Almost all electrical appliances that we use today have PCB. We also call it Printed Circuit Boards, which helps link PCB Connector Types between different parts on the board. Some devices require more than one PCB. Such a device will need a series of equipment to establish a connection on the board.
Printed Circuit Boards houses the PCB connectors. It helps transfer signals from one PCB to another. Manufacturers also use it to transfer power from one PCB within the unit.
PCB board connectors exist in two broad categories: Wire-to-board and board-to-board. PCB connector types allow for flexibility in design as manufacturers can build smaller sub-systems. With this, users can connect various parts.
That allows manufacturers to meet design needs and customer requirements. With this, future upgrades or repair will not pose any issue.
Here is a video that shows different types of connectors for PCB.
PCB Connector Types
We have countless electronics that use PCB board connectors. As a result, the design must suit the type, size, and function. With this, there are numerous PCB connector types available.
It is a PCB connector type that connects a wire to a printed circuit board. The device makes it easy to have connections between circuits.
Board-to-board Connectors allows manufacturers to connect PCB without a cable. This connection allows for a signal connection between two PCBs. It can be a permanent connection that will require a "fit and forget" approach. The device connects two PCBs using pins and receptacles.
Male PCB Connectors / Pin headers
Also known as pin headers, these are simply a row of pins with different spacing. The spacing could be 0.1, 0.2, 0.197 inches apart.
Female PCB Connectors:
We also call this the socket or header receptacles. It accommodates the male connector tightly, which creates a through the passage for the signal (power or data)
It is a particular type of PCB connector that can connect with other PCBs. It helps increase data rates and reduce signal rise. The backplane connector is a support structure that allows connection for other PCBs. It also serves as a plane to enable users to integrate other system components known as a daughterboard.
USB PCB Connector
It is the most common type of PCB connector today. It is not surprising as the USB connector finds application in many devices we use. Examples are tablets, keyboards. Smartphones, digital camera, computer mice, and others
All USB connectors come with at least four contact points. One receives power, and one is the ground. The remaining two transmit and receive the data.
USB-A: Almost every computer and laptop device today have the female end of the USB type A version. Besides, the female end is the receptacle while the male part is present in various devices. Examples of such accessories are the mouse, keyboards, memory sticks., etc.
USB-B: You will find type B USB in standard electronic devices like music players. In the USB family, they are tough, strong, and bulky. Type-B USB finds application in a device where size is not an issue.
USB-Micro: this is a new release in the USB family. It is present in modern phones, external hard drives, tablets, digital cameras, etc. Like other USB types, the male part connects to the female part.
USB-C: Type C USB connector is also one of the latest releases in the USB family. It stands out with a few advantages over other types. It features an upgraded strength that allows it to transmit data, video, and power simultaneously. Also, USB Type C stands out as a unique USB type with the absence of polarity. It makes connections possible in any orientation without having to flip and flop.
PCB Connector Types-- RCA Connectors
RCA connectors have been around for almost a century. Before the new millennium, nearly all types of devices use RCA connectors. They are robust connectors that transmit stereo audio, composite and component videos, and S/PDIF audio. Gradually, RCA connectors are becoming extinct as you will hardly come across a compatible device.
PCB Connector Types-- Audio Connectors
Connectors come in various sizes. As a result, the size determines the application of use. With the invention of Bluetooth technology, however, we see fewer audio connectors.
We have three types of Audio connectors:
PCB Connector Types-- ¼” (6.35mm)
You will mostly find this in musical instruments like guitars (the electric type) and amplifiers.
PCB Connector Types-- ⅛” (3.5mm)
It is the most common type of audio connector. Headphones inserted into MP3 players, laptops, PCs, and smartphones use the 3.5mm audio connector.
PCB Connector Types-- 2.5mm
Finally, we have the 2.5mm audio connector. It allows manufacturers to have both a headphone and a microphone in a single jack.
PCB Connector Types-- PCB Power Connector
The primary responsibility of the power PCB connector is to transmit power, not videos, not audios. They provide power for all electrical devices, which makes them popular in many devices today. Also, the power PCB connector comes in multiple varieties:
PCB Connector Types-- Barrel Connectors
While the barrel power connector is old, it's pretty versatile. It makes it find application in many devices we use today. You can easily identify a barrel connector with the large converter adapter boxes (the AC/DC type). What makes a barrel conductor stand out is the ability to adapt to a series of power ratings and demand.
Here are three essential things to look for in a barrel connector:
- The sleeve is the covering which could be rubber or plastic. Also, the size might either be 3.5mm or 5.5mm.
- The pin is the metal contact of the connector. Its size is usually a factor of the sleeve. As a result, a 5.55mm sleeve will come with a 2.1mm pin.
- Barrel conductors have a polarity, which is also a factor of the sleeve and pin. While the sleeve provides the 0V, the tip supplies the positive voltage.
Manufacturers use Molex connectors to transmit a high current amount. So this is why we use them majorly in computers. Here, it powers internal drives along with other devices. The ability to allow a massive amount of current to pass makes them applicable for use in special electronic devices.
Molex connectors, however, are bulky, and each pin can carry as much as 11 amps.
IEC Connector is a transmission system for direct AC power. Typically, you will find this on older electronics like TVs and desktop computers. There is, however, no AC/DC converter as these electronics come with devices that can handle the conversion.
Finally, we have a JST connector, a product of a Japanese Company called JST. And this is a compact and reliable PCB connector which we recommend for near-permanent application. On connecting, it cannot be easy to dismantle. It is an ideal choice if you need a reliable connection.
Pin Header Connectors
Although pin header connectors are not very common in modern laptops, many desktops still use them. Pin header connectors help transmit video, power, and others. It explains why they can supply power to the CPU fan, light, hard drive power, etc. As a result, they appear as small groups of pins pointing upward.
There are, however, various configurations of the pin. The most common type is a single or double row of connectors.
Prototyping and testing Connectors
There are some scenarios in which installing a permanent connector does not make sense. When you consider the type and effort, it is better to have a temporary connector. As a result, it will make it easy for users to assemble and disassemble.
Here are some prototyping and testing connectors:
It involves wounding wires (wires stripped of insulation) directly under a screw. You can hold this with a metal plate or a set of screws inside a metal or plastic screws.
Many electronic testing equipments like voltmeter and multi-meter, do have banana jack connectors. Users can establish a single power connection using a male banana jack connector plug that fits into a female banana plug.
Finally, we have alligator clips for people working on test circuits. More specifically, it applies to people that need to experiment with different connection types. They are made majorly for temporary use.
IC clip is a good choice for people that need a connector with more rigidity. Users can attach these clips to their tools. They can also use this clip directly on the pins without contacting a neighboring pin in an integrated circuit.
It is an old technology that once came in male and female parts. They feature a screw-type coupling mechanism, which reduces reflection by making sure that the contact is uniform. As a result, they apply to frequencies up to 18 GHz and could be more.
RF Connector Conventions
These are PCB connectors that operate at radio frequencies. They are common in old TV antennas, and they help achieve clear TV signals then.
RP SMA Connectors
RP-SMA is the source of reversed polarized SMA connectors. This connector comes with a female type antenna, which provides the perfect channel for people to use their electronics without ruining it.
PCB Edge Connector / card Edge Connector
With PCB edge connectors, manufacturers can link printed circuit boards to expansion slots.
Also known as Registered Jacks, these were common in the early telecommunication industry. The RJ conductor houses a series of conductors that transmit both power and current. As a result, they are common in office phones that receive power and data from a single Ethernet cable.
We also call D-Sub Connectors D-subminiature connectors. They are classic connectors that come in various sizes. It is common in computers and available in different types. However, this depends on the shell size and the number of the pin. Also, they help transfer power and data between two devices.
PCB Terminal Block Connectors
Terminal block connectors come with two main parts – the wire and the terminal block. Also, it provides an easy way to connect parts temporarily together.
You will find post connectors in audio applications and other test equipment. The connection and removal of this connector are easy. You can fasten this connector using clamps and screws.
Plug and Sockets
These are very common PCB connectors. They feature male and female parts, as the name suggests. Also, they apply to a series of connection scenarios like data transmission and power supplies.
Additional Connector Types
- Solidworks PCB connector
- Flexible PCB connector/flex PCB connector
- PCB mount connector
- High current PCB connector
- PCB pin connector
- PCB jumper connector
- Right angle PCB connector
- Waterproof PCB connector
- High voltage PCB connector
Various PCB types apply to many devices we use today. Measuring devices like voltmeter, computers and laptops, televisions, radios, and many devices today feature varieties of PCB type.
Here is a comprehensive list of the PCB connector types. The availability of various PCB connector types brings about flexibility in manufacturing. With it, designers and engineers can manufacture various appliances to suit multiple design specifications.
While some types of PCB connectors are gradually becoming extinct, we still have many that find application in many appliances today.