Electrical circuits are made up of a multitude of components, including cables and wires. The electrical connectors are used to join cables and wires.
The connectors have male ends (plugs) and female ends (connectors) that connect to each other forming a permanent connection or, more often, a temporary connection that can be assembled and removed with special tools.
Electrical connectors dramatically reduce the time, effort and labor required to manufacture, assemble and install electrical devices, their components, and wiring.
Electrical Connector Types
There are many types of individual electrical connectors, which can be classified by level, function, and type of termination:
Connector level: Each of the connector types can be divided into one or many of these five categories, called connector levels:
Cable to board or subset to subset, Frame by frame or input/output, IC chip or packet chip, IC package or board package, PC to board.
Although many connectors are application-specific, most of them can be classified according to their connection method:
In these Electrical connector types, several wires are individually connected to a single terminal point and enclosed in the housing. There are many sizes, but the lack of circuit protection makes them more cumbersome compared to others.
Connections include printed circuit board (PCB) terminal blocks, pluggable terminal blocks, multiple terminal connectors (MTC) and barrier strips. These are used in PCBs and other electrical devices.
connect the stripped wires to the posts and secure them with screws or clamps. The other end can be connected to terminals, pins or plugs. Many publications can be connected with banana plugs, plug connectors, and lug terminals. These are used for a variety of audio and electronic test devices.
A female plug with one or more pins is connected to a male plug. This provides an easy connection, allowing connections without tools. A pin diagram can be useful for multi-pin connectors. Connection types include USB, network cable, HDMI, DVI, RCA, SCSI, board mount, audio, coaxial, cable, etc.
They are often used in most consumer electronics products that handle video and audio, automotive, computer and PCB applications.
Frame and panel:
These Electrical connector types are generally used to connect fixed equipment with removable electronic parts, especially when the space or the reliability of the connection are important factors.
Connection types include a rack to the panel, cable to cable and cable to panel. They are often used in printers, modems, home stereo systems, and telecommunications.
The blade connectors connect individual cables to blade receptacles with the use of flat conducting blades. Blade connectors are sometimes firmly attached to the connection cables in some electronic devices, such as speakers or thermostats.
They are usually used to connect cables and are suitable for almost any application that requires point-to-point connections.
Ring and blade:
like the blade connectors, connect a single cable, except that the connection is secured by inserting between a threaded post and a screw or bolt. The shape allows easy connections that can be removed when the lock opens only partially.
These are mainly used to connect cables and are also suitable for almost any application that requires point-to-point connections.
Some connectors can be classified according to the method used to terminate or attach the cable to the connector:
Insulation offset connectors (IDC) connect the insulated cable without the need to strip the insulation beforehand. A sharp blade or a series of blades in the connector cut off the insulation when the cable or cable is inserted.
While eliminating the stripping process reduces time, especially for manufacturers, the blades can damage the cable. This reduces the current handling capacity. In addition, non-production IDC tools are more expensive and less effective than crimping tools.
Crimp creates a separable connection between connectors and cables. Bare wire is inserted into a metal barrel or terminal and a crimping tool is used to compress a section on the wire.
This is commonly used to terminate twisted wire for rings, blades and blade connectors. They are preferred for their safety, ease of use, profitability, and reproducibility after production.
Barrel connections crimp cylindrical sections, usually in oval shapes and are widely used in consumer electronics.
Open barrel connections crimp a pre-crimp section, which results in a U or V shape. These are easier to automate and generally stronger than barrel crimp connections.
soldering involves the fusion of the filler metal over an electrical joint to create a fused connection between conductors or terminals. This provides a very soft and robust if done correctly, using a weld that matches the metals that bind.
These connections take longer and are more complicated than crimping. On PCBs, electrical connections are made by welding pins or cables at mounting locations. The components can also be mounted and welded on the other side of the plate using through-hole technology.
Features / Properties
For some applications, electrical connectors that have different characteristics may be necessary or preferred:
They are designed to connect only when they are in the proper orientation. This prevents accidental damage to the pins and prevents users from inserting them into the wrong plugs.
A locking mechanism ensures that the connectors are held in place, preventing the connections from accidentally breaking or moving when the connector is hit or shaken.
Hermetically sealed connectors:
some applications require an electrical connection that could be submerged in water. These connectors are specifically designed to work completely underwater and withstand pressures up to certain depths.
Although they generally cannot withstand being submerged, these connectors provide protection for electrical connections against damage caused by splashes or occasional moisture.
Moisture/oil resistant connectors:
They are designed to protect electrical connections from damage caused by oil or moisture.
EMI or RFI filtering:
the additional features integrated into the upper part of the housing protect the connectors from electromagnetic interference (EMI) or radio frequency interference (RFI), which can affect the circuits that carry electrical signals.
ESD shielded connectors:
electrostatic discharge can damage wiring and components. Shielded ESD connectors provide additional protection against this.