DesignSpark Electrical Logolinkedin
Menu Search
Ask a Question

13 Jan 2020, 14:04

Miniature size no compromise for high performance

Demand for smaller & versatile solutions

Nowadays one of the key requirements for equipment manufacturers is smaller and lighter components, and one may think that miniaturization comes at the cost of lower performance: fewer contacts, reduced robustness and so on.

However, certain applications are unable to compromise on performance, particularly in areas like aerospace and defense. For these cases, SOURIAU has the answer: the micro38999.

The micro38999 was developed to respond to the needs of small but extremely robust connectors, with shell sizes 3 (the smallest on the market), 5 and 7. The product range is composed of 3 variations with different locking mechanisms: The 8DA series which has a threaded coupling, the 8BA which is breakaway, and the 8LTA which has a bayonet coupling.


The threaded locking mechanism offers the highest mechanical resistance and guarantees that the connectors will not disconnect even under extreme vibration and shock. This is typically the preferred option for aerospace applications including UAVs and drones.

The breakaway version is suitable when quick and easy disconnection is preferred – think wearables (if something catches your cable) but also emergency equipment. The advantage of breakaway connectors is that if something yanks at the cable, then the connectors disconnect without pulling down the equipment with it.

The bayonet coupling version is a compromise between the two – it is faster to mate and unmate than the threaded version while offering more mechanical resistance connection than the breakaway. It would generally be found on small equipment, power supplies, and network systems just to name a few examples.

A tiny shell that packs a serious punch

In shell size 3, the micro38999 is one of the smallest connectors for harsh environments on the market. The threaded version offers significant space savings with a plug measuring 17mm in length and a receptacle that is 15.5mm long, both with an integrated backshell included. You may be thinking that with such small sizes, the number of contacts is surely sacrificed and limited – well, let us surprise you. In a size 3 shell, you can have up to 5 size #26 contacts, in a total diameter of 11.5mm, while the size 7 shell can take up to 9 contacts in a diameter of 16mm.

A field-proven solution

Up against a MIL-DTL-38999 size 9 connector with the same number of contacts and equipped on both sides with backshells, the micro38999 size 5 is 50% shorter in length, 33% smaller in diameter and a whopping 300% lighter.

Apart from the space and weight gains, the threaded version of the range is direct miniaturization of the MIL-DTL-38999 series III with all the key benefits that make it a staple of aerospace and defense interconnect.

  • Scoop proof contact
  • Operation temperature: -55°C to +175°C
  • EMI ring for sizes 5 & 7
  • Up to IP68 rating
  • Up to 1000 mating cycles

These features make the micro38999 the ideal solution for hi-tech equipment such as drones, wearables, and small, portable or critical equipment. If you want to find if the micro38999 is the right solution for you, feel free to contact the RS technical support team or check our documentation online at


Digital marketing manager playing catch up with engineers and makers!

13 Jan 2020, 14:04