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Connector Geek Introduces... November 2016

This month's products have a distinctive Automotive theme. And that's no accident. We have just released our new Automotive homepage on the RS website, and a new Automotive tech hub here on DesignSpark.

Automotive products are really interesting. Their use on vehicles that have to function in some of the most demanding conditions make them perfect for all sorts of applications that have nothing to do with vehicles of any kind. Here are a few reasons why...

Mass market:  Components that are intended for automotive applications (especially cars) tend to be designed for production in high quantities. That brings huge benefits in terms of the economies of scale, familiarity and the ease of availability. All characteristics from which non-automotive designers can

Harsh Environment: Vehicles, whether they are commercial, domestic or industrial, must work in some of the harshest environments in the world. From polar regions to the desert, in dust, rain and wind, components must take these conditions in their stride and carry on working.

Latest Innovations: The automotive world moves quickly, and you can be sure that components must keep pace. Whether a supercapacitor for the latest kinetic energy recovery system or a connector for electric vehicles, the automotive sector has some of the most exciting technologies, and you can take advantage of these developments.

With that in mind, let's take a look at some of the interesting stuff that's coming up soon.


We are introducing new automotive connectors from some of the biggest names in the industry, and represent a great cross-section of the industry:

  • A range of board-to-wire automotive connectors from JST, the HCH and CPT series.
  • For plug-in electric vehicles, we have AC charging cables from Phoenix Contact.
  • For the electric vehicle battery packs themselves, we have the Amphenol PCD Manual Service Disconnect (MSD & mini-MSD), plus universal power connectors for hybrid electric vehicles.

Secret Until Lit Indicators

These neat little indicators from APEM are really smart. They do exactly what the description suggests - until they are lit, the polycarbonate insert remains a plain black colour. The polycarbonate is silk-screen printed on the reverse so that, once lit, the symbol can be seen clearly. All of the standard parts so far feature automotive-related symbols - lights, brakes, warnings and the like - but APEM says that any symbol can be printed. They are also sealed to IP67, making them useful for a wide range of applications. I can already think of kiosks, security & access entry, and industrial controls in contaminated
environments. How would you use them?

Connector Geek is Dave in real life. With 28 years in the industry, Dave likes talking about connectors almost as much as being a Dad to his two kids. He may still be a kid at heart himself...

3 Nov 2016, 14:11