APPARATUS FOR EXTRACTING AN
ELECTRONIC CIRCUIT MODULE FROM A
CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED PATENT
Cross reference is made to the following related patent applications which are assigned to the present Assignee: Ser. No. 07/354,793 filed May 22, 1989 entitled 1° "Latching Apparatus For A Door And Other Members", and Ser. No. 07/354,744 filed May 22, 1989 entitled "Storage Media Drive Apparatus With Readily Accessible Electrical Characteristic Selection Capability". 15
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
This invention relates in general to apparatus for electrically and mechanically connecting a removable electronic module to a connector situated within a hous- 20 ing and, more particularly, to an apparatus and method for extracting the module from the connector and housing.
BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION 25
In the past, several different techniques have been employed to electrically and mechanically connect and disconnect various electronic modules to and from nearby electronic circuitry. For example, as electronics has become more modularized, it has become common- 30 place for several printed circuit cards to be plugged into a common back plane board situated within a housing. Back plane boards typically have a plurality of connector receptacles mounted thereon for slidably receiving respective printed circuit cards. 35
A printed circuit card typically includes one or more layers of electrically conductive paths which couple together the various electronic components on the card. A plurality of pin connectors often extend outwardly from one edge of the card to provide connection points 40 to the card. These pin connectors on the card edge are inserted into and mate with a corresponding connector receptacle on the back plane board.
Unfortunately, if the number of pin connectors on a particular card is relatively high, when card removal is 45 desired the user may have to exert a relatively large extraction force to overcome the retentive frictional force exerted by the connector receptacle of the back plane on the pin connectors of a card. Many cards and modules are relatively delicate and are subject to break- 50 age should the user grasp the wrong part of the card in an attempt to overcome that retentive friction and remove the card from the connector into which it is inserted. It will thus be appreciated that removal of a printed circuit card or module from a back plane board 55 or similar structure is not a straightforward matter.
To assist the user in removing printed circuit cards from back planes, a number of different tools which detachably engage the card have been employed. Unfortunately, like most tools, these tools are subject to 60 loss or otherwise may not be readily accessible when needed for card removal.
One invention which seeks to address these problems is U.S. Pat. No. 3,535,594 issued to Meyer and entitled Printed Circuit Board Extractor. The Meyer patent 65 discloses a printed circuit card including a pivotable ring attached to the card. The ring rotates from a storage position overlying the card to an extraction position extending outwardly from the board. The user grasps
the ring and pulls the card away from the back plane and out of the housing by pulling on the ring in a direction opposite the direction in which the card was inserted in the back plane and housing.
Unfortunately, such a removal technique relies on the brute strength of the user to provide the force necessary to extract the card from the back plane. That is, the user is provided with no mechanical advantage to aid him or her in extracting the card from the back plane.
One object of the present invention is to provide an apparatus and method for extracting an electronic module from a connector situated within a housing without resorting to a separate tool.
Another object of the present invention is to provide an apparatus and method for extracting an electronic module from a connector situated within a housing without mounting a ring or a lever mechanism on the card to be removed.
In accordance with the present invention, an apparatus is provided including a housing with an opening for removably receiving an electronic module. The module exhibits a substantially parallelepiped shape and includes upper and lower opposed surfaces. An engagement point is situated on the lower surface of the module. The housing includes a chamber which communicates with the opening and which receives the module therein. The module is insertable in the chamber through the opening in a first direction and is removable from the chamber in a second direction opposite the first direction. The apparatus further includes a holding structure, situated within the housing, for removably holding the module in a fixed position within the chamber such that a predetermined amount of force is required to remove the module in the second direction. The apparatus still further includes an extractor member, situated within the chamber and extending sufficiently far outside the housing to permit grasping by a user. When the user applies force to the extractor member, the extractor member contacts the engagement point of the module and sequentially provides first and second mechanical advantages for applying removal force to the module in the second direction.
The features of the invention believed to be novel are specifically set forth in the appended claims. However, the invention itself, both as to its structure and method of operation, may best be understood by referring to the following description and accompanying drawings.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of an electronic circuit module being inserted into a housing.
FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the electronic circuit module with the pin cover situated covering the conducting pins of the module.
FIG. 3 is a perspective view of the electronic circuit module with the pin cover situated in the retracted position so as to expose the conducting pins of the module.
FIG. 4 is a perspective view of the electronic circuit module and housing showing the electronic circuit module fully inserted into the housing.
FIG. 5 is a side plan view of the electronic circuit module.
FIG. 6 is a section view of the housing showing the extractor arm retracted and the electronic control module fully inserted.