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TECHNICAL PAPERS

Configuration Selection, Modeling, and Preliminary Testing in Support of Constant Force Electrical Connectors

[+] Author and Article Information
Brent L. Weight

Mechanical Eng. Department, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah 84602bweight@et.byu.edu

Christopher A. Mattson

 ATL Technology, Springville, UT 84663mattson@atlconnect.com

Spencer P. Magleby

Mechanical Eng. Department, Brigham Young University, Provo, UT 84602magleby@byu.edu

Larry L. Howell

Mechanical Eng. Department, Brigham Young University, Provo, UT 84602lhowell@et.byu.edu

J. Electron. Packag 129(3), 236-246 (Jul 25, 2006) (11 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2721080 History: Received March 21, 2005; Revised July 25, 2006

The recent introduction and advancements in design of simple, constant-force mechanisms have created the potential for small-scale, low-cost, constant-force electronic connectors (CFECs). CFECs differ from traditional connectors by the separation or disassociation of contact normal force and contact deflection. By removing the traditional constraints imposed by forces and deflections that are dependent on each other, new types of electronic connectors can be explored. These new designs may lead to smaller and more reliable electronic connectors. In this paper, constant-force mechanisms are adapted to satisfy current industry practices for the design of electronic connectors. Different CFEC configurations are explored and one is selected, prototyped, and used as a proof-of-concept connector for a personal digital assistant (PDA) docking station. The modeling, optimization, and verification of the prototype CFEC is presented. Adaptation of constant-force technology to electronic connectors creates new possibilities in electronic connector designs, including allowing an optimal contact force to be utilized to decrease the effects of fretting and wear, lowering required manufacturing tolerances, reducing the system’s sensitivity to variations introduced by the user, and increasing the system’s robustness in applications where movement or vibrations exist.

Copyright © 2007 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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References

Figures

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Figure 3

Force versus displacement curves for a CFEC and a cantilever beam type contact of similar design

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Figure 4

(a) Pogo-type connector and (b) cantilever-type connector

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Figure 5

General compression slider-crank constant-force mechanism

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Figure 6

Simulation of pin joints with a circular cam

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Figure 12

CFEC proof-of-concept design

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Figure 13

CFEC prototype as compared to a dime

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Figure 14

Schematic of test setup

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Figure 15

Graph of force versus displacement from test data

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Figure 16

Graph of force versus displacement during compression and expansion strokes

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Figure 17

Average and predicted force comparison for two different cam materials

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Figure 9

Selected CFEC configuration in PDA dock

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Figure 10

Important parameters for the selected CFEC configuration

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Figure 11

Key points for the finite element model

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Figure 7

The above subfigures each illustrate a potential challenge (described in the title) to the simulated pin joint method. Design approaches to address the challenges are described in the subfigure.

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Figure 8

Selected constant-force electronic connector configuration

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Figure 1

Effect of load on adhesive wear rates

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Figure 2

Depiction of optimal force zone

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