one insulation extension that extends from one of the plug faces towards the respective other plug face along the contact element. These simple solutions provide that the contact element only protrudes from the connector and/or the connector module in the plug faces. In particular, the contact element does not protrude from the connector and/or the module against the insertion or the contact direction and in particular not from the insertion opening of the connector. Furthermore, the at least one insulation extension of each of the two housing elements may not only prevent a direct electrical contact between adjacent contact element but also a noteworthy current flowing between the contact elements caused e.g. by water films.

The solutions according to the invention can be combined as desired and further improved by the further following embodiments that are in each case advantageous on their own.

According to a first possible embodiment of the angled electrical connector, the second plug face opening and the insertion opening may be connected to each other at an open end of the second plug face opening, the open end facing against the insertion direction. The continuous

arrangement of the second plug face opening and the insertion opening provides that the connector module can be easily inserted into the passage without the risk of colliding with elements that are arranged between the second plug face opening and the insertion opening. In another advantageous embodiment, the receiving passage and the second plug face opening may each have a clearance transverse to the insertion direction, the clearance of the second plug face opening being less than the clearance of the receiving passage. In particular, with a module which has a cross-section perpendicular to the insertion direction that is essentially

complementary to the cross-section of the receiving passage, an unintentional movement of the module transverse to the insertion direction and towards the second plug face opening can be prohibited by the mentioned dimensions of the clearances.

In a further advantageous embodiment, the second plug face opening may be flanked by two guiding protrusions projecting from opposite lateral sidewalls of the receiving passage towards each other. The opposite lateral sidewalls may at least section-wise extend in the insertion direction and perpendicular to the clearance. The guiding protrusions may project into the clearance and may extend into the insertion direction. For instance, the two guiding protrusions may determine the clearance of the second plug face opening. The guiding protrusions may hold the module in its position perpendicular to the insertion direction, blocking movements of the module towards the second plug face opening.

Guiding protrusions that extend in the insertion direction may especially provide a guidance for the module during the assembly of the connector. When inserting the module into the casing towards the first plug face opening, the module may at least section-wise slide on the guiding protrusions. Alternatively, or in addition to the one pair of two guiding protrusions, the second plug face opening may be flanked by two or more pairs of guiding protrusions, the pairs of guiding protrusions being arranged one after the other in the insertion direction and along the receiving passage.

In order to secure the module in the casing against movements against the insertion direction, the casing may comprise a latching structure for affixing the module in a mounting state of the connector. The latching structure may be arranged on a fastening sidewall of the receiving passage opposite the second plug face opening. The fastening sidewall may interconnect the opposite lateral sidewalls. The guiding protrusions may position the module perpendicular to the insertion direction and towards the fastening sidewall, such that a latching member of the connector module may be pressed into engagement with the latching structure of the casing. For instance, the latching structure may be shaped as a latching pocket that opens towards the receiving passage. The connector module may be provided with a latching member that protrudes into the latching pocket in the mounted state of the connector. The latching member may be elastically deflectable out of the pocket and towards the connector module. For instance, the latching member may be elastically deflected towards the module and away from the fastening sidewall when inserting the module into the receiving passage. At least when reaching the mounted state of the connector, the latching member may snap out of its elastically deflected position into a latching position and into the latching pocket. The latching member may e.g. be formed as a latching plate, which extends perpendicular to the insertion direction and which can be deflected along an axis that is arranged along one side, e.g. a long side of the latching plate. In order to prohibit the latching member from hampering the insertion of the module into the casing and into the receiving passage, the module may be shaped with a reception pocket, into which the latching member can be deflected.

For maintenance or repair purposes, it may be necessary to remove the module from the connector. Furthermore, it may be desired to exchange the connector module by another connector module of a different type. For instance, different types of connector modules may be provided with different types of contact elements. Therefore, it may be necessary to open the latched connection between the module and the casing. In order to make the latching member accessible from the outside of the connector, the latching structure of the casing may comprise an unlatching opening. Via the unlatching opening, the latched connection may be opened and e.g. the latching member be pressed out of the latching pocket. This may be done manually or automatically, by e.g. inserting an unlatching pin into the unlatching housing thereby pressing the latching member out of the latching pocket. Therefore, it may be advantageous for the unlatching opening to extend through the fastening sidewall towards the second plug face opening. According to a first possible embodiment of the angled electrical connector module, the insulation extensions of the plug faces may end at a plane, which bisects an angle between the two plug faces. For instance, the connector module may be angled about 90°. Hence, the plug faces extend under 90° with respect to each other. Thus, the bisecting plane may extend under an angle of 45° with respect to each of the plug faces. This makes sure that the at least one contact element is flanked by at least one insulation extension from each of the plug faces towards the respective other plug face for a maximum length, resulting in a further improvement of the insulation of the at least one contact element inside the module.

The angled electrical connector module itself can be used as an electrical connector or it can be used with the angled electrical connector mentioned in the beginning. The at least one contact element may have an angled section between the plug ends, the angled section providing for a contact element with a similar angle as the angled module. Also, the angled section may be arranged along the bisecting plane.

With the insulation extensions ending at and the angled sections being arranged in the bisecting plane, a maximum space can be bridged by the insulation extensions from the plug faces and along the contact elements without the need for providing insulation extensions that follow the bent section. Hence, the two housing elements may be shaped with essentially straight insulation extensions, which may facilitate an easy and inexpensive production of the housing elements, e.g. by injection moulding. Furthermore, such a design simplifies the production of a connector module with more than one insulation extension protruding from at least one of the housing elements.

In another advantageous embodiment of the module, each of the insulation extensions may comprise an end facing away from the plug face of the respective housing elements, the ends being arranged opposite to each other along the at lest one contact element. The length of a section of the contact element that is not flanked or covered by at least one insulation extension is thus minimised. The only section of the contact element that is not flanked by at least one insulation extension may essentially be its bent section between its pug ends.

In a further advantageous embodiment of the module, at least one of the two housing elements may comprise at least one insulation extension with a cylindrical shape, whose footprint at least partially surrounds a section of the at least one contact element. Cylindrical shapes can easily be formed by injection moulding and an insulation extension which at least partially surrounds a section of the at least one contact element may effectively provide for a proper insulation, especially if the insulation extension is arranged between two adjacent contact elements.

If an array of multiple contact elements extends from one plug face to the other, an insulation extension with a footprint that only partially surrounds a section of the at least one contact element may be insufficient for insulating one of the contact elements to all of its neighbours. Therefore, it may be advantageous that at least one of the two housing elements comprises at least one insulation extension with a tube-like shape. The at least one contact element may at least partially be inserted into this insulation extension. Hence, the contact element is electrically isolated in all radial directions from its neighbour contact elements.

The array of contact elements may be arranged in at least two rows. The rows may at least section-wise be aligned transverse to the contact direction. The angled sections of all contact elements of one row may be aligned with each other transverse to the contact direction, wherein the bent sections of contact elements of two rows may be arranged at a distance to each other in and transverse to the contact direction. In particular, the bent sections of one row may be arranged closer to the second plug face and/or the first plug face then the bent sections of the other row. In order to insulate the contact elements in all rows at least until the bent section it may be advantageous that at least one of the two housing elements may comprise at least two rows of insulation extensions, the insulation extensions of one row having a constant length that differs from the length of the insulation extensions of the other row.

As the space that is available for a connector or a connector module is always limited, at least one of the two housing elements may comprise at least one insulation extension that is arranged next to a lateral side of the one housing element and that has a footprint, which opens towards the lateral side. On the one hand, the contact element does not have any neighbouring contact elements between its position and the lateral side. On the other hand, the insulation extension may stretch along a sidewall of the module and may abut on this sidewall with its open side, such that the sidewall closes the open footprint of this insulation extension.

For an easy assembling or mounting of the connector module, at least one of the two housing elements may comprise a mounting opening, via which the housing elements can be mounted to each other. In a first mounting step, at least one contact element may be inserted into the one housing element in the contact direction. The contact elements may protrude from the first plug face in the contact direction in the inserted state. For instance, the first plug face may be adapted to be mated with a counter connector. Alternatively, the first plug face may be adapted for connecting to a signal source or drain, for instance by soldering the at least one contact element to a solder contact or to a printed circuit board.

In a second mounting step, the other of the two housing elements may be pushed along a mounting direction towards a mounting opening. The mounting direction may extend transverse to the contact direction. The mounting opening may be arranged in the contact direction and facing against the mounting direction. The plug end of the at least one contact element that faces away from the first plug face and against the mounting direction may protrude from the mounting opening. When pushing the other housing element in the mounting direction into the mounting opening, the at least one insulation extension may be pushed between two contact elements.

The two housing elements may comprise fastening members for fastening the housing elements to each other. For instance, one of the two housing elements may comprise at least one fastening pin that can be pressed into a corresponding fastening opening of the other housing. This may result in a force fit between the two housing elements and provides for an easily mountable module.

Furthermore, the housing elements may comprise sealing organs, which may seal the connection between the housing elements at least section- wise. For instance, one of the two housing elements may comprise a sealing web interacting with a sealing groove of the other housing element. After mounting the two housing elements to each other, at least the mounting opening may be sealed by the sealing organs.

For affixing the connector module in the casing, at least one of the two housing elements may comprise a latching member. The latching member may be arranged on an outer face of the one housing element, the outer face being arranged opposite to the plug face of the other housing element. The latching member may be elastically deflectable towards the module, creating an elastic force. This force may press it into engagement with the latching element of the casing. The latching connection between the module and the casing may be created automatically during the assembly of the angled connector. In order to further improve the insulation of the contact elements towards each other and for further reinforcing the connection between the two housing elements, a casting compound can be arranged between the at least one contact element and the at least one insulation extension. The casting compound may be filled into a rear opening of the module, the rear opening being arranged opposite to the first or the second plug face. Via the rear opening, the at least one contact element may be inserted into the respective housing element. For instance, the casting compound can comprise a liquid state, in which it may flow between the at least one contact element and the at least one insulation extension, filling the space between the at least contact element and the at least one insulation extension completely. Air that may be present between the contact element and the insulation extension before the casting or potting process may be displaced by the compound. The air may escape due to the liquidity and the weight of the liquid casting compound. Furthermore, the rear opening can be closed by the casting compound such that the rear side of the connector module is flat.

Transverse to the contact direction and the mounting direction the module may at least section- wise comprise a cross-section that is complementary to a cross-section of the receiving passage transverse to the insertion direction. Hence, the connector module may be adapted to be inserted into the casing of the connector described above.

The invention will be described hereinafter in more detail in an exemplary manner using advantageous embodiments and with reference to the drawings. The described embodiments are only possible configurations in which, however, the individual features as described above can be provided independent of one another or can be omitted in the drawings.

Fig. 1 is a schematic perspective view of an exemplary embodiment of a connector module according to the invention in a partly assembled state;

Fig. 2 shows a housing element of the connector of Fig. 1 in a schematic perspective view;

Fig. 3 is a schematic cross-sectional view of the connector module of Fig. 1 in an assembled state;

Fig. 4 shows a sealing element of the connector module of Figs. 1 and 3;

Fig. 5 shows a schematic front perspective view of the assembled connector module;

Fig. 6 shows the connector module of Fig. 5 in a schematic rear perspective view;

Fig. 7 shows an exemplary embodiment of a casing of an electrical connector according to the invention in a schematic perspective view;

Fig. 8 is a rear schematic perspective view of the casing of Fig. 7;

Fig. 9 shows an exemplary embodiment of the connector with the casing of Figs. 7 and 8;

Fig. 10 is a schematic perspective view of a further exemplary embodiment of the connector;

Fig. 11 shows a detail of the connector of Fig 10 in a schematic perspective view.

First, an electrical connector module 1 is described with reference to Fig. 1. In some

embodiments the module 1 may comprise a first housing element 2 and a second housing element 3 and is shown in a partly mounted state. The electrical connector 1 may further comprise at least one contact element 4 and, for instance, 20 contact elements 4 arranged in an array of five by four contact elements 4. The first housing element 2 may define a first plug face 5, in which a first plug end 6 of the at least one contact element 4 may be arranged. The first plug end 6 may be adapted to be mated with a contact element of a counter connector in a contact direction C or to be connected to a signal source or drain, for instance, by soldering. Opposite to the first plug face 5, the first housing element 2 may comprise a rear opening 7, via which the contact element 4 can be inserted into the first plug face 5 in the contact direction C. In the rear opening 7 a free volume 8 may end, which may be arranged in the first housing element 2. Into the free volume 8 and against the contact direction C, at least one insulation protrusion 9 may extend. The insulation protrusion 9 may at least section- wise be shaped as a plate that is arranged along the contact direction C and extends between lateral sidewalls 10, 10' of the first contact element 2. The lateral sidewalls 10, 10' may be arranged opposite of each other and can extend parallel to the contact direction C and towards the second housing element 3.

Insulation bridges 11 may extend perpendicular to the contact direction C along the contact element 4. At least one insulation bridge 11 may interconnect one insulation protrusion 9 with a top sidewall 12 of the first housing element 2 or may interconnect two insulation protrusions 9 that are arranged next to each other. One insulation protrusion 9 together with the top sidewall 12 or with another insulation protrusion 9 and two insulation bridges 11 may form an insulation duct 13 for the contact element 4.

The contact element 4 may extend from its first plug end 6 towards the rear opening 7 in the insulation duct 13. Each insulation protrusion 9 may be shaped with a holding recess 14, which may block a movement of the contact element 4, thus preventing adjacent contact elements 4 being interconnected and forming a short circuit. The holding recess 14 may be shaped with an open end pointing against the contact direction C and may extend transverse to the contact direction C. The electrical connector module 1 may be an angled module 1 and the contact element 4 may comprise an angled section 15 that can be arranged before the first plug end 6 in the contact direction C. Behind the angled section 15 and away from the first plug end 6, the contact element 4 may comprise a second plug end 16. Between the angled section 15 and the first and the second plug ends 6, 16 the contact element 4 may comprise straight sections, of which only a straight section 17 is shown. The first housing element 2 may comprise a mounting opening 18, through which the straight section 18 may extend. The mounting opening 18 may be arranged parallel to the contact direction C and may face a mounting direction M, the mounting direction M pointing transverse to the contact direction C. The mounting opening 18 may end against the contact direction C in the rear opening 7 and may abut on the free volume 8.

In the mounting direction M the second housing element 3 can be mounted to the first housing element 2. The second housing element 3 may be shaped with an alignment plate 19, which may extend in the contact direction C and transverse to the mounting direction M. The alignment plate 19 may define a second plug face 20, in which the second plug end 16 of the at least one contact element 4 may be arranged. Also, the second plug face 20 may be adapted to be mated with a counter connector. Alternatively, the second plug face 20 and the second plug end 16 may be formed in order to be connected to a signal source or drain, e.g. by soldering the second plug end 16 to a solder contact or a printed circuit board.

From the alignment plate 19 and in the mounting direction M, at least one insulation protrusion 9' may extend. The at least one insulation protrusion 9' may be arranged along the contact element 4 and in particular along the straight section 17 between the alignment plate 19 and the angled section 15.

When mounting the second housing element 3 to the first housing element 2 by moving the second housing element 3 in the mounting direction M into the free volume 8, the mounting opening 18 is closed. In order to affix the second housing element 3 to the first housing element 2, the second housing element 3 may comprise at least one fastening pin 21 that may protrude from the alignment plate 19 in the mounting direction M. At least one of the sidewalls 10, 10' of the first housing element may be shaped with a fastening chamber for the at least one fastening pin 21. The fastening chamber may be arranged in an end face 22 of the sidewalls 10, 10' and may be shaped to form a force fit with the fastening pin 21.

In the end faces 22, a sealing groove 23 may be arranged. The sealing groove 23 may at least section- wise extend along the sidewalls 10, 10' and in the contact direction C and may continue in a front sidewall 24, the front sidewall 24 interconnecting the sidewalls 10, 10', perpendicular to the contact direction C and in the mounting direction M. Hence, the sealing groove 23 may have an essentially U-shaped form. The second housing element 3 may be formed with a sealing web 25 for the sealing groove 23. The sealing web 25 may extend along the same U-shaped form as the sealing groove 23. Along the sealing web 25, the fastening pins 21 may be arranged. Hence, the at least one fastening chamber may be arranged along the sealing groove 23. Fig. 2 shows the second housing element 3 of Fig. 1 in a schematic perspective view.

In some embodiments, the second housing element 3 may comprise more than one insulation protrusion 9'. Each insulation protrusion 9' may have a cylindrical shape and may extend along the mounting direction M. Insulation protrusions 9' with a cylindrical shape may open into the second plug face 20 and towards the angled section 15 of the contact element 4. Away from the alignment plate 19 and in the mounting direction M, the cylindrical insulation protrusions 9' may be shaped with an open end O' through which the contact element 4 may extend in the mounted state of the module 1.

The cylindrical shape may be a hollow cylindrical shape with a closed footprint, the closed footprint for instance being a circle or a polygon. Insulation protrusions 9' with a closed footprint which are designated by reference number 28 in Fig. 2, may have a tubular shape. Particularly, insulation protrusions 28 that are arranged at a lateral side of the second housing element that is arranged adjacent to the rear opening 7 of the first housing element 2 in the mounted state of the connector module, may comprise the closed footprint. Alternatively, the footprint may be an open footprint, the open footprint for instance being a semicircle. These insulation protrusions 9' are designated by reference number 29 in Fig. 2. In some embodiments, in particular insulation protrusions 9' that are arranged in proximity of lateral sides 26 of the second housing element 3, may have the open footprint, e.g. a footprint in the form of a C. Insulation protrusions 9' that are arranged in corners 27 of the second housing element 3 may have an open footprint with a sickle shape, each end of the sickle pointing towards the closest lateral side 26 and may abut on the sealing web 25. Insulation protrusions 9' with a sickle-shaped footprint have reference number 30.

Thus, at least insulation protrusions 28 with a closed footprint may have a tube-like shape and enclose one contact element 4 at least along its straight section 17, enhancing the electrical insulation between nearby contact elements 4. Insulation protrusions 29, 30 with the open footprint may abut against sidewalls 10, 10', 24 of the first housing element 2 at least in the mounted state of the module 1, the sidewalls 10, 10', 24, closing these insulation protrusions 29, 30 and insulating the respective contact element 4 that is arranged in the insulation protrusion 29, 30.

When mounting the second housing element 3 to the first housing element 4, the second plug end 16 and/or the straight section 17 of each contact element 4 can be inserted into one insulation protrusion 9'.

The second housing element 3 may, in some embodiments, comprise several insulation protrusions 9'. The insulation protrusions 9' may be arranged in a first row 31. All insulation protrusions 9' arranged in the first row 31 may have the same length along the mounting direction M. Furthermore, the second housing element 3 may next to the first row 31 comprise at least a second row 32. Also insulation protrusions 9' of the second row 32 may have a constant length in the mounting direction M.

The length of the insulation protrusions 9' in the first row 31 may differ from the length of the insulation protrusions 9' in the second row 32. For instance, the length of the insulation protrusions 9' in the second row 32 may be less than the length of the insulation protrusions 9' in the first row 31.

In some embodiments, the second contact element 3 may comprise at least a third row 33 of insulation protrusions 9', the length of the insulation protrusions 9' of the third row 33 being less than the length of the insulation protrusions 9' in the first and the second rows 31, 32. In particular, rows 31 , 32, 33 of insulation protrusions 9' may be arranged in rising or falling steps or as a cascade, which continuously rises or falls from one row 31, 32, 33 to the other.

Fig. 3 is a cross-sectional view of the electrical connector module 1 in an assembled state of the first and the second housing elements 2, 3, the sectional plane extending along the contact direction C and the mounting direction M. The second contact housing element 3 has been moved in the mounting direction M towards the first housing element 2. In the shown mounted state, the alignment plate 19 may abut against the sidewalls 10, 10' of the first housing element 2. Furthermore, the sealing web 25 may be inserted into the sealing groove 23, resulting in a fluid tight sealing connection between the first housing element 2 and the second housing element 3. A sealing element 34 may, in some embodiments, be arranged in the first plug face 5 of the first housing element 2. The sealing element 34 may prevent fluids from entering the module 1 against the contact direction C via the first plug face 5. In particular, a sealing element 34 may be sealingly arranged on a front 35 of the first housing element 2, the front 35 being the base for the first plug face 5. Furthermore, the sealing element 34 may comprise at least one sealing opening 36, in which the first plug end 6 of the contact element 4 may be arranged and sealed.

The contact element 4 may extend along a longitudinal axis L, the longitudinal axis L extending parallel to the contact direction C between the first plug end 6 and the angled section 15. Between the second plug end 16 and the angled section 15 the longitudinal axis L extends along the mounting direction M.

The insulation duct 13 may comprise an open end O against the contact direction C. The contact element 4 and, for instance, its angled section 15, may be arranged in the open end O. The open ends O, O' of the insulation protrusions 9, 9' can be arranged opposite to each other along the longitudinal axis L. If the electrical connector module 1 is an angled electrical connector, the first plug face 5 and the second plug face 20 may be arranged under an angle to each other, the angle for instance being 90°. A virtual plane P may be arranged such that it bisects the angle between the plug faces 5, 20. For instance, the plane P may extend under an angle of 45° to each of the plug faces 5, 20. The insulation protrusions 9, 9' may end in the vicinity of each other away from the plug faces 5, 20 and, for instance, at the plane P.

In some embodiments, at least one of the first housing element 2 and the second housing element 3 may comprise a latching member 37. For instance, the latching member 37 may be provided on the first housing element 2. It may be arranged on the top sidewall 12 of the first housing element 2 and may be formed as a latching protrusion, e.g. in the form of a plate, which projects from the top sidewall 12 and/or the first plug face 5 in the mounting direction M. It may point against the contact direction C and may be elastically deflectable towards the top sidewall 12 and against the mounting direction M.

Between the latching member 37 and the first plug face 5, the first housing element 2 may be provided with a stop collar 38, by which a maximum insertion position of the first housing element 2 into a casing may be defined. The stop collar 38 may at least section- wise and may even completely extend around the first housing element 2 parallel to the first plug face 5. Before the stop collar 38 in the contact direction C, a fastening groove 39 may be arranged. The fastening groove 39 may be adapted to interact with a contact position assurance of the casing. The front sidewall 24 may extend in the mounting direction M in the contact direction C. A plug body B may follow the front sidewall 24 and end in the front 35 of the first housing element 2. In the plug body B, at least contact receptacles R may extend in the contact direction C for the at least one contact element 4. The at least one contact receptacle R can extend between the free volume 8 and the front 35. The at least one contact receptacle R may open towards the insulation duct 13.

Fig. 4 shows an enlarged view of the sealing element 34.

The sealing element 34 is partly shown in Fig. 4 in a schematic perspective side view with two sealing openings 36, which may extend in the contact direction C. The sealing openings 36 can have a tubular section 40 that is arranged at the end of the sealing openings 36 in the contact direction C. The tubular section 40 has a constant diameter and may sealingly contain a section of the at least one contact element 4. Before the tubular section 40 in the contact direction C, a cone- shaped section 41 may be arranged. The inner diameter of the cone-shaped section 41 may decrease into the contact direction C until it reaches the inner diameter of the tubular section 40. A sealing ring 42 can be arranged in the contact direction C before the cone-shaped section 41. The sealing ring 42 is integrated in the sealing element 34 and in particular seamlessly integrated in a rear side 43 of the sealing element 34, the rear side 43 resting on the front 35 of the first housing element 2 in the mounted state of the connector module 1. The sealing openings 36 may extend from the tubular section 30 through the cone-shaped section 41 and to the sealing ring 42. In the mounting direction M behind the sealing ring 42, the sealing element 34 may comprise a sealing edge 44, which may sealingly abut on a sealing receptacle of the first housing element 2.

Fig. 5 shows the connector module in the mounted state in a schematic perspective front view with the first plug face 5 pointing out of the plane of projection.

Up to 20 contact elements 4 or more may in some embodiments be arranged in the first plug face 5 and the second plug face 20 of the connector module 1. The second housing element 3 is shown mounted to the first housing element 2 in the mounting direction M, such that the connector module 1 can be handled as a single piece. The stop collar 38 in the shown embodiment extends around the first housing element 2 and in particular around a neck section 45 of the first housing element 2, the neck section 45 essentially being arranged between the first plug face 5 and the latching member 37. The neck section 45 may have an essentially cylindrical shape, e.g. a rectangular shape with rounded edges, and may be adapted to be inserted into a receiving passage of a casing, for instance in the contact direction C.

Fig. 6 shows the connector module 1 of Fig. 5 in a schematic perspective rear view, the first plug face 5 pointing into the plane of projection. The latching member 37 may protrude from the neck section 45 in the mounting direction M and is shown in an undeflected state. When inserting the module 1 into the casing, the latching member 37 may be elastically deflected towards the topside wall 12 and into a reception pocket 46, the reception pocket 46 being arranged on an outer surface 47 of the first housing element 2 opposite to the mounting opening 18. The reception pocket 46 may open in the mounting direction M and against the contact direction C. In the mounting direction M, the reception pocket 46 may have a depth that suffices for arranging the latching member 37 completely in the reception pocket 46.

In the rear perspective view of Fig. 6, it can be seen that in some embodiments, the free volume 8 may at least section- wise be filled with a casting compound 48. The casting compound 48 may in some embodiments be arranged at least between the at least one contact element 4 and one of the insulation protrusions 9, 9'. In particular, the casting compound 48 may fill up the free volume 8, further improving the electrical insulation of each contact element 4 and its neighbouring contact element 4. Furthermore, the casting compound 48 may fix the first housing element 2 to the second housing element 3, such that a relative movement of the second housing element 3 with respect to the first housing element 2 against the mounting direction M is prohibited.

Fig. 7 shows a first embodiment of a connector according to the invention wherein in Fig. 7 a casing 49 for two connector modules 1 is shown.

The casing 49 may, in some embodiments, comprise at least one, two or more receiving passages 50, each receiving passage 50 being adapted to receive at least one module 1. Each receiving passage 50 may extend in an insertion direction I, in which at least one electrical connector module 1 can be inserted into the receiving passage 50. The receiving passage 50 may end in a nozzle piece 51 which may have a hollow cylindrical shape and extend in the insertion direction I. In the insertion direction I, the nozzle piece 51 may surround a first plug face opening 52, in which a first plug face 5 can be arranged in an assembled state of the connector. The insertion direction I may coincide with the contact direction C of the connector module 1.

In some embodiments a coding opening 53 for receiving a coding element may be provided between the at least two receiving passages 50. The coding opening 53 may be shaped as a through-hole and may extend in the insertion direction I parallel to at least one of the receiving passages 50. Against the insertion direction I, a coding marking 54 may be visible for the user, the coding marking 54 indicating different coding positions of the coding element. For instance, the coding element may be arranged in the coding opening 53, such that it indicates a coding position 2. This would mean that only counter connectors that are suitable for mating with a connector coded with the coding marking 2 can be plugged onto the connector with the casing 49. The casing 49 may be provided with a front face 55, from which a socket 56 with at least nozzle piece 51 and maybe with the coding opening 53 projects in the insertion direction I. The front face 55 may be embedded in a sidewall of a device.

In some embodiments, the at least one nozzle piece 51 may be formed with a coding member 57. The coding member 57 may be arranged on an outer sidewall 58 of the nozzle piece 51, the outer sidewall 58 facing perpendicular to the insertion direction I. For instance, the coding member 57 may ensure that a counter connector is not turned by 180° around the insertion direction with respect to a correct mating position. The coding member 57 may be a coding protrusion or a coding pocket, which may open in the insertion direction I.

Fig. 8 shows the casing 49 of Fig. 7 in a rear schematic perspective view. In the rear view, it is apparent that the casing 49 may, in some embodiments, have an insertion opening 59 in which the receiving passage 50 may begin in the insertion direction I. In the area of the insertion opening 59, the receiving passage 50 may have a clearance C50 perpendicular to the insertion direction I and for instance, towards an adjacent receiving passage 50. Furthermore, the receiving passage 50 may be shaped with a second plug face opening 60, which may be arranged in the insertion direction I and between the insertion opening 59 and the first plug face opening 52. In particular, the second plug face opening 60 may end at the socket 56 in the insertion direction I. The second plug face opening 60 may have a clearance C60 parallel to the clearance C50, which is smaller than the clearance C50. The first plug face opening 52 and the insertion opening 59 can be arranged opposite to each other, the insertion opening 59 and the second plug face opening 60 may be arranged

perpendicular to each other. The second plug face opening 60 may be shaped with an open end 61 against the insertion direction I, the open end 61 facing against the insertion direction I and interconnecting the insertion opening 59 and the second plug face opening 60. The receiving passage 50 may comprise lateral sidewalls 62, 62', which are arranged opposite to each other. The clearance C50 may be measured between those two lateral sidewalls 62, 62'. From each of the opposite lateral sidewalls 62, 62', a guiding protrusion 63, 63 ' may project towards the respective opposite lateral sidewalls 62, 62'. The guiding protrusions 63, 63' may extend in the insertion direction I from the insertion opening 59 to the socket 56. The guiding protrusions 63, 63' may thus flank the second plug face 60 in the insertion direction I. The guiding protrusions 63, 63' may guide the electrical connector module 1 when inserting the module 1 at least section-wise into the receiving passage 50. Furthermore, the guiding protrusions 63, 63' may secure the module 1 against movements perpendicular to the insertion direction I and towards the second plug face opening 60. For securing the module 1 against movements also against the insertion direction I, a latching structure 64 may be provided in the casing 49. The latching structure 64 may for instance be arranged in or on a fastening sidewall 65, which may be arranged opposite to the second plug face opening 60. The latching structure 64 may in some embodiments be shaped as a latching protrusion that extends into the receiving passage 50. Alternatively, the latching structure 64 may be shaped as a latching recess that extends perpendicular to the insertion direction I and towards the second plug face opening 60. The latching recess may completely extend through the fastening sidewall 65 or it may form a latching pocket, which opens towards the second plug face opening 50.

The casing 49 may comprise at least one fixing element, for affixing the connector to parts of a device or to a printed circuit board. In some embodiments, the fastening sidewalls 65 of two adjacent receiving passages 50 may be interconnected by a top sidewall 66 of the casing 49. A clamping hole 67 may be provided in the top sidewall 66 and may be adapted to receive a clamping nose of a device or another housing. Furthermore, the clamping hole 67 may be used for affixing the coding element in the casing 49. Affixing blocks 69, 69' may be provided adjacent to the front face 55 and in upper corners 68, 68'. The affixing blocks 69, 69' may be used for affixing the casing 49 to a device. For instance, the affixing blocks 69, 69' may comprise openings with an inner thread for affixing screws.

In lower corners 70, 70' of the casing 49, the lower corners 70, 70' being arranged opposite to the upper corners 68, 68' in a diagonal direction of the casing 49, further affixing blocks 71, 71 ' may be arranged for affixing the casing 49 to e.g. a printed circuit board. Also the affixing blocks 71, 71 ' may be shaped with screw holes.

A coding element fixation member 71 may be arranged in the insertion direction I before the coding opening 53. The coding element may be inserted into the coding opening 53 in the insertion direction I via the coding element fixation member 71. The coding element fixation member 71 may have an essentially rectangular shape and be adapted to act as a rotation prevention for the contact element. In some embodiments, the coding element fixation member 71 may have a lower and an upper U-shaped holding member 72, 72', which may at least section- wise accommodate the coding element.

Fig. 9 shows the angled electrical connector 73 with a further embodiment of the casing 49. Same reference signs are being used for elements, which correspond in function and/or structure to the elements of the exemplary embodiments of Figs. 1 to 8. For the sake of brevity, only the differences from the exemplary embodiment of Figs. 1 to 8 will be looked at.

In some embodiments, the completely assembled connector 73 may comprise at least one, two or even more electrical connector modules 1, which may each be inserted into one receiving passage 50 in the insertion direction I. The connector modules 1 may comprise different contact elements 4 in various quantities. Furthermore, a coding element 74 may be inserted into the coding opening 53.

In some embodiments, the latching structure 64 may be provided with a latching pocket that opens into the receiving passage 50 and towards the connector module 1. The latching member 37 may engage with the latching pocket in a mounting direction M perpendicular to the insertion direction I and towards the fastening sidewall 65. When using a latching pocket, it may be difficult to unlatch the latching connection between the connector module 1 and the casing 49. In order to facilitate for an operation of the latching member 37, an unlatching opening 75, may be provided, for instance in the fastening wall 65. The unlatching opening 75 may be formed as a through-hole that extends towards the second plug face opening 60 and that ends in the latching pocket 50. Via the unlatching opening 75, the latching member 37 may be manually or automatically operated, e.g. by inserting a tool, maybe of pin-shape, into the unlatching opening 75. The coding element 74 may be formed with a coding end 76 and a mounting end 77. The coding element 74 may have a cylindrical shape and extend in the insertion direction I. It may be adapted for being inserted through the coding opening 53. It may comprise a coding structure 78, which may point towards a certain coding marking depending on the orientation of the coding element 74 preset by its mounting end 77. The mounting end 77 may be formed as a nut with for instance four or eight corners. The nut may comprise parallel sidewalls which rest on inner sides of the lower and/or upper U-shaped holding member 72, 72', the inner sides being arranged opposite to the respective other holding member 72, 72' in a predetermined coding position.

Fig. 10 shows another embodiment of the connector 73 in a schematic perspective view. Same reference signs are being used for elements, which correspond in function and/or structure to the elements of the exemplary embodiments of Fig. 9. For the sake of brevity, only the differences from the exemplary embodiments of Fig. 9 will be looked at.

In some embodiments, the casing 49 may comprise at least one pair of receiving passages 50, 50', which end in one nozzle piece 51. The receiving passages 50, 50' may be separated from each other by a separation wall 79, which may extend in the insertion direction I. Two nozzle pieces 51, 51 ', each comprising two receiving passages 50, 50', may be arranged around a coding opening 53, in which the coding element 74 can be arranged. All receiving passages 50, 50' and the coding opening 53 may be arranged on a line, the line extending perpendicular to the insertion direction I. Fig. 11 is an enlarged view of a section of the connector 73 of Fig 10 in a bottom schematic perspective view.

In some embodiments, a rear opening 7 of the connector module 1 may be aligned with the insertion opening 59 of the casing 49 in the completely assembled state of the module 1 and the casing 49. This arrangement results in a compact connector 73, which provides a protection for each contact element 4, of which only plug ends 6, 16 are accessible. Furthermore, no interfering edge protrudes from the casing 49 against the insertion direction I when the connector 73 is completely assembled.

The angled electrical connector module 1 mentioned above can itself be used as an electrical connector or it can be used with the angled electrical connector 73.