Only Connect: IDC Connectors & Cable

Welcome to another post in the series Only Connect. It is written by Nick Locke, of Nicab Ltd, who has over 15 years of experience in the electronics manufacturing industry specialising in interconnection cable assembly.
I often find myself speaking to customers who are totally confused when ordering IDC Cables, which is understandable considering how complicated it is working out the pitch of the cable and connectors.  

For example a 2.54mm (0.1") Pitch IDC Socket uses 1.27mm (0.05") Ribbon cable.
But worry no more here is my simple guide to getting the right combination of cable and connectors across the most common ranges:

Connector Pitch: Cable Pitch:
1.27mm (0.05") 0.635mm (0.025")
2mm (0.79) (0.039")
2.54mm (0.1") 1.27mm (0.05")

May people get confused because some cable manufactures list their dimensions in inches and connectors in millimetres, and vice versa.

I hope this has been helpful and will aid you in choosing the right combination of cable & connectors.

I'm going to leave you with a quick test. Which of the following IDC connectors is a plug? A, B, C?


Nick Locke, director at Nicab Ltd, has over 15 years experience in the electronics manufacturing industry specialising in interconnection cable assembly. Driven by a passion for interconnection he spends a great deal of his time searching out the latest technology and innovation in interconnection & manufacturing in general.

Keen to pass on information his aim is to engage the electronics community in the subjects and issues he believes are important. Totally devoted to the promotion of the electronics manufacturing industry he sees the future of electronics manufacturing as vital component in the UK economy.

Previous Only Connect entries:

* Only Connect: A quick and simple guide to Coax Connectors

* Only Connect: Eco-gift for Christmas (Going Green #4)

* Only Connect: How to promote UK Manufacturing #3

* Only Connect: On using Ethernet connectors

* Only Connect: High-temp superconductors good news for renewable energy

* Only Connect: A positive mindset for winning government contracts

* Only Connect: A Top Ten of connector manufacturers

* Only Connect: Red toxic sludge points the way (Going Green #3)

* Only Connect: Handy Design Tips #4 - Explosion proof Ethernet

* Only Connect: We're changing the world into a better place, baby!

* Only Connect: Handy Design Tips #3 - The right wrong connector

* Only Connect: Proud of the Made In UK mark

* Only Connect: Handy Design Tips #1 - Colour

* Only Connect: Better promoting the value of UK manufacturing

* Only Connect: Easy ways to go green

* Product packaging (Going Green II)

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