A ‘PCB’ or Printed Circuit Board connects electrical components on a conductive track or between pads on the board. Some devices hold more than one PCB and will utilise a variety of equipment to build a connection between the boards.

PCB connectors are mounted on the PCB and are typically used to transfer signals or power from one PCB to another, or to transfer to or from the PCB from another source within the unit. Connectors provide an easy method of Design for Manufacture, as the PCBs are not hard-wired to each other and can be assembled later in a production process.

There are different types of PCB connectors that have different roles to play on the board.

Types of PCB connectors

There are a variety of PCB connectors and accessories best designed for specific uses. To name some, they include:

Board-to-Board (BTB) Interconnect Systems

Hitaltech product two forms of Board-to-Board Interconnect Systems. Flat flexible cables which can be used in places where electrical connections require a high flexibility and/or printed circuit boards to be connected, that are subject to vibrations. Then Conex-It rigid interconnects are typically used where PCBs need to be stacked on top of each other or side by side. With either permanent or plug in connection methods, our rigid range offer a wide variety of available options with various combinations of length, pin pitches, surface mount, through hole, plating types, orientations and number of poles.

Wire-to-Board Connector

This type of device connects a wire to a printed circuit board (PCB), enabling connectivity between circuits. A wire-to-board connector connects a wire to a printed circuit board (PCB), enabling connectivity between circuits. Hitaltech made connectors use an automatic assembly process guarantees zero defects with 100% of the terminal blocks being tested. Various pitches are available from 2.54mm up to 19mm, in inches as well as their metric equivalent.

Electro Mechanical Connectors

Electro Mechanical Connectors cover a wide range of interfaces that allow devices to interface with each other. The most well kown of these would like be USB connectors.

Backplane connectors

Backplane connectors mostly used to design computer systems due to their versatility and modularity, these are supports structures used to connect different PCBs. Their cards can be interchanged very easily, therefore they are highly used in the telecom industry.

LVDS Connectors

LVDS Connectors also called Low Voltage Differential Signaling connectors, their application mainly involves monitors of all kinds. One of their benefits is that the copper cables allow for high speed of connection despite the low power operation.

PCB Sockets

PCB Sockets paired with PCB headers, they are used to guarantee simplified assembly when connecting two printed circuit boards without cabling.

RITS Connectors

RITS Connectors their acronym stands for Remote Input/Output Terminal System. They are colour coded to indicate their applications and feature a locking lever which facilitates the mating process without the need for stripping the wires in preparation, which is required by other types of PCB connectors.

PCB Connector Orientations

  • Parallel or mezzanine – both connectors are vertical orientation.
  • 90 Degree, Right Angle, Motherboard to Daughterboard – one connector is vertical, one is horizontal.
  • 180 Degree, Coplanar, Edge-to-Edge – both connectors are horizontal orientation.

How to clean PCB connectors?

Cleaning is an essential part of maintenance for the good functioning of PCB connectors and electronic devices in general. Especially if not used every single day, connectors are likely to accumulate dirt and eventually corrode making their use no longer possible. Carrying on a cleaning routine once in a while enables you to avoid power loss and keeping on having good contacts, but you should also be aware what the right tools are in order not to damage the parts that get in contact with the circuits.

  • While Isopropyl Alcohol seems to work best to remove corrosion, its use on connectors requires extra care as it is a flammable chemical compound.
  • A quicker solution is represented by using a PCB edge eraser, also known as cleaning scrub block, which is basically a simple eraser with a fine abrasive texture. Being it more efficient and abrasive than a standard pencil eraser, its application has to be quite gentle not to damage any parts of the connector when used to remove dirt and rust.
  • Using a brush (such as a PCB Cleaning Brush) can come handy when the terminals are particularly small and more precision is needed.