USB, D–sub & Computing Connectors

crimp connectorD–sub connectors and other computing connectors – including USB connectors – are ubiquitous and most people are familiar with the most common types. They vary tremendously in the way that they are assembled and in a way that they are affixed to other devices, such as PCBs, other cables and terminals.

Many D–sub connectors are affixed very securely to the device to which they are connected by way of screws and nuts, which makes them popular for use in industrial applications when as much safety and security as possible is required for the connections between various devices. Other types of computer connectors are designed mostly for convenience, such as the very common USB connectors that are used on just about every consumer device to some degree, from cellular phones to desktop computers to tablet devices.

Some connectors need to be designed with power considerations in mind, such as whether a device provides or receives power in normal usage conditions. Some connectors are designed to be incompatible with one another to accommodate this safety consideration, while other connectors are designed to be backward compatible with older connection technology. 

What are Crimp D–sub Connectors? What are they used for?

crimp connectorCrimp D–sub connectors are connectors that are manufactured in a specific way. Stripped wires are inserted into the rear of the contact. A crimper is used to compact the cavity into which the strip wires inserted. This forms a connection that is quite durable. The connector part of the device serves to keep the contactor in place, after it is inserted. These devices are not fixed once they are put together and contacts can be added to and removed from crimp D–sub connectors.

D–sub crimp connectors are utilized in many different applications. The fact that they are very easy to manufacture makes them one of the most affordable options, though they are also one of the most difficult options when it comes to trying to change the configuration of the connector after it has already been put together.

What are Leaded D–sub Connectors?

Leaded D–sub connectors come with the electrical leads already provided for the user. These can save time and make the device easier to construct if it is being designed from scratch or if it is being put together following an existing design.

What are Screw Terminal D–sub Connectors?

screw terminal D–sub connector is a D–sub connector that has screws built into it that are designed to interface with knots on the device to which it is connected. The most common version of these that people have likely seen are monitor cables, which have screws affixed to them that are designed to fit in a standardized socket for the D–sub connector that houses the leads for the video cord. The receiving connector is sometimes referred to as the female connector.

What are Solder D–sub Connectors?

Solder D–sub connectors have a cavity in the back of them into which a stripped wire is inserted in the desired position. That wire is then soldered by hand into the appropriate position. These are obviously less convenient than other types of D–sub connectors, in that changing the connection involves desoldering and re–soldering the connection.

What are Wire Wrap D–sub Connectors?

Wire wrap D–sub connectors are not commonly seen in finished devices. These are largely connectors used for prototyping purposes, when the connections on the connector may need to be changed at some point and when having them soldered or crimped in place may make that difficult. In wire wrap D–sub connectors, the wire is simply wrapped around a post to facilitate the desired connection on the D–sub.

What are D–sub Connector Backshells?

D–sub connector backshells fit over the connector itself, providing protection and a safe means of handling the connector. They are available in a wide variety of different designs, with screw type connectors and other types of connectors included so that the D–sub can be more firmly affixed to the connection for which it is intended.

The D–sub backshells are sometimes color–coded and sometimes have labeling on them, so they can be affixed to large modular boards and easily differentiated between in use.

What are D–sub Connector Contacts?

Connector contactsD–sub contacts are the individual contacts that are used as the actual insertable elements that go into the connection. These carry the signal from the source to the destination across the connection that the D–sub provides.

D–sub connector contacts are available in designs specific to crimped connections and other types of connections, and are available in various metals for specific applications. They are inexpensive parts in most cases, though most D–sub connectors are purchased with all of the contacts ready in place and already affixed to the cord to be used.

What are D–sub Connector Kits?

D–sub connector kits are designed so that a desired connector can be built from the ground up. These are oftentimes used in experimentation and prototyping, when an appropriate D–sub connector does not exist on the market for the job required.

D–sub connector kits can also be purchased to manufacture common types of connectors when control panels and other equipment is being manufactured from scratch. These kits will be differentiated by the type of contact termination they use, the gender of the connector, the number of contacts, the size of the shell and other criteria, all of which have to be taken into consideration when manufacturing a device or simply connecting two or more devices.

What are PCB D–sub Connectors?

PCB D–sub connectors hook directly to a PCB board. They will be differentiated between based on their gender, their mounting configuration, the orientation of the connector to the PCB when it is mounted and the number of contacts, as well as by other criteria. These are oftentimes seen utilized on removable boards that are attached to the computer motherboards and that provide functionality such as USB connectivity and other connector types.

What are Edge Connectors and what are they used for?

D–sub edge connectors are designed to provide connections between PCBs. They are embedded devices, are very compact and are utilized in a wide variety of different applications. Edge connectors are quite commonly utilized in testing equipment, communications equipment and other pieces of equipment where a permanently affixed edge connector is the most durable and reliable way to provide a connection between two different devices.

What are Firewire Connectors?

FireWire connectors are designed to work with the IEEE 1394 interface. This is a popular interface on Apple Computer devices. It is a serial bus interface that allows for very high speed connectivity between digital devices. This is a very flexible type of connector, in that it can be utilized with coaxial devices, fiber–optic devices and wireless devices. There are six– and four–connector versions of this particular serial bus.

FireWire connectors are oftentimes added to computers that do not ship with them by way of an expansion card that is installed directly on the motherboard. These connections are widely used in data intensive applications, due to their very high speed and their ability to maintain very high data transfer rates over time.

What are IDC D–sub Connectors?

IDC connectors are connectors that are affixed to a wire by driving metal contacts through the insulation on the wire. The acronym stands for Insulation Displacement Connector.

IDC D–sub connectors are oftentimes utilized inside computer cases, where they provide the connections between hard drives and the motherboard and other peripherals and the motherboard. These connections are very reliable and are ideal for many digital technologies. They are oftentimes achieved with simple crimping devices, that make it very easy and fast to create the exact type of connections required.

What are Memory Connectors?

Memory connectors are specific types of connectors that are generally found affixed to motherboards. They consist of a socket into which a memory module is inserted and the pins that are connected to the PCB in the correct configuration to allow functionality of the memory module. They also typically contain levers that lock the memory module into place once it is fully inserted into the socket.

There are many different variations on this type of connector. Most of them are provided with blocked out sections that conform to notches on the memory module, with each memory module having a different configuration to prevent it from being inserted into the wrong type of socket.

There are also smaller versions of these components, which may allow different forms of memory to be affixed to motherboards. For example, SO versions of memory connectors are smaller than the ones used on desktop motherboards, allowing them to be installed in laptop computers and in even smaller devices.

What are SIM Card Connectors?

SIM card connectors are designed to receive the SIM cards used in mobile phones and in some other devices. These are generally very small connectors that allow the SIM card to be inserted and removed easily from the device itself. This enables users, for example, to switch to a different phone without having to have the phone programmed, as they only need to swap out there SIM card and put it into the new phone.

What are Micro USB Connectors?

Micro USB connectors are designed to interface with compact devices, including cellular phones, tablet computers, cameras and so forth. They are even smaller than Mini USB connections, being approximately 1.5 mm thick.

This type of USB connector was introduced in 2007. It is one of the most common in use today and the shape and design of the connection prevents it from being improperly inserted into devices for which it is not designed.

What are Mini USB Connectors?

Mini USB ConnectorsMini USB connectors come in Mini–A and Mini–B configurations. These plugs are very small, being 3 x 7 mm, making them ideal for use in smaller electronic devices. They have very high durability. There are Mini–AB receptacles that can receive either type of Mini USB connector.

What are SCSI Connectors?

SCSI connectors are Small Computer System Interface connectors that are utilized to communicate information between peripheral devices and, quite often, the various components inside desktop computers. In addition to the types of connectors utilized for these connections, the standards that define SCSI also include commands utilized with these types of interfaces, the different variations on SCSI – electrical and optical, for instance – and more.

D–sub connectors interface with SCSI devices in many cases.

What are SCSI Connector Backshells?

SCSI connector backshells provide protection for the connections to which they are affixed and, in many cases, also provide color coding or other ways of differentiating one connector from another. These backshells can be selected specifically for very rugged applications, such as one would find in an industrial setting.

What are Spring Terminal D–sub Connectors?

Spring terminal D–sub connectors are designed to interface with the popular spring terminal design, which incorporates bare wires. The bare ends of the wire are inserted into the terminal, which is snapped shut. These are very convenient and very fast types of terminals that are oftentimes used in prototyping and other applications when creating an entire, fixed terminal may be impractical. D–sub connectors designed to work with spring terminals allow for an easy and quick interface between the two types of connections.

What are Type A USB Connectors?

Type A USB connectors are the most common types of USB connectors in use. They can function with USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 receptacles. A Type A connector has sophisticated functionality built right into the design. The way the connectors are arranged allows a device that is connected by way of the Type A connector to receive power before it starts transmitting data. This helps reduce errors and allows for reliable connectivity.

What are Type B USB Connectors?

Type B USB connectors are larger than Type A connectors and constitute something of a safety device. They prevent devices that take different amounts of power from being hooked up to one another and Type B USB 3.0 connectors prevent USB 3.0 devices from being hooked up to USB 2.0 devices. Type B connectors are typically used on devices that receive power, rather than supply it.