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I am looking for the technical term which describes the kind of slot one finds commonly in modern phones to hold SIM cards. More specifically, what does one call a slot that one pushes the SIM card into once and it is secured there, and then pushes on the SIM card once again so that it pops out and allows it to be removed.

If there is no technical term, does somebody know where I may find information on how such a slot works so I may attempt to replicate it in a design?

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  • $\begingroup$ Are you looking for something like this? SIM Card Adapters $\endgroup$ – Mahendra Gunawardena Sep 4 '15 at 19:06
  • $\begingroup$ Hmmmm the description of what that is, is very limited. I was thinking of just the slot (the rectangular hole), into which you push in your SIM card. When you push it in it stays there, until you push it in a SECOND time and it slightly pops out of the slot. I want to know the mechanism of such a slot, but do not even know where to begin finding examples since I don't know the technical name. $\endgroup$ – Filip Gajowniczek Sep 4 '15 at 20:06
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In the datasheets, this type of memory card socket is called "Push in, Push out", or simply "Push-Push". In contrast, the memory card socket that uses friction is called "Push in, Pull out". Keep in mind that these datasheets are geared towards electrical engineers and industrial designers, who are not necessarily interested in the workings of the moving parts inside of the socket itself.

Here you can find datasheets for all kinds of memory card sockets (SIM, SD, microSD).

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One patent I found refers to this mechanism as the "lock spring" of the "card adapter."

"As shown in FIGS. 1 and 8, a lock spring is provided in the card adapter to prevent the inserted memory card M from falling out easily or moving out of place. When the memory card M is inserted into the card adapter, at first the shoulder portion M3 of the memory card M contacts the protruding portion 61 of the lock spring, and then the protruding portion engages the cut-out portion M4 formed on the side surface of the memory card M at a predetermined insert position. At this time, the memory card M is fixed within the card adapter. The memory card M can be removed from the card adapter simply by holding the end portion of the memory card M with fingers, etc. and pulling it out in the direction opposite from the inserting direction."

Patent Family ID: 39133830

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What you are looking for is not a "slot", since that means just a thin and wide hole. In general these things are called "connectors", but that is a very general term that covers just about anything that is intended to provide a removable electrical connection.

In this case, look for something like "SIM card connector". Go to a site like Mouser and start drilling down. When you don't know the right search term, it helps to come at it a few different ways. For example, the brute force method would be to start at "connector", then selectively click on more specific options as they are presented. You do know some things about this connector, like it will be meant to be mounted on a PC board, as apposed to being bolted to a chassis or free-hanging from a bundle of wires.

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  • $\begingroup$ So far I've come to realize that whatever it is I'm looking for is a BISTABLE mechanism. So I'm finding bistability is a key term associated with this. $\endgroup$ – Filip Gajowniczek Sep 4 '15 at 20:46
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The word "slot" is confusing in your question and possibly not a big part of what you're after. I think what you are describing has two components. Firstly it is a "latching" mechanism (which is probably a more specific term than "bistable"), in that one press puts it into a certain state and a further press takes it back out of that state. Secondly it is a "catch" or "retention" mechanism, in that the card is retained when it is in one of the states.

In order to replicate within a design it will very much depend on your specifics. If it is purely mechanical then having a sprung tab that drops into a hole when your item is depressed will retain it "latched down", you will then need a method of releasing the tab when it is repressed and preventing it from relocating in the hole as it releases, perhaps by forcing the tab to follow a different route as it returns. Look at the simple mechanisms in various types of ballpoint pen for ways to achieve this. Retaining a card or similar whilst you're in the latched position could just be an extension of this idea, depending on what shape the card is.

If your design is electro-mechanical then you have several further options, perhaps look at the design of toasters for ideas around electromagnets and springs, or CD trays for motor-powered release mechanisms.

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