What are ARINC 600 Connectors?
Meet the Connector: ARINC 600 rack and panel connectors
ARINC 600 connectors are a standardized rack and panel connectors used primarily for avionics applications. This modular packaging standard provides mechanical, electrical, and environmental interfaces between line-replaceable units (LRUs) and racks or cabinets. It takes the form of a rectangular molded insulator in a composite or metal shell, each of which is fitted with application-specific combinations of contacts in various configurations that support high-speed data, power, signal, and fiber optics (with adaptors). Shells are typically mounted using screws or solder. ARINC 600 connectors are available in twinax, coax, and quadrax configurations.
For more than 40 years, ARINC 600 connectors have circled the planet. This mainstay component of modern avionics helped usher in the era of modern air travel and transport, enabling comfort, safety, navigation, communication, and connectivity functions in commercial and military aircraft. ARINC 600 connectors are also used in some military ground vehicles.
ARINC (Aeronautical Radio, Incorporated), established in 1929, was chartered by the Federal Radio Commission to serve as the single coordinator of radio communication for the airline industry. ARINC developed standards related to components used in aircraft communications equipment, including standards for trays and receptacles that hold radio units. Until 2007, the company was owned by four major airlines. In 2017, ARINC’s Industry Activities Division, responsible for standards development activities, was sold to SAE International. The ARINC 600 Working Group continues to modify the standard to serve the high-density, size, and weight goals of future aircraft design. Activities are currently underway to develop a new size of the standard connector for single-aisle aircraft. Associate members of the groups facilitating these activities include AirBorn, Carlisle Interconnect Technologies, Radiall, and TE Connectivity.
The ARINC 600 is an important offering available from many connector companies, particularly those with expertise in aerospace and military markets.
ARINC 600 connectors can be specified with application-specific insert arrangements of power, coax, and fiber connections, including twinax and quadrax formats, Ethernet, Firewire, 100 Base-T, and Fibre Channel. Inserts are typically field-replaceable, and many versions facilitate blind mating.
- Standards ARINC connectors are available in several series. The ARINC 600 is the successor to the earlier ARINC 404 (MIL-C-81659). The ARINC 400 series pertains to wiring, data buses, and databases. The ARINC 500 series is an earlier range that was used in analog aircraft navigation equipment. Within the 600 series, 21 application-specific subtypes serve test equipment, software functions, communications protocols, and other systems.
- Mating Cycles ARINC 600 connectors are typically designed to withstand 500-800 low insertion force mating cycles, depending on manufacturer.
- Spacing ARINC 600 connectors are a low-profile modular connector designed to be mounted closely together in crowded panels and space-constrained environments.
- Materials Metals used for ARINC 600 receptacles include stainless, aluminum, and alloys. Inserts may include plastic. Materials must meet flammability, optical smoke density, outgassing requirements, and RoHS requirements.
- Ruggedization ARINC 600 connectors are designed for rugged performance in high-reliability and harsh environment avionics applications. Operating conditions include vibration, shock, temperature extremes, radiation, rough handling, chemicals, and other environmental factors. Many suppliers offer environmental or non-environmental options. A sealed version of this connector may include silicone or rubber O-ring gaskets between the shell and inserts or a sealing sleeve to surround mated connectors.
- Sealing A sealed version of this connector may include silicone or rubber O-ring gaskets between the shell and inserts or a sealing sleeve to surround mated connectors.
- Interference Electromagnetic interference (EMI) and radio-frequency interference (RFI) is a significant concern for aviation environments filled with electronic equipment. The use of metal in the shell and ground terminal helps mitigate this concern and many manufacturers offer enhanced shielding.
- Filters Filtered versions are available from some manufacturers. Planar filter arrays and TVS diodes may be integrated into some configurations.
Markets, Sectors, and Applications
Commercial and military aircraft (in-flight entertainment, communications systems, climate controls, landing gear), ground vehicles, air conditioning systems, data acquisition boxes, Test & Measurement
ARINC 400, 500, 600, 700, and 800 Series