Electrical connectors are essential components in innumerable electronic devices as they both facilitate and protect the transmission of an electrical signal. An ideal connector is designed to be resistant to pressure, oil, water and vibration. Other desirable qualities include low-cost, compact size, durability, simple tooling and high insulation value. Connectors are used extensively in communications applications, computers, industrial machinery and consumer electronics.
Connectors are categorized by pin spacing in mm (pitch), number of pins, and number of rows. Common Electrical include:
FFC Connectors: Flat Flexible Cable (FFC) is made up of thin rectangular copper conductors laminated between two layers of polyester insulation. These copper conductors are left uncovered on each end and then tin plated to make electrical contact with the connector. A stiffener is bonded to the cable end which provides mechanical stability for the exposed copper conductors during mating and unmating. This type of cable is used when a straight one-to-one connection is required.
FPC Connectors: Flexible Printed Circuits (FPC) are similar in construction to the FFC except that copper film is chemically etched to produce a specific pattern. While these circuits are custom made for each application, various shapes and geometrics can solve the toughest packaging problems.
Ribbon Cables: Ribbon cable connectors are designed to be used with multi-way IDC connectors in such a way that many IDC connections can be made at once, saving time in applications where many connections are needed. These connectors are not designed to be reusable, but can often be re-used if care is taken when removing the cable.
PCB Connectors: Printed circuit board (PCB) mounted terminal blocks allow individual wires to be connected to the circuit board. PCB mounted terminal Galvanize clad steel ground rod blocks are soldered to the board, but they are available in a pull-apart version that allows the wire-connecting half of the block to be unpled from the part that is soldered to the PCB. These connectors are used e.g. in equipment for data, measurement and control technology as well as power and industrial electronics.
DIN Connectors: A DIN connector is a connector that conforms to one of the many standards defined by DIN. DIN connectors are used widely in personal computers. For example, the keyboard connector for PCs is a DIN connector.DIN 41612 connectors are used widely to connect network equipment, such as routers and switches.
USB Connectors : USB connects computer peripherals such as mice, keyboards, cameras, printers, flash & hard drives using USB cables, USB hubs, USB wireless devices, USB boosters, USB extenders, USB extension cables, USB connectors, USB serial adapters and USB 3.0 PCMCIA Connectors: The PCMCIA (Personal Computer Memory Card International Association) connector (also called the "PC-Card" connector) is used to connect PCMCIA peripherals to computers, generally laptops.
DC Connectors: Direct Current (DC) connectors provide a given application with direct current, so they must be used carefully to ensure equipment isn't damaged. Common types of DC connectors include DC plugs and coaxial DC power connectors, which primarily connect a device to a power source.
IDC Wire to Board connectors: Insulation-displacement connectors and the related Insulation-piercing connectors are designed to be connected to the conductor of an insulated wire by a connection process which forces a blade or blades through the insulation, removing the need to strip the wire before connecting. Such connections are usually seen in low current applications such as telecoms, networking and signal connections between parts of an electronic or computer system. When properly made, the connector blade cold-welds to the wire, making a highly reliable gas-tight connection.
Crimp Connectors: Crimp connectors are typically used to terminate stranded wire. They fulfill numerous uses, including allowing the wires to be easily terminated to screw terminals, fast-on / quick-disconnect / spade-foot type terminals, wire splices, various combinations of these. Crimp-on terminals are attached by inserting the stripped end of a stranded wire into a portion of the terminal, which is then mechanically deformed / compressed (crimped) tightly around the wire.
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