Author Topic: IDC connectors suck  (Read 254 times)

BruceM

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IDC connectors suck
« on: December 16, 2018, 11:45:10 PM »
I spent a few hours troubleshooting my remote fiber-cellphone hardware today. My memory is so poor it's a relearning project, though fortunately with pretty good documentation. The fiber-phone was a 2006 project, all hand soldered, no PCB, with a Picaxe M18 controller.  Ended up being one of the few Molex insulation displacement connectors I have left on that...on the 12v power to the solenoid that pushes the button to turn on the cell phone.

I never use Molex IDC connectors anymore, for good cause.  The contact to the wire is just not reliable over time. 

Not much fun working in the cell phone dog house when you're having a bout of Graves and your heart is going 100 BPM and your hands are shaking. 




glort

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Re: IDC connectors suck
« Reply #1 on: December 17, 2018, 03:55:05 AM »

I have a thing with connectors and plugs in general.

So often manufacturers make up their own connectors so you are forced to buy theirs which are always at highly inflated prices for what is often complete crap quality.

I have come up against this a lot in my solar exploits. Every inverter manufacturer now seems to use their own AC connectors.  I buy used Inverters and the connectors rarely come with them.  If you can find them online they are some weido thing that are priced to kill.
I won't play the game anymore, I take the 97 screws out the inverter and open it up often to find a fairly light bit of wire  going to either screw or those lift and push to close connectors.  I just run a bit of decent size wire from the board terminal straight out of the inverter itself Through a grommet and  hard wire or put on an AC plug.

I got an inverter a few months back and rang about the connector and they wanted $65 and then didn't want to sell it to me because I wasn't one of their solar dealers.  Yeah no worries, Bit of cable will cost me about .50C

I also see now they are modifying the Standard MC4 Connectors on inverters . They are Made by or called Phoenix and are as usual some modification to a standard connector in order to try and con you into paying about 10X the price of  a Standard type. The inner electrical pins are the same just the outside shell is modified to make them incompatible. 

I have some scrap inverters I have pulled the standard panel mount connectors out of and will open the inverter and replace these other con jobs with the normal ones so I can use the standard connectors.

Before long everyone will be bringing out their own power plug pattern so you have to buy their wall socket to plug in your appliance then everything else in that brand to go with with  the outlet.

BruceM

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Re: IDC connectors suck
« Reply #2 on: December 17, 2018, 04:31:51 PM »
I hear you loud and clear on the connector hassle.  If the Germans didn't insist on some connector standards post WWII (DIN and DB connectors) we'd really be screwed.  American's hate regulations even when they would benefit everyone, it seems.

For power, I really like the Anderson Power Pole connectors.  Lovely simple design that can build up large keyed connectors that are idiot proof, carry very high currents, and are very cheap. On my inverter H-bridge boards,  which were a tight fit on the cheap 2 sided "experimenters board" by PCBexpress, I used 5 inch, 14 gauge silicone wire pigtails with Power pole connectors for both the 120VDC input and AC output.  It let me keep the power current path very small on the board (for low EMI), and not burn a lot of board space for connectors.  I routed power on the board between power transistors via solid 14 gauge wire "jumpers" since I could ill afford the space for wide traces for 30+ amps.

Anderson also makes an expensive board connected power pole, but I haven't used them yet.

https://www.amazon.com/Anderson-Powerpole-Connectors-Amp-pair/dp/B00W8TN4KY/ref=asc_df_B00W8TN4KY/?tag=hyprod-20&linkCode=df0&hvadid=198064502357&hvpos=1o1&hvnetw=g&hvrand=10712659400175080370&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=2840&hvtargid=pla-319132232802&psc=1

AdeV

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Re: IDC connectors suck
« Reply #3 on: December 18, 2018, 05:53:58 AM »
American's hate regulations even when they would benefit everyone, it seems.

That's a bit harsh: I think it's more a case of, if there's not a standard that fits exactly what you want to do.... you create a new one  ;D

As the old saying goes: That's the beauty about standards... there's so many to choose from!

Cheers!
Ade.
--------------
1x Lister CS Start-o-Matic (complete, runs)
0x Lister JP4 :( - Sold to go in a canal boat.

BruceM

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Re: IDC connectors suck
« Reply #4 on: December 18, 2018, 09:16:44 AM »
The German connector standards were not hard to circumvent, you just had to file a justification why you needed something special...which had to be legitimate and was actually read by someone basically competent.  Eliminating custom oddball connectors is a good thing, for everyone.

 


glort

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Re: IDC connectors suck
« Reply #5 on: December 18, 2018, 10:52:29 AM »

Years ago I had a set of very expensive Studio strobes.  The PC connector that went from the flash to the camera had a fitting on the strobe that was  a standard connector like an XLR microphone connector only they had offset one fin so it wouldn't fit.
The sync cables were a fortune and they were cheap garbage quality that was lucky to last weeks.  I'd repair and splice the things much as I could but it got old any you really had to have a spare for when the things crashed on an important job as they always did.

I had some cheaper heads that really were as good as the pricy ones but they took a lead that was a standard 6.5mm Phono connector and were available all over fleabay for under $10.  The real annoyance was they definately outlasted the other ones buy a HUGE margin.  So much for getting what you pay for.

One day I sat there pondering these other connectors and what I could do to get around them.  Suddenly the 2V light in my head began to flicker Dimly and I realised it's only 2 wires make a circuit.  Opened a unit up and sure enough, 2 wires going to their pain in the butt socket.  Off to the electronic store and bought some panel mount 6.5 phono sockets for about a buck each.  Bought them home and they were too small for the OEM connector  hole in the unit but a mudguard washer solved that problem and with a squirt of black paint they were a genuine photographic part. ( because every thing photographic is black!)
I was then able to use the cheap cables and only had one cable to worry about.

Only problem was to this day I still kick myself for being so stupid not to work the problem out and fix it years earlier. I wasted a LOT of money on those damn cables and had more than one argument with the distributors about them too.
Then again, no one else seemed to have figured it out either and I had loads of people thanking me when I did write ups on various Photo forums.

I'm sure I caused sales to drop with those cables for a bunch of different strobe brands as so many people barring the safety sissy's and fearmongers seemed to modify their lights as well.