When connector failure is just not an option!

30th October 2012
ES Admin
For more than forty-six years the 516 series has been one of the core products in the EDAC portfolio. It would be a reasonable question to ask “how does any product - especially one in the high-tech, fast moving electronics industry, retain relevance and popularity after that period of time”? The answer is not simple, however there is no doubt that the superbly engineered design of the 8.5 amp rated, gold-plated, ‘tuning fork’ or hermaphroditic contact is part of the equation.
The reason is that the design feature of four, gas-tight, mating surfaces delivers a number of operational benefits that engineers have recognised produce a connector product that is beyond simply reliable. There is nothing more reassuring when looking for a connector that has to be ultra-reliable in a safety-critical or functionally-essential application than a four-decade track-record of top-end performance.

The ‘tuning-fork’ design has a long wiping length meaning that the mating surfaces are self-cleaning thus reducing any chance of increased electrical resistance.

In addition to the excellent heat dissipation characteristics of the contact, the inherent ‘spring’ design also ensures that if contact pressure from two, of the four, surfaces is reduced for any reason, the pressure on the other two surfaces is proportionally increased. This is especially relevant when the connector is used in a high shock/vibration application, as engineers in the Off-Shore Wind Turbine industry will no doubt testify.

Backing up the contact design is the secure actuating screw and lock nut that assists the mating of the connector halves - and ensures they remain mated, a feature that designers of Industrial Control systems in the safety-conscious Petro-Chemical industry and the International Broadcasting and Recording sector have appreciated for many years.

The hardware features of the 516 series provide for 288 different polarising combinations ensuring the right plug is mated with the right receptacle when a bank of similar connectors is arrayed. This might be the attraction for a generation of engineers designing Railway Signalling systems whose work ensures the safety of millions of travellers every day.

Metal covers for the five available circuit sizes (20; 38; 56; 90 & 120) are available to further enhance the robustness and durability of the product. These are designed to allow top or side entry for the cable.

Further features include the plug or receptacle being available with actuating screw or locknut. The connectors can be used in cable-to-cable, cable-to-board and cable-to-panel applications. EDAC can also supply a shielding kit where EMI is an issue.

For the future, equipment designers and industrial electronics engineers, looking for total reliability in a performance-critical interconnect solution, might well conclude that the EDAC 516 series ‘ticks a lot of the boxes’!

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