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Electronic connectors are used to join two or more electrical circuits together by conducting electricity between them. The circuits themselves can be in the form of cable, or one can be a cable and the other can be an electrical terminal.

The three main types of electronic connectors are as follows: temporary, assembly required, and permanent. A temporary electronic connector is typically used in portable equipment where the connector’s lifespan will probably be short. Electronic connectors that require assembly are best in applications where more longevity and even the option of removal or replacement down the road is needed. Finally, permanent connectors are used in applications where they will be expected to perform in one place over the long term.

Some electronic connectors are designed to function best in particular applications, so specific materials and sizes are chosen when they are being manufactured. Electronic connectors are used in many applications, including: PCB connectors for printed circuit boards, DIN connectors for loudspeakers, and even in equipment that is manufactured to military specifications.

Alternating current (AC) and direct current (DC) power can both be transferred using electronic connectors. AC power acts in such a way that the charge sometimes reverses direction. DC power, on the other hand, moves constantly in one direction. The connector does not transmit its own charge, but it allows that DC and AC charges to pass through two points with only a minimal loss of charge or distortion. The contact system is one of the most important parts of an electronic connector because it establishes the density requirements, contact forces, and other mechanical features of the connector. Read More…

Leading Manufacturers

Micro Forms, Inc.

Garland, TX | 866-494-1313

TECHNOMAG Inc.

Setauket, NY | 888-240-3606

Kord King

Lancaster, PA | 800-818-4916

Quail Electronics, Inc.

Livermore, CA | 800-669-8090

The advantages of electrical connectors include: high insulation value, high durability, rugged construction, and low contact resistance. A further categorization of electrical connectors differentiates them as male and female. A male connector is used to plug into electrical circuits, while a female electronic connector acts as a socket to receive electrical circuits.

Manufacturers produce many different types of electronic connectors for specific purposes, but a few types are very common in industrial applications. Pin connectors, cable connectors, wire connectors, fiber optic connectors, and amp connectors are among the most common types. Pin connectors are male-configured connectors with pins that plug into female-configured electrical circuits.

Cable and wire connectors are both very broad categories and they sometimes just refer to the type of material that the connector is made out of. For specialized communications setups, fiber optic connectors are used. These are manufactured using very fine glass fibers. Amp connectors are defined by the amount of electrical current that they can transfer, since an amp is a basic unit of measurement.

Some less common types of connectors are DIN connectors, RF connectors, coaxial, and PCB connectors. DIN connectors are manufactured to standards set by the Deutsches Institut fur Normung (DIN), the German national standard organization. A coaxial connector has many sub-types, but essentially it is a cable that can maintain a connection. Printed circuit boards use PCB connectors specifically because they have so many interconnected and small parts. RF connectors, another type of coaxial connector, work with radio frequencies in a multi-megahertz range.

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