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Connectors - Evolution or Revolution?

Connector Geek
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.


March 3, 2020 14:18

One area I never looked into in great depth is where the connector would rarely be removed, fit and forget hopefully! A few years back I read an interesting article on Engine Management units, when found to be faulty they would be replaced with a service exchange unit, but something like 80% of the returned units when tested at the service department would be "no-fault found". The fault would have been cleared in many cases had the mechanic just reconnecting the EMU. The contacts would have been cleaned by removing and replacing the connectors.
The good old Apple IIe indirect edge connectors were similar. Get a fault, remove every board and replace - fault is cleared.
I always looked for the spec on the number of removals/insertions allowed, but what is the spec to look for when this may close on zero?

Also even for plugs/sockets designed for frequent mating cycles the data on the expected life seems to be getting harder to find.....

0 Votes

October 27, 2020 12:19

@Boss That's a good question. In many cases mating cycles are stated based on test.. Test that normally are defined by standard and after such test the connector pair doesn't show any degradation on the performance but in most cases connectors can perform way longer than stated on the specs. An indicative of the true max mating cycles will be the material used on the contacts if Brass with tin plating is used you will have lower cycle number on the contrary due the flexibility of Beryllium Copper together with thick layers of Gold plating will give you the highest number of cycles as Tin will easily oxidize and wear while Gold plating will remain unchanged for a longer time. I hope this helps but talking about connectors there is much more than plastic and metal so that's why I enjoy @ Connector Geek's articles that much!

March 2, 2020 14:27

@ Connector Geek, a big connector or a small Bass?

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