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Breaking Down Military Connector Specifications

Breaking Down Military Connector Specifications

Components for military applications must be built and tested according to specific military specifications, or Mil-Spec. Learn more about the value of Mil-Spec connectors and the Mil-Spec standards that regulate their features, performance, and testing.

What Are Mil-Spec Connectors?

Mil-Spec connectors are paired male and female components that transfer signals or electricity through contact points. Connectors have three main parts: the contacts, exterior shell, and terminals. These components must be able to withstand harsh environments. For example, the contacts are typically made of a highly conductive, noncorrosive material such as gold-plated phosphor bronze.

Mil-Spec connectors must comply with established requirements and are rated for safe and effective performance in certain military operations.

Military Connector Specifications

There are multiple Mil-Spec standards that guide the production and assessment of different types of connectors. The following standards apply to electrical connectors.

  • MIL-DTL-26482: This establishes the requirements for circular electrical connectors, which include quick disconnect, environmental resistance, and extreme temperature range.
  • MIL-DTL-55116: This describes requirements for connectors in radios and fill systems.
  • MIL-DTL-83527: This sets the requirements and testing criteria for highly specialized connectors meant for use in extremely rugged environments.

Amphenol Nexus Technologies offers the following Mil-Spec connectors that are compliant with the above standards.

  • M8805/3 switches: These push-button switches are specially rated for water submersion. They are often used in aircraft, ground vehicles, naval systems, rugged communications, and avionics.
  • M9177 telephone jacks and plugs: Our M9177 jacks feature a contact material of nickel-plated beryllium copper, and the plugs have a Monel contact. Both have a plastic shell. These products are ideal for ruggedized commercial and military applications.

Amphenol Nexus Technologies: Premium Mil-Spec Connectors

At Amphenol Nexus Technologies, we specialize in designing and manufacturing durable Mil-Spec connectors that comply with military standards.

We offer M8805/3 switches, M9177 telephone jacks and plugs, and M55116 audio jacks and plugs. Our M55116 Mil-Spec jacks and plugs provide long-lasting connections in audio components for radios, intercom systems, and more. They can take up to 60V and a 0.5A maximum current. With either solder cup contacts or crimp sleeves, these connectors are available with miniaturization, right angle, filtering, and shielding.

If you’re ready to select a Mil-Spec connector for your application, contact us today to learn more about our manufacturing capabilities.

The Importance of Mil-Spec Connectors

The Importance of Mil-Spec Connectors

Military organizations establish strict standards for the components, equipment, and other manufactured goods they use in military operations. Those standards are referred to as Mil-Spec, or military specifications, and they establish the required dimensions, ratings, and features for each part.

What Are Mil-Spec Connectors?

Mil-Spec electrical and fiber-optic connectors, particularly the Army-Navy series, are the modern standard for military circular connectors. Their design, manufacturing, and operational capabilities must meet certain requirements for heavy-duty use in military applications. For example, mil-spec connectors consist of male and female pairs that must be constructed from noncorrosive, conductive metals such as gold-plated beryllium copper and contained in a dielectric insulator.

Manufacturers and military organizations work together to ensure a product design meets the right standards for certain environments and applications. Because these standards demand durability and reliable performance, other industries—such as aerospace, marine, and automotive—also prefer Mil-Spec connectors.

Choosing Mil-Spec Connectors

When selecting Mil-Spec connectors, ensure each part of the component complies with the applicable military standards. Consider different product options such as size, type, coupling method, and materials.

Contacts

The contacts create the electrical path that travels from one connector to its mate. Contacts are made from pins and sockets, and they can have different coupling designs to ensure a reliable connection. These designs include threaded coupling, breech lock coupling, and bayonet coupling.

Shells

The connector shell is the protective housing that holds the contact points and internal parts. Usually made of corrosion-resistant aluminum, the shell can come in different styles, such as an angled or straight plug, box-mount or wall receptacle, or dummy receptacle. Circular Mil-Spec connectors are cylindrical and vary in size.

Terminals

Terminals into the system usually have a crimped or soldered connection. The terminals attach the connector to a conductor to facilitate an electrical flow.

M55116 Mil-Spec and Mil-Spec-Type Connectors

At Amphenol Nexus Technologies, we specialize in creating Mil-Spec components and connectors, such as audio plugs and jacks. Our M55116 Mil-Spec audio connectors feature polarized plugs with multiple pins, a waterproof design, and options for added shielding, filtering, miniaturization, and right angle. They can handle frequency circuits up to 60V and a maximum current of 0.5A. Our Mil-Spec connectors are commonly used in audio systems for military radios and intercoms.
In addition to our M55116 Mil-Spec product line, we also carry M9177 telephone jacks and plugs and M8805/3 switches.

Amphenol Nexus Technologies: Premium Mil-Spec Connectors

Connectors that meet or exceed Mil-Spec standards provide long-term, reliable performance. Many products on the market meet these standards, but your specific application will determine which connectors are right for you. Amphenol Nexus Technologies is committed to providing the highest quality Mil-Spec connectors that fit your needs. Contact us today to learn more about our capabilities.

What is a Breakaway Connector?

What is a Breakaway Connector?

A breakaway connector is an electrical safety component used on cables to disconnect corded equipment from moving components or rotating machinery. If rotating or moving machinery starts to move while a sensor or cable is tangled within it, the breakaway connector will disconnect immediately so the corded equipment isn’t dragged into the moving equipment. 

Breakaway connectors are commonly used with data collection equipment that connects to rotating machines, but they can be used for virtually any application where cords and corded equipment are in potential danger from high tensile loads. These components are also sometimes called weak links or weak fuses.

Best Materials for Breakaway Connectors

Breakaway connectors can be constructed from a wide variety of plastic and metal alloy options. Plastics provide lightweight, cost-effective components that resist corrosion damage. However, manufacturing plastic breakaway connectors does require an upfront investment to design and develop tooling for the molding process. Plastic may also wear down faster than other material options. 

Metals such as aluminum offer another viable and popular choice. This material is more resistant to wear and damage than plastic, while remaining lightweight and easy to work with. However, aluminum is more vulnerable to corrosion damage than plastic. Heavier metal options include brass and stainless steel. While these options are more resistant to corrosion and physical damage, the additional weight can interfere with the effectiveness of the component. 

It’s possible to enhance corrosion resistance and other properties on plastic or metal breakaway connectors through plating.

An infographic explaining breakaway connectors

The Importance of Plating and Color for Breakaway Connectors

By plating metal or plastic breakaway connectors with thin layers of other materials, manufacturers can imbue connectors with the positive characteristics of multiple materials. Chroming aluminum components, for example, allows for the use of lightweight metal while protecting it from corrosion.

Breakaway connectors also come in different colors, and those colors communicate important attributes of the connector. For example, mating pairs of components can have the same color so technicians can easily pair the parts together. Colors may also designate brand, orientation, and material characteristics for the connectors, depending on the application.

Breakaway Connectors From Amphenol NEXUS Technologies

At Amphenol NEXUS Technologies, we specialize in manufacturing and supplying 7- and 10-pin breakaway connectors with a durable, waterproof design. We provide a wide range of standard and miniature breakaway components, plugs, and jacks for an array of applications, including:

  • C4I systems
  • Military aircraft
  • Commercial aircraft
  • Military ground vehicles
  • Soldier systems
  • Missiles and ordnance
  • Commercial/industrial equipment

 Contact us today to see how our breakaway cables and components can improve safety in your operation.

What is a Push Button Switch?

What is a Push Button Switch?

A push button switch is a simple mechanism that initiates power to a machine, device, or appliance. The body is typically metal or plastic, featuring a durable and ergonomic design. With switches available that provide latching or momentary action, there are push button switches for virtually any relevant application. This blog will explain how push button switches work and discuss typical applications for various push button switch types. 

How Does a Push Button Switch Work?

Push button switches can serve many purposes, but each type operates on a similar principle. When an operator applies pressure to the push button actuator, an internal spring depresses. Contacts attached to the spring connect with the electrical contacts on the switch’s lower end to open or close the electrical circuit. Depending on the switch, releasing the button or pressing it again will retract the spring and return the circuit to its original state.

The initial state of the push button circuit can be open or closed, depending on the application. The type of switch will also depend on the application.

Push Button Switch Types

Push button switches come in two types: momentary switches or push-pull switches. 

  • Momentary. The momentary push button switch has a single pole and is initially in an off state. When the operator presses the push button switch, it changes to on. There are also double-pole momentary switches that provide an additional state of functionality. 
  • Push-pull. Push-pull switches are typically in an off state until an operator presses the button and engages the actuator. The machine or device will remain on until an operator pulls the actuator to its initial position.

An infographic describing push button switches

Selecting a Push Button Switch for Military Applications

Military push button switches undergo rigorous testing and quality control. They must meet high reliability and performance requirements, in addition to ergonomic specifications. Relevant military specifications for push buttons include MIL-S-8805/3 and MS25089. Military push buttons require numerous capabilities, such as:

  • Electromagnetic immunity
  • Extreme temperature operation
  • Resistance to salt spray
  • IP67 or IP68 waterproofing
  • Shock and vibration resistance
  • Matte black chrome finish

Push Button Switches From Amphenol NEXUS Technologies

Amphenol Nexus Technologies can produce durable and tactile momentary switches and push-pull switches. Our experts have extensive experience designing and manufacturing rugged switches used in numerous commercial, industrial, marine, and military settings, such as:

  • Industrial machinery
  • Soldier systems
  • Command systems
  • Ruggedized communications systems
  • Naval systems
  • Ground vehicles
  • Avionics
  • Commercial and military aircraft

Our custom switches allow us to meet your exact specifications, and our military push button switches comply with MIL-S-8805/3 and MS25089. We also manufacture connectors that make it simple to implement our push button switches.

To see how we can help with your next project, please contact us today.

What is the Difference Between Microphone Plugs & Jacks?

What is the Difference Between Microphone Plugs & Jacks?

Even with the continued rise of wireless technology, many high-quality headsets, microphones, and other audio equipment still rely on wired connections to boost sound quality and functionality. How these devices plug into computers and larger pieces of equipment matters, as does the material used to make the contact points.

When purchasing audio hardware, it’s important to know the difference between a plug and a jack. A plug is a male-type connector that users insert into the equipment, whereas the jack is the matching female-type connector the plug goes into. For example, a microphone plug will be inserted into a speaker or computer’s jack. Plugs and jacks come in a wide variety of sizes, shapes, and materials. When selecting plugs and jacks, it’s important to ensure the proper sizing and other properties for each component to ensure it will function in its intended application.

Amphenol NEXUS Technologies Microphone Plugs & Jacks

At Amphenol NEXUS Technologies, we specialize in building robust, durable microphone components to give our users equipment they can rely on. Our designs focus on building robust solutions that can handle a variety of conditions.

For example, we incorporate nylon into our plug designs. Nylon is a synthetic material that has broad use cases ranging from clothing to electronics. This material is corrosion-resistant, insulative, wear-resistant, lightweight, and easy to customize. These properties make nylon an optimal choice for protective housings used on our ruggedized plugs and jacks used in even the harshest applications.

Plugs and jacks from Amphenol NEXUS Technologies will withstand hard usage, up to and including the stresses found in military application environments. Aside from the protective nylon housings, we’ve ruggedized our components by choosing strong materials and designing the jack-plug contacts to withstand hectic conditions. Beryllium is very ductile, making it an excellent choice for forming detailed geometries with specific dimensions. Adding nickel plating protects the beryllium by reducing the potential for diffusion and degradation. It also adds a bright, appealing finish.

With components designed for extreme wear resistance and failsafe capabilities, users of our microphone plugs and jacks can ensure a strong audio connection in rugged environments. This is what makes our solutions so well-suited for use as components in emergency commercial, municipal, and military communication systems.

An infographic explaining the differences between microphone plugs & jacks

Amphenol NEXUS Technologies for Rugged Applications

Since 1961, our team at Amphenol NEXUS has been designing and manufacturing audio plugs and jacks for a broad range of rugged application environments. We specialize in microphone and OEM headsets that are built to last and provide a trustworthy audio connection.

Contact us today to learn more about our capabilities or product line.