Cicoil, Valencia, Calif., is now offering solder tab nano connector assemblies. First developed for targeting systems in military aircraft, the miniature assemblies can be used in any mission-critical application where size and security are a concern.
Rich Buchicchio, National Sales and Marketing Manager at Cicoil, said that using solder tabs over crimped connections has many advantages. For example, they are reliable, repeatable and can be visually inspected. Crimped connections, on the other hand, are not visible, and prone to undetectable defects.
“We extrude the cable and seal it all the way to the connector, which provides a better connection,” Buchicchio said.
This seal-tight connection has proven superior in vibration and shock applications. With crimped connections, potting can infiltrate between the crimp and the wire, weakening the crimped joint. These connectors are encapsulated in potting which helps them form extremely strong and rugged electrical connections, making them idea for mission-critical flight applications. Solder tabs are void-free, eliminating issues of oxidation, corrosion and CTE (Coefficient of Thermal Expansion) found with crimped connections.
The designs have been tested to and meet MIL-DTL-32139.
Compact size is another big advantage, said Buchicchio. Crimped contacts require relatively thick, stiff insulated wires. These often negate the small package benefits of a nano connector, as the envelope size of the wires exceeds the size of the nano connector.
“By soldering, you’re able to use smaller wires, 32 versus 28 gauge wires. This reduces the size and weight of the entire system,” he said.
The smaller wires also require thinner insulation. And by encapsulating the wires in a thin, compact Cicoil flat cable, the wires are protected and much more easily managed and routed into small, compact sizes.
Buchicchio said that Cicoil will likely be offering something similar with the micro D connector soon.
Although designed for aerospace targeting systems, the market is growing for these lead-free solder tab nano connector assemblies. They can be used in the following:
- Aerospace: drones, missiles (optical seeker heads), board to board jumper systems, cockpit computer systems, FLIR sensor-head electronics, and ring laser gyro circuit interconnections.
- Ground-based military applications: unmanned robotics, radar, hand-held weapons vision systems, portable communications, robotic heads and index systems
- Medical: Surgical Systems, Patient Monitoring, Medical Imaging, Prosthetics
- Oil/Petroleum: Downhole sensors systems