The connector industry's ability to make extremely dense connectors with very small pin spacing has spawned many new designs for space-conscious applications. The term "small form factor connector" specifically applies to fiber optic connectors. However, connector suppliers have identified the need for small connectors in many other applications. Portable products are an obvious case for small. The limited space in harsh sensing applications is another. Since these connectors address space constraints unique to a particular product or group of products, they typically are also application specific. Here are three very different small connectors for three very different applications.
CAMERA REMOTE CONTROL CONNECTION
In a portable product such as a camera connector, space is definitely at a premium. Canon's newest EOS cameras such as the EOS 20D ( http://rbi.ims.ca/4416-582), EOS 10D, 1D, D60, D30, D2000, 1v/1vHS, and 3 models use a new, proprietary connector for the shutter release trigger that locks with a simple push. The small N-3 connector has three pins for shutter, focus, and ground. New shutter release trigger accessories, such as the remote switch, RS-80N3, have the N-3 male connector that mates to the female connector designed into the camera body. To connect to older accessories with a T3 connector, Canon offers the Remote Switch Adapter RA-N3. For more information on Canon's N3 connector, go tohttp://rbi.ims.ca/4416-514.
Micro Coaxial Wire-to-Board Connector
Micro coaxial wire-to-board connectors from Molex Inc. provide space savings and noise protection for mobile equipment applications. The 0.40 mm (0.016 inch) pitch low-profile connectors include top- and side-entry pc board receptacles and cable plugs to accommodate various design needs. The side-entry version offers a mated height of 1.15 mm (0.045 inch). A friction lock secures mating retention and gold-plated terminals offer stable electrical contact for multiple cycles. The thinly bundled coaxial cable can route signals through hinges and other tight packaging. Shielding on the cable and connectors protects against noise and electrostatic discharge (ESD) interference. The system also uses insulation displacement technique (IDT) termination technology, providing a more reliable and economical form of harness assembly versus hand soldering methods. For more information on Molex wire-to-board connectors, go tohttp://rbi.ims.ca/4416-513.
Marketed as the world's smallest sensor connector, Balluff's M5 Sensor Connector targets 4- and 5-mm diameter inductive sensors. The M5 is part of a sensor/connector/cabling approach for production lines and associated OEM production machinery designs. The unit's stainless steel construction addresses the harsh environment found in these applications. A thread-locking ring prevents inadvertent disconnection from vibration. The IP 67 rated connector has a molded-on polyurethane (PUR) cable with three #26 AWG. An LED built into the barrel indicates a powered sensor. Supply voltage ranges from 10 to 30V. Connector cables are offered in straight- or right-angle versions. Typical applications include grippers, semiconductor and electronic industry, in-die sensing, and any application requiring multiple sensors within a very small area. For more information on Balluff's M5 sensor connector, go tohttp://rbi.ims.ca/4416-515.