A: Dozens of connector varieties and thousands of individual connectors exist, but five key parameters help narrow the options:
1. Number of contacts:
it may seem obvious that the number of contacts in the connector should match or exceed the number in the cable - but one common mistake is to miscount by nt counting ground, while connectors do not.
2. Wire Gauge(AWG) or (conductor size).
Cable's wire gauge (conductor size) must be within the allowed range of the connector contacts. In general, screw contacts accommodate a broader range of wire gauges than comparable crimped contacts.
3. Cable outside diameter (OD):
This dimension is often overlooked during specification. A poor seal results if the cable OD is too small relative to the connector, whereas an oversized cable OD may prevent it from fitting into the connectors.
4. + 5. Maximum voltage and current:
Perhaps the most important specification to ensure a safe design a connector must be rated to handle the voltage and current of an application.
Other parameters must be taken into consideration for difficult operating environments or unusual electrical requirements - as when, for example, a connector sports the correct number of contacts, wire gauge, and OD but an insufficient current or voltage rating.