Using reverse bayonet connectors in harsh environments

22nd July 2021
Alex Lynn

Reverse bayonet connectors are one of the most reliable connectors on the market for harsh environments and can make all the difference in applications where failure is costly. Here John Skinner, European Product Manager at electrical connector specialist PEI-Genesis, has explained what has given reverse bayonets their stellar reputation as reliable and robust connectors. 

As Forrest Gump said, ‘life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re gonna get’. This is true, life is full of surprises. But, in mission-critical applications, surprises aren’t often welcome, and engineers need to be sure that operational outcomes will be successful. In Forrest’s words, they have to know what they’re ‘gonna get’.

Reverse bayonet connectors are typically used in military, commercial transportation, industrial and aviation applications because of their reliability and robustness.  These industries need reliable connectors that can withstand intense vibration and shock, extreme temperatures and contact with fluids.

So, what is it about reverse bayonets that make them one of the most dependable options for these industries?

Quick positive coupling

Reverse bayonet connectors need a 120° turn to mate, which enables fast and effortless mating and un-mating. Their design also allows the user to confirm mating in three different ways: tactile, audible and visual. The user feels the connector lock into position when mated. A loud click is heard as the three studs snap into place when the coupling nut is fully engaged.

Additionally, a coloured triangle on the receptacle aligns with a dot on the coupling nut when the connector is properly mated. These simple steps ensure that the user can be confident the connector is mated, and significantly reduces the risk of accidental de-coupling due to user error or vibration.

The O-ring, wave spring and washer

Reverse bayonet connectors come with either an O-ring and/or a wave spring and washer. The purpose of these components is to provide the resistance when the user connects the plug to the receptacle and twists the coupling nut. The resistance gives a positive mating and prevents vibrations from making the connector loose. O-rings also ensures IP67 protection when connectors are mated.

A standard reverse bayonet connector has a mating cycle of 500 times without any decrease in performance, however some ranges feature a wear pin on the receptacle, which increases the mating cycle to 2,000 times, making the connector even more durable and increasing value for money.


Reverse bayonet connectors generally use insulators and grommets made from chloroprene. Using this material enables reverse bayonets to operate over a temperature range of -50 to +125oC and to offer IP67 when mated. This is important in commercial transportation, military, industrial and aviation industries where extreme temperatures and exposure to environmental contaminates are common.

Reverse bayonet connectors have earned their reputation for being durable and reliable over the years, and it’s clear to see why. All that’s left is to choose an equally reliable supplier to meet your demands. PEI-Genesis has a lead time of 48 hours on select connectors from the moment you place your order and offers customers connector accessories that aren’t typically included with OEM.  

So, while life may be like a box of chocolates, using reverse bayonet connectors for your application is not. You know exactly what you’re going to get – a reliable, robust and durable connector that will help your operations run smoothly.

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