Types & Classifications of Electrical Connectors

Electrical Connector Types

There are many electrical connector types that have different features:

  • Shapes (circular, rectangular), 
  • Shell sizes, 
  • Voltages, 
  • Cabling options (fibre, power, signal, ethernet) 
  • For a range of different uses (waterproof electrical connectors, heavy duty, harsh environment)

What are Electrical Connectors?

Electrical connectors are electromechanical devices that provide an electrical connection between an electronic device or equipment and a power source to form an electrical circuit. The connector is made up of two components plug (male) and a receptacle (female) which connect together for a temporary or permanent solution. Depending on the voltage, the type of cabling or wire will depend on the connector used. At Servo, we stock two variations of connectors: Circular connectors and Rectangular connectors.

Picture of Eaton Harsh Environment Connectors
Picture of Eaton Harsh Environment Connectors

Electrical Connector Specifications

MIL-DTL-38999 (Formerly MIL-C-38999): Available in four series (I, II, III & IV) the MIL-DTL-38999 connector is a high density, quick disconnect electrical component. These environmental crimp contact removable connectors are designed to meet the requirements of Military & Aerospace applications. Servo Connectors offers 48 Hour assembly on Eaton 8D (MIL-DTL-38999 Series III equivalent) and 8LT (MIL-DTL-38999 Series I) as a specialist Value-Added distributor. 

MIL-DTL-26482 (Formerly MIL-C-26482): Available in two series (I Solder ,II Crimp) the MIL-DTL-26482 connector is a quick disconnect, environment resisting circular electrical connector. These were originally designed for Military applications but are now commonly used in Industrial applications.  

MIL-DTL-5015 (Formerly MIL-C-5015): Available in two series (I, II) the MIL-DTL-5015 is a circular electrical connector with solder or removable crimp contacts. These are used in Military and Industrial applications, renowned for their versatility and reliability, the insert arrangements are MIL-STD-1651. 

 MIL-DTL-22992 (Formerly MIL-C-22992): This waterproof quick disconnect electrical connector offers high power voltages for use in Military and Heavy Duty applications. They also maintain heavy-duty voltages which are essential for harsh environments. They come in four different classes (C, L, J, R). Class C connectors are for external connections for vans, infrastructure and heavy-duty applications. Class L connectors are designed for high power connections where heavy-duty, waterproof and arc quenching ability is key. Class C applications where wire support grommet is required. Class R connectors are a general-purpose heavy duty connectors, where arc quenching ability is not required.  

Coaxial RF ConnectorsThese IP68 waterproof electrical connectors (mated & unmated) are designed to work at radio frequencies (RF) in the multi-megahertz range. 

EMI/RFI Filter ConnectorsAvailable in different connector types including MIL-DTL-38999, MIL-DTL-26482, MIL-DTL-5015 and Arinc 404/60, these connectors provide filtering of electromagnetic interference (EMI), Radio frequency interference (RFI) and general system noise.  

Glossary of Terms

Accessories: Accessories are components that fit onto the rear threads of electrical connectors and complete the component assembly, this includes backshells, caps, gaskets and adaptors.

Bayonet Coupling: A mating mechanism that utilises the pins of the receptacle to connect with the ramp on the plug for a quick connect and disconnect mechanism. The reverse bayonet has the pins on the plug with a ramp on the receptacle.

Blind Mating: Used in applications where visual and tactile tools are compromised, such as Rack and Panel rectangular connectors. The blind mating mechanism achieves a connection through sliding or snapping action through the use of guide pins and self-aligning features to correct misalignment when mating.

Circular Connector: Any multipin interconnect connector with circular housing and circular contact geometries. Circular connectors are popular for the ease of mating, convenience of contact housing and the ability to house various contact voltages and currents. The MIL-DTL-38999 Series and MIL-DTL-5015 are two of the most common connector series.