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Title:
CONNECTOR WITH AN EXTENDABLE LEVER ASSEMBLY
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2019/129453
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
The invention relates to a connector (1) with a coupling side (23) for coupling with a complementary connector (11) along a connection direction (22), a connector housing (2) and with a lever assembly (4) that comprises at least one lever (6) for coupling with the complementary connector (11), the lever (6) being held pivotable around an axis of rotation (20) on the connector housing (2), wherein the axis of rotation (20) runs essentially perpendicular to the connection direction (22) and wherein the at least one lever (6) extends in at least one position in the connection direction (22) away from the axis of rotation (20). In order to gain a high force transmission with constrained space, and to obtain a compact connector (1) when coupled with the complementary connector (11), the lever assembly (4) is provided with at least one extension (6) that is moveable relative to the at least one lever (6), and that extends the lever assembly (4) in the extended state (38) in the direction away from the axis of rotation (20). Furthermore, the invention relates to a connector assembly (150) comprising such a connector (1) and a complementary connector (11) with an end face (120) facing the coupling side (23), the complementary connection (11) being adapted to be at least partially inserted into the connector housing (2) in the connection direction (22).

Inventors:
SCHAMBACH, Michael (Im Hundeswinkel 23, Dortmund, 44287, DE)
PLÖTZ, Stefan (Am Waldsaum 5, Iserlohn, 58640, DE)
LEININGER, Tobias (Buchener Str. 42, Mannheim, 68259, DE)
FELDMEIER, Günter (Karolinenstr. 26, Lorsch, 64653, DE)
SZELAG, Martin (An der Laut 5, Bickenbach, 64404, DE)
MUELLER, Franz (Franz-Liszt-Str. 6, Griesheim, 64347, DE)
WIBORG, Ole (Jakob-Dieterich-Str. 5, Mainz, 55118, DE)
Application Number:
EP2018/082593
Publication Date:
July 04, 2019
Filing Date:
November 26, 2018
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
TE CONNECTIVITY GERMANY GMBH (Ampèrestraße 12-14, Bensheim, 64625, DE)
International Classes:
H01R13/629; H01R13/6597
Foreign References:
US5810612A1998-09-22
DE102006045155A12008-04-03
FR3017003A12015-07-31
EP3226361A12017-10-04
DE19702836A11997-07-31
Other References:
None
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
GRÜNECKER PATENT- UND RECHTSANWÄLTE PARTG MBB (Leopoldstrasse 4, München, 80802, DE)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS

1. Connector (1 ) with a coupling side (23) for coupling with a complementary connector (1 1 ) along a connection direction (22), a connector housing (2) and with a lever assembly (4) that comprises at least one lever (6) for coupling with the complementary connector (11 ), the lever (6) being held pivotable around an axis of rotation (20) on the connector housing

(2), wherein the axis of rotation (20) runs essentially perpendicular to the connection direction (22) and wherein the at least one lever (6) extends in at least one position (78) in the connection direction (22) away from the axis of rotation (20) in the direction of the coupling side (23), characterized in that the lever assembly (4) is provided with at least one extension (12) that is movable relative to the at least one lever (6) and that extends the lever assembly (4) in an extended state (38) in direction away from the axis of rotation (20).

2. Connector (1 ) according to claim 1 , characterized in that the extension (12) is latched with the lever (6) in an extended and/or not extended state (38, 80) of the lever assembly (4).

3. Connector (1 ) according to claim 1 or2, characterized in that the extension (12) is slidably attached to the lever (6).

4. Connector (1 ) according to any of the claims 1 to 3, characterized in that the lever (6) and the extension (12) form a telescopically retractable assembly.

5. Connector (1 ) according to any one of claims 1 to 4, characterized in that the lever assembly (4) comprises at least one stop (50) for limiting the movability of the extension (12) relative to the lever (6).

6. Connector (1 ) according to any one of claims 1 to 5, characterized in that the extension (12) is formed repeatedly attachable to the lever (6).

7. Connector (1 ) according to any one of claims 1 to 6, characterized in that the lever (6) and/or the extension (12) run around the connection direction (22) in at least one position (78).

8. Connector (1 ) according to any one of claims 1 to 7, characterized in that at least in the not extended state (80) the extension (12) is arranged in the at least one position (78) at a side (13) facing away from the connector housing (2).

9. Connector (1 ) according to any one of claims 1 to 8, characterized in that the extension (12) comprises at least one hook-shaped fastening section (35) that grasps at least a side edge (34) of the lever (6).

10. Connector (1 ) according to any one of claims 1 to 9, characterized in that the extension (12) comprises an outwardly curved gripping surface (66) with a gripping aid (67).

1 1. Connector (1 ) according to any one of claims 1 to 10, characterized in that the lever assembly (4) comprises a coupling lever (8) for coupling with the complementary connector (1 1 ), the coupling lever (8) being in the at least one position (78) pivotable relatively to the lever (6) towards the connector housing (2).

12. Connector (1 ) according to claim 1 1 , characterized in that the lever assembly (4) comprises at least one window (32), in which the coupling lever (8) is arranged in the at least one position (78). 13. Connector (1 ) according to claim 1 1 or 12, characterized in that the coupling lever (8) comprises at least one bulge (26) that thickens the coupling lever (8).

14. Connector (1 ) according to any one of claims 11 to 13, characterized in that in at least the not extended state (80) of the lever assembly (4) the coupling lever (8) is at least partially covered by the extension (12). 15. Connector (1 ) according to any one of claims 1 to 14, characterized in that the lever assembly (4) comprises at least one locking mechanism for preventing pivoting of the lever assembly (4).

16. Connector (1 ) according to any one of claims 1 to 15, characterized in that in the at least one position (78) the connector housing (2) runs at least partially in the lever assembly’s (4) shadow.

17. Connector (1 ) according to any one of claims 1 to 16, characterized in that the connector housing (2) comprises at least one stabilizing post (104) that extends at the coupling side along the connection direction, the at least one stabilizing post being adapted to stabilize the complementary connector 11 in a radial direction. 18. Connector (1 ) according to claim 17, characterized in that the at least one stabilizing post

(104) is essentially flush with an outer circumference of the lever assembly (4) in the at least one position (78).

19. Connector (1 ) according to any one of claims 1 to 18, characterized in that in the at least one position (78) a gap (154) is provided at least partially between the connector housing (2) and the lever assembly (4).

20. Connector (1 ) according to claim 19, characterized in that the gap (154) is greater in width in the connection direction (22) than a wire (18) that is intended for use in such a connector (1 )·

21. Connector assembly (150) comprising a connector (1 ) according to any one of claims 1 to 20 and a complementary connector (1 1 ) with an end face (120) facing the coupling side

(23), the complementary connection (1 1 ) being adapted to be at least partially inserted into the connector housing (2) in the connection direction (22).

22. Connector assembly (150) according to claim 21 , characterized in that the complementary connector (1 1 ) comprises at least one wire holder (122) for holding at least one wire (1 18) perpendicular to the connection direction (22) and in that the at least one wire holder (1 18) opens into the gap 154 in an opened position (12) before insertion of the end face (120) into the connector housing (2).

23. Connector assembly (150) according to claim 21 or 22, characterized in that the complementary connector (1 1 ) features at least one elastically and/or radially deflectable shielding contact (128) adapted to contact a shield of a cable (1 16), the at least one shielding contact (128) protruding from the window (32) in the at least one position (78).

24. Connector assembly (150) according to any one of claims 21 to 23, characterized in that the complementary connector (11 ) features at least one elastically and/or radially deflectable secondary shielding contact (134) adapted to contact the shield of the cable (1 16), the at least one secondary shielding contact (128) abutting the lever assembly (4) in the at least one position (78).

Description:
Connector with an extendable lever assembly

The invention relates to a connector with a coupling side for coupling with a complementary connector along a connection direction, a connector housing and a lever assembly that comprises at least one lever for coupling with the complementary connector, the lever being held pivotable around an axis of rotation on the connector housing, wherein the axis of rotation runs essentially perpendicular to the connection direction and wherein the at least one lever extends in the at least one position in the connection direction away from the axis of rotation. Furthermore, the invention relates to a connector assembly comprising such a connector and a complementary connector with an end face facing the coupling side, the complementary connector being adapted to be at least partially inserted into the connector housing in the connection direction.

Connectors or complementary connectors comprise a plurality of wires that are terminated in contact pins, which in turn have to be inserted into a socket of a complementary connector or connector, respectively. With an increasing amount of single contact pins, the plug-in force that is necessary for coupling the connector with the complementary connector also increases. Furthermore, in the application of common connectors, such as insulation displacement connectors, in which the insulation of the wire is displaced by the connector, a high plug-in force is necessary.

The high plug-in force may lead to the user not being able to couple the connector with the complementary connector. In limited space in particular, the handling becomes more difficult and, consequently, so does the coupling of the connector and/or complementary connector. Furthermore, it is desirable that the connector takes up as little space as possible.

Thus, it is the purpose of the invention to provide a connector and/or connector assembly that also allows a simple coupling with low physical effort even in limited space, that is easily produced, and that takes up as little space as possible in the coupled state. According to the invention, the problem is solved for the aforementioned connector and/or connector assembly by providing the lever assembly with at least one extension that is movable relative to the lever and that extends the lever assembly in direction away from the axis of rotation in an extended state.

With the inventive connector and/or connector assembly, a high axial force can be achieved by the user even in limited space, as the lever arm can be extended by the extension. With the longer lever arm, a higher torque, which can be converted into a high axial force in the coupling direction during coupling with a complementary connector, can be achieved with lower physical effort. In the not extended state, the lever assembly only takes up a little space. Thus, the inventive connector is particularly suitable for a coupling with minimal space.

The invention can be further improved by the following features, which are independent from one another with respect to their respective technical effects, and which can be combined arbitrarily. According to a first advantageous embodiment, the extension may be latched with the lever in the extended and/or not extended state of the lever assembly. With a latching, the extension is held in the extended state or not extended state, respectively, and an unintentional movement relative to the lever is prevented. The latching may for example, but not exclusively, be realized by a projection that penetrates an opening in the extended state or not extended state, respectively. In one embodiment, the projection can be arranged on the lever and the extension may comprise an opening. In another embodiment, the extension may comprise the projection and the lever the opening, in which the projection is latched in at least one state.

For enabling a movement of the extension relative to the lever, the extension may be slidably arranged on the lever. Alternatively or additionally the extension may be hinged to the lever. The extension may thereby easily be folded in and out when required. Preferably the extension may be folded out at a maximum of 180° so that the lever arm is extended linearly and that the extension is not further folded outwards by an impact of force and the force is transmitted to the lever. Alternatively the lever assembly may comprise a lock that locks the extension in a folded out state. The angle in which the extension may be folded out may be thereby configured freely by the user depending on the conditions. After the locking, the force that is exerted onto the extension will be transmitted to the lever and eventually to the coupled complementary connector.

In a further advantageous embodiment the lever and the extension may form a telescopically retractable assembly. The lever assembly may be thereby extended if necessary and may take up minimal space in the not extended state. Alternatively or additionally the extension or the lever may comprise a cavity, in which the lever and extension may be at least partially inserted in the not extended state, respectively.

In order to limit the movability of the extension relative to the lever, the lever assembly may comprise at least one stop. The stop may grasp an outer edge of the lever and extension, respectively. Preferably the stop comprises an indentation, in which a projection may be snapped in for preventing an unintentional movement of the extension relative to the lever.

According to another advantageous embodiment, the extension may be formed as repeatedly attachable to the lever. Preferably the extension may be a separate part. This opens up the possibility for easily exchanging the extension. Furthermore, the extension may be attached if required to extend the lever and may be detached afterwards so that the connector takes up minimal space.

The lever assembly may at least partially be curved around the connection direction. In at least one position the lever assembly may function as a housing that covers the coupling section as well as at least partially the complementary connector in a coupled arrangement and protect it from outer influence attacking radially to the connection direction.

According to a further advantageous embodiment, the extension may, at least in the not extended state, be at least partially arranged on the side of the leverfacing away from the connector housing in the at least one position. Alternatively the extension may at least in the not extended state be at least partially arranged on the side of the lever facing the connector housing in the at least one position.

According to another advantageous embodiment, the extension may comprise at least one hook- shaped fastening section that grasps at least one side edge of the lever. Preferably, the fastening section is located at a side edge of the extension. Due to the hook-shaped fastening section, a simple assembly of the extension and the lever is possible. The hook-shaped fastening section may serve as a saddle slideway to guide the movement of the extension relative to the lever and prevent the extension from swivelling out towards the sides. Alternatively, at least one hook- shaped fastening section may be arranged on at least one side edge of the lever and grasp at least one side edge of the extension. To simplify the handling of the extension, the extension may comprise a gripping surface with a gripping aid. The gripping aid may, for example, be realized in the form of a riffle. With the gripping aid it is possible to handle the extension with only one finger.

In another advantageous embodiment, the lever may comprise a window in which a projection of the extension penetrates in order to block the extension from moving out or moving in when the projection is pressed against an inner edge of the window.

The lever assembly may comprise a coupling lever to couple the lever assembly with the complementary connector at least in the connection direction. The coupling lever is preferably attached to the lever at a point distanced from the axis of rotation.

According to a further advantageous embodiment, the lever and the coupling lever may comprise of two parts, whereby the coupling lever is pivotable relative to the lever in the direction toward the connector housing. The assembly with separate parts is advantageous since the deflection of the material and consequently the wear may be reduced. Furthermore, a simple replacement of the coupling lever is possible.

For a simple and cost efficient production, the lever and the coupling lever can be elements of a monolithic component. In order to save space, the coupling lever may at least in one position be at least partially arranged in a window of the lever and/or the extension. The lever assembly is thereby, for example, in the coupled state, not unnecessarily widened radially outwards to the connection direction.

According to a further embodiment, the coupling lever may be formed essentially planar. As a result the coupling lever is flexible and may convert the force that is exerted onto the lever into an axial force when coupled with a complementary connector. The coupling lever thereby acts as a leaf spring that can be elastically deformed in the coupled state.

If the coupling lever is elastically deformed in the coupled state, a permanent force in coupling direction may keep the coupling between connector and complementary connector.

In a further embodiment, the coupling lever may comprise a deformation zone between coupling lever and lever. With this deformation zone the coupling lever may be bent for coupling with the complementary connector. Furthermore, the deformation zone may comprise an increased flexibility for determining the place of the coupling lever’s deformation. The deformation zone may comprise a lower material thickness compared to the rest of the coupling lever. Alternatively or additionally, the cross section of the coupling lever in the deformation zone may be lower compared to the point where the coupling lever is attached to the lever.

In order to prevent an unintentional deformation of the coupling lever outside the deformation zone, the coupling lever may comprise an area with higher material thickness on the side facing toward and/or facing away from the connector housing in at least one position. This can be, for example, realized by a bulge. With the increased material thickness, the stability in this area increases so that the deformation takes place in the deformation zone with lesser material thickness. The bulge may further function as an actuation surface for a user if the coupling lever needs to be steered towards the complementary connector for coupling with the complementary connector.

Preferably the lever assembly forms in at least one position, preferably in a position in which the lever assembly extends parallel to the connection direction, at least one radially circumferential jacket that protects the coupling section from outer influences and is compact. In order to prevent an unintentional opening, the lever assembly may comprise at least one locking mechanism for locking the lever in at least one position. The locking mechanism may, for example, be formed as interlocking hooks. Preferably, the lever assembly is arranged parallel to the connection direction in the lockable position. According to another advantageous embodiment of the present invention, the connector may comprise at least one stabilizing post that extends at the coupling side along the connection direction, which is adapted to fix and/or stabilize the complementary connector in a radial direction. The guiding post may compensate torsional stress, in particular if wires of the complementary connector are arranged asymmetrically. For instance, if the wires protrude radially from an end face of the complementary connector and are cut to length when inserting the complementary connector into the connector housing, the complementary connector may tilt due to the asymmetric arrangement of the wires. By having the guiding post stabilizing the complementary connector in the radial direction, such a tilting movement can be prevented. The stabilizing post may preferably be formed of a rigid material with high robustness, such as a metallic die cast piece.

The connector housing may at least partially walk in the lever assembly’s shadow in the at least one position. In particular, the coupling side may at least partially walk in the lever assembly’s shadow in the at least one position meaning that the coupling side at least partially does not protrude radially beyond the lever assembly in the at least one position. Preferably, the connector housing, in particular the stabilizing post, may be essentially flush with an outer circumference of the lever assembly in the at least one position. The outer circumference of the lever assembly in the at least one position may be at least partially essentially flush with an outer surface of the connector housing, in particular the stabilizing post. With this arrangement, it is possible to provide a stabilizing post with a high material thickness and consequently a high robustness. Furthermore, in the at least one position, the connector comprises an annular shape at the connector receiving side with the lever assembly.

According to another exemplary embodiment, in the at least one position a gap may be provided at least partially between the connector housing and the lever assembly. The gap may extend in the connection direction at least partially between the connector housing and the lever assembly. The gap may preferably be provided between the socket and the lever assembly. The gap may in particular be at least as wide in the connection direction as the diameter of a wire intended for use in such a connector. Thus, when cutting the wire to length while pivoting the lever assembly to the at least one position, the excessive wire may protrude from the gap and can be pulled off without the need of opening the lever assembly again. Hence, by providing this gap, an easier installation can be achieved. The complementary connector may preferably be a wire manager. The wire manager can hold at least one wire, preferably two pairs or four pairs of wires, in particular twisted pairs of wires on the end face at predetermined positions. Thus, when inserting the end face into the socket, the at least one wire can be terminated onto a corresponding contact, e.g. an insulation displacement contact of the connector.

The complementary connector may preferably hold the at least one wire perpendicular to the connection direction at the end face. For this, the complementary connector may comprise at least one wire holder holding and/or securing the at least one wire in the predetermined position. The at least one wire holder may open perpendicular to the connection direction so that the at least one wire may be arranged perpendicular to the connection direction on the end face of the complementary connector.

The at least one wire holder may be arranged in the gap before being inserted into the socket of the connector. Thus, excessive length of the wire, i.e. part of the wire that radially protrudes from the complementary connector may protrude through the gap without bending. When cutting the excessive length of the at least one wire, the cut off part is still attached to the connector assembly due to the flexible insulation of the at least one wire. Hence, it is necessary to remove the cut off parts manually by hand or with a tool. By having the wire holder arranged in the gap before the insertion into the socket and thus cutting the excessive length of the wire, the cut off part may be removed easily without damaging the connector assembly, the need of disconnecting the connector assembly or pivoting the lever assembly away from the at least one position.

The connector housing may be provided with a ring shaped inner housing received in the socket. The inner housing may be formed by an electrically insulating material and may comprise at least a cutting blade facing the end face of the complementary connector. The inner housing may thus be capable of cutting wire to length during insertion of the end face into the socket and electrically insulating the at least one wire. Alternatively, the cutting blades may be formed by a ceramic material or may even be formed as metal blades. In this case, an insulating feature may be provided ensuring that the at least one wire may be electrically insulated when the complementary connector is connected to the connector housing.

The inner housing may comprise at least one guiding feature that extends along the connection direction towards the complementary connector. The complementary connector may be provided with at least one complementary guiding slot for receiving the at least one guiding feature. The at least one guiding feature may code the connector assembly so that the correct relative rotational position of the connector and the complementary connector may be determined. The at least one guiding feature may be arranged radially inside the stabilizing post, so that the stabilizing post stabilizes the guiding feature and prevents the guiding feature to be elastically deformed and/or deflected in the radial direction during the insertion of the complementary connector into the socket. Thus, a tilting of the complementary connector may be prevented when there is an unsymmetrical force distribution during the insertion of the complementary connector into the socket.

The at least one guiding feature may comprise a depression on its radially outwards facing surface and the at least one stabilizing post may at least partially nestle in the depression. Hence, the at least one stabilizing post may further stabilize the guiding feature against torsional forces. The stabilizing post can thus prevent any relative rotation between the contact and the complementary contact during connecting said contacts.

The connector assembly may be provided with at least one radially and elastically deflectable shielding contact adapted to contact a shield of a cable of the complementary connector. The shield of the cable may preferably be a braided and/or foiled shield. The at least one shielding contact may protrude from the window at the at least one position so as to be capable of directly contacting an outer shell that can be at least partially slipped over the connector assembly. Thus, the connector assembly may be provided with a 360° shielding feature.

Additionally or alternatively, the connector assembly may comprise at least one secondary radially and elastically deflectable shielding contact. The secondary shielding contact being adapted to contact the preferably braided and/or foiled shield of the cable of the complementary connector. The at least one secondary shielding contact may contact the lever assembly in at least the at least one position. Preferably the at least one secondary shielding contact may contact the coupling lever in the at least one position and be pressed onto the braided and/or foiled shield of the cable forming a planar contact with the braided and/or foiled shield. The lever assembly may be formed from an electrical conductive material so that the secondary shielding contact may be connected to the outer shell indirectly via the lever assembly. For example, the outwardly curved gripping surface and/or the gripping aid may abut an inner wall of the outer sleeve.

In the following the invention is explained in greater detail with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which exemplary advantageous embodiments are shown. The shown advantageous developments and embodiments are independent from one another and can be combined arbitrarily according to the case of application.

In the figures: Fig.1 shows a schematic perspective view of an inventive connector in an extended state;

Fig. 2 shows a further schematic perspective view of an inventive connector in the extended state;

Fig. 3 shows a schematic perspective view of the inventive connector of Fig. 1 and Fig. 2 in a not extended state;

Fig. 4 shows a schematic perspective view of a second embodiment of a connector according to the invention;

Fig. 5 shows a schematic perspective view of an embodiment of a complementary connector of a connector assembly according to the invention; Fig. 6 shows a schematic perspective view of the connector assembly according to the invention; and

Fig. 7 shows a schematic perspective view of the connector assembly shown in Fig. 6.

In Fig. 1 and Fig. 2 a schematic perspective view of a connector 1 according to the invention is shown, respectively. The connector 1 comprises a connector housing 2 and a lever assembly 4 with two levers 6, which are arranged opposite one another on the connector housing 2.

The connector housing 2 comprises on its coupling side 23 a socket 7, in which the complementary connector 1 1 that is schematically indicated in Fig. 2 can be inserted.

Each lever 6 further comprises a coupling lever 8 with a necking 9 that forms the deformation zone 10 between coupling lever 8 and lever 6. The deformation zone 10 is an elastically deformable area with an increased flexibility relative to its immediate surrounding and serves to determine the place of deformation due to the force effect on the coupling lever 8 during coupling. The lever assembly 4 further comprises extensions 12 that are arranged on the respective side 13 of the lever 6 facing away from the opposing lever 6.

As the levers 6 are structurally identical, the reference numerals in the figures are only shown in one of the two levers 6.

The figures show a monolithic embodiment of the lever 6 and the coupling lever 8. In a not shown embodiment, the coupling lever 8 may be pivotably attached via a hinge (not shown) to the lever 6. In the two part embodiment (not shown) the deformation zone is not necessary.

The lever assembly 4 shown in Fig. 1 and Fig. 2 show an open state 14, in which the levers 6 are arranged in a sharp angle to the socket 7. The levers 6 are each mounted with their mounting portion 16 pivotable around an axis of rotation 20, which runs essentially perpendicular to the connection direction 22, in a reception pocket 18 of the connector housing 2. Furthermore, the levers 6 extend away from the coupling side 23 of the connector 1. In the mounting portion 16 the levers 6 comprise a guiding window 72 which is penetrated by a guide 74. Thereby, swivelling out sideways while pivoting the levers 6 is prevented.

The coupling levers 8 each comprise a free end 24 that can be coupled with a complementary connector 1 1. For this the complementary connector 11 comprises a radially revolving protrusion 29. The free ends 24 of the coupling levers 8 can be fastened in the connection direction 22 to the side 31 facing away from the socket 7 so that the torque that is exerted by a force 42 on the lever arm 40 can be transmitted to the complementary connector 11 and be converted into an axial force that runs in the connection direction 22.

Furthermore, the coupling levers 8 each comprise a bulge 26 on the side 27 facing the opposing coupling lever 8 as well as on the side 13 facing away from the opposing coupling lever 8 that thickens the coupling lever 8. With the increased thickness due to the bulge 26 a deformation of the coupling lever 8 outside the deformation zone 10 may be prevented and thereby further increasing the form stability of the coupling levers 8.

The levers 6 and the extensions 12 comprise a concave shape 28, wherein the concave side 30 of the levers 6 and the extensions 12 face essentially towards the opposing lever 6 and extension 12. Furthermore, the levers 6 each comprise a window 32 in which the coupling levers 8 are arranged.

The extensions 12 comprise a fastening section 35 on their side edges 34 with guiding groove 36 that is in a hook shape deformed inwards towards the concave side 30, which each grasp a side edge 34 of the levers 6. The extensions 12 may be thereby attached to the levers 6 and may be pushed under guidance by the guiding groove 36 away from the connector housing 2 into the extended state 38, which is shown in Fig. 1 and Fig. 2, or into the not extended state 80, as shown in Fig. 3.

In the extended state 38, the lever assembly 4 comprises longer lever arms 40. While coupling of the connector 1 with the complementary connector 1 1 , a force 42 that is exerted onto the lever arm 40 may be transmitted by the coupling lever 8, which is at least coupled to the complementary connector 11 in the connection direction 22. The required force 42 decreases with an increasing length of the lever arm 40. The levers 6 are pivoted inwardly towards the connector housing 2 by the exerted force 42 until they are arranged essentially parallel to the connection direction 22 (see Fig. 3). In doing so the lever assembly 4 forms a jacket 58 that at least partially coats the socket 7 of the connector 1.

On the concave side 30 the extensions 12 comprise on their proximal end 25 to the connector housing 2 catches 44 that protrude into the window 32 of the levers 6. Thereby, the pulling out of the extensions 12 is limited, as the catches 44 abut the inner edge 46 of the window 32 in a maximally extended state 38.

Furthermore, the extensions 12 comprise, on their outer edges 48, at their free ends 24 and distal to the connector housing 2, an essentially U-shaped stop 50 that extends towards the concave side 30 and whose opening 52 is directed towards the connector housing 2. The side 54 of the stop 50 located on the concave side 30 comprises a notch 56, in which a protuberance 76, which is positioned on the concave side 30 at the free end 24 of the lever 6, can be inserted.

The extensions 12 are formed with an essentially U-shaped cross section perpendicular to the connection direction 1 1 , whereby the arms 62 are provided with the guiding grooves 36 that grasp the levers 6 and whereby the connection of the arms 64 form the free ends 24 of the extensions 12 and serve as a gripping surface 66. On the gripping surface 66 a gripping aid 67, in the form of a riffle 68 that is arched outwardly on the side 13 facing away from the opposing lever 6, is formed. With the riffle 68, the grip increases and the extensions 12 can easily be slid in and out with only one finger. The cutout 70 between both the arms 62 and the extensions 12 enables an access of the coupling levers 8, which are arranged in the window 32.

In Fig. 3 the connector 1 shown in Figs. 1 and 2 is depicted in a closed position 78. Furthermore, the lever assembly 4 is in a not extended state 80. The extensions 12 are retracted until the stop 50. The stops 50 each grasp the corresponding outer edges 48 of the levers 6. Thereby, the protuberances 76 are arranged in the corresponding notches 56 and latched thereto so that an unintentional moving out of extensions 12 can be prevented. The opposing extensions 12 abut each other with their guiding notches 36 and coat the socket 7 of the connector 1.

In a not shown embodiment, the extensions 12 may each comprise a hook (not shown) that interlock with one another in the closed position 78 and thereby prevent a pivoting movement of the lever assembly 4. Furthermore, the coupling between the connector 1 and the complementary connector 1 1 may be secured by the lever assembly 4.

In the not extended state 80, the lever assembly 4 only takes up a little space and may therefore be particularly suitablefor applications which comprise a limited space and require a high insertion force. In Fig. 4, a second embodiment of an inventive connector 1 is shown. In comparison to the first embodiment, the levers 6 comprise a recess 90 at lateral sides 92 of the levers 6, i.e. the sides adjacent to the peak of the curved shape. The recess 90 is provided at a proximal end 94 of the respective lever 6 proximal to the axis of rotation 20. In the closed position 78, in which the lever 6 extends along the connection direction 22 in the direction of the coupling side 23 away from the axis of rotation 20, a gap (see Fig. 6 or Fig. 7) may be provided that extends between the levers 6 and the connector housing 2 in the connection direction 22.

The connector housing 2 may at least partially receive a ring shaped inner housing 96 in the socket 7. The inner housing 96 may be formed from an electrically insulating material such as a ceramic material and/or a resin and may comprise at least one cutting blade 98 for cutting at least one wire of the complementary connector 11 to length during insertion of the complementary connector 11 into the socket 7. The ring shaped inner housing 96 comprises the form of an octagon, wherein the at least one cutting blade 98 is formed by the inner edge 100 of the inner housing 96 facing the complementary connector 1 1. In this exemplary embodiment, the inner housing 98 comprises eight cutting blades 98, wherein the cutting blades 98 are arranged in pairs on alternating sides of the octagon. In other words, every second side of the octagon comprises two cutting blades 98.

The inner housing 96 comprises at least one guiding feature 102 extending in the connection direction 22 away from the socket 7 adapted to be inserted into a guiding slot of the complementary connector 11. The guiding feature 102 extends from a side of the octagon that is not provided with a cutting blade 98 and codes the connector 1 so that the complementary connector 1 1 can only be inserted in a predetermined rotational position relative to the connector

1. In this exemplary embodiment, two guiding features 102 are provided arranged diametrically to one another. The connector housing 2 further comprises two stabilizing posts 104 that extend parallel to the guiding features 102 for stabilizing the guiding features 102. If a force is exerted onto the guiding features 102, a deflection of said guiding features 102 in the radial direction is prevented by the stabilizing posts 104. At least the stabilizing posts 104 may be formed by die casting and may comprise a robust material such as a metal. Alternatively, the connector housing 2 may be formed by die casting. The connector housing 2 and the at least one stabilizing post 104 may be formed integral with one another. The material thickness of the connector housing 2, in particular the stabilizing posts 104 in radial direction is such that an outer surface 106 of the connector housing

2, in particular of the stabilizing posts 104, is essentially flush with the outer circumference of the lever assembly 4 in the closed position 78. Therefore, it is ensured that the connector housing 2, especially the stabilizing posts 104 is robust and rigid enough to prevent any deformation to the inner housing 96 and/or the connector housing 2 itself.

Due to the recess 90 of the levers, it is possible for the connector housing 2, especially the stabilizing posts 104, to further extend along the connection direction 22, increasing the depth of the socket 7 and further encasing the inner housing 96 along the connection direction 22. Thus, as the inner housing 96 is inserted deeper into the connector housing 2, the stabilization of the inner housing 96 by the connector housing 2 is further increased.

The guiding features 102 preferably comprise a depression 108 on their radially outwards facing surface 110 and the stabilizing posts 104 may nestle in the corresponding depression 106 so that the stabilizing posts 104 do not only stabilize the guiding features 102 in the radial direction, but also in a circumferential direction. Hence, due to the robust stabilizing posts 104 with a high material thickness, a stable connection between the connector 1 and the complementary connector 11 can be formed even with an asymmetrical insertion force distribution.

In Fig. 5, an exemplary embodiment of a complementary connector 11 is shown in a schematic perspective view. The complementary connector 11 is formed as a wire manager 112 that extends along the connection direction 22. The wire manager 112 is formed as a hollow tubular body 114. A cable 116 can be inserted into the hollow body 1 14 in the connection direction 22. The cable 116 comprises at least one wire 118 that protrudes from the hollow body 1 14 in the connection direction 22 and is arranged on an end face 120 of the wire manager 112 arranged perpendicular to the connection direction 22. The end face 120 is adapted to hold the at least one wire 1 18 at a predetermined position and is adapted to be inserted into the inner housing 96. In this exemplary embodiment, the cable 1 16 comprises four pairs of twisted wires 1 18. However, different embodiments are also possible, in particular cables comprising two pairs of twisted wires 1 18. The end face 120 is formed complementary to the inner housing 96 and the pairs of twisted wires 118 are arranged opposite to the pairs of cutting blades 98, i.e. on every second side of the octagon a pair of twisted wires 1 18 can be arranged. Thus, the pairs of twisted wires may be arranged in a symmetrical cross formation.

However, if the cable 116 comprises only two pairs of twisted wires 118, it is also possible to arrange the pairs of twisted wires 118 asymmetrically, i.e. the two pairs are not arranged diametrically to one another.

The end face 120 comprises wire holders 122 for holding and securing the wires 1 18 on the end face 120. The wire holders 122 are formed as essentially U-shaped seats 124, wherein the wires 1 18 can be inserted into the slots 126 of the corresponding seats 124, so that the wires 1 18 are arranged essentially perpendicular to the connection direction 22. The wires 118 protrude radially from an edge 127 of the end face 120. The protruding part of the wires 118 have to be cut off during the insertion of the end face 120 into the inner housing 96, as is explained in detail later with reference to Figs. 6 and 7.

Furthermore, the complementary connector 11 comprises at least one shielding contact 128 that contacts a braided and/or foiled shield (not shown) of the cable 116. The shielding contact 128 is radially and elastically deflectable and lies at least partially on a pedestal 130 radially protruding from the hollow body 1 14. The shielding contact 128 may thus contact a shell 132 that can be slid over a coupling section of the connector assembly, for a 360° shielding.

In addition to the at least one shielding contact 128, the complementary connector 1 1 further comprises at least one elastically and/or radially deflectable secondary shielding contact 134 that may at least partially be wrapped around the braided and/or foiled shield of the cable 116. The at least one secondary shielding contact 134 may be formed so that the lever assembly 4 abuts the secondary shielding contact 134 and presses the secondary shielding contact 134 against the braided and/or foiled shield of the cable 1 16 so that a planar distributed contact of the braided and/or foiled shield of the cable 1 16 is achieved.

The at least one secondary shielding contact 134 can be connected to the shell 132 via the lever assembly 4.

The wire manager 1 12 is further provided with guiding slots 136 formed complementary to the guiding features 102 so that the guiding features 102 can be received in the guiding slots 136 during establishing the connection between the connector 1 and the complementary connector 1 1 .

The function and interaction between the connector 1 and the complementary connector 11 is now explained with reference to Figs. 6 and 7.

Figs. 6 and 7 show a schematic perspective view of a connector assembly 150 according to the invention. The exemplary embodiment shown of the connector assembly 150 shown in Figs. 6 to 8 comprises an inventive connector 1 as described with reference to Fig. 4 and a complementary connector 1 1 as described with reference to Fig. 5.

In Fig. 6, the connector 1 is shown wherein the lever assembly 4 is in an opened position 14, i.e. the levers are not arranged essentially parallel to the connection direction 22. As can be seen in Fig. 6, the end face 120 of the complementary connector 11 needs to be inserted into the inner housing 96. However, the wires 118 protrude from the edge 127 of the end face 120 and need to be cut to length during insertion. Therefore, the axial insertion force - needed to couple the connector 1 with the complementary connector 14 - is further increased. This might, in particular, be problematic in tight spaces, in which the user is not able to provide the necessary force for coupling the connector 1 and the complementary connector 11.

In order to provide a connector 1 , wherein the coupling with the complementary connector 1 1 with low force and low space requirements, the connector 1 comprises a lever assembly 4 comprising at least one lever 6 with a movable extension 12 attached thereto. Due to the extended lever arm 40 a lower force 42 is necessary to create a torque, which can be converted into the axial force for coupling the connector 1 to the complementary connector 1 1.

The free ends 24 of the coupling levers 8 abut and/or are latched to the side 31 of the pedestals 130 facing away from the socket 7 and are thus coupled to the complementary connector 1 1. By exerting the force 42 onto the extensions 12 the levers 6 are pivoted around the axis of rotation 20 until the levers 6 are arranged essentially parallel to the connection direction 22. During this movement, the coupling levers 8 push the complementary connector 11 in the connection direction 22 inserting the end face 120 into the socket 7. The edge 127 forms a shearing assembly 152 together with the cutting blades 98. The edge 127 glides past the cutting blades 98 so that the excessive length of the wires 18 is sheared off.

A radial deformation of the inner housing 96 may be prevented by the connector housing 2. In particular, the stabilization posts 104 prevent a radial and/or circumferential deflection of the guiding features 102 so that a tilting or torsion of the complementary connector 11 can be prevented. This is in particular of relevance, when the wires 1 18 are not symmetrically arranged on the end face 120 due to desired termination configurations. For example, the cable 116 may comprise two pairs of twisted wires 1 18, wherein the pairs are positioned in an ortho- or meta- arrangement. Hence, the complementary connector 11 may tilt towards the opposing side without the pairs of twisted wires due to less resistance. However, this tilting movement may be prevented with the stabilizing posts 104 pressing against the guiding features 102.

During pivoting the levers 6 into the closed position 78, the secondary shielding contact 134 abuts the coupling lever 8 and is pressed against the braided and/or foiled shield of the cable 1 16.

The lever assembly 4 is preferably formed by an electrically conductive material.

The protruding part of the wires 1 18 is subsequently cut off once the lever assembly 4 is in the closed position 78 and the connector 1 and complementary connector 1 1 are successfully coupled. However, due to the elasticity of the wire insulation, the cut off part of the wires 118 does not simply fall off from the connector assembly 150. Rather, they are still attached to the connector assembly 150 and have to be removed manually by hand and/or with a tool, e.g. pliers (see Fig. 7).

According to the advantageous embodiment of the connector 1 , a gap 154 is formed that extends between the lever assembly 4 and the connector housing 2, in particular between the lever assembly 4 and the inner housing 96. The gap 154 is formed due to the recess 90 of the lever assembly 4 and may at least partially run along the circumference of the lever assembly 4. The width of the gap 154 between the lever assembly 4 and the inner housing 96 in the connection direction 22 is greater than the diameter of the wire 1 18 intended for use in such a connector assembly 150. The wires 1 18 are arranged so that they radially protrude through the gap 154. This can be achieved by having the wire holders 122 open into the gaps 154 right before insertion into the inner housing 96. Hence, the cut off part of the wires 118 may protrude from the gap 154 without bending the wires 1 18 and thus may easily be plucked off by hand and/or with a tool. It is thus not necessary to pivot the levers 6 into an open position and decouple the connector 1 and complementary connector 1 1 from one another in order to remove the cut off parts of the wires 118.

As can be seen in Fig. 7 in the at least one position, i.e. the closed position 78, the pedestal 130 protrudes through the window 32 so that the shielding contact 128 which is partially arranged on the pedestal extends beyond the outer circumference of the lever assembly 4 in the closed position 78. The secondary shielding contact 134 is pressed against the braided and/or foiled shield by the coupling lever 8. The lever assembly 4 is preferably formed by an electric conductive material, so that the lever assembly 4 is capable to electrically couple the secondary shielding contact 134 with the outer shell 132 that can be slid over the coupling section of the lever assembly. The shielding contact 128 may directly contact the outer shell 132. In the closed position 78, the extensions 12 can be moved back so that the lever assembly 4 is in the not extended state 80 and thus does not take up a lot of space. The cut off wires 118 can be plucked off without needing to open the lever assembly 4, and the outer shell 132 can be slid over the coupling section of the connector assembly 150 and secured by a threaded connection to the connector housing 2 shielding the connector assembly 150, protecting the coupling section from outer influence and further blocking the levers 6 to pivot out of the closed position 78. The outer shell 132 may comprise features for strain relief. REFERENCE NUMERALS

1 connector

2 connector housing

4 lever assembly

6 lever

7 socket

8 coupling lever

9 necking

10 deformation zone

11 complementary connector

12 extension

13 side facing away

14 opened position

16 fastening section

18 reception pocket

20 axis of rotation

22 connection direction

24 free end

25 end

26 bulge

27 side facing towards

28 concave shape

30 concave side

31 side facing away from the socket

32 window

34 side edge

35 fastening section

36 guiding groove

38 extended state

40 lever arm

42 force

44 catch

46 inner edge

48 outer edge

50 stop

52 opening 54 side

56 notch

58 jacket

60 coupling section

62 arm

64 connection of arms

66 gripping surface

67 gripping aid

68 riffle

70 cutout

72 guiding window

74 guide

76 protuberance

78 closed position

80 not extended state

90 recess

92 lateral sides

94 proximal end

96 inner housing

98 cutting blade

100 inner edge

102 guiding features

104 stabilizing post

106 outer surface

108 depression

110 radially outward facing surface

112 wire manager

114 hollow body

116 cable

118 wire

120 end face

122 wire holder

124 seats

126 slot

127 edge

128 shielding contact

130 pedestal 132 shell

134 secondary shielding contact

150 connector assembly

152 shearing assembly

154 gap




 
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