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Title:
SERIAL CONNECTOR
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2016/110846
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A serial connector is provided having a plurality of contact members for coupling with a corresponding external contact member, at least one of the contact members having an elongated body with a first end configured to be coupled to the external contact member, a second end configured to be coupled to a conductor, and first and second shoulder portions spaced from the each other along the body's length. The connector comprises a plate having at least one contact holding aperture, a contact housing to hold a portion of the body and to securely engage with the aperture. The contact housing has a first stop member configured to engage the first shoulder, and a locking member having a second stop member configured to engage the second shoulder. The contact housing includes a securing arrangement for securing the body inside the aperture.

Inventors:
ABURMAD SHAHAR (IL)
Application Number:
IL2016/050013
Publication Date:
July 14, 2016
Filing Date:
January 06, 2016
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
ISRAEL AEROSPACE IND LTD (IL)
International Classes:
H01R13/622; H01R4/24; H01R4/50; H01R9/053; H01R13/646; H01R24/00
Foreign References:
CN201829722U2011-05-11
US8808033B22014-08-19
US8388377B22013-03-05
CN104051885A2014-09-17
CN104377480A2015-02-25
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
ROSS, Jonathan (Reinhold Cohn and Partners, P.O. Box 13239, 62 Tel Aviv, 6113102, IL)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS:

1. A serial connector having a plurality of contact members each configured for coupling with a corresponding external contact member, the serial connector comprising:

a plate having at least one contact holding aperture;

at least one of said plurality of contact members having an elongated body with a first end configured to be coupled to the corresponding external contact member, a second end configured to be coupled to a conductor, a first shoulder portion and a second shoulder portion spaced from the first shoulder portion along the body's length;

a contact housing configured to hold a portion of said body therein and further being configured to securely engage with said aperture, said contact housing having a first stop member configured to engage said first shoulder; and,

a locking member having a second stop member configured to engage said second shoulder;

wherein said contact housing and said locking member include a securing arrangement configured for securing thereof to one another such that said first stop member engages said first shoulder and said second stop member engages said second shoulder thereby securing said body inside said aperture.

2. The serial connector of Claim 1 wherein said first end includes a crimp contact configured to be coupled to an electric contact.

3. The serial connector of any one of Claims 1 and 2 wherein said elongated body is a male body having a pin extending from said first end and being configured for insertion into a bore formed in the corresponding external contact member,.

4. The serial connector of any one of Claims 1 and 2 wherein said elongated body is a female body having a bore extending along the length thereof from said first end such that at least a portion of said corresponding external contact member can be engagebly inserted therein.

5. The serial connector of Claim 4 wherein said elongated body further includes a slit defined along a portion of said bore.

6. The serial connector of Claim 5 wherein said slit is configured to allow expending the inner diameter of said bore.

7. The serial connector of Claim 5 wherein said slit is configured to allow expending the inner diameter of said bore by a pin of a male body of the corresponding external contact member inserted therein providing thereby secured engagement therebetween.

8. The serial connector of any one of the previous claims wherein said first shoulder is defined by the edge of said body.

9. The serial connector of any one of the previous claims wherein said second shoulder is defined as a ring portion disposed in close proximity to said second end of said body.

10. The serial connector of any one of the previous claims wherein said contact housing includes a first opening configured for coupling therethrough said elongated body with the corresponding external contact member.

11. The serial connector of any one of the previous claims wherein said contact housing includes a second opening through which said first end of said body can extend.

12. The serial connector of Claim 10 wherein said first stop member is a circumferential extension inwardly protruding from said first opening, such that the said opening defines a diameter smaller than the diameter of said first shoulder.

13. The serial connector of Claim 12 wherein said diameter of said first opening is configured to hold said body in said housing.

14. The serial connector of claim 13 wherein said housing is configured to be securely held inside said contact holding aperture.

15. The serial connector of Claim 14 wherein said housing includes a segment having ridges configured to firmly engage the circumference of said aperture.

16. The serial connector of Claim 15 wherein said ridges are formed adjacent said first opening of said housing such that when the latter is held in said aperture the said first opening is substantially flash with an outer surface of said plate.

17. The serial connector of any one of the previous claims wherein said locking member includes an aperture for passing therethough the second end of said body such that it can be coupled to the coupled to a conductor.

18. The serial connector of any one of the previous claims wherein said securing arrangement includes a screw thread defined on an outer portion of said housing and a corresponding screw thread defined on an inner surface of said locking member.

19. The serial connector of any one of the previous claims wherein said housing and said locking member are configured to be interchangeably utilized for holding therein a male body or a female body.

20. The serial connector of any one of the previous claims further comprising a stabilizing plate having at least one stabilizing apertures corresponding to said contact holding aperture formed on said plate.

21. The serial connector of Claim 20 wherein said contact housing further comprises an auxiliary stop member defined on an outer surface thereof and being configured for abutting against a surface of said stabilizing plate such that when the housing is inserted through said stabilizing aperture, said locking member is fastened from one side thereof, while said auxiliary stop member abuts against the other side thereof.

22. The serial connector of any one of the previous claims comprising an array of contact members each being coupled to a conductor and being securely disposed in one aperture formed in said plate.

23. The serial connector of Claim 22 wherein said array is held inside an array housing having an outlet aperture configured for extending therethrough said conductors.

24. A serial connector assembly having a male portion including a plurality of male contact members, and a female portion including a plurality of female contact members, each being configured for coupling to one of male contact members, the assembly comprising:

a male portion including a first plate having at least one contact holding aperture; at least one of said plurality of contact members having an elongated male body with a first end having a pin configured to be coupled to one of the a female contact members, a second end configured to be coupled to a conductor, a first shoulder portion and a second shoulder portion spaced from the first shoulder portion along the body's length;

a female portion including a second plate having at least one contact holding aperture; at least one of said plurality of contact members having an elongated female body with a first end having a bore defined therein configured to receive said pin therein, a second end configured to be coupled to a conductor, a first shoulder portion and a second shoulder portion spaced from the first shoulder portion along the body's length;

wherein each of said elongated male body and elongated female body include an associated contact housing configured to hold a portion thereof therein; each of said contact housing being configured to securely engage with one of said apertures, said contact housing having a first stop member configured to engage said first shoulder of said associated male or female body and a locking member having a second stop member configured to engage said second shoulder of said associated male or female body; and wherein said contact housing and said locking member include a securing arrangement configured for securing thereof to one another such that said first stop member engages said first shoulder of said associated male or female body, and said second stop member engages said second shoulder thereby securing said associated male or female body inside said aperture.

25. A plate for a serial connector having an array of contact members housed in an array housing and being configured for coupling with a corresponding array of contact members, the plate comprising:

a first layer made of a material configured to provide the array with mechanical stability and having heat durability;

a second layer made of a material configured to provide heat reduction so as to insulate the inner volume of the array housing.

26. The plate of claim 25 wherein said first layer having heat durability of at least 500 Celsius.

27. The plate of claim 25 wherein said first layer is a glass-reinforced epoxy laminate substrate.

28. The plate of claim 27 wherein said first layer includes self-extinguishing properties.

29. The plate of claim 28 wherein said glass-reinforced epoxy laminate substrate includes grade designation assigned thereto configured for flame resistant.

30. The plate of claim 29 wherein said first layer includes low electric conductivity.

31. The plate of claim 25 wherein said second layer is a polyure thane layer disposed on one face of said first layer.

32. The plate of claim 31 wherein said second layer is molded over said first layer.

33. The plate of claim 31 further comprising a retaining frame disposed over said first layer wherein said polyurethane layer is molded in said retaining frame.

34. The plate of any one of claims 25 to 33 wherein said first and second layers are provided with a plurality of apertures each being configured for holding therein one contact members.

Description:
SERIAL CONNECTOR

TECHNOLOGICAL FIELD

The presently disclosed subject matter relates to a serial connector in general and in particular to a serial connector for coupling a plurality of male connectors to a plurality of corresponding female connectors.

BACKGROUND

There are known many serial connectors for verity of uses and applications, such as computers, printers etc, as well as for heavy duty applications such as vehicles, aircraft, etc. while the regular serial connectors are provided with an array of contact members configured to be coupled to a corresponding array, in the case of a heavy duty application the serial connector must be provided with stability, and properties allowing the contact members to function under extreme conditions.

US 3,172,721 discloses a retention structure for releasably retaining the contact terminals in the connector insulators or for releasably retaining the insulators in respective outer shells of the connector members, wherein the retention structure permits the contact terminals or insulators to be snapped into their operative positions, in which positions the retention structure afiords an effective seal against the passage of fluids such as moisture or potting compounds into the contacting area.

US 5,632,655 discloses an electrical connector includes a first female insert having pin engagable sockets and a second female insert having pin engagable sockets. The first insert is in electrical connection with the second insert. The socket inserts are connected via connector pins which are configured to fit within the sockets and between the socket members. The connector pins function to electrically connect the socket inserts and may include a locking extension for locking the pins in the sockets of the female inserts. The connector may also include a protective disk disposed between the socket inserts which envelopes the connector pins and protects them from damage.

US 5,567,179 discloses an electrical connector system includes a housing, at least one electrical cable assembly, at least one retaining member and a resilient locking member. The housing has formed therethrough at least one retention window and at least one shaped aperture which is formed through a rear portion of the housing. The at least one retaining member is dimensioned to substantially mirror the dimension of the at least one shaped aperture. The at least one retaining member has an internal surface which defines a channel portion having a predetermined diametral dimension. The channel portion terminates to a slot. The at least one retaining member snapfittingly engages an individual at least one electrical cable. The at least one electrical cable and the at least one retaining member are insertably received by an individual shaped aperture. A resilient locking member is made integral with each at least one retaining member. The resilient locking member is resiliently moveable, back and forth, from a first, retention window engaging position to a second, retention window disengaging position.

US 6,077,132 discloses an electrical receptacle mounted to an aircraft includes a pin contact assembly having a pin body releasably threaded within a threaded insert. A collet enhances mechanical securement and electrical contact between the insert and pin body. The outer end of the pin body is configured to receive a wrench for assembly disassembly of the parts.

US 4,170,393 discloses an electrical cable connector of the multi-contact type wherein pin contact members of a male plug component engage and make electrical connection with corresponding spring finger contact members of a female receptacle, the pin and spring finger members each being threadably secured in a wire lead connecting base portion mounted in an insulating matrix in the plug and sockets components, respectively. The base portion for both the pin and spring finger members can be identical, thus providing a common base in a three piece contact system wherein a common base will receive either the male pin or the female spring finger members and allow ready removal of the contact members for replacement without disconnection of lead wires in instances of damage such as might be caused by dropping or rough handling of the connector.

GB 722 894 discloses a plug connecter for a screened coaxial cable comprises a tubular metal socket-engaging a part insulatingly carrying a contact pin and having an integral tapering tubular extension, and a separate metal sleeve. To connect a cable, the sleeve is slid over the cable end, the outer protective cable cover is removed, the metal screening sheath is brought back, and the insulation cut away a certain distance to expose the core. The insulated core is passed through the extension until the insulation abuts an insulating block and the core enters the pin wherein it is soldered. This action causes the screening sheath to ride up over the extension so that when the sleeve is finally screwed to the part the sheath is jammed between the extension and the interior of the sleeve. A socket connector for the plug comprises a metal sleeve split at and having a pair of lugs whereby it is fixed to a base plate, an insulating block being clamped therebetween. The block carries a socket contact and an integral terminal stub. On insertion of the plug the sleeve is forced open by the part, but is restrained by a thin sleeve retained by a circlip.

US 5,052,946 discloses a plug connector for high-voltage coaxial cables. The cable comprises an inner conductor, an inner insulation, a metallic screen netting and an insulation, outer sheath. The plug connector comprises a plug-in contact element connected to the inner conductor, a metal sleeve connected to the screen netting and an insulating housing connecting the contact element to the metal sleeve. A sealing sleeve made of elastic, electrically insulating material is pushed onto the inner insulation of the cable. The contact element penetrates into the inner conductor such that the inner insulation arranges itself sealingly against the inner surface of the sealing sleeve. Owing to the connection of the insulating housing to the metal sleeve, the sealing sleeve undergoes such deformation.

GENERAL DESCRIPTION

There is provided according to an aspect of the presently disclosed subject matter a serial connector having a plurality of contact members each configured for coupling with a corresponding external contact member the serial connector comprising a plate having at least one contact holding aperture; at least one of the plurality of contact members having an elongated body with a first end configured to be coupled to the corresponding external contact member, a second end configured to be coupled to a conductor, a first shoulder portion and a second shoulder portion spaced from the first shoulder portion along the body's length; a contact housing configured to hold a portion of the body therein and further being configured to securely engage with the aperture, the contact housing having a first stop member configured to engage the first shoulder; and a locking member having a second stop member configured to engage the second shoulder; wherein the contact housing and the locking member include a securing arrangement configured for securing thereof to one another such that the first stop member engages the first shoulder and the second stop member engages the second shoulder thereby securing the body inside the aperture.

The first end can include a crimp contact configured to be coupled to an electric contact.

The elongated body can be a male body having a pin extending from the first end and being configured for insertion into a bore formed in the corresponding external contact member. The elongated body can be a female body having a bore extending along the length thereof from the first end such that at least a portion of the corresponding external contact member can be engagebly inserted therein. The elongated body can further include a slit defined along a portion of the bore. The slit can be configured to allow expending the inner diameter of the bore.

The serial connector of Claim 5 wherein the slit can be configured to allow expending the inner diameter of the bore by a pin of a male body of the corresponding external contact member inserted therein providing thereby secured engagement therebetween.

The first shoulder can be defined by the edge of the body. The second shoulder can be defined as a ring portion disposed in close proximity to the second end of the body.

The contact housing can include a first opening configured for coupling therethrough the elongated body with the corresponding external contact member. The contact housing can include a second opening through which the first end of the body can extend.

The first stop member can be a circumferential extension inwardly protruding from said first opening, such that the opening defines a diameter smaller than the diameter of the first shoulder. The diameter of said first opening can be configured to hold said body in the housing.

The housing can be configured to be securely held inside the contact holding aperture. The housing can include a segment having ridges configured to firmly engage the circumference of the aperture. The ridges are formed adjacent the first opening of the housing such that when the latter can be held in the aperture the opening can be substantially flash with an outer surface of the plate.

The locking member can include an aperture for passing therethough the second end of the body such that it can be coupled to the coupled to a conductor.

The securing arrangement can include a screw thread defined on an outer portion of the housing and a corresponding screw thread defined on an inner surface of the locking member.

The housing and the locking member can be configured to be interchangeably utilized for holding therein a male body or a female body.

The serial connector can further include a stabilizing plate having at least one stabilizing apertures corresponding to the contact holding aperture formed on the plate.

The contact housing can further includes an auxiliary stop member defined on an outer surface thereof and being configured for abutting against a surface of the stabilizing plate such that when the housing can be inserted through the stabilizing aperture, the locking member can be fastened from one side thereof, while the auxiliary stop member abuts against the other side thereof.

The serial connector can further include an array of contact members each being coupled to a conductor and being securely disposed in one aperture formed in the plate. The array can be held inside an array housing having an outlet aperture configured for extending therethrough the conductors.

There is provided according to a further aspect of the presently disclosed subject matter a serial connector assembly having a male portion including a plurality of male contact members, and a female portion including a plurality of female contact members, each being configured for coupling to one of male contact members. The assembly includes a male portion including a first plate having at least one contact holding aperture; at least one of the plurality of contact members having an elongated male body with a first end having a pin configured to be coupled to one of the a female contact members, a second end configured to be coupled to a conductor, a first shoulder portion and a second shoulder portion spaced from the first shoulder portion along the body's length; a female portion including a second plate having at least one contact holding aperture; at least one of the plurality of contact members having an elongated female body with a first end having a bore defined therein configured to receive the pin therein, a second end configured to be coupled to a conductor, a first shoulder portion and a second shoulder portion spaced from the first shoulder portion along the body's length; wherein each of the elongated male body and elongated female body include an associated contact housing configured to hold a portion thereof therein; each of the contact housing being configured to securely engage with one of the apertures, the contact housing having a first stop member configured to engage the first shoulder of the associated male or female body and a locking member having a second stop member configured to engage the second shoulder of the associated male or female body; and wherein the contact housing and the locking member include a securing arrangement configured for securing thereof to one another such that the first stop member engages the first shoulder of the associated male or female body, and the second stop member engages the second shoulder thereby securing the associated male or female body inside the aperture.

There is provided according to yet another aspect of the presently disclosed subject matter a plate for a serial connector having an array of contact members housed in an array housing and being configured for coupling with a corresponding array of contact members. The plate includes a first layer made of a material configured to provide the array with mechanical stability and having heat durability; and a second layer made of a material configured to provide heat reduction so as to insulate the inner volume of the array housing.

The first layer can have heat durability of at least 500 Celsius. The first layer can be a glass-reinforced epoxy laminate substrate. The first layer can include self-extinguishing properties. The glass-reinforced epoxy laminate substrate can include grade designation assigned thereto configured for flame resistant. The first layer can include low electric conductivity.

The second layer can be a polyurethane layer disposed on one face of the first layer. The second layer can be molded over the first layer.

The plate can further include a retaining frame disposed over the first layer wherein the polyurethane layer can be molded in the retaining frame.

The first and second layers can be provided with a plurality of apertures each being configured for holding therein one contact members.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

In order to better understand the subject matter that is disclosed herein and to exemplify how it may be carried out in practice, embodiments will now be described, by way of non- limiting example only, with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which:

Fig. 1A is a top perspective view of a serial connector assembly according to an example of the presently disclosed subject matter in an assembled position;

Fig. IB is a top perspective view of the serial connector assembly of Fig. 1A in an unassembled position;

Fig. 1C is a bottom perspective view of the serial connector assembly of Fig. 1A in an unassembled position;

Fig. 2 A is a sectional view of the serial connector assembly of Fig. 1A taken along lines

A-A

Fig. 2B is a sectional view of the serial connector assembly of Fig. IB taken along lines

B-B;

Fig. 2C is an exploded view of the serial connector assembly of Fig. 1 A;

Fig. 3 is an exploded view of the a female connector and a male connector according to an example of the presently disclosed subject;

Fig. 4A is a side view of the female connector of Fig. 3;

Fig. 4B is a sectional view of the female connector of Fig. 4A taken along lines C-C; Fig. 4C is a side view of the male connector of Fig. 3; Fig. 4D is a sectional view of the male connector of Fig. 4C taken along lines D-D;

Fig. 5A is a top perspective view of a pair of connector arrays according to an example of the presently disclosed subject matter in an assembled position having a single male connector of Fig. 4A coupled to a corresponding male connector of Fig. 4D;

Fig. 5B is a top perspective view of the arrays of Fig. 5A in an unassembled position thereof;

Fig. 5C is a side sectional view of the arrays of Fig. 5A taken along lines E-E;

Fig. 6A is a top perspective view of the arrays of Fig. 5A having a plurality of male connectors of Fig. 4A each being coupled to a corresponding male connector of Fig. 4D; and, Fig. 6B is a side sectional view of the arrays of Fig. 6A taken along lines F-F.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF EMBODIMENTS

Figs. 1A to 2C show a serial connector arrangement 10 having a female portion 20 and a corresponding male portion 60. The female portion 20 includes an array housing 22 and a cover 24, at least one of which defining an outlet aperture configured for extending therethrough cables, such as electric wires (not shown). According to the illustrated example the housing includes a depression 25 at the top edge thereof, such that when the cover 24 is disposed thereon the depression defines an opening allowing extending cables to the inside of the array housing 22. The array housing 22 can further include a flange 27 portion defined about the circumference thereof and including coupling arrangement, here illustrated as a plurality of apertures 30 configured for passing therethrough bolts, screws and the like, and securing thereof to the male portion 60, as explained hereinafter.

The male portion 60 includes an array housing 62 and a cover 64, at least one of which defining an outlet aperture configured for extending therethrough cables, such as electric wires (not shown). According to the illustrated example the housing 62 includes two depressions 65 (best seen in Fig. 2C) on a side wall thereof, allowing extending cables to the inside of the array housing 62. The array housing 62 can further include a flange 67 portion defined about the circumference thereof and including coupling arrangement, corresponding to the coupling arrangement of the array housing 22 of the female portion 20, here illustrated as a plurality of bolt seatings 70 configured for securing therein bolts, screws and the like, and securing thereof to the female portion 20.

The array housing 62 can further include conduits members 72 each being configured for coupling to one of the depressions 65, such that the electric wires extending from the array housing 62 can be held inside the conduit member 72. The conduit member 72 can be made of a flexible material, such as rubber and the like.

Inside the female portion 20 there is disposed a female array 32 having a plurality of female connectors 40 each being disposed inside an aperture 35 formed in a plate 37.

Similarly, inside the male portion 60 there is disposed a male array 74 having a plurality of male connectors 80 each being disposed inside an aperture 75 formed in a plate 77. The male array 74 is so disposed inside the array housing 62 thereof such that it can be coupled to female array 32 disposed inside the array housing 22, by inserting each of the male connectors inside the bore formed in the corresponding female connector, as explained in detail hereinafter.

Reference is now made to Figs 3 through 4D, each female connector 40 includes an elongated female body 42 with a first end 44 configured to be coupled to the corresponding external contact member, for example a male contact. The elongated female body 42 further includes a second end 46 configured to be coupled to a conductor, such as an electric wire. The second end 46 can include a crimp contact, such which can be securely coupled to an electric wire.

According to the illustrated example the elongated female body 42 includes a bore 45 extending along the length thereof from the second end 46, such that a corresponding male contact can be engagebly inserted therein, as explained herein after. The elongated body 42 can further include a slit 43 defined along a portion of the bore 45, allowing thereby the inner diameter of the bore 45 to be expended. This way, the male connector 80 can be made with a diameter slightly larger than the inner diameter of the bore 45, such that when the male connector 80 is inserted inside the bore 45, the two sides of the slit 43 are pushed away from one another, expending thereby the inner diameter of the bore 45.

The elongated body 42 further includes a first shoulder 47a and a second shoulder 47b spaced from the first shoulder portion along the body's length. According to the illustrated example the first shoulder 47a is defined by the edge of the body 42 on a first end 44 thereof, while the second shoulder 47b is defined as a ring portion disposed in close proximity to the second end 46 of the body 42.

The female connector 40 further includes a contact housing 50 and an associated locking member 52. The contact housing 50 is configured to hold a portion of the elongated female body 42, and includes a first opening 54a through which the corresponding male connector 80 can be inserted into the bore 45 of the female body 42, and a second opening 54b through which the first end 44 of the body 42 can extend. In addition, the contact housing 50 includes a first stop member 51 (shown in Fig. 4B), here illustrated a circumferential extension, inwardly protruding from at the first opening 54a, such that the first opening 54a defines a diameter smaller than the diameter of the first shoulder 47a of the body 42. The diameter of the first opening 54a, however allows the corresponding male connector 80 to be inserted therethrough, such that while the body 42 is held inside the housing 50 the male connector 80 can be coupled thereto.

The housing 50 is configured to be securely held inside one of the apertures 35 formed in a plate 37 of the female array 32. For example, the housing 50 can include a diameter substantially identical to that of the aperture 35 and can include ridges 57 formed on the outer surface thereof, such that when the housing 50 is forcefully inserted inside the aperture 35 the ridges firmly engage the circumference of the aperture. It is appreciated that the ridges 57 can be formed only on a segment 58 of the housing 50 such that the segment is configured to be held inside the aperture. According to the illustrate example the segment 58 having the ridges 57 is formed adjacent the first opening 54a of the housing 50 such that when the latter is held in the aperture 35 the first opening 54a is substantially flash with the outer surface of the plate 37.

The female connector 40 further includes a locking member 52 for locking the body 42 inside the housing 50. The locking member 52 includes an aperture 56 for passing therethough the edge of the body 42, such that it can be coupled to an electric wire, and a second stop member 53 (shown in Fig. 4B) configured to engage the second shoulder 47b of the body 42. The contact housing 50 and the locking member 52 further include a securing arrangement configured for securing thereof to one another such that the first stop member 51 engages the first shoulder 47a and the second stop member 53 engages the second shoulder 47b thereby securing the body 42 inside the housing 50.

According to the present example the securing arrangement is a screw thread 55a defined on the outer portion of the housing 50 and a corresponding screw thread 55b defined on the inner surface of the locking member 52. As described in detail hereinafter, the housing is securely held inside one of the apertures 35 of the plate 37, while the body 42 is held inside the housing and fastened therein by the locking member 52, such that the body 42 is secured to the plate.

According to an example, the housing further include an auxiliary stop member 59 defined on the outer surface thereof, the purpose of which is explained hereinafter with reference to Figs 5a to 5C.

Turning now to the male connector 80, the latter includes a structure similar to that of the female connectors 40, and include an elongated male body 82 securely held inside a housing 90 and a locking member 92 identical to the housing 50 and the locking member 52 of the female connectors 40 respectively.

Each male connector 80 includes an elongated male body 82 with a first end 84 configured to be coupled to the corresponding female body 42. The elongated male body 82 further includes a second end 86 configured to be coupled to a conductor, such as an electric wire. The second end 86 can include a crimp contact, such which can be securely coupled to an electric wire.

According to the illustrated example the elongated male body 82 includes a pin 85 upwardly extending from the body 82 from the second end 86, such that it can be engagebly inserted into the bore 45 of the corresponding female body 42. As explained above, the pin 85 can be made with a diameter slightly larger than the inner diameter of the bore 45, such that when it is inserted therein the two sides of the slit 43 of the bore 45 are pushed away from one another, expending thereby the inner diameter of the bore 45.

The male body 82 further includes a first shoulder 87a and a second shoulder 87b spaced from the first shoulder along the body's length. According to the illustrated example the first shoulder 87a is defined by the pin 85 extending from the body 82 on a first end 84 thereof, while the second shoulder 87b is defined as a ring portion disposed in close proximity to the second end 86 of the body 82.

The male connector 80 further includes a contact housing 90 and an associated locking member 92. The contact housing 90 is configured to hold a portion of the elongated male body 82, and includes a first opening 94a through which the pin 85 can extend towards the female connector 40, and a second opening 94b through which the second end 86 of the body 82 can extend.

In addition, the contact housing 90 includes a first stop member 91 (shown in Fig. 4D), here illustrated a circumferential extension, inwardly protruding from at the first opening 94a, such that the opening defines a diameter smaller than the diameter of the first shoulder 87a of the body 82. The diameter of the first opening 94a, however allows the pin 85 to extend therethrough, such that while the body 82 is held inside the housing 50 the male connector can be coupled to the female connector 40.

The housing 90 is configured to be securely held inside one of the apertures 75 formed in a plate 77 of the male array 74. Similar to the housing 50 of the female connector 40, the housing 90 of the male connector 80 can include a diameter substantially identical to that of the aperture 75 and can include ridges 97 formed on the outer surface thereof, such that when the housing 90 is forcefully inserted inside the aperture 75 the ridges firmly engage the circumference of the aperture. It is appreciated that the ridges 97 can be formed only on a segment 98 of the housing 90 such that the segment is configured to be held inside the aperture. According to the illustrate example the segment 98 having the ridges 97 is formed adjacent the first opening 94a of the housing 90 such that when the latter is held in the aperture 75 the first opening 94a is substantially flash with the outer surface of the plate 77.

The male connector 80 further includes a locking member 92 for locking the body 82 inside the housing 90, which can be identical to the locking member 52 of the female connector 40. The locking member 92 includes an aperture 96 for passing therethough the edge of the body 92, such that it can be coupled to an electric wire, and a second stop member 93 (shown in Fig. 4D) configured to engage the second shoulder 87b of the body 82. The contact housing 90 and the locking member 92 further include a securing arrangement configured for securing thereof to one another such that the first stop member 91 engages the first shoulder 87a and the second stop member 93 engages said second shoulder 87b thereby securing the body 82 inside the housing 90.

According to an example, the housing 90 further include an auxiliary stop member 99 defined on the outer surface thereof, the purpose of which is explained hereinafter with reference to Figs 5a to 5C.

It is appreciated that the connectors can be configured as a male connector and a female connector however according to other examples the connectors correspond to one another any other fashion. For example, the connectors can have a pin having semi circular cross section, disposed such that when the connector and the corresponding connectors engage the two pins are disposed side by side forming together a full circle.

According to the present example the securing arrangement is a screw thread 95a defined on the outer portion of the housing 90 and a corresponding screw thread defined on the inner surface of the locking member 92. As described in detail hereinafter, the housing is securely held inside one of the apertures 75 of the plate 77, while the body 82 is held inside the housing and fastened therein by the locking member 92, such that the body 82 is secured to the plate.

It is appreciated that the housing 90 and the locking member 92 of the male connector 80 can be made differently than the housing 50 and the locking member 52 of the female connector 40, respectively. Forming the housing 90 and the locking member 92 of the male connector 80 to be identical to the housing 50 and the locking member 52 of the female connector 40 allows interchangeably utilizing the housings form either female connector or a male connector, hence providing additional flexibility in the design of the serial connector.

Reference is now made to Figs. 5A to 5C, the male array 74 can further include a stabilizing plate 79 having a plurality of apertures 71 substantially corresponding to the apertures 75 formed on the plate 77. The stabilizing plate 79 can be configured such that each of the connectors 80 is disposed in one of the apertures 71. Accordingly, while the segment 58 of the housing 90 is securely held inside an aperture 75 in the plate 77, the back end thereof can be held inside one of the apertures 71 formed in the stabilizing plate 79. According to an example, the auxiliary stop member 99 of the housing 90 abuts against the surface of the stabilizing plate 79, such that when the housing is inserted through the apertures 71 the locking member 92 is fastened from one side of the aperture 71, while the stop member 99 abuts against the other side thereof.

The female array 32 can include a similar stabilizing plate 39 having a plurality of apertures 31 substantially corresponding to the apertures 35 formed on the plate 37. The auxiliary stop member 59 of the housing 50 can thus abut against the surface of the stabilizing plate 39, such that when the housing is inserted through the apertures 31 the locking member 52 is fastened from one side of the aperture 31, while the auxiliary stop member 39 abuts against the other side thereof.

As shown in Figs. 6A and 6B, assembly of the male array 74 can be carried out by inserting the housings 90 inside one of the aperture 75 of the plate 77, such that the ridges 57 on the segment 58 engage the circumference of the aperture 75, and thus securely holding the end of the housing inside the aperture 75 and the first opening 54a is flash with the surface of the plate 77. The elongated male body 82 can be inserted inside the housing 90, such that the pin 85 extends out of the first opening 54a and the aperture 75. The body 82 is, however, stopped by the engagement of the first shoulder 87a thereof with the stop member 91 of the housing. At this stage the stabilizing plate 79 can be disposed over the male connector 80, such that the each male connector 80 is inserted inside the one of the aperture 71. The stabilizing plate 79 is held by the auxiliary stop member 99 abutting against the outer circumference of each aperture 71. Finally, the locking member 92 is disposed over the second end 86 of the body 82 such that it can be coupled to a wire extending through the aperture 96 of the locking member 92. The locking member 92 is then fastened to the housing 90, for example for fastening the screw threads 95a and 95b to one another. Fastening the locking member 92 to the housing 90 urges the stop member 93 towards the second shoulder 87b of the body 82 and thus securely holding the body inside the housing 90.

It is appreciated that the above assembly process can be carried out with respect to the female array 32 in a similar fashion. This is due to the face that plate 37 the stabilizing plate 39, the housing 50 and the locking member 52 of the female array 32 are identical to the plate 77 the stabilizing plate 79, the housing 90 and the locking member 92 of the male array 74, respectively.

It is further appreciated that the connectors can be interchangeably fastened in any of the apertures by unlocking the elongated body disposed in one housing and disposing it in a different housing.

As shown in Figs. 5 A and 5B, the plates can include some apertures configured for holding therein housings having larger diameter than other housings. This way, the array of connectors can include some connectors having larger dimensions, for example for transmitting thereby data at a higher rate.

The plates 37 and 77 according to an example can include a first layer configured to provide the respective array with mechanical stability and can be made of a material having high heat durability. For example, the material can be a glass-reinforced epoxy laminate substrate. The material can further be configured with self-extinguishing properties such as a grade designation assigned to glass-reinforced epoxy laminate sheets (known as FR-4) configured for flame resistant. According to an example, each of the plates 37 and 77 can include plurality of layers of FR-4, such as four layers, such that the combination thereof is configured to withstand high temperature of 1000° and above, and having a low electric conductivity. Each of the layers can have a width of 0.8 mm such that the four layers together are 3.2 mm wide. According to an example the first layer of the plate can be made such that it withstand extreme temperature such as 1000° and above for a short period of time for example 30 seconds or more . This way the serial connector can be used for applications in which the serial connector transfers data only for a short period of time, for example the lunching time of an aircraft. Once the initial data is transferred through the serial connector the two portions thereof can be disconnected or even distorted. Accordingly, the heat durability of the first layer can be made such that it withstand the heat for the initial period of the operation of the aircraft. The plates 37 and 77 can further include a second layer configured for heat reduction, so as to insulate the inner volume of the array housings 22 and 62. According to an example the plate includes a polyurethane molded layer disposed on one face of the glass-reinforced epoxy laminate substrate. The polyurethane molded layer can be casted on the face of the glass-reinforced epoxy laminate substrate directed towards the inner volume of the array housings 22 and 62. This way, the serial connector can be used to couple array of male connectors with an array of female connectors in an environment having vibrations and high temperature. The glass-reinforced epoxy laminate substrate provides the mechanical and heat durability while the polyurethane molded layer disposed thereon provides the insulation. The glass-reinforced epoxy laminate substrate and the polyurethane molded layer are formed with a plurality of apertures each being configured for holding therein one connector, for example by securely disposing therein a connector housing as explained hereinabove.

It is appreciated that the heat reduction of the second layer can be configured such that the wires and electronic components within the serial connector can operate, for example the heat reduction can be to 75° or less allowing the wires coupled to the connectors to operate and transfer data.

It is further appreciated that the second layer can be further configured to seal the inner portion of the serial connector from gasses. That is to say, in cases the serial connector is used in an environment where various gasses might cause damage to the inner components of thereof, the second layer can be configured to seal the inner portion form these gasses.

It is further appreciated that the serial connector can be configured with military standard, such that can withstand vibrations, humidity, salinity conditions, etc.

According to the example illustrated in Figs. 6 A and 6B, the plates 37 and 77 can be made of a glass-reinforced epoxy laminate sheets (known as FR-4) and can include a retaining frames 38 and 78 respectively, disposed on one face of the plate, about the circumference. Layers of polyurethane 36 and 76 can be respectively molded inside each of the frame 38 and 78 such that apertures are formed therein corresponding to the apertures in the plate.

According to an example the assembly of the arrays can be carried out by inserting the connector housings inside each of the apertures formed on the first layer such that the ridges on the housings engage the circumference of the apertures, and the housings are flash with the outer face of the plate and protrude from the inner face thereof. That is to say, the outer face of the plate is ready to engage a corresponding serial connector, while the inner face thereof is ready to be inserted into a housing of the serial connector. At this point the retaining frame can be disposed over the inner face of the first layer such that the polyurethane material can be molded therein. The polyurethane is poured over the inner face of the first layer such that it fills the entire volume defined by the retaining frame. Since the housings of the contact members are already disposed in the apertures and protrude from the inner face of the plate the polyurethane is evenly disposed between the housings forming thereby a layer having corresponding apertures. Following the molding step the elongate bodies are inserted into the housings, and are secured therein by the locking members.

Those skilled in the art to which the presently disclosed subject matter pertains will readily appreciate that numerous changes, variations, and modifications can be made without departing from the scope of the invention, mutatis mutandis.