Choosing the Right Electrical Connectors Matters: Here's Why
In the electrifying world of electronics, there’s often a small difference between a flash of genius and a short circuit. Having the right electrical connectors can make for a reliable system operation. Using the right connectors makes your system smaller, lighter, and easier to handle. Resist the temptation for shortcuts. Or else you’ll risk paying the high price of recalls and repairs that come with using the wrong connector system.
Here’s why ideal electrical wire connectors positively impact the design, usability, and cost structure of an entire device.
Electric Connectors Keep Devices Powered On
The right electric connectors will be defined by their electrical voltage and contact requirements. You should make sure that they have the correct number of contacts. Not only this, but they should carry the power demands of the device.
The size of the contact and the size of the wire will show the current-carrying capability of a contact. The voltage rating will be further influenced by contact spacing, insulation materials, and the geometry of the insulator.
You may also have other functions that need to be routed through a connector. In instances like this, a hybrid connector is typically required and requires custom construction. A hybrid connector doesn’t just carry power. It carries the signal, coax, and fiber optics, depending on the needs of the device. When installing or modifying electrical connectors, make sure to pay attention to how the connections terminate and their insulation needs.
The Right Electrical Connector: The Right Connector for the Right Job
The biggest difficulty in choosing the best electrical connector is the sheer array of options to choose from. Every choice impacts the connector’s ability to do the job it’s intended to do.
The first major difference in electrical connectors is their material. Some are made of plastic, while others are made of metal. Material can impact reliability, weight, and cost.
The traditional choice for wear resistance and a long lifespan is a brass connector with nickel/chrome plating. If weight is an issue, consider aluminum. More corrosive environments may require stainless steel connectors.
If you’re considering plastic electrical connectors, make sure they are adequately tested for their intended end-use application. Whatever material you use, you should test the insulating materials in the connector being evaluated. This includes contact insulators, potting materials, and o-rings.
After making sure electrical connections, termination, sealing, and materials are handled, you will want to check for reliability needs.
Consider the intended frequency before replacing it, and find a connector that can reliably meet that goal. Almost all electrical connectors are rated for the number of “mating cycles” of connecting and disconnecting they can make. If you need a high number, consider a connector with 5,000 to 10,000 or more mating cycles.
Another factor to consider with reliability is the intended environment. Electrical connectors can work outdoors generally well, but they lose performance under extreme outdoor conditions.
Bigger isn’t always better, and this is especially true in electronics.
Some newer connector designs can perform applications that previously required two or three connectors just a year prior. However, you should still be careful when making your electrical connector decisions. The details of each connector become more important as the voltage and current increase. Compare models for pin size, pin number, and functionality.
Another consideration with smaller connectors is their inability to carry both power and signal (although some can). Smaller connectors can also be more difficult to terminate. Many miniature plugs and receptacles are pre-wired to maintain reliability.
The Right Choice for Electrical Connectors is Rackfinity
If you’re looking for electrical wire connectors for your next big electronics project, look no further than Rackfinity. Whether outfitting an office, preparing a new computer build, or any other electronic project, Rackfinity has what you need. That’s including the connectivity of the Schurter Connector Accessory, 2 Pole, Fuse Drawer, Fingergrip, and Neutral Side Shorting bar. Get the electrical connectors you need, and save doing it with Rackfinity.
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