There are hundreds of different types of connectors that are used for
all sorts of applications, including automotive applications. In simple
terms, an electrical connector is just an electro-mechanical device
that joins electrical circuits to an interface. It can either join two
lengths of copper wire or cable, or connect wire and cable or an optical
interface to an electrical terminal. The main characteristics of
electrical connectors are their pin out, physical construction, contact
resistance, size, and insulation between pins, ruggedness, and
resistance to vibration, resistance to the entry of contaminants,
resistance to pressure, lifetime, and reliability. These are more or
less universal characteristics that can be found in that regardless of
their specific application. Good quality is Automotive usually easy to
assembly, inexpensive, and requires simple tooling at most.
Some very common types of electrical are terminal blocks, posts,
crimp-on connectors, insulation displacement connectors, plug and socket
connectors, component and device connectors, blade connectors, and ring
and spade terminals. In addition, these following connectors are also
fairly commonly used: 8P8C connectors, D-subminiature connectors, USB
connectors, power connectors, radio frequency connectors, DC connectors,
and hybrid connectors.
Specifically for automotive applications, you can find a variety of
product lines from manufacturers such has 3M, Amphenol, AVX, Cinch,
Cooper Bussmann, Delphi Connection Systems, EDAC, FCI, Hirose Electric,
JAE Electronics, Littelfuse, Molex, Song Chuan, TE Connectivity, and
Yamaichi Electronics, among others. For example, TE Connectivity offers
2.5/1.5 pin diameter connection systems, 5mm centerline IDC connectors,
circular plastic connectors, dynamic series connectors, flexible film
contacts, G series modular connectors, marinate connectors, and
miniature/standard AIMP-IN terminals, and proper connectors, just to
name a few. These are all for various automotive applications such as
cockpit and engine harnesses, ECU and fuse boxes, fuse and relay
holders, and PC board electronics. Molex, another major manufacturer of
automotive connectors, has products that include standard sealed and
unsealed connectors as well as custom-built power and signal harnesses
which can service power train and in-car entertainment.
Automotive applications refer to anything from electrical
configurations of a vehicle to the power train and the in-car stereo and
entertainment. It could be any number of more specific applications
within the automotive application itself, each requiring a different
specific type of connector as a part of the entire configuration. Hence,
there are hundreds of different type and thousands more for other
unrelated applications. You will be able to find such connectors from
any of the major aforementioned manufacturers or through large
distributors. The ones that are available for individual consumer use
can be found on the retail level through shops such as AutoZone.
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