What is Connector?

What is Connector?

We do the soldering to connect the components to the PCB board. This can be said to be the work of connecting the two conductors. However, if you do solder, you will face great inconvenience when replacing parts. For example, if you think you have a computer connected only by soldering, you can easily feel the discomfort.
The connector is responsible for connecting the two conductors. It’s the same role as the act of soldering to connect the components to the PCB board.

So let’s summarize the advantages of using connectors.
1. The cost of replacing parts of electronic products is reduced.
– As mentioned above, if a part is broken or needs to be replaced with another part (third party part or upgraded part), using a connector can reduce the replacement cost and time.
2. The manufacturing process of electronic products is improved.
– By using connectors, the assembly of parts inside the product is simplified and the cost of the product is reduced.

This time, we will look at connector-related terms, types of parts, and how to use them.

1. Housing
When using a connector, it is sometimes used interchangeably with the term housing. However, it has a different meaning. When a wire is connected to each pin in the housing, it has been called a connector from then on.

2. Termination
Termination refers to a method of connecting terminals and conductors (wires, PCBs, etc.). The connector must be properly terminated to function stably. Let’s look at some commonly used termination methods.
2-1. pressure
The terminals come into contact with the wires through a mechanical process called’crimping’. In this process, presses, manual presses, and automatic presses are used. The two figures below show before and after termination. It is composed of a wire barrel that connects the conductor part of the wire and the terminal connection part, and a curling that maintains the tension between the wire insulator. This is a method of compressing the wire barrel and curling to fasten it.

2-2. IDT
IDT (Insulation Displacement Technology) is a termination method in which electrical contact is made when a wire wrapped with an insulator enters a terminal slot that is narrower than the width of the wire.
2-3. Surface Mount
Surface mount is a method of making electrical contact by soldering the’tails’ of a connector to a PCB. Soldering on the surface mount is done all over the underside and can be reliably attached to the PCB.

3. Pitch
Pin spacing is the distance between the centers of two adjacent pins in a connector. Pin spacing is an important factor in connector design. For example, if the pin spacing is very narrow when connecting a 10-pin connector to a PCB, surface mount is a more suitable method than drilling a hole in the PCB. Also, depending on the pin spacing, electrical interference from adjacent pins can occur. For this reason, the connector design must be able to meet the needs of the consumer.

4. Connector type
4-1. Coaxial connector
A typical example of a coaxial connector is the BNC type. It is mainly used for high frequency signals.

4-2. D-SUB connector
This connector is mainly used to connect a computer and peripheral devices. It consists of dozens of pins. The left side is a 25-pin connector, which is used for the PC’s parallel port, and the right side is a 36-pin Centronics connector, which is used for printers.

4-3. Board-to-cable connector
This connector is used to connect a board and a cable, and the number of pins varies from 1 to dozens. Although the figure is straight, there are also connectors that are bent at right angles.

4-4. Ribbon cable connector
This connector, also called IDC (Insulation Displacement Connector), is used for signal transmission between PCBs. As a representative example, it is used to connect the hard disk of a PC.

4-5. FFC connector
Unlike general cables, this connector uses a thin film type cable. Since the volume of the cable is very small, it is used for internal connection of small devices such as mobile phones.

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