Military action for connector design

18 April 2008

Distributors have been making efforts to add specialist connectors to their ranges, from military connectors to those for emerging computing applications.

Aerco ( has extended its range of Deutsch’s MMC connectors of miniature, bayonet-coupling connectors. The range now includes versions that terminate a shielded cable directly on to the back of the connector using the Band-It system rather than having to use a shielded adaptor. This saves both space and weight and is claimed to significantly reduce installation costs. Deutsch has also added a nine-way terminator plug and a nine-way connector that uses size 22 AWG contacts as opposed to AWG 24.

The MMC range is used on military vehicles and military and civil aircraft although they can also be used in industrial and CAN bus applications.

Assembler and distributor, PEI-Genesis ( has been approved to assemble Amphenol's SJT range of JN1003 multi-pin circular connectors for use on the Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft.

The distributor can offer the connectors with 48hour assembly service. The JN1003 is claimed to be a 100 per cent scoop-proof design with a quick-disconnect bayonet-lock coupling with rear-release removable crimp contacts. Shells are made from lightweight aluminium alloy, plated with olive drab cadmium over nickel. Operating temperature is -55 to 175°C.

Telecomms and datacomms
Molex ( has announced that Tyco Electronics is the second source supplier for its Impact backplane connector which is described as “pushing the speed and density... of backplane interconnects... by offering intermateable, interchangeable, interoperable backplane connections,” says Molex’s Brian Hauge.

The three, four, five and six pair connectors provide low crosstalk, insertion loss and minimal performance variation across all speed channels. Both backplane and daughterboard have a 1.9mm x 1.35mm grid that helps to reduce PCB routing complexity while providing adequate space for high-speed routing. The daughterboard mating interface has in-line staggered, bifurcated contacts, that provide two points of contact, improving reliability and groundsignal sequencing. The average mating force per connector is claimed to improve the mechanical mating. The connectors support IEEE 10G BASE-KR standard and are OIF state eye channel-compliant.

The Impact range has up to 80 differential pairs/linear inch, in less than 29mm width; the fastest, densest backplane connector available today, claims the company. Data rates are over 20Gbit/sec, with headroom for system upgrades in traditional backplane and mid-plane architectures. Two compliant pin design options are available to balance electrical and mechanical application requirements.

Space-savings are promised with the DX4 micro-USB receptacles and cable assemblies from JAE, which can reduce the size of mobile phones, media players, digital cameras and PDAs as well as PC peripherals, docking stations, navigation equipment, security cameras and medical devices (

The type B and type AB receptacles meet the USB Implementers’ Forum’s specifications for Micro-USB, the
interconnect standard that can provide extra features, including footprint savings and increased durability. The standard occupies 45 per cent less volume than the Mini-USB format and, at 2.35mm, has a lower mounted profile.

The DX4 series has enhancements to the internal design to prevent the contact lifting. The insert moulding enhances retention force while the stainless shell material is claimed to be more rugged that the basic
copper alloy accepted by the USB-IF documentation. As a result, extraction force is 8N and mating durability is 10,000 cycles. The receptacles save 0.4mm over the standard Micro-USB width by virtue of the hold-down design introduced into the design. There are also two through-hole retainers and four surface-mount, hold-down pads to make six solder points.

The DX4 meets the standard’s 1.8A maximum current rating and supports USB OTG (on the go) for communication between portable devices. The cable assemblies have DX4 plugs pre-assembled and can be used for Micro-USB to Micro-USB configuration or type A USB to Micro-USB, where equipment can be connected to a host PC.

Latching on to design
FCI’s Minitek 2mm modular connector system now includes an eject latch header and active latch cable housing. The company ( says the family now represents a 2mm modular system for all
types of board-to-board, wire-to-board and cable-to-board interconnections on this pitch size.

The new active latch cable housing is not part of a separate system, but mates with the standard headers. The low-profile header has selective plating to reduce the cost of the header and to maintain performance,
claims the company. It can be used with surface-mount parts and has an operating temperature of 125°C. Pin in paste versions are available.

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