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Popularization of Science|Why is the connector pitch so important?

I. What is the pitch of a connector

Understanding connector pitch is critical to ensuring that the right connecting wire or cable is picked for compatibility in real-world applications.

Image from MTI

Definition of Pitch: In any connector containing multiple terminal pins, pitch is the distance from the center of one pin to the center of the next.

When selecting a connector, follow these two rules of thumb:

Schematic diagram of connector pitch
Image from KCR

Header pitch is measured from the center of one pin to the center of the next pin (A). It can also be measured from the outer edge of the first pin to the inner edge of the last pin (B), where A = B/(C-1). C denotes the number of pins.

II. Impact of different connector pitch

Connectors may be similar in outside dimensions, but different pitches can make them very different.

This is because as manufacturing becomes more advanced, connectors can be made smaller. Some connectors only carry a small amount of current and voltage, so they can be made smaller to save space and material costs. Sometimes on other projects where higher conductive power is needed, connections and wires with higher capacity are required. KONNRA connectors have created the new KR2017 series for customer needs, with a pitch of 2.0 and can carry 3A of current, which is smaller than competing products for the same pitch and current.

Comparison of KR2017 with other brand connector parameters

This is why it is important to know the connector pitch that needs to be used before purchasing and utilizing a connector. KONNRA Connectors is not only able to provide customers with datasheets and catalogs that will help them select the correct connector, but also provide customized connector solutions for their needs.

All kinds of terminal block and connector

III. How to measure the pitch on the connector?

Measure the pitch of the connector housing.

For connector housings, you can instead measure the edges of both holes on the same side. For example, in the figure below measure “B” instead of “A”. B = A, so B is the pitch of the connector housing.

Measuring the pitch of the connector housing
Image from JST

Or for multiple circuit connector housings, you can measure the distance between the two furthest circuits (dimension “C” in the diagram below) and divide by (number of circuits – 1). For example, the diagram below shows a connector housing for 6 circuits. You would divide C by 5 and the result would be the pitch of the connector housing.

Measurement of connector housings for multiple circuits
Image from JST

If the connector is small and there are multiple lines, you can measure the distance between the number of contacts, subtract the width of the contacts, and divide by [number of contacts – 1].

For example, the pitch of the connector row of pins in the figure below is (C-W)/4.

Measuring the pitch of connector rows of pins
Image from JST

IV. Consider these three points when designing the pitch of connector pins

In the design of electronic connectors, pin pitch is important to connector performance. It affects the performance, size, and other aspects of the product. Select the appropriate pitch of the connector pins need to consider the following three points:

First, the space

The smaller the pitch of the connector pins in the same design, the smaller the connector will be. Connectors with closer pin pitch can be more adaptable to the interconnection of compact equipment applications, in a small space to play a better transmission effect.

Second, current-carrying

The smaller the pin size of the current-carrying capacity is also lower, the design should ensure that the current-carrying capacity of the connector to meet the application requirements.

Third, other physical limitations

Connector pin pitch physical limitations are mainly reflected in the realization of the connector design, such as the number of pins is too much, may make the connector too long, easy to break. Pin pitch is too dense in the production will also cause inconvenience.

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