Electrical circuits are composed of a multitude of components, including wires and cables. Electrical connectors are used to join these to form a continuous path for electrical current to flow. Connectors have male-ends (plugs) and female-ends (jacks) which connect to each other forming either a permanent connection or, more often, a temporary connection that can be assembled and removed with special tools
Simply, an electrical connector is an electro-mechanical device for joining electrical circuits as an interface using a mechanical assembly. Connectors consist of plugs (male-ended) and jacks (female-ended). The connection may be temporary, as for portable equipment, require a tool for assembly and removal, or serve as a permanent electrical joint between two wires or devices. An adapter can be used to effectively bring together dissimilar connectors.
There are hundreds of types of electrical connectors. Connectors may join two lengths of flexible copper wire or cable, or connect a wire or cable to an electrical terminal.
In computing, an electrical connector can also be known as a physical interface (compare physical layer in the OSI model of networking). Cable glands, known as cable connectors in the US, connect wires to devices mechanically rather than electrically and are distinct from quick-disconnects performing the latter.
Electrical connectors facilitate the manufacture, assembly, and installation of electrical devices by cutting down labor, time, and effort. Electrical connectors are widely used in electronic devices, domestic appliances, telecommunication, industrial machinery, computers, and automobiles.
The market is flocking with hundreds of different types of electrical connectors and a couple of varieties to consider. The chances of getting the wrong electric connector for a specific task increases drastically. This is an indication that choosing an electric connector can be downright daunting.
Though, getting the right electric connector for the specific need is a reliable and efficient way of modulating and improving an electric system. That’s why Gallon Electric ensures that your electric system runs smoothly and reduces the chances of electrical repairs by providing reliable & high-quality connectors, terminals at the best price.
Properties of electrical connectors
Electrical connectors are characterized by their pinout and physical construction, size, contact resistance, insulation between pins, ruggedness, and resistance to vibration, resistance to entry of water or other contaminants, resistance to pressure, reliability, lifetime (number of connecting/disconnect operations before failure), and ease of connecting and disconnecting.
They may be keyed to prevent insertion in the wrong orientation, connecting the wrong pins to each other, and have locking mechanisms to ensure that they are fully inserted and cannot work loose or fall out. Some connectors are designed such that certain pins make contact before others when inserted, and break first on disconnection; this protects circuits typically in connectors that apply power, e.g., connecting safety ground first, and sequencing connections properly in hot swapping applications.
It is usually desirable for a connector to be easy to identify visually, rapid to assemble, require only simple tooling, and be inexpensive. In some cases, an equipment manufacturer might choose a connector specifically because it is not compatible with those from other sources, allowing control of what may be connected. No single connector has all the ideal properties; the proliferation of types is a reflection of differing requirements.
Things to consider when buying electric connectors
When you approach the market for electric connectors, it’s always advisable to make sure you are purchasing connectors that will solve your specific needs. For manufacturers, it’s advisable to maintain the quality and functionality of these kinds of electric components. This is to maintain your overall brand recognition and customer satisfaction. Here are some factors to consider before placing your order,
- Specific requirements-Answer these two main questions when you are looking for electrical connectors. What numbers of signals are there? What currents, voltages, and frequencies or a combination is there? This is what will determine the connector type, wiring, and pinout. Make sure the needs of your customers are factored in before buying electric connectors wholesale.
- Operating voltage and current rating-When selecting electric cable connectors, the current rating is a serious criterion to consider.
- Space constraints-The size of the electric cable connectors has drastically reduced with the reduction in the space available. This is the same case with terminal connectors. For that reason, consider the space and make sure it matches the situation at hand.
- The operating temperature range-The good thing is that most electric connectors are made to withstand extreme conditions including shock and vibration. The connectors manufactured to work in these extreme conditions have additional components that withstand the shock and extreme vibration.
- Material and Plating-The the last factor to take care of is to consider the terminal materials and the plating. They are often underrated but this is very important.
Though, getting the right electric connector for the specific need is a reliable and efficient way of modulating and improving an electric system. That’s why Gallon Electric ensures that your electric system runs smoothly and reduces the chances of electrical repairs by providing reliable & high-quality connectors, terminal with the best price
Main Connector Types
Let’s discuss some of the main types of connectors based on use.
1. Audio and Video Connectors
Audio connectors connect cables to audio equipment for carrying electronic signals. You can use them to connect telephones, microphones, and speakers. Video connectors establish connections carrying analog or digital video signals. You can use them at the end of cables, connect electronic devices, and other devices with video input or output.
The connectors have a male or female plug with shielded cables.
2. Automotive Electrical Connectors
Connectors are an integral part of modern automobiles using microprocessors and extensive wiring. The connectors enable connections with different interfaces required for the proper functioning of the automobile. Many vehicle systems like sensors, power windows, doors, and ignition system, need electrical connectors.
Automotive connectors can be of different types like power connectors, audio connectors, B-group connectors, C-group connectors, and D-group connectors
3. Board Mount Connectors
Board mounted connectors are also known as circuit board connectors and used to connect components on a computer board. The connectors are embedded on the boards, and you can customize them to meet various applications.
Board mounted connectors take the help of pins to establish a connection between boards. You can also use them to connect USB or audio wires to the board.
4. Board to Board Connectors
Board connectors are ideal for connecting printed circuit boards or PCBs. Each terminal of the connector links with separate PCBs to create a continuous connection.
The biggest advantage of the board-to-board connectors is that you don’t need to use wires. The connectors are generally made of plastic and have metal pins or connectors.
5. Circular Connectors
Circular connectors come with multi-pin connectors and applicable for external interfacing. The connectors are useful for transferring data, the transmission of electrical signals, and relaying power to devices.
Circular connectors are also called power and control connectors as they can carry mixed signals. In industrial applications, the housing is either made of plastic or metal and fulfills the needs of a reliable and secure connection.
6. Coaxial Connectors
Coaxial connectors or coax are used to transmit radio frequency (RF) signals for CATV applications. The connectors have an insulated conductive inner wire covered in a shielding conductor. On top of that, you can find another insulating or protective layer.
Coaxial connectors are designed to carry a huge amount of information. They are also common connectors used in most home video installations.
7. DIN Connectors
DIN connectors follow the standards created by the DeutschesInstitutfürNormung (DIN), a German organization for establishing national standards. DIN connectors are commonly used in various applications like network, microphone, audio, video, data, and telephone.
DIN connectors can be both male and female and can carry high-frequency signals through multiple pins. Computers also use DIN connectors to connect microprocessors and RAM.
8. DB Connectors
DB connectors are officially known as D-subminiature connectors and used in data, computer, and audio/video applications. The name comes from the “D” shape of the connector which houses two rows of pins. You can find DB connectors like DB9 and DB25 in serial and parallel port connections in PCs.
DB connectors may also have thumbscrews to secure them in place.
9. Edge Connectors
Edge connectors or edge card connectors form an external electrical connection by pairing with single-sided or double-sided PCBs. They are embedded on the board and follow industry-standard power specifications like power requirements, pin locations, and voltage levels.
The housing is made of plastic while the contacts use metal and come plated with a metallic coating for improved conductivity.
10. IC Interconnect Components
IC Interconnect connectors create a connection between PCBs and microelectronic semiconductor chips. The device closes the gap between two conductors allowing the transmission of current or light waves between the conductors. The package comes with an integrated circuit (IC) on a metal die along with an enclosure made of metal or plastic.
IC Interconnect components are an important part of many present-day electronic systems.
11. Instrument and Computer Power Connectors
Instrument and computer power connectors connect the power supply from the SMPS to various devices such as hard disks, CD and DVD drives, cooling accessories such as fans and thermal coolers, and more.
The connectors use a plastic housing with four wires that carry 5V and 12V power and two grounds. They often have different features based on the application.
12. Medical Electronic Connectors
Medical electronic connectors are used in various medical equipment and devices found in clinics, hospitals, and other healthcare facilities. They can be of various types based on application and include circular connectors, coaxial connectors, micro connectors, and heavy-duty rectangular connectors.
Medical connectors can be both male and female.
13. RF and Microwave Connectors
RF and microwave connectors connect the end of cables of devices that use radiofrequency or microwave spectrum. The connectors are used to transfer electromagnetic energy and RF signals in the case of wireless broadcasting or communication.
The connectors are also commonly found in transmission systems and can couple and uncouple system components.
14. Solar Connectors
Solar connectors are quite common in solar energy systems. The connectors can establish a connection between the solar modules and set up a complete electrical system for your property.
You will mostly see the MC4 (multiple contacts, 4 mm pin) connectors which match with most models of solar modules. The male and female ends can be easily connected using hands, though you will need a tool to detach them.
15. Solenoid Valve Connectors
Solenoid valve connectors are used to form a connection between pressure switches and solenoid valves. The valves also serve the purpose of environment-proof junction boxes and can work with AC or DC voltages. The security boxes can function with pressure switches or solenoid valves.
Solenoid valve connectors have various standard specifications and feature options.
16. Terminal Blocks
Terminal blocks small insulated blocks that connect two or more wires. You can use terminal connectors to fix or terminate wires, and they come with multiple individual terminals. Terminal blocks are often used to secure wiring to the ground, or connecting switches to the mains.
You can purchase terminal blocks with a different number of terminals and wire sizes.
17. USB Connectors
USB connectors can connect devices using the Universal Serial Bus (USB) standard ports. USB has high data transfer speeds of 12 Mbps in the 1.1 version. Different computer devices and peripherals use USB connectors to connect with the PC, and even smartphone chargers need them.
USB connectors are available in USB-A, USB-B, UBS-C, and mini/micro-categories. USB comes with hot-plugging and a plug-and-play feature.
18. Wire to Board Connectors
Wire to board connectors are connectors attached with wires which interconnect PCBs. The terminals are placed in individual housing to establish connectivity between circuits. The connectors feature a locking technology to secure them in place.
You can find a wide variety of wire to board connectors including FFC connectors, IDC connectors, and RMC connectors. FFC connectors are ideal for connecting a bunch of wires to carry data from the board to board or from one part of a board to another
19. Wire to Wire Connectors
Two wire-terminated connectors can be connected using wire to wire connectors. They can serve as electrical connectors, electronic connectors, or computer connectors. Male wire to wire connectors plugs into the female wire to connectors to form a connection.
FPC refers to a flexible printed circuit while FFC refers to all flexible and flat cables in a computer system. These connectors are designed for automatic assembly.
21. Fiber optic connectors
These kinds of connectors terminate the end of an optic cable and facilitate faster connections and disconnections.
22. I/O connectors
I/O connectors are referred to as gateways where the system communicates with other devices outside the system such as a mouse, printer, monitor, and keyboard.
23. Headers& wire housing
These types of connectors work as a bridge between the PCBs that were blocked. They transmit signals and currents through the PCBs.
24. IC& Component sockets
The IC component sockets make it easy for assembly without interruption. This is an indication that new components can be easily plugged in when the need arises.
25. IEEE 1394 Connectors
This type of connector is known as FireWire which seamlessly connects video and audio to the system. They can also be used in external scanners and disk drives.
Other connectors you can buy from Gallon Electric are,
- Junction systems
- Lighting connectors
- Memory connectors
Note: Electrical connectors are important for the smooth operation of any electronic equipment. It’s always wise to go for reliable and quality terminals that ensure the success of your project. Get in touch with us today to get more information on electrical connectors and custom solutions.
What Gallon Electronic Offer You?
We usually never give the electrical connector a second thought. They sit at the end of the product, and we mostly ignore their importance.
Electronic equipment will not work without electrical connectors! You have to count in several factors while choosing a connector- what will be the cost factor? Where will be the connectors used? What should be the spacing and pin count?
Surely, there’s a lot of things to process. To help you out, Gallon Electronic is going to take an in-depth look at electrical connectors in this article. By the end of the guide, you will know all you need to make an informed decision and choose the best product.
What to expect from Gallon Electric?
With all the risk awaiting you when purchasing electrical and electronic connectors globally, you definitely want to contract with a genuine and trusted wholesaler that will help you place orders and see your order delivered. That is exactly what Gallon Electric offers you.
Gallon Electric is a worldwide leading authorized distributor of semiconductors and electronic components like different Connector Devices for over 300 industry-leading manufacturers. We specialize in the rapid introduction of new products and technologies for design engineers and buyers. Our extensive product offering includes semiconductors, interconnects, passives, and electromechanical components, and also Connectors Equipment is one of them.
Gallon Electric has a strong commitment to customer service. That’s why we’ve won awards for our legendary worldwide customer service excellence. We understand the value of having a knowledgeable person there to answer your questions quickly. Gallon Electric is redefining customer-focused distribution.