Description   D-subminiature or D-sub connectors are sturdy electrical connectors with a mating face shaped like the letter D. The connection has two or more parallel rows of pins or sockets. The pins are surrounded by a metal shield, typically in the shape of a D, which provides mechanical support, ensures correct orientation, and screens against electromagnetic interference. D-sub connectors are considered polarized connectors because they are designed to mate in only one way.
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Q & A on D-Subminiature Connectors

We asked our users for their input on D-Subminiature Connectors. Here are the results of 73 users familiar with D-Subminiature Connectors.

Who Took Our Poll? | Design Trends | Applications and Use | Features | Buying Advice

Who Took Our Poll?Top

Design TrendsTop

Q:
What new technologies are influencing D-Sub Connector design?
10 answers
Answers:
SMT is forcing connectors to fit in smaller areas on PCBs. New digital medias require smaller connectors and fine-pitch spacing, however, D-Sub connectors still offer better robustness and isolation.
~Andre B, Project Manager, Cachoeirinha, Brazil
Harsh environments require them to be Sealed. Medical safety standards are requiring higher voltage withstand testing and sometimes special insulator materials to achieve the test specifications.
~Fred K, Engineering Consultant, Cary, NC
Contact Density , sturdy designs such as die cast housing and solid body design.
~General Corporate Mgmt, Brampton, Canada
Miniaturization, high density, fiberoptic/RF contacts combined with regular ones.
~Andrey G, Service and installation technician, Richmond< BC, Canada
Stable connections. Size and easy but sturdy locking system
~Jorn Steffensen, Technical Support, Copenhagen, Denmark
Communications and High density applications.
~Engineering, Other, Chicago, IL
Water sealing...IP rating
~Peter P, Technical Support, Garner, NC
IP67 APPLICATIONS
~General Corporate Mgmt, Brampton, Canada
I don't really know because i just purchase the cheapest ones in Taiwan.
~Jhony A, Engineer, Hsinchu, Taiwan
Hardware, body commodites
~Mike H, Marketing/Sales, Cary, NC

Q:
From your perspective, which companies are creating the most innovative D-Sub Connectors?
11 answers
Answers:
Conec, Positronics
~Fred K, Engineering Consultant, Cary, NC
ITT Cannon
~Engineering, Faculty/Staff/Student, Moffet Field, CA
Amphenol, Cinch
~Ron K, Design Engineer, M.C., IN
Conec has introduced new innovative design such as their Solid Body D subs for harsh environment applications, High Density, Combination D Subs incorporating Power, signal and Coax contact design and all are IP67 rated.
~General Corporate Mgmt, Brampton, Canada
We usually use AM.
~Andrey G, Service and installation technician, Richmond< BC, Canada
Conec. Solid body IP67 Dsubs. Dual port Combo D connectors.
~General Corporate Mgmt, Brampton, Canada
I have not seen much innovation lately.
~Andre B, Project Manager, Cachoeirinha, Brazil
ITT cannon
~Engineering, Other, Chicago, IL
Conec
~Mike H, Marketing/Sales, Cary, NC
MPFPI
~Marketing/Sales, El Puig, Spain
Conec
~Peter P, Technical Support, Garner, NC

Applications and UseTop

Q:
What are some of the applications you have used D-Sub Connectors for?
21 answers
Answers:
MRI machines, central telephone switches, GPS survey systems, instrumentation, power supplies, avionics, automation, motion control, industrial computers, embedded systems, engine sensors and control, railway signaling, printing systems, cell base stations, Wi-Fi repeaters, microwave communications.
~Fred K, Engineering Consultant, Cary, NC
We have applied Filtered D Subs to subsystems to eliminate EMI/RFI problems, in addition we use water-resistant D-Sub Connectors in harsh environment applications on systems used outdoors.
~General Corporate Mgmt, Brampton, Canada
Development of communication ports, remote readers, data & signal interfaces, data concentrators and communication modules. Main application: Electricity meters and metering systems.
~Andre B, Project Manager, Cachoeirinha, Brazil
Mainly signal transmission from a fuel cell testing station to/from a PC
~Jhony A, Engineer, Hsinchu, Taiwan
I've personally not used Dsubs, however I have designed them into all kids of Industries. Communications, Process control and automation, Medical. Power management, etc..
~General Corporate Mgmt, Brampton, Canada
Used as a means of communicating with our PCB that controls our chemical injection systems that are used in the upstream Oil and Gas Industry.
~Engineering, Design, Fort st john, Canada
Used the information and training I have received to better serve our external customers in picking the correct DFsubs for their application.
~Mike H, Marketing/Sales, Cary, NC
Number of pins Pin material: stainless steel, gold-plated Voltage Intensity Heating / cooling gradient: K/min.
~Marketing/Sales, El Puig, Spain
PC's, laptops. serial communications, telecom, LAN, projectors, medical equip., business equip.
~Fort Worth, TX
Cableform design for aerospace/military market.
~Alistair C, Design Engineer, Edinburgh, UK
Serial Connections. Cable designs.
~Engineer, Orlando, FL
Data transmission from instruments.
~Jorn Steffensen, Technical Support, Copenhagen, Denmark
Flight and non- flight black boxes.
~Engineering, Design, Laurel, MD
Serial / parallel communication.
~Engineering, Other, Chicago, IL
Vital signs monitor connectors.
~Froilan G, Design Engineer, Torreon, Mexico
Instrumentation, controls.
~Engineering, Faculty/Staff/Student, Moffet Field, CA
Test fixture interfacing
~Ron K, Design Engineer, M.C., IN
Avionics installations.
~Purchasing, Hyannis, MA
Commercial electronics.
~Peter P, Technical Support, Garner, NC
Commercial. telecom
~General Corporate Mgmt, Brampton, Canada
Avionics
~Andrey G, Service and installation technician, Richmond< BC, Canada

Q:
Please share with us any “non-standard” applications that D-Sub Connectors have been used for.
5 answers
Answers:
Instead of connecting 'electrical' signals, there have been attempts to connect pneumatic lines for use in automation machinery, but within the housing of a D-sub connector. A couple companies have tried this, but it's rare, and less than perfect, in my opinion. Personally, I would Not use such a design.
~Fred K, Engineering Consultant, Cary, NC
We have used D sub Connectors in a voltage supply management system for an electric motor used on electric bicycle.
~General Corporate Mgmt, Brampton, Canada
- 24V in/out connection; - 24V coil driving; - Desirable: 300VAC insulation between pins for phase monitoring.
~Andre B, Project Manager, Cachoeirinha, Brazil
Reverse orientation dsub. Selectively Loaded Dsub connectors. Custom tail lengths.
~General Corporate Mgmt, Brampton, Canada
High voltage, low current
~Ron K, Design Engineer, M.C., IN

Q:
Do you know of any disastrous mistakes that occurred due to the incorrect usage of D-Sub Connectors?
3 answers
Answers:
Make sure you are designing in a standard product and not a manufacturers custom that can be obsoleted. Make sure you have a second source for the same PCB foot print.
~Peter P, Technical Support, Garner, NC
It was more an error of subsequent processing.....a cable assembler who was doing 'over-molding', clamped the wire bundle too tightly withOUT a proper means of aligning the contacts in the body, and ended up molding them all 'mis-aligned'.....with the result that subsequent mating smashed many...over a period of time.
~Fred K, Engineering Consultant, Cary, NC
Corrosion protection
~Andrey G, Service and installation technician, Richmond< BC, Canada

FeaturesTop

Q:
What would your design or feature "wish list" be for this product?
13 answers
Answers:
- A particular need is to improve dielectric isolation between pins; - Smaller footprint in PCB-mounted connectors; - IP52 class insulation for panel-mounted connectors;
~Andre B, Project Manager, Cachoeirinha, Brazil
That all manufacturers have the PCB layout the SAME. Especially on the right angle PC tail versions, there are often differences between manufacturers.
~Fred K, Engineering Consultant, Cary, NC
Polarizing key. Higher current rating with smaller packaging. Hi Density screw machined dual ports.
~General Corporate Mgmt, Brampton, Canada
D-sub with crimp contacts, MIL-spec, backshell with ground provision for shielded wires.
~Andrey G, Service and installation technician, Richmond< BC, Canada
Dual Port IP67 Rated D Sub connectors
~General Corporate Mgmt, Brampton, Canada
More ruggedized versions be designed.
~Peter P, Technical Support, Garner, NC
Better lead times. Lesser cost.
~Mike H, Marketing/Sales, Cary, NC
Snug, easy on-off, watertight.
~Jorn Steffensen, Technical Support, Copenhagen, Denmark
Easy to mount everywhere.
~Jhony A, Engineer, Hsinchu, Taiwan
Smaller prototype.
~Engineering, Other, Chicago, IL
Higher density.
~Ron K, Design Engineer, M.C., IN
-Reliable.
~Engineer, Orlando, FL
Smaller.
~Alistair C, Design Engineer, Edinburgh, UK

Q:
Is there any advice you want to share with users to help them avoid common errors in selection or usage of D-Sub Connectors?
4 answers
Answers:
Understand the important difference between a 'stamped & formed' type of contact, and a machined contact. The latter is for 'when it really must work and a service call is expensive if it does not'. An extra $3 to $5 spent here, will save $1000's in complaints and service calls.
~Fred K, Engineering Consultant, Cary, NC
Carefully select fixing screw-nuts. Often they can loosen by trying to attach a fixing screw.
~Andre B, Project Manager, Cachoeirinha, Brazil
Not all Dsubs are created equal.
~Mike H, Marketing/Sales, Cary, NC
Check requirements for model you build
~Andrey G, Service and installation technician, Richmond< BC, Canada

Buying AdviceTop

Q:
Do you have any advice for people relative to buying or using D-Sub Connectors?
6 answers
Answers:
Define your needs up front, not as an evolving list later. If you need a lot of connections (typically more than 5) for an Input/Output port, and high reliability, in an industrial (for example) environment, then by all means consider the D-sub with machined contacts, despite the fact it is 'old' technology, it has withstood the test of TIME because it is robust, and versatile (includes low level signaling, to RF, and power, all in the same housing).
~Fred K, Engineering Consultant, Cary, NC
There are many, many d-sub manufacturers currently in the market. Yes, they all meet the required overall shell sizes...but that is where the similarities end. Consider stamped and formed contacts vs the higher quality machined contacts. This is especially important with right angle configurations. Be aware of the differences in PCB footprints from vendor to vendor.
~Peter P, Technical Support, Garner, NC
Chinese made ones are kind of lacking on quality.
~Jhony A, Engineer, Hsinchu, Taiwan
MIL-spec , crimp contacts D-sub.
~Andrey G, Service and installation technician, Richmond< BC, Canada
Not really, I think D-subs are pretty straight forward.
~Engineering, Other, Chicago, IL
Do your homework
~Mike H, Marketing/Sales, Cary, NC


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