Suggestions for connectors in circuit design

An obvious trend of the current connector is miniaturization, the smaller the connector, the greater its importance. The reason is simple: products are getting smaller. At present, many electronic devices such as smart phones, tablet computers, blood glucose detectors, etc. have increasingly strict requirements on size and internal space, and there is almost no space for connectors. This trend also appears in the defense and aerospace fields, such as satellites, guided missiles, and avionics systems. In these fields, miniaturization requirements can only be met through miniature connectors.

As the demand for small connectors continues to grow, design engineers face a series of new challenges. They can no longer put the connector design in the final stage of the project. Miniature connectors need to be considered in advance. It requires designers to consider various factors in advance, such as packaging, durability, current load capacity and replaceability.

The following are some design suggestions from micro connector suppliers. These suggestions come not only from the connector design experts, but also from the painful experience of the designer.

1. consider the connector in the early stages of the design.

Engineers tend to pay too much attention to the design of the entire system and place the connector in the final stage of the design before considering it. They think the connector is very simple, so they can bring the relevant design to the final stage. But it is easy to get stuck by your own design. In many cases, designers eventually have to choose non-standard connectors to complete the design, which not only increases the cost, but also delays the delivery time. In order to avoid such problems, relevant experts suggest that you should consider the connectors you will use in the early stages of design, and then reserve design space for them and design around them.

2. understand the limitations of space.

Although miniature board-to-board connectors are typically less than 1 mm thick, they are also commonly used in tightly packaged applications. In order to solve potential packaging problems, designers need to consider the wiring on the PCB and the additional wires connected to the connector. As the spacing becomes smaller, the wires must be narrower. Also, keep in mind that some connectors, such as flexible cable connectors, provide the option to flip forward and backward. When designing a system, you need to consider these flipping methods. For example, if there is another component on the back, flipping the connector backwards may not be easy to access. Finally, designers need to be aware that surface mount devices sometimes cannot handle smaller components. In some cases, they need new vacuum nozzles to solve these problems.

3. understand the current carrying capacity.

As the size of the connector decreases, the current carrying capacity of the connector also decreases. In general, miniature connectors can handle currents between 200 mA and 500 mA, which is about half the rated current of a larger board-to-board connector. To compensate for the problems caused by low load currents, designers may need to increase the number of terminals.

4. consider the stability of micro-connections.

Not only during the design stage, but also during the assembly process, it must be ensured that the connector is not damaged. If this issue is not considered first, it may push up costs. Damaged connectors need to be reconfigured, refurbished and marked. They may even require more expensive, field-replaceable connectors to replace them, and such changes may extend the design time by another week or two. Prioritize existing connectors. If they are not compatible with your design, please consider your own design, which can save a lot of time.

5. consider variability.

If the appearance of the product is closed, then you need to replace the connector from the outside. Otherwise, you must do some welding work. The more you do, the more proficient the welding and other skills will be, but the higher the risk of damage to the entire system.

6. Understand the functional requirements of the connector.

Suppliers need customers to fully express their needs, otherwise they may misunderstand their needs. This is especially important when you need to customize connectors. The requirements of the connector must be accurately clarified. If the description is not clear or missing, we may ignore the key requirements of the design.

7. Consider mechanical stress.

Temperature, shock, and vibration all create stress between the interface and the circuit. Experts recommend that you choose connectors that avoid these forces. When the connector is firmly connected to the board or external structure, it must be able to withstand the forces generated by impact and vibration, otherwise cracks will occur. Engineers should use interconnection systems to minimize the accumulation of stress between the installation structure and the connection points. Many vendors provide such systems, and designers should pay close attention to this.

Xi’an Spring Technology Co., Ltd. specializes in producing 1-30 core round push-pull self-locking connectors, and can process cables according to customer requirements.  For model selection, please refer to the product specifications of SPRING-CONNECTOR official website, or you can directly contact our customer service staff, we will serve you wholeheartedly.