REDwire How to choose the right SMT connector

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There are many factors to consider when selecting a connector.

SMT connectors are used to match the Surface Mount Technology (SMT) circuits found on circuit boards. However, designers often have difficulty selecting the appropriate connector for the job. This is such a common challenge, that Harting addressed it in the FAQ section of its website in an attempt to help its customers understand how to choose the right connector.

Selection considerations

When looking at different SMT connectors, designers need to make sure that the connector they select can be reliably terminated with a consistent process. It is also important to make sure that the connectors do not become detached from the board. This means that accurate alignment of the surface mount contacts onto the PCB pad and consistent soldering are a must. In addition, it’s beneficial if the connectors have more hold-down features to compensate for the lack of through-hole soldering/fixing typical in wave-soldered or press-fit connectors.

Size is also a factor. Smaller connectors allow designers to create smaller systems, and can free up space for other components. 

Stacking height and alignment issues are also a consideration. According to the FAQ document, a good connector family must be able to achieve a range of stacking heights. 

In addition, if the application involves vibration or repeated connecting and disconnecting, connectors must be securely fixed. 

Connector advancements

SMT connectors, because of their size, are inherently less robust than larger connector types. However, some of the latest SMT connectors offer features designed to address the need for mechanical robustness, including PCB hold-down fixtures that are soldered to the board, and through-hole plastic guiding pins that help with alignment.

As a leader in the connectivity industry, Harting offers the most advanced connectors. Its team of experts has the knowledge to help customers choose the right connector for the job. 

To read the FAQ document in its entirety, download the PDF here. For additional details, contact Harting Canada


Harting Canada Inc

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