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Robust Connectors for Rail Applications

Modern railways and trams are the lifelines of today's cities. With urban expansion seemingly unstoppable, the demand for more efficient transport systems continues to grow, and passengers expect reliability.

As the demands of the users grow, so too does the sophistication of the trains themselves. Complexity comes at a cost, and to deliver electronic systems that can provide the kind of reliability required by today's passengers takes effort.

Let's take a moment to consider the conditions. Railway rolling stock operates for hours every day in every type of weather. Alongside this, trains and trams are subject to constant vibration and shocks, meaning that any electronic system must be robust enough to withstand a hard life.

The interconnection between different elements of the electronic heart of a train can see some of the harshest conditions. Cables and connectors are oftened installed in exposed positions, meaning that they are subjected to demanding environmental and mechanical conditions. So when specifying the components it is essential to know that the product selected will perform flawlessly.

Fortunately, the designer is provided with a number of standards that can act as a shorthand to quality. Knowing that a product has been tested to, and meets, a particular standard means that it can be designed-in with total confidence.

The HR43 family of connectors from Hirose delivers this confidence. The HR43 has been created to meet with the requirement for connectors with advanced reliability in railway applications. Compliant with IEC 61373:2010 standard governing Railway Applications “Rolling stock equipment - Shock & vibration tests” Class 2, the HR43 is ideal for a hard life on the rails.

Constructed of tough but lightweight aluminium alloy, the HR43 uses a unique gasket to create a waterproof seal, providing IP67 protection in the mated condition. It is designed for field-installation, removing the need for investment in expensive specialist tooling.

With current capabilities of up to 20A per circuit and up to 100 mating cycles, the HR43 will find applications well beyond the rail and mass transit market.

The HR43 connector family is available now from RS Components.


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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