D-Subminiature connectors, also known as D-Subs, are important to a broad range of markets and applications, including commercial, industrial, defence, aerospace and high-performance computer technology. They work equally well for data, signal and power transmission and can be easily assembled in the field. Over time, they have evolved into an almost ubiquitous connector, equally common in both office spaces and harsh environments.
What is a D-Sub connector?
Unlike more conventional circular connectors, D-Sub connectors have parallel rows of contacts surrounded by a D-shaped metal shell (from which they get their name). This metal shell not only helps with proper mating, but also provides support, assists in ensuring correct orientation and can also provide EMI shielding. D-Sub connectors typically have threaded nuts that accept screws to ensure a tight fit and to further relieve any mechanical strain, ensuring the integrity of the connection.
Specifying the correct D-Sub connector
D-Sub connectors are extremely versatile and available in a range of shell sizes. They are available in a variety of contact layouts, including straight and right-angle mounts, solder cups, crimp and high-density variants. In addition, they are available in standard, commercial and Mil-Spec versions.
Keep in mind that when trying to select the right type of D-Sub connector for your design, the most important characteristics are the type, form factor, size, density and cost. Let’s take a look at three of the most commonly used types of D-Sub connectors: Micro-D, Combo-D and high density.
Micro-D connectors have been specifically designed for applications requiring rugged, durable, high-performance interconnects that are also well-adapted to situations where space and weight must be kept at a minimum. One Micro-D connector solution is the Cinch Dura-Con Micro-D connector series.
These connectors maintain integrity, even in the presence of extreme vibration and shock, include a twist pin technology to create seven points of contact and have an operating temperature range from -55°C to 125°C. These Cinch connectors are designed to MIL-DTL-83513 standards and support a wide range of both commercial and military applications.
Combo D-Sub connectors
Combination D-Sub connectors combine multiple interconnect types into one fully-shielded product, which decreases the number of I/O interfaces required and significantly reduces the possibility of EMI/RFI leakage.
ITT Cannon Combination D-Sub connectors have proven ideal for applications that require optimisation of space while improving overall shielding, such as video coaxial transmission, RF and telecom transmission (50 Ω) and power interconnects (up to 40 A). These ITT Cannon connectors are commonly used in aerospace, defence, industrial and transportation applications. In addition to offering a versatile range of contact combinations, they also come in various shell types, including RoHS compliant versions, dimpled shells and stainless-steel shells for durability.
High density D-Sub connectors
High density D-Sub connectors are designed for use in harsh environments as well as general signal use in industrial, military and aerospace applications. As their name implies, the contact density is higher than a standard D-sub connector, reducing their overall form factor.
Positronic high-density D-Sub connectors include size 22 signal and thermocouple machined contacts and offer wire, right-angle solder, or straight solder termination options. In addition, these Positronic D-Subs are qualified to SAE AS39029 and meet the performance standards for GSFC S-311-P4 and MIL-DTL-24308 Class M standards.
PEI-Genesis’ offering for D-Sub connectors
D-Sub connectors are typically chosen for their ability to maintain a connection even in rugged, harsh environments, not to mention their versatility and wide range of potential applications.
PEI-Genesis is certified to build D-Sub connectors for brands including Positronic, ITT Cannon, Cinch Connectivity Solutions and others and assembles them in world-class automated facilities. Whether you need the connectors for basic data communication in a commercial setting or for a military design where reliability is critical, PEI-Genesis’ team of experts can work with you to find the right solution to your connector needs.
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