Connectors: Connectors are electro-mechanical devices that in normal use operate under electric power (live) and are disconnected after the power is removed.  In some applications the connectors may be disconnected under power (live).

Plug and receptacle: Plugs are typically cable-mounted and receptacles can be panel- or cable-mounted.  Cable-mounted receptacles are referred to as inline or cable-mounted receptacle.   Both plug and receptacle can have either male (pins) or female (sockets) contacts.

Termination methods:  Connectors are terminated to conductors that are part of a cable.  Typical termination methods are:

Solder, which requires that the contacts have solder cups.  A common method is to solder single wires (most of the time stranded conductors) with solder irons or soldering machines to the contacts. PCB or flex circuits are solder to the contacts using wave soldering or infrared vapor phase soldering. When wires are soldered it is very important that no single strands stick out of the solder connection.  This could lead to short circuits because of reduced clearance and creepage distances between adjacent contacts. Testing and evaluation of solder joints is regulated in DIN EN 60068 part 2-20.

Crimp, which requires that the contacts have crimp barrels. A crimp connection is a non-detachable electrical connection between a conductor and a crimp contact produced with a crimp tool. The requirements for crimp connections are defined in DIN IEC 60352 part 2. An important point for the quality of a crimp connection is to achieve a gas-tight connection between the conductor and the crimp barrel. A test of a good crimp connection is a pull test that measures the tensile strength of the crimped connection. The diagram above right shows the required minimum tensile strength depending on the wire size.

SCREW SIZE M 2.5 M 3 M 3.5
Torque (Ncm) 40 50 50

Screw, which requires that the contacts have screws to screw the conductors to the contact tails.  Screw clamps are designed acc. to DIN/EN 60999/VDE 0609. The chart below shows some screw sizes and the required testing torque.

PCB, which requires that the contacts have PCB solder tails.  This termination method is commonly used for panel-mounted receptacles.


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