Monday, 5 November 2012

Read our article about Waterproof connectors for the Home A/V and super yacht world from In2Connect UK Ltd and Conec, written for "Hidden Wires" the UK and European custom install home automation and home entertainment trade magazine.

Product Article: Waterproof Connectors (5/11/2012)
By Bob Hart, In2Connect UK
Outdoor or wet indoor environments can destroy electronic equipment. The ubiquitous HD15 VGA D-sub connector was never intended to withstand contaminants such as water and dust, but client demand for A/V everywhere is carrying such connectors into less tolerant environments. So what connectors can you use for installations in saunas, wet rooms, indoor and outdoor poolsides, bathrooms, outdoor CCTV and security systems or even superyachts - where anything from moisture through to water deluge might be encountered?

Examples of environments that require waterproof connectors.
Waterproofing of components is arguably the first major add-on to the existing features of an indoor interconnect, and it is clear that most installers don't want to reinvent interconnects, they want manufacturers to adapt products that they're already well used to.

D-sub connector.
The International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) code
Weather-protected, weather-resistant, weatherproof, all-weather, water-resistant, waterproof - what's the difference? For the systems integrator, these terms could easily be interchangeable or confusing, so it's best to refer to the IEC code. The ingress protection (or IP) code defined in IEC's international standard 60529 classifies the level of protection provided against the intrusion of solid objects, dust, water, and accidental contact.
The first digit of an IEC IP rating indicates the level of protection the enclosure (connector) provides against access to hazardous parts and the ingress of solid foreign objects. The second indicates equipment protection levels inside the enclosure against harmful water ingression. Breaking down an IP67 rating then, the '6' indicates total protection against dust ingress and complete protection against electrical contact. The '7' means protection against the effect of immersion between 15cm and 1m.

Conec waterproof IP67 D-sub connectors from In2Connect.
IP68 and 69 connectors can offer protection against longer periods of immersion under pressure - of course this is always dependant upon proper installation following manufacturer's guidelines, but even then, we're not talking continuous immersion at any great depth, although the UTS Hi seal connector is claimed to ensure stable characteristics on immersion at a depth of 10m and during high-pressure cleaning at up to 140 bar.
To achieve IP67 or higher, most protected connector designs work on the same principle as the waterproof D-sub connector where the aim has been to reduce the number of components that make up the connector, thus removing all possible leakage paths. Manufacturers also tend to add a mounting plate with a silicone O-ring to create a watertight seal at the panel interface and backpotted screw machined contacts to prevent water ingress through the connector body.

Backpotted screw machined contacts prevent water ingress through the connector body.
Data and A/V Connectors for Marine Environments
The use of USB, FireWire and HDMI connectors has grown considerably and is no longer limited to just the home entertainment market. These interfaces are being found more and more in audio systems that require computer-based equipment, such as superyachts and commercial shipping.
Entertainment systems on the external decks are one of the greatest sound and lighting challenges on a boat. To offer suitable water resistant solutions, connector manufacturers have extended their offerings to encompass D-subs, RJ45 for Ethernet, USB 2.0, M12 circular sensor and actuator connectors, fibre optic LC (ODVA), FireWire and HDMI. Applications include indoor and outdoor on-board cinema, IT, communication, security, lighting and automation systems on luxury motor boats, sailing ships and super yachts; and onboard waterproof TVs or on-board digital signage and advertising systems for cruise ships, ferries and public service vessels.

On-deck entertainment.
Basically, the discerning yacht owner wants to be as connected at sea as they are in their office, so given the huge expense of cabling large yachts and cruise liners, optical fibre cable with its inherent EMC resistance and super-wide bandwidth (for future proofing) is increasingly being used.
Conec's IP protected dual LC interface is ideal for use in deck or bridge situations. The IP67-rated LC product family features a 1/6th turn bayonet coupling for fast and secure mate/unmate, even with gloved hands. To optimise chemical resistance, UV resistance, and tolerance to physical abuse, In2Connect offer these connectors in two different housing materials: black plastic and nickel-plated, zinc die-cast. All connectors are duplex LC type, in single-mode, multi-mode, and APC types. The product line includes panel-mounted receptacles, mating plugs, and protective caps. Pre-assembled jumper cables including cables suitable for outdoor use and direct burial, in standard lengths from 1 metre to 300 metres are also available.

The In2Connect IP67 fibre optic duplex LC connector range.
Connectors for all Weather Conditions
For content that needs to be clearly displayed to a large audience over a long viewing distance in all weather conditions as in video walls, there is really only one suitable choice and that is LED-based display technology. Connectors such as In2Connect's solder bucket 'pintail' SP13 and SP21 ranges rated IP68 are ideal for interconnecting video screens. We have worked directly with the manufacturer to produce a connector that doesn't compromise electrical and mechanical properties whilst being competitively priced. The connector bodies are moulded from glass-filled nylon and are available in free plug, cable end receptacle and fixed jam nut receptacle formats, all with dust caps to suit.

The In2Connect pintail SP13 plug and socket.
Plug and socket can have either male or female solder bucket contacts factory-fitted to allow design flexibility and polarisation. They were designed to be lightweight, corrosion resistant and RoHS compliant with additional improved product features over competitive products such as planform contact identification by raised numbering for easy identification of circuits to save time and money when soldering or repairing incoming cables. Contacts are solder cup and are an integral part of the insulator, resulting in fewer piece parts or crimp contacts to lose and no need for expensive crimp tools.
To simplify the field assembly process, the dual O ring sealing means that the integral backshell can be easily removed in two sections to allow accurate soldering of the incoming cable. The threaded bodies provide a quick and easy connection to reduce installation and service time and have inbuilt key/keyway orientation with good cable waterproofing and retention by virtue of a rear compression nut.

Cross-section of SP13 and SP21 IP68 pintail plug.
Sealed Mini-USB 2.0 Connectors
Conec now offer sealed Mini-USB 2.0 connectors. These Mini-USB 2.0 Type B watertight connectors are integrated into a black plastic housing with a bayonet locking feature for harsh environmental applications. A quick-connect bayonet locking mechanism provides audible and noticeable feedback to reassure the user that an IP67 watertight connection is made. No further mounting tool is required to make this simple, fast and robust connection.
The range includes a panel receptacle which may be PCB-mounted or used with a flex circuit. The overall dimensions are compact and require only a 12mm diameter panel cut-out. The pre-terminated patch cables with an over-moulded IP67 Mini USB Type B plug and an over-moulded USB Type-A plug are available in 2mm, 3mm and 5mm lengths. Protective covers are available to maintain IP67 protection when the connectors are not mated.

The Conec IP67 Mini-USB 2.0 connector from In2Connect.
M12 connectors are waterproof and Conec M12x1 X-coded connectors have been developed for transmission technology according to CAT6A and 500MHz/10Gb, and are standardised to IEC 61076-2-109. These X-code connectors have 4 shielded pairs, for reliable high speed data transfer in such applications as vision systems and other high-speed data transfer, plus industrial-grade materials for harsh environments, all in the small M12 connector.

Waterproof Conec M12 connectors from In2Connect.
Waterproof RJ45 Connectors
D-sub and circular multipin in/out connectors are relatively chunky with or without additional protection, but the transition of RJ45, USB, FireWire and optical fibre to less kind environments has required the application of the type of reinforcement associated with MIL-C circular connectors. For Ethernet, the industry has gravitated toward an RJ45 connector type with a bayonet latching or screw-threaded coupling mechanism according to user choice.

The Conec RJ45 IP67 industrial Ethernet connector system
The cost to the installer of system failure due to water ingress can be high in terms of money, time and reputation. It is no good just using waterproof components such as displays, loudspeakers, lighting, cameras, controllers etc - the cables and connectors tying it all together must also be of the right specification in order to ensure a reliable and long-lasting installation.
In2Connect stocks waterproof connectors from Conxall, Neutrik, Conec, Weipu, EDAC and many other manufacturers with the aim of making it easier for integrators and specifiers to save both time and effort in finding the right waterproof connector system for a given application.
Bob Hart is a Director of In2Connect UK Ltd, the UK's prime source for PCB and backplane, D-sub, rectangular and multiway circular connectors, cable assemblies and wire harnesses.

Thursday, 23 August 2012

Looking for specialist Medical Cables?

Every medical cable application is different so why settle for an off the shelf solution for a unique problem? Many discussion boards indicate that when someone is looking for a specialised medical cable the advice usually tells them to call Belden or Alpha. There is nothing wrong with Alpha or Belden, however keep in mind that they produce generic wire and cable that covers a wide variety of uses and may not meet all your needs.
If you wanted to race in Formula 1, would you go to your neighbourhood car dealer and buy a generic automobile to race? Of course not, you would build a custom car with the performance to handle the racetrack conditions, the type of race and your driving style. The same applies to medical cables; your requirements are specific to your application which may include size, number and type of conductors, bio-compatibility, sterilisation techniques or even a custom coloured jacket.  Custom medical cables like those built by Calmont Wire and Cable Inc. are designed specifically for your requirements and type of use.
Often for new designs and products, a small quantity is needed for prototypes, proof of concept or testing. Custom medical cable manufacturers understand this and normally have the capabilities to manufacture small runs of custom wire and cable. If your medical cable design is simple, ask us if we have any sample stock or over runs in stock that match your general requirements.
Get the right cable for your medical device by contacting a medical cable manufacturer's representative like In2Connect UK to discuss your needs and application. The more the cable manufacturer knows about your needs the better your design will be suited to your application.
What to tell your medical cable manufacturer:
•    Type of use – How the medical device will be used, the environment, will the cable be subjected to repetitive flexing, high temperatures or abrasion?
•    Sterilisation – Is the cable reusable or disposable? Will the cable be sterilised? If so how and how many cycles.
•    Patient contact – What bio-compatibility requirements are needed? Explain the extent of patient contact with the wire or cable.
•    Mechanical requirements – Voltage, temperature, flex cycles and EMI shielding. Will the cable experience repeated bending or twisting motion?
•    Physical requirements – The number of conductors, size, plating, cable construction, shape and overall diameter.
•    Expectations – Discuss what you want for performance and product longevity. Do you expect product lifetime to be 6 months or 6 years?
If you don’t have all the answers or if wire and cable isn’t your forte, it is no problem. Custom wire and cable manufacturers who are experienced with medical device wire and cable are experts in material choices, construction and the options available to you. They will guide you through the design process to insure you get the best performance out of your medical device cable.
If you want to learn more about medical cables or would like to have one designed for you, contact In2Connect UK today. Calmont has been manufacturing medical wire and cable for decades and understands that each customer has their own unique needs and expectations.

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

New Sullins Connector Solutions from In2Connect........

In2Connect have just updated their website to showcase the latest in the Sullins product range.Featuring seven new series of Sullins and Micro Plastics product lines, the brand new 84-page, 4-colour ‘catalogue 2.0’ provides photos and detailed specifications pertaining to the company’s latest offerings of D-Sub connectors, high power connectors, wire-to-board wafer connectors, male and female headers, as well as RJ45 modular connectors and Integrated Connector Modules (ICMs).

Sullins Connector Solutions is a world leader in developing and delivering reliable, cutting-edge connectors for diverse applications and industries worldwide. Sullins provides the largest selection of 100% RoHS, UL/CUL approved edge cards and headers in the industry. Their high-level, high-density and high-temperature connectors are specifically designed for challenging applications used by leading manufacturers and engineers all over the world.

At In2Connect we have broken the new Sullins catalogue down into bite size product chapters, to give you the information you need, fast:

Visit for detailed information on our range of Sullins products:

High Density 1.00mm, 1.27mm Contact Centres
Bi-Level 1.27mm, 1.98mm, 2.54mm, 3.96mm Contact Centres
Dual Edged (back to back) 2.54mm Contact Centres
Male Card Edge 2.54mm Contact Centres
Female Card Edge 2.54mm, 3.18mm, 3.81mm Contact Centres
Sullins Headers
Sullins Economy Headers
Sullins Jumpers
Sullins D-Sub Connectors
Sullins Modular Jacks
Sullins Power Connectors

Sullins Wafers

Monday, 14 May 2012

New from SOURIAU's industrial TRIM TRIO® range! UTS Hi-Seal Waterproof Connector from In2Connect

UTS Hi-Seal Waterproof Connector

Souriau's UTS Hi seal range from In2Connect offers the solution to applications requiring interconnects to be sealed in both mated or unmated conditions when subjected to water immersion or high pressure cleaning.Specially designed for immersed applications such as water treatment or liquid flow-rate measurement, the connector is intermateable with metal Mil-C 26482 connectors and is available in 21 arrangements. The design is based on the MIL-DTL-26482 standard for metal style bayonet connectors. (equivalent standards are: NFC 93422, HE301B, BS9522-F0017, VG95328).

  • Wet & submerged environments
  • Instrumentation
  • Meteorological measurement system
  • Traffic control
  • Videosurveillance
  • Tunnel fans
  • Water measurement
Key Features:
  • Protection of electronics
  • Fully intermatable and interchangeable
  • Ideal for indoor/outdoor applications
  • Dynamic IP68/69K water protection
  • Corrosion resistance
  • Rapid and secure locking system
  • Suitable for overmoulding
  • RoHS Compliant

Sunday, 5 February 2012

Up to 40 Amps in or out of your PCB board using a D-sub?

Mixed layout combination d-sub connectors offer the ability to integrate signal contacts, 50 and 75 Ohm coax, high power, and high voltage contacts in a standard d-sub shell.
Within the standard range are combinations enabling 2, 3, 5 or 8 x 10A, 20A, 30A or 40A contacts or HV contacts to be used on their own, without signal contacts.These combination connectors all feature the polarised shielding D shell to prevent mis-mating; high density space saving packaging, and diverse mounting options. For example the 8 x 40Amp contacts sit in a shell size 4 which is the normal 37 way dsub footprint.
D-sub socket and plug connectors are available with solder cup, straight or right angled PCB contacts.

What's more, in line with most of our offerings, IP67 waterproof  power versions are available, both front and rear panel mounting. With this water resistant d-sub system, the back-potted and 'O' ring mounted panel connectors always ensure full IP67 conformity whether mated or unmated and can be further protected by an end cap when unmated. The mating d-sub cable end connector can have a waterproof hood This has a compression ring to stop the ingress of water via the cable entry point at the rear and a sealing skirt at the connector interface. The cable-end connection will not itself meet IP67 when unmated unless a waterproof cap is fitted. Once mated, then the total d-sub connexion interface, not just the panel mount dsub connector will conform to IP67.
Now you didn't think In2Connect would be doing that with a d-sub connector today ~ did you?

Saturday, 4 February 2012

Calling all single board computer builders!

ept's Colibri® connector is a shielded, 2-row, SMT interconnect system in 0.5 mm pitch. Both Plug and Receptacle are available with 8 mm stacking height and 220 or 440 pins. Designed to meet requirements of PICMG COM Express®, SFF-SIG Core Express® and nanoETXexpress. Intermatable with available connectors in the market from Tyco and Foxconn. The Colibri can also replace PC104 or Q7 connectors in single board computer builds.

COM Express: A Computer On Module (COM) form factor, is a highly integrated and compact PC that can be used in a design application much like an integrated circuit component. Each COM Express Module integrates core CPU and memory functionality, the common I/O of a PC/AT, USB, audio, graphics (PEG) and Ethernet. All I/O signals are mapped to two high density, low profile connectors on the bottom side of the module.
CoreExpress: CoreExpress, an advanced Computer On Module(COM) specification, was developed to accommodate modern processors like theIntel® Atom™. However, it isnot bound to Intel processors. Its tiny size and low power requirements make itthe ideal base for small, battery-powered, and wearable embedded PC devices.

Additional Colibri versions with flexible pin count as well as multiple stack heights are currently being developed.

Key Features:
Intermatable with connectors in the market
Robust connector design
Receptacle connector with ground pins
Plug connector with ground shield
Multiple stack heights
PICMG COM Express®
SFF-SIG Core Express®
Single board computers PC104

Contact us today to find out more

In2Connect UK Ltd supply commercial, industrial and military connectors worldwide. With over 40 years experience in cable and connectors, we provide effective solutions to PCB and cable-end interconnect challenges ~ from d-subs to multipin rectangular and circular, filtered and hermetic connectors, backplane connectors and edgecards; custom cable assemblies and optical fibre.
Tel: +44 (0)1962 773004


Thursday, 19 January 2012

EP&T - Electronic Products and Technology
There's much to consider when sourcing I/O connectors for harsh environments
By: Fred Kozlof, tech support, Conec Corp.

Despite all the warnings to avoid use of electrical devices in wet areas, it seems that designers are working at a fast pace to create devices that play well with water. Traditionally, most electronic boxes have been located in a sheltered, controlled environment. However, the proliferation of electronics into every industry has resulted in the need for designers to give serious consideration to enclosure and connector design elements that ensure a reliable product function for use in every environmental condition.
The most common harsh environment applications are found in the factory automation market, outdoor communications, portable or vehicle-mounted instrumentation or navigation systems, and security/surveillance equipment. The most common I/O connectors are D-subs, M12 and M8, RJ45 for Ethernet, USB 2.0, and LC fibre optic.


Sealing against liquid ingress

Just how ‘sealed' is a sealed connector? The industry has defined a range of Ingress Protection (IP) ratings, represented by a two-digit number. The first digit indicates the ability to shield against intrusion of foreign objects or particles, and the second digit indicates the strength of which the connection's ability to withstand various levels of pressure. Within the context of this article, the main ratings all start with a 6, which represents sealing against liquid:

* IP65, the ability to seal out low-pressure hose-directed liquids
* IP67, the ability to withstand light, temporary immersion in liquid (30 minutes@1 metre)
* IP68, the ability to withstand liquid immersion for a specified time and pressure
* IP69k, the ability to withstand very high-pressure liquid jets, directed at specified angles 

Most I/O connectors are not sealed to IP65 specifications. Design enhancements are required to achieve the most common harsh environment rating, IP67. This usually means component and assembly changes to incorporate potting materials/solder, adhesives or ultrasonic welding, extra gaskets, and reliable means to compress these elastomeric seals. This is seldom achieved through the simple addition of room temperature curing sealants. IP67-sealed D-subs are readily available, and they offer the enhancements of a panel-to-connector seal and an elastomeric interfacial seal on one of the connectors.
IP68 tends to be an application-specific rating, so there is no universal set of tests. Thus, details are unique to the application and specified by the designer. This can range from a continuous low static pressure (e.g. a pot filled with dielectric oil), to long-term submersion of an instrument at the bottom of a tank. Hermetic-rated connectors are often specified for these conditions, with all the costs and complexities of glass seals and special metals for bonding.
IP69k is a special category that tends to be used in factory automation applications, and requires all components to withstand ‘pressure washer' type cleaning operations. Circular connectors, like the M12 and M8 families of I/O and sensor connections, may require such a rating. These types of connectors are typically used in the food and beverage packing industry.

Materials compatibility

A wet environment immediately brings concerns about corrosion of metal parts. The most common tin-plated steel I/O connectors, like D-subs, do not fare well in wet applications. As a result, designers should consider various plated copper alloy shells, nickel- or tin-plated zinc die-casting, or even stainless steel. For example, CONEC offers a wide variety of D-subs that are available in these more exotic materials

In addition to retaining integrity in water, components also must withstand various lubricants, fuels, test chemical agents, or gases. Thus, typical connector materials might not be suitable for this type of application. Design engineers need to calibrate their selection of component materials to account for all chemical aspects in the operating environment including where the device will be located geographically, since cold climates pose different environmental challenges than warm locations.
Ethernet RJ45 connectors and USB ports are available in sealed configurations and for harsh environments, including factory automation, outdoor instrumentation, navigation, or communications equipment. The connector bodies are available in a variety of plastics, or even die-cast zinc.
With connectors, there is no ‘one size fits all' recommendation for material compatibility. The designer must optimize the product selection based on all aspects of the application environment.


Any time a device is used outside of a controlled environment, temperature extremes are sure to be a concern. Because of this, the normal temperature range of -25C to +85C is extended down to -40C or -55C, and up to 105C or 150C. Many connectors can withstand these extremes, but unique challenges should be considered. For example, thermal shock requirements can challenge even the most stringent MIL-spec standards, let alone commercial I/O connectors. Factoring in the need for sealing, plus the thermal shock parameters, choices quickly become limited. Most catalogue specifications do not detail thermal shock, so if this is important, designers must ensure the selected connector product testing matches these needs.
In the factory automation area, for example, using the circular family of connectors (e.g. M12 and M8) is optimal. Some are designed to withstand long-term exposure to 125C and 150C for 2,000 to 8,000 hours but most are rated from -30C to +85C, which is adequate for the typical sensor application. Again, selected connectors must be evaluated to the specific environmental needs of the application.

Don't Forget the Cables

Since I/O connections will involve a cable, the cable jackets need to be specified as well. Some performance parameters to consider include: UV and sunlight resistance, low temperature flex rating, chemical- or oil-resistance, weld slag tolerance, and high flex needs. It must also be able to withstand millions of cycles.
Cables may need a special hood/backshell to withstand the harsh environment. In the world of D-subs, there are liquid-sealed hoods available, which are also optimal for field installation. Overmoulded hoods are often a good choice, if implemented properly.
In the M12 and M8 families, overmoulded cable ends are extremely common. Overmoulding can improve durability, streamline size, and enhance the appearance of a cable connection. The increased durability is a result of the extra strain relief for wire terminations resulting from the overmould material bonding to the cable jacket. The overall assembly gives a high-reliability connector on each end with customer-specified cable properties in between.
Overmoulded connectors are available in right angle or straight, and shielded or unshielded options. They can also come with LEDs embedded in the overmould material for easy monitoring of signal integrity, or to indicate presence of power. These connectors are all IP rated as well.
RJ45, USB 2.0, and fibre optic LC connections, with their limited range of sizes and circular connector formats, are well suited to the use of field installed plug & boot kits. Factory-made cable sets are also available. Of course, shop pre-assembly is more typical in the case of LC connectors. The end result is an IP-rated connector system.

In summary, with proper design and careful component selection, the common connector formats for I/O connections can often be used in applications that require ruggedized components. With careful evaluation of the specifications, design engineers may be able to avoid expensive connector formats and utilize the cost savings of the various families of ruggedized commercial I/O connectors.