Types of Connectors On The Market

As connectors are used to join the subsections of circuits together, exploring different types of connectors is important. When exploring different types of connectors, you will be able to determine which type you should be using. This is vital to the creation of a circuit that works correctly and has the ability to disconnect the different subsections in the future. After exploring different types of connectors, you will also be able to determine if the connections on your boards need to be replaced with different ones to better suit your needs.

The USB Connectors

When exploring different types of connectors, it is important that you look at USB connectors first because they are very common in modern technology. There are 2 types of USB connectors that you should know about and they are the host and peripheral. There are also certain aspects of the USB connectors that both types will have in common.

These common points are the polarization as USB connectors can only be inserted one way and forcing a different connection will break the device. All USB connectors also have 4 contacts which are for power, ground and 2 data lines. Newer USB connectors such as the USB 3.0 may have more connections.

When looking at USB connections, it is important to note that the USB-A female is the host type connector. This connector will be found in computers, USB hubs and devices which USB peripherals can be plugged into. When looking at these ports, it is important to note that a blue connector is generally USB 3.0 compatible.

The USB-A male connector is the standard peripheral connector type and more USB cables will have this connector at their end. These connectors will be able to fit into the USB-A female hub to complete the circuit. The internal circuits of the connector will be shielded by a metal casing to protect it and allow for the connection of male and female.

USB-B connectors are also available and do look different to the USB-A connector. The USB-B female is the standard for the peripheral devices and is bulky which makes it ideal for circuits where size is not an issue. The connector is generally board mounted which offers the maximum reliability, but it can be panel-mounted as well.

The USB-B male connection is found almost exclusively at the end of a cable. These cables are generally easy to find and inexpensive. This is one of the reasons why USB-B connections are common for larger applications.

Phone Type Audio Connectors

Phone type audio connectors are ones that most people will recognize as they are generally found at the end of a pair of headphones. These connectors come in 3 different sizes of 6.35mm, 3.5mm and 2.5mm. Each of these connection sizes is used for different circuits based on the overall use of the item.

The largest is generally used in professional music circuits for amplifiers and guitars. The mid-sized connection is often used for headphones and other audio output circuits in computers and music players. The smallest connection is rarely used, but there are some mobile phones which offer this connection for headphones and hands-free communicators.

These connectors are easy to find and widely available which makes them ideal for general purpose connections. However, it is important to note that these connections are not designed for transmitting power during insertion. There is also a lack of shielding which makes them a poor selection for any high-speed data transfer uses.

The RCA Connector

The RCA connector has been the go-to connector choice for home-stereo systems for many decades. The connector was first introduced to the market in the 1940’s when people started to use home phonographs. These connections are losing some of their market value as they are being replaced with HDMI connections. However, these cables are still a solution for any home-built system and will still be in use for a long time before they are completely replaced.

The RCA female connection is usually placed in the device, but it can be found on conversions cables and extension cables. The RCA male connection will be found on the cable and will be used to connect the cable to the device. There are 4 types of signals that these connectors are used for and they are component video, composite video, S/PDIF audio and stereo audio.

Barrel Connectors

If you are looking for connectors that are able to carry power as well as data, there are a number of options available. One option is the barrel connection which is typically seen on low-cost consumer electronics. These devices will generally be plugged into the wall using a bulky AC wall adaptor.

The female connector, also known as a jack, is available in many different varieties and it is important to choose the right one for your device. The male connector or plug will be attached to the end of a wire. It is possible to get this connection pre-attached to a cable if you do not wish to do this yourself.

Molex Connectors

Molex connectors are commonly used with computer hard drives and other internal components which require power. These connectors have been designed to carry a lot of current with an average of up to 11A per pin. These are ideal for any project that requires a large amount of power to run such as a desktop PC or a 3D printer.

The male and female sections of the Molex connector are different to others. The female connector is generally at the end of the cable and will slip into a shell that surrounds the pin of the male connector. The connectors are generally a press-fit and will be extremely tight. These connectors are made to only be connected and disconnected a few times and will be a poor choice for devices where connections are frequently changed.

There are many different types of connectors on the market that you can use. It is important that you understand this when exploring different types of connectors as it will impact what you are able to use. The ability of the connector should also be considered when you look at what is available.

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