Electronic Connector Types

Earlier we reviewed RF connector types commonly used in ham radio applications.

There are also a number of common electronic connectors used in amateur radio that you should be familiar with to have a working knowledge of equipment interconnect and interfacing.

Presented below are eight common non-RF connector types.  Some are for power but most carry audio or control signals between devices and equipment.


D-sub

D-subminiature connector commonly called D-sub.  Name derived from its general “D” shape with one side longer than the other.

Five shell sizes 1-5 (A thru E).  Standard and high density for all five shell sizes.   9-50pins standard, 15-78pins HD.

Ham radio general purpose use such as control interface; also for serial (RS-232) communication plus video between PC and monitor.

dsubs     D-sub conv

d-sub ortho   d-sub sizes

Reference here.

g6b12


RCA

An old, simple, and cheap design still widely used for audio and video signals.  Sometimes called phono plug and jack.

Typically used for L and R stereo audio channels with white and red color coding.

Reference here.

g6b14


Phone, 1/8″ (3.5mm) and 1/4″ (6.35mm)

Another old and reliable design still widely used for audio signals.

1/4 standard and 1/8 mini plug/jack sizes are the most common.

phone compare     phone function

phone jack2     phone jack1

Two wires for mono signals, three for stereo.  A four pole version is occasionally used with two ring contacts.  In ham radio use this might be a HT with speaker, mic and PTT switch; three functions sharing a common fourth terminal.

Reference here.


Mini-DIN type

DIN is an acronym for Deutsches Institut für Normung, the organization for German national standards.  The DIN standard encompasses a wide variety of electrical and electronic connectors. As used in ham radio the specific subset of Mini-DIN is what we normally encounter.

The Mini-DIN is 9.5mm diameter (3/8″) and can range from 3 to 8 pins with unique arrangements:

DIN rangeDIN4DIN5DIN6DIN7DIN8

din m     DIN6F

Used on many modern transceivers for audio, data and control interface. Example below:

DIN ham

Reference here.

g6b17


Modular (RJ45, RJ11) Continue reading