Modular Rectangular Connectors

By Christine Stieglitz | October 22, 2019

This week’s Product Roundup highlights modular rectangular connectors from leading suppliers for applications in the industrial, military and aerospace, datacom/telecom, medical, and transportation markets.

Modular Rectangular Connector Products

Phoenix ContactModular Rectangular Connectors from Phoenix Contact’s HEAVYCON Complete modular rectangular connectors support flexible combinations of various housings, frames, modules, contact inserts, contacts, and terminal adapters for broad application suitability and employ housings that are mounting- and plug-in-compatible with aluminum housings from other well-known manufacturers for even more extensive utility. They are also designed to protect the modular interfaces and ensure the safe, reliable transmission of media including power, signals, data, and compressed air in extreme environmental conditions, incorporating IP69K protection from dirt, dust, and water, rugged resistance to high mechanical strain and vibration, and EMC-ready conductive surfaces and seals. The extremely customizable, user-friendly series is available in all conventional sizes with a variety of fixed-position and modular inserts and connection technologies — including Push-In and QUICKON insulation displacement contacts (IDCs) capable of achieving high-reliability cable connections in seconds — and supports the quick and easy snap-in insertion of both modules into frames and frames into housings. It also offers three standard housing styles with matching contact inserts: versatile HEAVYCON STANDARD corrosion-resistant metal housings with a single or double locking latch, HEAVYCON EVO housings with flexible cable outlet direction and swiveled bayonet locking, and robust, cost-effective, direct-mounting HEAVYCON ADVANCE housings.

Smiths InterconnectModular Rectangular Connectors from Smiths’s L Series High-Density Modular Connectors allow users to quickly and easily build custom cable-to-panel and rack-and-panel solutions that satisfy their exact application requirements with off-the-shelf components including various frame lengths and styles — ranging from basic frames with two side rails and two end caps to complex versions with half-turn, quick-disconnect jackscrews, metal backshells, plastic hoods, strain relief, and cable clamps — various module lengths and styles capable of supporting custom combinations with a single connector frame, and various fixed and snap-in signal, power, and coaxial contacts. The modular rectangular connector series also employs Hypertac® hyperboloid contacts, which exhibit low insertion and extraction forces in even high-density configurations, as well as excellent immunity to shock and vibration, and deliver high-reliability performance for up to 100,000 mating cycles. Additional features include minimal contact resistance, efficient power consumption, high current ratings up to 200A per contact, outstanding design flexibility, low cost of ownership, a float-mounting option that enables blind mating, and optional compliance with EN45545 standards. The series is ideal for use in harsh-environment defense, industrial, medical, and rail applications with demanding ruggedization and durability requirements, including heavy equipment and machinery, factory automation and test and measurement equipment, rolling stock, and other rail infrastructure.

Modular Rectangular Connectors from TE Connectivity

TE Connectivity’s new MULTI-BEAM Plus connectors are the latest evolution of its highly successful MULTI-BEAM power connector line. The new MULTI-BEAM Plus connectors share the same low-profile dimensions and enable the same through-system airflow as previous designs — including the MULTI-BEAM XL, MULTI-BEAM XLE, and MULTI-BEAM HD power connectors — but satisfy the demand for higher-power solutions by providing 100A or 140A per contact for four adjacent contacts designed to improve dimension stability. The scalable and modular MULTI-BEAM Plus connectors also support greater flexibility in configuration and PCB design, are manufactured with thicker RoHS-compliant, high-temperature resin materials for improved durability, and feature high-conductivity copper alloy contacts and high-density tails for higher current carrying capabilities. Additional features include low mating force requirements (a maximum of 7.12N for power contacts and 1.0N for low-power contacts), resistance to shock and vibration (50G per EIA-364 and 4.9G, 20–500Hz, respectively), and a maximum of 250 mating cycles in operating temperatures extending from -40°C to +125°C. Ideal applications include power systems and data center, telecom, and industrial automation equipment.

Modular Rectangular Connectors from Radiall

Radiall’s OCTIS Modular Interface Connector Harness can accommodate various interfaces in a single housing and, just like the rest of the OCTIS line, is made to enhance the design of small, high-performance 4.5G and 5G radio equipment, wireless systems, industrial, and energy applications and deliver 20-year lifespans in harsh environments. The new modular rectangular connector is based on the wider (41mm) OCTIS solution that was made to enable the use of QSFP transceivers on remote radio heads and released to market in 2018, maintains its exceptionally small form factor and rugged design, and is currently available with Ethernet (up to Cat 6A), AC or DC power, coax (SMP-Com), and multi-contact modules. Features including visual and physical coding, blind mating capabilities, and full assembly of the plugs on the cable make it quick and easy to install, while features including IP67/68 water- and dust-proof connections, EMI shielding, strain relief, and corrosion, extreme temperature, vibration, flammability, UV, fungus, and lightning resistance make it suitable for use in harsh environments. In addition, interface options including SFP, RJ45 for tab-up and tab-down sockets, DC power with two contacts and cable shielding, AC power with three contacts, 8–12 multipin signal contacts compatible with Cat 5E, combo DC power and multipin signal, and universal for LC duplex, SC, and USB make it extremely versatile and well suited for a wide range of applications.

WeidmüllerModular Rectangular Connectors from Weidmuller’s RockStar® ModuPlug is designed to provide extensive, future-proof flexibility and functionality in the smallest of installation spaces to support increasingly complex and demanding industrial applications including panel building and automation equipment. The modular, plug-in connector system meets current market requirements and has a safe, easy-install design with a coded, two-point fixture that allows for tool-less installation and removal and supports quick and easy retrofitting in anticipation of future needs. It is available with dozens of sophisticated frames and modules that can be combined within a single interface to meet an extensive range of power, signal, and data transmission requirements and can also achieve significant space, weight, and cost savings compared with fixed-pole inserts and other modular plug-in connector systems. The modules feature a tight pitch that essentially doubles the number of module spaces and achieves increased functionality in the same space as competing solutions, are available in four different widths, and are extremely easy to install and integrate into HDC enclosures with IP65 and IP68 protection classes. Module options include space-saving, high-performance 100A modules, high-density signal contact modules with 36 signal contacts at a rated voltage of 250V, and two-pole bus modules with 360° shielding designed to support integration of up to two Cat 6A connections capable of up to 10Gb/s performance. The series also offers quick and easy customization via the company’s RockStar ModuPlug Online Configurator and can easily integrated into existing systems without the need for system adjustments. Free sample sets consisting of frames, modules, and a matching screwdriver are available upon request.

Amphenol PcdModular Rectangular Connectors from Amphenol Pcd’s EN4165 SIM Connectors are modular rectangular connectors designed to deliver MIL-DTL-38999-style performance with the added benefits of a smaller footprint and increased versatility in commercial aviation and military applications. Comprised of shells and modules that combine to deliver multifunctional solutions compatible with advanced signal and power requirements in a fraction of the space typically required to achieve the same results, the series is fully qualified to EN4165 European military aerospace standards, enables quick and easy module upgrades rather than connector change-outs for enhanced design flexibility, and can be customized to suit specific application requirements. Options include two- and four-module shielded or unshielded metallic or composite shells with various plating options, standard or flange-mount receptacles that can be assembled side-by-side on a panel, standard or rack-and-panel plugs, easily removable click-in modules, polarization mechanisms, and a broad range of rear accessories, including covers and cable clamps. The series is fully intermateable with MBBN-3330- and EN4165-compliant connectors, designed to withstand shock and vibration, and rated for a minimum of 500 mating cycles in operating temperatures extending from -55°C to +175°C.

Modular Rectangular Connectors from Cinch

Cinch Connectivity Solutions’ new C-ENX™ Galley Connectors are designed and built to the ARINC 810 standard for use in commercial aerospace galley applications, including beverage makers, ovens, microwaves, refrigerators, chillers, and trash compactors, and are also standardized to EN4644. The modular rectangular connectors feature stackable nickel-plated aluminum shells that provide weight reductions and mechanical protection and don’t require any additional space for locking and unlocking, modular inserts with interchangeable and intermateable parts that reduce manufacturing and operating costs, spring-floating mounting hardware that compensates for equipment and cabinet misalignment and supports blind mating, centered guide pins and sockets that further support blind mating, and standardized contacts that help ensure timely availability. They can also accommodate six power contacts and 24 signal contacts and can include a twinax connector for CAN data bus connections. In addition, like all C-ENX connectors, the new C-ENX Galley Connectors provide optimized stacking capabilities and space reductions compared to circular connectors, employ the same panel cutouts to reduce rework and complexity, enable field replacement, and require standard mil-spec tools for contact crimping, insertion, and extraction.

Modular Rectangular Connectors from HARTING and Newark

Newark stocks HARTING’s newly released Han® ES Press HMC (High-Mating Cycle) interface, which is especially designed to support flexible production in a wide variety of harsh-environment and high-vibration applications that require ability to quickly install machines and modules, reconfigure them at will, and operate them without disruption. The new Han ES Press HMC interface enables simple, fast, and tool-free installation, offers fast detachability to facilitate servicing, and is robust enough to be connected and disconnected up to 10,000 times. It’s compatible with standard Han housings in sizes 6B to 24B, many of which offer locks and seals optimized for high-mating-cycle applications and all of which now feature contacts and grounding elements with a special abrasion-resistant surface coating, and its contact inserts are equipped with a pretensioned cage clamp that is triggered by an actuator. When the actuator is pushed into the contact chamber, the cage clamp returns to its original position and secures the conductor. Disconnection requires only a screwdriver.

Modular Rectangular Connectors from ODU

ODU recently expanded its ODU-MAC® Blue-Line with the release of the new ODU-MAC PUSH-LOCK hybrid connector, which offers ergonomic, economical, easy-to-use, and highly versatile solutions in an extremely compact form factor especially designed to support the growing trend towards miniaturization across multiple markets. The new modular rectangular connector can quickly and easily be equipped with various clip-in module inserts — including signal, power, high-frequency signal (coax), compressed air, fluid, and high-speed data transmission modules — that also make it very easy to clean and can accommodate up to seven units at maximum packing density with a minimum order quantity (MOQ) of just one. It also has a relatively large M25 cable outlet and provides IP67 protection. In addition, its proven push-pull locking mechanism is as simple as it is reliable, supports significant space savings by allowing several connectors to be mounted next to each other, and enables single-handed operation with its low mating and unmating forces and its removable contacts are designed to be replaced from the connector side, which makes crimp-clip contacts easy to release even when the connector is assembled. Ideal for use in test and measurement, medical, industrial, and datacom applications, the new PUSH-LOCK connector also features six mechanical coding options to prevent mismating, is rated for more than 5,000 mating cycles, and is available in white instead of black upon request.

PEI-GenesisModular Rectangular Connectors from Amphenol Aerospace and PEI-Genesis stocks LMD-LMS Modular Rectangular Connectors from Amphenol Aerospace, which are designed to improve the flexibility of wire harnesses used in instrumentation and avionic control applications, as well as in cockpits, airline seats, galley kitchens, and power distribution, cabin lighting, and in-flight entertainment (IFE) systems. The series is comprised of housings, modules, and contacts all sold separately and requiring assembly. Options include lightweight, UL94 V-0, black thermoplastic housings that support rack-and-panel and cable-to-cable attachments, four module styles (linear, bussing, diode, and miniature relay) that allow for in-line splicing and are available in both sealed and unsealed versions, optional keying posts for six-position keying capabilities, optional center jackscrews for ease of installation and removal and high-reliability performance in high-vibration environments, four sizes of gold-plated copper alloy contacts (#8, 16, 20, and 22) for 28–8AWG wire, optional PC tail contacts, and optional cable strain reliefs. The series supports a mix of both active and passive devices, as well as a mix of pin and socket modules, within plug or receptacle housings, requires a maximum of 5lbs. of force for rear insertion and removal, and is compatible with commercially available automated crimp termination equipment. It is also resistant to shock and vibration, rated for 1.5–46A test current, a maximum recommended working voltage of 600VAC or 900VAC, and 250 mating and unmating cycles in operating temperatures extending from -55°C to +140°C. It is also well suited for use in heavy equipment and railway applications.

ITT CannonModular Rectangular Connectors from ITT Cannon‘s RPR EN4165-style modular rectangular connector delivers both power and signal, is compatible with ARINC 809, and enables high-speed data transfer, signal integrity, and secure connectivity in commercial avionics and in-flight entertainment and connectivity applications. It has a lightweight, space-saving design comprised of a composite shell with electroless nickel plating, front-release/rear-removable inserts, a monoblock thermoplastic insulator, press-fit copper alloy contacts with gold over nickel plating, and a proprietary latching mechanism that makes service, repair, and maintenance easier. It is rated for up to 40A, 500V, operating temperatures extending from -55°C to +175°C, and 500 mating cycles, is available with up to 20 PCB contacts in various sizes and both straight and right-angle configurations, as well as optional sealing, offers additional accessories for line replaceable unit (LRU) applications, and is intermateable with other EN4165 plugs from current suppliers.

HARTINGModular Rectangular Connectors from HARTING’s Han-Modular® Series connectors allow users to quickly, easily, and cost-effectively create optimized solutions for a wide variety of industrial applications by combining individual modules designed to transmit different media. The modular rectangular connector series is available with sliding, docking, or hinged frames and an extensive range of modules, hoods, housings, and accessories and supports hybrid combinations of various off-the-shelf multimedia modules, enabling power, signal, data, and even compressed air transmission in single, space-saving connector solutions with standardized footprints that enable easy integration in both new and existing equipment. The modules are also easy to install, remove, and swap out, enabling extensive design flexibility and fast and easy retrofits within the same standard footprint, and are the first smart connectors capable of connecting to the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) at the component level. They are also available with placeholder modules to support future proofing in application areas with rapidly evolving performance standards and offer quick and easy customization using the company’s Han® Industrial Connector Configurator.

BTC ElectronicsModular Rectangular Connectors from Amphenol Pcd and BTC offers and stocks components of Amphenol Pcd’s MIL-T-81714 Series II Socket Junction Modules and Splices, which are designed and qualified to MIL-T-81714, have been adopted as AS81714 part numbers under SAE aerospace standards, and are currently approved for both new designs and replacement purposes. The compact, lightweight modules provide simple, reliable, and environmentally rugged, shock- and vibration-resistant connections between system I/O cards and field equipment, consistently perform to the highest standards, and are available in various styles and configurations that all employ standard M39029/22 socket contacts and accommodate 26–12AWG wire. The range offers four standard sizes of feedback, feedthrough, and bussing modules, electronic modules, ground modules, and board-mount pin modules, as well as single in-line splices, dual in-line splices, mounting tracks, and installation and termination accessories. Feedback modules offer a full range of bussing arrangements, distribution modules offer various contact combinations for power distribution applications, ground modules are available in both center-stud and mounting-flange versions, and board-mount pin models eliminate the need for mounting tracks. The various solutions within the Class D range — which effectively combines the high-temperature and -fluid resistance performance parameters previously divided among module classes A, B, and C — also feature polyetherimide insulators and silicone elastomer grommets; integral bus bars that limit solder joints, achieve more reliable and repeatable operation, and ensure electrical and mechanical integrity over long product lifecycles; integral, gold-plated copper alloy contacts that achieve high conductivity and optimal electrical performance; stainless steel contact retainers; a split socket design that provides peripheral surface wipe and contact and maximizes the mating surfaces of pins and contacts; Class 3B tear- and flex-resistant silicone sealant; and proprietary epoxy and ultrasonic bonding to eliminate bond lines, minimize voids, and support long lifecycles. The range can also be supplied with a variety of diodes, resistors, capacitors, and fuses as part of both standard and custom solutions. It is rated for operating temperatures extending from -65°C to +200°C, more than 5,000MΩ insulation resistance, 1,500Vrms dielectric withstanding voltage at sea level and 200Vrms dielectric withstanding voltage at 100,000’ altitude, and 5–23A depending on contact size (Size 22: 5A, Size 20: 7.5A, Size 16: 3A, Size 12: 23A).

Like this article? Check out our other Product Roundup, New Product News, and 2019 articles, and visit our Markets Page for the latest articles in each of nine markets.  

Christine Stieglitz
Follow me
Get the Latest News
On TTI’s podcast the Distribution Download, our interconnect expert Bob Hult discusses the fiber optics.
eBook 2024 Bright Ideas