Rectangular connectors offer many advantages, such as design flexibility and ease of use, over other connector shapes. Types of rectangular connectors include D-subs, power and hybrid connectors, ARINC, and others. Their shape is ideal for efficient use of panel space in applied systems and their various options for material composition allow them to fulfill many different weight requirements. Rectangular connectors are used in rack and panel, cable-to-cable, and panel mounting applications. Additionally, their robust design allows them to be used in industries including aerospace, defense, marine, industrial, and more. They have also been approved for use in avionics systems by BACC, EN, and MIL-DTL standards. In this blog, we will discuss the types of rectangular connectors and their uses.
As stated, the three main types of rectangular connectors are D-subs, power and hybrid connectors, and ARINCs. Let’s take a look at each type. A D-sub contains two or more parallel rows of pins or sockets surrounded by a D-shaped housing that provides mechanical support, ensures correct orientation, and may screen against electromagnetic interference. D-sub connectors are gendered; parts with pin contacts are called male connectors or plugs, while those with socket contacts are called female connectors or sockets. The socket’s shield fits snugly inside that of the plug.
Power and Hybrid connectors come in a wide array of shapes and sizes and with various abilities, options, and accessories. The purpose of a power connector is to serve as the important connection between an operating device and its power source. The diversity of power and hybrid connectors allows users find the exact type of power connectors needed for their specific applications. Many power and hybrid connectors boast low contact resistance, an environmentally conscious feature that saves energy by reducing the amount of energy converted to heat during operation.
The final type of rectangular connector is the ARINC connector. ARINC, or Aeronautical Radio, Incorporated was a major provider of transport communications and systems engineering solutions for industries such as aviation, airports, defense, government, healthcare, networks, security, and transportation. ARINC had installed computer data networks in police cars and railroad cars and also maintained the standards for line-replaceable units. The company standardized countless different parts and components, but ARINC connectors have remained among the most well known. Established in 1929, the company was purchased by Rockwell Collins in 2013 and now operates as a branch of Collins Aerospace.
Rectangular connectors can be used to meet the needs of power distribution and/or data transfer. Their broad range of size and material options allow them to be used in a number of systems. Some of the areas where rectangular connectors can be found are in military equipment, industrial instrumentation, ground support devices and computer equipment. They can also be found in consumer electronics, telecommunications systems, medical equipment and local area networks (LANs). Rectangular connectors are available in a variety of shell sizes and pin-outs and can also be used in Line Replaceable Modules (LRM). Their contacts can be non-removable or removable, and feature the options of crimp, solder cup, or PC tail in low-to-high density configurations.
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