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Ask The Expert - Connectors for Harsh Environments

Modern sophisticated electronic systems are often called upon the work in demanding conditions.  From the top of a telecommunications tower to the uncompromising conditions of the factory floor, connectors are at the front line of protecting electronics against harsh environments.

In my latest Ask The Expert video, I was joined by Thomas Glenday from Bulgin. We looked at what harsh environments are and the challenges that they present to designers.  We then looked at the ways in which Bulgin connectors help protect delicate electronics.

Before specifying a waterproof connector – or any component – the first step is to understand the environment in which it needs to function. The term “waterproof” means many things to many engineers. Some products may simply need to resist the occasional rain shower, whilst others must withstand the pounding of waves on the deck of a ship at sea. 

Therefore, just as it is necessary to ensure a product is suitable for the level of protection required, it is also important not to over-specify the connector required. Fortunately, there are plenty of cost-effective connectors available that can perform to a certain standard.

The other aspect of performance that will affect the standard of the connector is how frequently the connector will be used. One of the key characteristics of a connector is its mating cycles, which is the measure of how many times that connector can be mated and unmated. There are several aspects that govern how durable a connector is, from contact design to the materials chosen. 

Bulgin has nearly 100 years of experience in providing high-reliability connectors for some of the most demanding applications.  Across a huge range of industries from marine and outside broadcast to leisure and mining, Bulgin is a name that is trusted by engineers.

Connector Geek is Dave in real life. After three decades in the industry, Dave still likes talking about connectors almost as much as being a Dad to his two kids. He still loves Lego too. And guitars.
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