Call for Favorite Connectors

For the first time I am working a project that requires sensors and and electrical devices to be connected at distances of 6 feet or less but have been having trouble choosing the connectors I want to use.

So, it would be great if anyone could suggest some connector part numbers for the following situations. If possible please list the manufacturer's male, female and pin(if needed) number

1.) pure data eg, I2C, 1wire, etc for 6ft distances (think sensors)

2.) Power and Data on the same connector. Think I2C bus board, where the Arduino sends signal and a PSU supplies power....then both power and signal run out to several I2C devices using a single data/power connector.... maximum power somewhere around a large PC fan or relay that can switch 120AC.

3.) pure power 3.3-15 volts. again max load small motor or relay.

The power connectors may experience some non-condensing but relatively high humidity. The pure data connections may get slightly most...Both will experience temperatures at between 80-100F. Think Rain Forest room at the Zoo.

I was thinking a shrouded series with 2-6 pin models would work well for the first two and a screw series would work well for the power. I would like the data connector/wires to look presentable eg ribbon or RJ11/45 cable.



My favorite connectors are the d-subminiature types, of which traditional RS-232 and VGA connectors are examples. They come in every grade and style, and with the mixed-signal types can deliver high voltage, coax, or currents up to 40A.

Closely following that are the traditional 0.1" pitch pin headers in single or double row. Cheap, ubiquitous, etc.

I second using D connectors and 0.1" header strips but I also use molex friction lock connectors a lot.

Experience has taught me a lot of problems can be down to something as simple as a loose connector and the molex friction lock helps avoid this.

It depends a lot on how frequently you need to make/break the connections and how much physical abuse they'll be subjected to. Don't forget to consider what type of cable you're using, and proper strain relief where applicable.

Where durability is important, frequent make/break, and with low pin counts like yours, Neutrik's screwless XLR connectors are great. Rated 5-16A per contact (depending on number of poles), available with 3-7 poles, positive locking, and have good strain relief built in. Stay away from any connectors that have tiny screws holding them together, especially XLRs.

If the assembly is subject to vibration and/or user-accessible, Molex style friction lock connectors are a good choice if you don't need to make/break often.

You can get shrouded pin headers with mechanical locks on them. They take up a lot more board space, but they work really well.

And for higher-current stuff, I'm moderately fond of Molex Minifit headers and the Keystone solder-down lug terminals.