What are Single-Pin DC Connectors?

By Amy Goetzman | August 01, 2023

Meet the Connector: Single-Pin DC Connectors

This common barrel-type plug is widely used in portable devices ranging from consumer radios to basic medical devices. But it’s not as simple as it looks.

The term single-pin DC connector (also called single-pole connector) typically refers to a circular or barrel-shaped plastic connector with one electrical terminal or contact for conducting direct current (DC) power. These connectors feature two mating sides, a male jack or plug and a female port, and are designed for simple power connections with a positive (+) and negative (-) terminal. They are typically used for applications that require a single power connection, such as simple consumer devices (radios, calculators, remote control toys), office equipment, or basic portable medical devices, and were more widely used prior to the widespread adoption of the USB connector. They are typically not suitable for high power or high reliability applications, although some products are designed to handle greater loads or feature ruggedization elements such as ingress protection. In most situations, multi-pin connectors are preferred when signal or grounding functions are needed for more complex designs.

Design Notes

Single-pin connectors are available with a wide variety of design options:

  • Mounting style: Cable
  • Orientation: Typical straight
  • Overmolding: Available from some suppliers
  • Keying: Some versions feature a keyed or square instead of circular barrel for ease of handling.
  • Sealing: IP sealed versions are available from some suppliers
  • Mating Style: Push-on or Snap-on

Markets, Sectors, and Applications

  • Consumer products
  • Office equipment
  • Medical (home health)
  • Automotive accessories


Related products:

  • USB
  • Push-Pull Connectors
  • JEITA Connectors

Like this article? Check out our other Meet the Connector and Networking articles, our Medical Market Page, and our 2023 and 2022 Article Archive

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Amy Goetzman
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