What are Wire-to-Board Connectors?
Meet the Connector: Wire-to-Board Connectors
Wire-to-board connectors bring power and signal to a printed circuit board (PCB) by connecting a group of discrete wires to the board. There are no standard wire-to-board connectors; the various types are specific to the manufacturers who produce them.
Wire-to-board connectors can be specified based on several features. These include housing size and material, stacking height (the height of the connector from the circuit board), and pin pitch (the distance between the centers of two conductors – often two pins next to each other.) The number of contacts, the length of the contacts, and the number of contact rows can be specified as well.
A locking mechanism, such as a friction lock, full lock, or quick disconnect, is incorporated into the connector. Applications that require greater security may use a locking bar or snap-fit connection to ensure that the wire stays securely in the socket.
Wire-to-board connectors can be surface mounted to the PCB or have pins that go through the board and are soldered to the other side.
The wire termination method used inside the connector depends on the wire size and number of contacts. Connectors that handle significant power have crimped-on contacts for good mating between the wire and contact and no heating. Mass termination connectors that hold 20 or more wires can be designed for automated soldering.
Like many electronic connectors, wire-to-board connectors are getting smaller as space on PCBs becomes less available. This has led to the popularity of ultra-compact connectors with profiles under 1.5 mm that are compatible with automated surface mount assembly in high-volume manufacturing. Gold-plated contacts and strain relief capabilities add to the reliability of these tiny connectors.
Wire-to-board connectors are efficient and cost-effective. They are used in a variety of applications including automotive, industrial, telecommunications, lighting and displays, commercial electronic equipment, and household appliances.
Color coding: Housings can be color-coded for accurate installation.
Wire-to-board connectors serve every electronics market, from Medical electronics and Industrial equipment to 3C/Consumer, and high-reliability applications.