PCB Pins and Receptacles Information

PCB Pin image

PCB pins and PCB receptacles are electronic interconnect devices for printed circuit boards (PCB).

  • PCB pins are male connectors.
  • PCB receptacles are female connectors.

Both are made of metallic elements or alloys and available in a variety of shapes and sizes.

Screw-machined terminals. Video Credit: Advanced Interconnections Corp. / CC BY-SA 4.0

 

Mounting Styles

PCB pins are terminals on components which use through-hole technology (THT), a mounting style which inserts leads through holes in the board and then solders the leads in place on the opposite side. With through-hole connections, pin receptacles provide an electrical path from the component lead through the contact via the terminal or housing. The inner contacts or clips of a PCB receptacle feature a multi-line or multi-finger style that can accommodate round, square, or rectangular component leads.

Surface mount technology (SMT), a popular alternative to processes that use PCB pins, adds components by soldering component leads to the top surface of the board.

Types of Pins

Gold, Spring-loaded PCB Pin imageSuppliers of PCB pins and PCB receptacles offer many different types of PCB pins:

  • Double-tail header pins
  • Edge-mount pins
  • Nail-head pins
  • Solder-cup terminal pins
  • Slotted terminal pins
  • Solder-mount PCB pins
  • Solderless press-fit PCB pins
  • Spring-loaded pins
  • Surface mount pins
  • Swage terminal pins
  • Turret terminal pins
  • Wire crimp pins
  • Wire wrap terminal pins
  • Wire termination pins

Most PCB pins are single-ended or double-ended and have a plated shell.

Materials

PCB pins are constructed of several different materials.

  • Brass alloys
  • Phosphor bronze
  • Tellurium copper
  • Beryllium copper
  • Beryllium nickel

Plating materials for PCB pins including the following:

  • Copper
  • Lead
  • Gold
  • Silver
  • Tin
  • Nickel
  • Palladium

Specifications

Some suppliers specify PCB pins in inches (in) or fractions of inches. Others use metric measurements such as millimeters (mm).

  • Pin diameter
  • Dimensional accuracy
  • Board thickness
  • Mounting-hole size

Types of PCB Plugs

Suppliers of PCB pins and PCB receptacles offer are many different types of PCB plugs. Examples include:

  • Receptacles with or without a standard tail
  • Receptacles with a wire-wrap tail
  • Receptacles with a turret
  • Surface mount receptacles
  • Wire crimp or termination receptacles

PCB receptacles that are designed for molded plastic or drilled circuit boards may use a barb for improved retention.

A knurled shell is sometimes used to provide retention without rotation.

Shells with through-holes are designed for boards with long pins, or PCBs that require stacking.

Materials

PCB Receptacle imagePCB receptacle materials include

  • Brass alloys
  • Beryllium copper

PCB Receptacle imagePCB receptacle plating materials include

  • Tin
  • Lead
  • Gold

Specifications

Some suppliers specify PCB receptacles in inches (in) or fractions of inches. Others use metric measurements such as millimeters (mm).

  • Lead size
  • Current rating
  • Board thickness
  • Dimensional accuracy
  • Mounting-hole size

Standards

MIL-DTL-32139/5 - Connectors, electrical, rectangular, nanominiature, single row, plug, polarized shell, pin contacts, vertical PCB through-hole type

MIL-DTL-32139/7 - Connectors, electrical, rectangular, nanominiature, single row, plug, polarized shell, pin contacts, horizontal PCB through-hole type

MIL-DTL-32139/6 - Connectors, electrical, rectangular, nanominiature, single row, receptacle, polarized shell, pin contacts, vertical PCB through-hole type

MIL-DTL-32139/8 - Connectors, electrical, rectangular, nanominiature, single row, receptacle, polarized shell, pin contacts, horizontal PCB through-hole type

References

Image Credits:

Newark / element14 (1,3,4) | Plastronics Socket Company, Inc. (2)