Why Connectors Are Not Boring And Are Actually the Heroes of Your Gadgets!

At Hardware Pioneers Max 2024 in London, Electromaker had the pleasure of speaking with the Connector Geek from Mouser. In this discussion, we explored the intricate world of connectors, shedding light on their significance in the electronics industry and why they are far from boring.

The Importance of Connectors in Electronics

Connectors are often overlooked yet represent one of the most complex components in the electronics industry. Engineers, despite their expertise, face a daunting challenge when selecting connectors due to the vast array of options and the specific requirements they must meet. As the Connector Geek explained, connectors are critical for ensuring circuits connect seamlessly to the outside world, making their selection a crucial part of the design process.

Why Connectors are Not Boring

Contrary to common perception, connectors are not boring. They must endure various environmental conditions and mechanical stresses, making their design and selection a sophisticated task. For instance, connectors used in munitions must withstand extreme G-forces, while those in industrial applications must cope with constant vibration. The materials and termination methods used, such as the interaction between solder and gold, play a vital role in their performance and reliability.


Insights from the Connector Geek

During our conversation, the Connector Geek provided fascinating insights into the world of connectors:

  • Environmental Resilience: Connectors must be designed to survive harsh environments, including high G-forces and vibrations.
  • Material Interaction: The interaction between different materials, such as solder and gold, affects the reliability of connectors. Removing gold from connectors before soldering can enhance their durability.
  • Application-Specific Design: Different applications require different types of connectors, from those used in everyday industrial settings to high-performance connectors in Formula 1 vehicles.


Featured Connectors: Lemo and DB9

The Connector Geek highlighted two notable connectors:

Lemo Connectors

Lemo connectors, known as the "Swiss Watch" of connectors, are prized for their precision and reliability. These push-pull connectors are designed to withstand vibration and are used in professional audio, instrumentation, and military applications. Their ease of use and robust construction make them ideal for demanding environments.


DB9 Connectors

On the other hand, DB9 connectors are favored for their traditional design and reliability. These connectors can range from cost-effective versions to high-end models designed for space applications, demonstrating the wide variability and application range within the connector world.

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