DC Power Connectors and How to Find the Right One For Your Use

Power connectors are used to provide electrical power to small-to-medium-sized electronic appliances via a direct current from the main connection. Although several different types of DC Connectors are currently available, barrel connectors are amongst the ones most commonly used today.

Barrel Connectors consist of an insulated cylindrical tip, also known as a ring or sleeve, which accepts a pin from a socket counterpart. Such a design feature enables barrel connectors to provide a secure and safe connection, alongside a streamlined disconnect-and-reconnect action. In addition, the exact arrangement and dimensions of DC connectors can be manually selected to prevent accidental contact with non-compatible loads and sources. In this blog, we will discuss more about DC connectors and their types in further detail below.

What Are the Dimensions of Common Power DC Connectors

Many people find it hard to find barrel connectors of the appropriate diameter for their personal needs. There are numerous versions of DC connector standards (possibly even more non-standard versions) available in the market today. However, for clarity, we shall only limit ourselves to the discussion of the most commonly used power DC connectors, namely DIN, USB, and barrel connectors. Provided below are some of the characteristics associated with the three broad categories of DC output power connectors:

  1. Barrel Connectors

Barrel connectors are the most commonly used of all DC power connector types because of their non-specific mechanical tolerances and lack of a required orientation at the time of plug-in. When a barrel plug is inserted into a jack, the jack’s spring pushes against the plug’s outer sleeve, forcing the jack’s central pin to make contact with the plug’s inner sleeve. This is where the plug’s and jack’s dimensions must be carefully chosen to ensure that the desired electrical connections form the proper mechanical fit.

The most common barrel connectors have plugs of concentric metal sleeves, also known as barrels, which are separated by an insulator. Furthermore, there are standard diameters available for both the outer and inner sleeves. However, despite standard versions, design engineers should still specify the required dimensions for all plugs used in their products. 

The most common barrel connector dimensions are:

  • 5.5 outer sleeve diameter and 2.1 inner sleeve diameter
  • 5.5 outer sleeve diameter and 2.5 inner sleeve diameter
  1. DIN Connectors

These connectors have four pins or socket contacts encased within a circular casing. A German standards organization—Deutsches Institut fur Normung (shortened to DIN)—first defined these connections. Power DIN connectors, by convention, have four contact pins spaced approximately 90 degrees around the center of the connector. Like barrel connectors, most power DIN connectors can also be found with a threaded locking feature.

The most common DIN standards in use are DIN 41524, DIN 45329, DIN 45326, and DIN 45322. In a typical DIN connector, the metal shell spans 13.2mm, while the contact pins spaced around the center measure 7mm each. The angle between each pin can be (in degrees) 45, 60, 72, and 90.

  1. USB Connectors

USB is an abbreviation for “Universal Serial Bus.” USB cable assemblies are among the most widely used, primarily to connect computers to peripheral devices such as printers, scanners, cameras, and others. Backward compatibility exists between USB Revision 3.0 devices and version 1.1 devices. The more updated versions of modern computers typically use USB-C connectors for their ability to carry a maximum of 100W of power, rapid rate of data transfer, and portable size. The most commonly available USB sizes are USB-A, USB-B, USB-B MINI, USB-B MICRO, USB-C, and LIGHTNING.

Coaxial Cable Connector Adapters

It is not difficult to connect a cable to an RFID system from an antenna, but selecting the appropriate adapter to connect all hardware components can be tedious. This is where connector adapters come into use. Also known as adapter plugs or AC adapters, these devices are designed to establish an electrical connection between an electrical plug and an outlet that may or may not have a compatible, interlocking shape.

Wrapping Up

Getting hold of a DC power connector or adapter for your unique needs can be a challenging task, but Aerospace Orbit can put all your concerns to rest. At Aerospace Orbit, we provide an impressive range of electronic parts for various applications, including connectors, cables, and adapters. Contact us today to obtain top-quality electronic parts from one of the best online distributors!


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