Common Connector Types For Electronics
Connectors are an essential part of many electronic devices, and they are used to join conductors together for the means of establishing electrical circuits. A connector can come in various forms depending on the application and its needs, and different types will present distinct methods of attachment and signal transfer. As different connector types may be more beneficial for select devices and needs, having a basic understanding of the most common variations can be beneficial when one is searching for the right fit for their requirements.
The JST connector is a type that is manufactured to the design standards originally developed by J.S.T. Mfg. Co., and they are common to numerous electronic products. With their ability to connect two different boards or modules, JST connectors may be used for rechargeable battery packs, 3D printers, radio-controlled servos, and various other hobbyist and consumer products. For their construction, the JST connector encases its contacts within a plastic case, and the case will regularly feature a locking mechanism to retain its connection.
Screw terminal connectors are commonly used for printed circuit boards in order to supply power, and they are designed to manage high voltage and current values. With the use of screws, the connection of the screw terminal can be optimally secured, and typical variants include the 1-pin, 4-pin, 6-pin, and 8-pin type. As screw terminals serve PCB power supply operations, they are designed to accommodate both AC and DC applications.
RF connectors, or radio frequency connectors, are a special form of coaxial connector that is well suited for high frequency radio applications. In order to shield the signals that are transported through such connectors, the component is designed with multiple wires that are wrapped around a single core. As a type of coaxial cable, the connector is also engineered to reduce signal interference and power losses that may hinder transfer quality. In general, RF connectors are used for television receivers, Wi-Fi devices, two-way radios, and more.
Audio and Video Connectors
Audio and video connectors can come in varying types depending on their role, and common ones include the 3.5 mm headphone jack, DIN connector, and HDMI connector.
The 3.5 mm headphone jack is a form of phone connector, and they are often used for transferring analog audio signals. While many new phones have since moved on to Bluetooth technology, numerous models still feature a 3.5 mm jack for the means of connecting headphones or audio cables.
The DIN connector is also used for analog audio signals, and they feature three or more metal pins that are situated within a conducting ring. Featuring a notch on one side, the connector’s design ensures that it may only be inserted in the correct orientation. For their applications, DIN connectors are commonly used for loudspeaker inputs, MIDI devices, and other audio applications.
HDMI connectors are those that are designed to interface with a compatible source for the means of transferring uncompressed video data and either compressed or uncompressed digital audio. As a connector that has superseded analog video standards, HDMI connectors are regularly used alongside compatible televisions, monitors, projectors, and digital audio devices.
The USB connector is a very versatile type, and they are a standard protocol for connectors in regard to data transfer and power supply. USB connectors are a widely used and available connector type, commonly being used for phones, cameras, laptops, computer systems, and more. USBs also come in various types, the most common being USB Type-A and USB Type-C connectors.
Pin headers are regularly found on printed circuit boards, and they are a simplistic connector that is fairly cheap and widely available. When connected to a PCB, the pin header permits the easy attachment and removal of various modules. Headers may also come in a variety of forms, the most common being through-hole and surface mount devices.