Spring-loaded connectors provide creative solutions

24th May 2022
Mick Elliott

Mill Maxi's Omniball spring-loaded connectors are suitable for applications requiring multiple points of contact in sliding or rotational orientations.

They are in stock at distributor Digi-Key Electronics.

The Omniball spring-loaded contact features a rolling ball interface, enabling contact to be made between components in axial and non-axial alignments.

These versatile connectors facilitate creative solutions for innovative interconnect arrangements while providing optimal electrical, mechanical, and structural reliability.

The connectors utilise Omniball contacts: spring-loaded pins in which the traditional plunger has been replaced by a gold-plated brass ball.

They are designed to optimise connections between components that slide or revolve into contact.

When engaged the ball compresses and rolls, allowing the mating surfaces to make contact and then easily slide parallel to each other while spring force acts to ensure consistent electrical contact is maintained.

This rolling action prevents binding, premature wearing, and structural failure that traditional, plunger style, spring pin connectors can be prone to in these types of applications.

Omniball connectors have a pin-to-pin spacing of 4 mm (0.1575 inches), a 6.76 mm (0.266 inches) above-board height, and are available in through-hole or surface-mount termination styles.

There are options for threaded inserts to provide secure mounting in rugged applications and for alignment pegs on the surface-mount connectors.

Insulator material is Nylon 4/6, characterized by excellent high-temperature performance, dielectric strength, and mechanical toughness.

Omniball contacts feature 0.762 mm (0.030 inches) maximum stroke, gold plating on all components and a 2.3 mm (0.091 inches) diameter ball interface.

These spring-loaded pins are durable, having been tested to 1,000,000 compression cycles and rolled over 108 km (67 miles) at half-stroke while still meeting specifications for contact resistance of 30 mΩ, and have a spring force of 55 grams at mid-stroke (0.381 mm, 0.015 inches).

These connectors can be used to eliminate cables where circuit board to busbar connections are made in tight spaces.

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