Electrical connectors are an electro-mechanical device used to join electrical circuits as an interface. For this, engineers use a mechanical assembly. These connectors are comprised of jacks, which have a female end and plugs with a male end. What makes electrical connectors so important is that they can be used for both temporary and permanent solutions, including using an adaptor to bring dissimilar connectors together.
When it comes to electrical connectors, there are literally hundreds of different types. Within the world of computing, electrical connectors, also referred to as physical interfaces, are commonly used. While cable connectors are connected to devices with wires, electrical connectors connect electrically.
Because there are so many different end-products, electrical connectors have unique roles. Following are some examples of the electrical connectors used most frequently.
- 8P8C—Using the acronym for “eight positions/eight conductors,” these electrical connectors are modular, complete with eight positions that all contain conductors. Although there are many uses, these connectors are most recognized in CAT5 and Ethernet cables. Although these connectors resemble RJ45 cables used for landline telephones, the socket into which the end of the connector fits is different.
- D-Subminiature—These electrical connectors are found on IBM-compatible computers and certain modem ports. Although primarily used for testing, computers, and telecommunications, D-subminiature electrical connectors come in variants, some with solid machined contacts, crimp and PCB mounts, thermocouple contact options, and so on.
- USB—Using the acronym for Universal Serial Bus, this connector is standard to interface devices. Although commonly used in the manufacturing of Mac, Apple, and PCs, these electrical connectors come in different types and serve different purposes.
- Power—More commonly referred to as AC power plugs/sockets and DC connectors, there are several types of this sort of connector. For example, these also encompass industrial and multiphase power plugs/sockets, as well as NEMA connectors. The primary purpose of these electrical connectors is to prevent people from being shocked accidentally if they come into contact with energized conductors. Included with power connectors are safety ground connections and power conductors.
- Radio Frequency—Another common use for electrical connectors is the radio frequency (RF) connector. Used at radio frequencies, it is essential that these connectors do not change the transmission line’s impedance.