Product Roundup – Connector PCB Headers and Receptacles

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There are several different types of headers and receptacles on the market and on the real estate of PCB boards. Headers consist of one to several rows of male pins, while the receptacles, predictably, are the female counterpart and are sometimes known as female connectors. When female segments are disconnected, the electrical conductors are not exposed and are protected from accidental contact by design.

PCB headers and receptacles are readily available from several connector manufacturers in a wide range of sizes and they have specific features based on the demands of the application at hand. Once a PCB connector category is chosen, and narrowed down by type regarding position, terminations and style orientation, choosing a header or plug and PCB receptacle is quite easy. Let’s take a look at just a few examples:

Header and receptacle connection is based on specific requirements and the environment that they will be used within. An example of both elements is seen in the Molex SMT Header Plug and Receptacle Kit 76650-0168. This board-to-board kit is used with the Molex SlimStack™ connector family. These connectors accommodate frequency rates to 3 GHz for a variety of high-speed connections. Circuit sizes range from 20 to 80 and the current rating is 0.5 A. The surface-mount solution features vertical headers and vertical receptacles. The kit offers a low-cost way to achieve performance in 50 and 100 Ohm applications.

0815 Product Roundup Connector PCB Headers and Receptacles 1 

Figure 1: The Molex SlimStack connector kit features an SMT header plug and receptacle. (Source: Molex)

Additional features include:

  • Metal solder tabs for PCB hold-down and strain relief for SMT tails,
  • Housing lock on 20 to 60 circuits,
  • Easy board processing,
  • Cross talk at < 7 percent,
  • 6.00 to 16.00 mm stack heights.

Applications span mobile phones, PDAs, digital video and still cameras, digital video and audio players, voice recorders and notebook PCs.

The TE Connectivity 1-1123723-2 Wire-to-Board 3.96 mm pitch Economy Power header assembly features two contacts, a solder-termination method, and through-hole mounting. The low-profile header addresses several markets, including household appliances, commercial and building equipment, HVAC and vending controls, industrial machinery and equipment generators, coin changers, vending machines and lighting.


0815 Product Roundup Connector PCB Headers and Receptacles 2 

Figure 2: The TE Connectivity 1-1123723-2 (3.96 mm) low-profile economy power header. (Source: TE Connectivity)


This series of economy power connectors are based on a .156" pitch and are rated for 600 VAC at up to 11 A, thus offering potential for a larger range of applications along with 22-18 AWG [.321-.963 mm²] wire size. Up to 12 positions make it a versatile product family for delivering power to PCBs.

Features include a positive audible latch designed for easier mating and unmating, polarization tabs to help prevent post misalignment, color-coded housings and the ability to be mated with similar competitive products for retrofit applications.

FCI Products’ 77313-101-20LF Duplex-Plated BergstikâII Headers feature 20 positions. When mated with FCI's Mini PVä terminals or other 0.025" pin-compatible receptacles on 0.100" centerlines, they provide board-to-board, board-to-cable, board-to-discrete wire and board-to-flex interconnect capabilities in vertical one-, two- or three-row configurations, as well as right-angle one- and two-row configurations.

They feature a through-hole termination style and gold contact plating on phosphor-bronze contact material, with thermoplastic housing material. The current rating is 3 A. The mating post length is 3.84 mm, the termination post length is 2.41 mm and their voltage rating is 1.5 kV.

While headers and receptacles are ubiquitous, their selection is important. Fortunately, they follow connector trends, and address the specific needs and requirements of all connector families in use.

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