Different Types of Connectors

Connectors are one of the most common electronic parts in the market. Because there is such a wide variety of connectors and applications for these connectors, it can be difficult to know what you need for what purpose. Fortunately, the most common types of connectors are relatively easy to recognize.

  • D-type connectors are popular because they are quite robust. With rather tough outer shells in the shape of a “D”, they can be found in various standard sizes with 9, 14, and 25 pins. D-types are used in many different applications, but they’re most common as the connector for RS-232 serial links for computer serial ports.
  • DIN 41612 connectors provide for multiple connectors, typically 32, 64, etc. They are comprised of long rectangular plastic shells with connections in rows and are usually used as connectors for printed circuit boards or cards in computers.
  • Jack plugs are typically used for telecommunications and audio transmissions. They are the typical connectors used for simpler, lower-tier headphones and microphones. The standard size is a ¼ inch, but 3.5 mm miniature and 2.5 sub-miniature sizes are also available.
  • Phono connectors, aka RCA connectors, are the normal red, yellow, and white connectors used for domestic audio connections. They provide coaxial connections perfect to connect hi-fi separates.
  • XLR connectors are easily recognized by their metal outer shells and larger girth than the jack plug. XLRs are used in professional audio applications as opposed to being jack plugs because of their more balanced audio interconnection capability.

Of course, that is not to say that these are the only connectors, nor are these aforementioned uses the only use that each connector has. But no matter what application or type of connector you’re looking at, there are few basics to remember. For example, connectors are typically made up of two parts, a male with pins, and a female with receptacles for the pins. If the application in question subjects the connectors to extreme strain and environmental conditions, then you might need to look for connectors that are moisture, vibration, and heat proof. Or maybe, the application has small space restraints, in which case you need connectors with different outlines or degrees of flexibility. If the application is sensitive, you might need connectors with lower or high current and voltage capabilities and so on.

There are many things to consider when you’re looking for a connector. And while it can be very daunting because of all the things you have to consider and the options you have, it’s important that you take the time to figure out exactly what you need. It’s better to take the time to figure it out than to take the time to fix it and deal with problems later.

At Purchasing Management 360, owned and operated by ASAP Semiconductor, we can help you find all the connector parts and assemblies you need, new or obsolete. 


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