With the invention of electricity, the light bulb and numerous different devices that need electricity in order to operate, the need for cables and connectors came along. More and more devices were made that needed to be powered by electricity thus various different connectors were made to be used with a certain device. Different types of connectors started to emerge and that brought about the need for an international set of standards. Then, various kinds of power connectors were made which were later joined by data connectors. Today, there are still many types of connectors, most of which are standardised.
What Are the Different Types of Electrical Connectors?
Plug & Socket
These connectors are a male plug with pins that connects to a female socket. There are no tools required to make the connection which is why plug & socket electrical connectors are used in consumer electronics. These connection types are USB, RCA, HMDI, an Anderson plug, SCSI, coaxial cables, DVI, audio and board mount connectors. You will find these connectors in automotive applications, PCBs, computing and video and audio electronics.
This type of connectors is used in applications that require point-to-point connections.They can connect individual wires called blade receptacles. Blade connectors are hard-fastened with certain devices such as thermostats or speakers.
A terminal block connector has multiple wires with each wire connected to a terminal point enclosed in a housing. These type of electrical wire connectors have no circuit protection but come in different sizes which makes them usable for different applications. Terminal blocks come in the form of MTC’s (multiple terminal connectors), barrier strips, PCB (printer circuit board) terminal blocks, pluggable terminal blocks and more.
Rack & Panel
Rack and panel electrical cable connectors are used with removable electronic parts and stationary equipment or when space and a reliable connection are a priority. Cable to cable, cable to panel and rack to panel are the common connection types of rack & panel connectors which are commonly used in modems, home stereo systems and printers.
These connectors let you connect a bare wire to a post which you need to secure in place with clamps or screws. The majority of posts are able to connect to banana plugs, pin connectors and lug terminals too. The other end of a binding post connector is able to connect with plugs, terminals and pins. This versatility allows binding post connectors to be used with a plethora of electronic and audio testing devices.
Ring & Spade
Much like blade connectors, ring and spade connectors make use of a single wire except that they secure the connection with a threaded post and a screw or bolt. This makes ring and spade connectors easy to disconnect when the lock is partially opened. They are also suitable for point-to-point connections.
How to Clean Green Corrosion Off Electrical Connectors?
What You Need
Getting rid of corrosion is done with a certain set of tools and items to ensure a safe and efficient cleaning process. The tools needed for this job are a wire brush, current tester, screwdriver and the other items are protective glasses, rubber gloves, a toothbrush, baking soda, some water and a cup. When cleaning the connectors ,make sure you turn off the circuit breaker at the main panel where the power line that feeds in the electricity is located. Ensure that there is no power coming through with the current tester and make sure to wear gloves and safety glasses.
- Cleaning the green powder coating starts with the wire brush which you’ll have to use with as much force as you can – don’t worry, the wire won’t get damaged. Use the brush on the contact point too as the corrosive coating spreads faster there.
- After you’ve done that, take several tablespoons of baking soda and mix them with warm water into the cup. Stir until the baking soda dissolves, then dip the toothbrush and start scrubbing the wire. This will make the mixture fizz – which is expected. When the fizzing stops, repeat the scrubbing one more time to make sure the corrosive materials are completely gone. Put the wire(s) back in their housing and you’re all done.
How to Crimp Electrical Connectors?
- Crimping electrical connectors requires you to have a pair of quality wire strippers and a crimping tool. Once you have properly selected a connector and a wire, start by stripping the wire with the wire strippers. Be careful not to damage it and then just insert it inside the crimp terminal or plug. Place both the terminal/ plug and wire into the crimping tool and ensure they are properly aligned.
- Crimp the wire and terminal/ plug by squeezing the crimp tool like you would with a set of pliers. You will need to do this twice in a row in order to make a secure bond. After you’ve done that, inspect the work you just did and check if you have established a secure connection by tugging on the wire cable. To ensure everything stays in place, put a heat shrink tube over the joint and use a heat gun to shrink the plastic tubing – this is not mandatory with every type of connector.