Spotlight on Switches, Signals, and Connectors

January 16, 2002

6 Min Read
Spotlight on Switches, Signals, and Connectors

Originally Published MPMN January/February 2002

Spotlight on Switches, Signals, and Connectors

Surface-mount connectors

0201p24a.jpgSingle- and double-row surface-mount connectors use modular spring-loaded contacts on a 0.100-in. grid. The contacts are available in seven heights, from 0.177 to 0.295 in. A precision-machined piston, machined base, and gold-plated components ensure a minimum 40,000-cycle life. The low-resistance, high-current contacts are rated at 2 A continuous, 3 A peak. High-temperature thermoplastic insulators are suitable for all surface-mount processes. Mill-Max Mfg. Corp., 190 Pine Hollow Rd., Oyster Bay, NY, 11771.

Tactile dome switches

0201p24b.jpgTactile dome switches feature a hole in the center, which enables a designer to place an LED directly behind the dome rather than off to one side. The result is a more intense lighting effect. The BL-series units are four-legged momentary switch contacts that, when used in conjunction with a PC board or membrane, become normally open tactile switches. The domes come in standard sizes of 10, 12, and 14 mm, and custom sizes can be specified. All domes are made of stainless steel, with nickel, silver, or gold plating available as options. The tactile domes have a contact life that exceeds 1 million cycles, and an operating temperature range from –45° to 100°C. They are SPST and have a switching voltage of 0.1 to 50 V dc, a switching current of 0.005 to 100 mA dc, and a switching capacity of 1 W. Snaptron Inc., 2468 E. 9th St., Loveland, CO, 80537.

Flexible jumpers

0201p24c.jpgFlexible jumpers can be used as interconnection devices for board-to-board, board-to-display, board-to-connector, board-to-sensor, or any other application requiring flexibility. No artwork or special tooling is required. The jumpers can be manufactured on any pitch down to 0.010 in. (or 0.005-in.-diam wire with 0.005-in. spaces) with any material as conductors from 20 to 40 AWG round, stranded, or flat. The dielectric is polyimide H film, making the products suitable for wave, IR, vapor-phase, or hot-air soldering. Elmec Manufacturing, 4127 Avenida de la Plata, Oceanside, CA 92056.

Status indicators

0201p24d.jpgColor machine-status indicators offer four colors in a single stack. The LME-Q and LMS-Q are available with a 300-mm pole that can be cut to any size to accommodate any application. The pole-mount version comes with a top-mounting bracket and the LME tower has optional flashing capabilities and two alarm circuits. An audible alarm is adjustable to 90 dBm and is available with a direct mount. All quad-color towers are available in three quad-color combinations. Patlite Corp., 3860 Del Amo Blvd., #401, Torrance, CA 90503.

Tension transducers

0201p24e.jpgAn integrated interface and amplifier that outputs a 10-V dc signal proportional to tension is offered as an option for idler roll tension transducer pairs. Transducers fitted with the unit are powered by 24 V dc. Because the company's standard strain-gauge tension transducers provide a 250-mV dc output signal, which is not directly usable by many customers, a separate electronics package, usually a transducer interface circuit card, has been required to condition the transducer pair's output to make it usable. With the development of the 10-V output option, it is no longer necessary to install the extra transducer interface and amplifier card. Dover Flexo Electronics Inc., 217 Pickering Rd., Rochester, NH 03867.

Light-emitting diodes

0201p24f.jpgLight-emitting diodes in blue, white, and green colors enable design engineers to create aesthetically dynamic variations on their front-panel designs with multiple colors and increased illumination intensity. Super Bright LEDs are single element and rated at a forward peak current of 30 mA. The continuous forward current is 20 mA and the reverse peak voltage is 5 V. The LED circuit is independent of the switch operation. To produce an even, full-face, brilliant illumination, the units are installed in switches with white diffusers and clear caps. They are available on push-button switches ranging from subminiature to standard in size, and with electrical ratings of 0.4 VA to 5 A. NKK Switches, 7850 E. Gelding Dr., Scottsdale, AZ 85260.

Push-button switches

0201p24g.jpgPush-button switches use an elastomer membrane seal between the actuator and the switch body and a flat front-panel seal. The IB and IS series provide sealing protection to specification IP67, as well as salt-spray resistance to IEC specification 512-6, test 11f. The compact models with a behind-the-panel depth of only 13 mm also feature ergonomically sculptured bezels with seven cosmetic actuator-color selections. Contact ratings are 400 mA at 32 V ac, 100 mA at 50 V dc, or 125 mA at 125 V ac. Initial contact resistance is 50 m(omega). Electrical life is 500,000 cycles minimum at full load, and mechanical life is 1 million cycles. Apem Components Inc., 63 Neck Rd., Haverhill, MA, 01835.


0201p24i.jpgA line of precision medical-grade mechanical encoders features easily modifiable shafts, bushings, and switching schemes. They are available with an integrated push-button switch in the spindle or shaft direction, and have 30 pulses per rotation. Life expectancy exceeds 100,000 rotations. Elma Electronic Inc., 44350 Grimmer Blvd., Fremont, CA 94538.

Low-profile power-supply connectors

0201p24h.jpgPower-supply connectors compliant with a communications link that connects industrial devices to a network are supplied in five positions and in 5.08-mm pitch. Suitable for factory automation networks, HR31 connectors have through-hole-type headers that come in both straight and right-angle versions. Either solder or gold plating is available—gold-plated contacts increase mating and unmating cycles to 1000 times. The products are provided with removable contacts for quick and easy contact replacement. A 10.2-mm height allows for high-density mounting. Two forms of locking are provided—both a simple snap lock and permanently attached self-aligning screws (on plug) and threaded inserts (on receptacle) ensure engagement of both assemblies. Hirose Electric (USA) Inc., 2688 Westhills Ct., Simi Valley, CA 93065.

Visual interface connectors

0201p24k.jpgDigital visual interface connectors are available with two different PCB layouts. Both come standard with board locks and 4-40 riveted threaded inserts, and one has additional plastic pegs. Both types are reflow compatible and available in black or white thermoplastic. The contact material is copper alloy with 30-µm gold plating. The connectors conform to the Digital Display Working Group DVI standard and are available as right-angle sockets in both digital and digital/analog. Kycon Inc., 1810 Little Orchard St., San Jose, CA 95125.

Miniature plastic connectors

0201p24j.jpgMiniature plastic connectors are equipped with up to 19 gold-plated contacts in a sleek impact-resistant ½-in.-diam plastic housing. The 4032 series of connectors are offered sealed to IP68 and are fully submersible. The patented SureGrip TM plug body can be securely gripped, even with wet hands or gloves. Other features include a push-pull positive locking mechanism and an easy-to-use, self-aligning keyway. Color-coding options are offered for easy identification. Fischer Connectors, 115 Perimeter Center Pl., Atlanta, GA 30346.

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