Micro USB socket seals to IP54
With most phone companies agreeing that Micro USB should be the de facto charging and data connector for phones, the interface format is likely to become more common amongst other portable devices.
Even without a data requirement, the port is convenient for charging – particularly as so many 5V chargers are available at reasonable cost.
Micro USB connectors are already sufficiently durable for professional applications, as the USB specification calls for them to withstand 10,000 connection cycles – the same as full-size USB, and twice as many as the Mini format.
“USB is characterised by widespread market adoption and consists of several form factors to accommodate different device requirements,” said connector maker TE Connectivity – formerly known as Tyco. “The Micro USB series are mostly used in mobile devices and are the smallest connector series in the USB family. They combine high speed data capabilities and a charging function in one connector.”
However, run-of-the-mill Micro USB connectors are not necessarily sealed to the standards required by professional equipment.
Now TE has introduces a splash-proof Micro USB connector designed to seal gaps around the opening and inside the connector shell.
“For today’s modern and multifunction products, micro USB connectors create one of the largest openings on the surface, even in the connector shell, there are some large gaps – all of which increase the risk of water or dust intrusion,” said TE product manager Egbert Stellinga. “It offers the possibility to protect mobile devices from being damaged by water or dust intrusion.”
The firm is aiming at mobiles, MP3 players, cameras, and other consumer portables, however its claim of sealing to IP54 – providing the moulded front is suitably-close to the device shell – means test gear customers, for example, can be offered a well-understood ingress rating.
To accommodate the seal, the socket is slightly larger than usual: 8.2x5x3.8mm.
It conforms to the Micro USB 2.0 specification, supporting high-speed data as well as power, with a surface-mount solder bracket providing additional strength from underneath.
A and B type Micro plugs are accepted, and both normal USB and USB on-the-Go are supported.
The data sheet is not currently available from TE’s website to confirm that the product meets full 10,000 cycle durability.
The firm said that the “design provides a stable connection even after thousands of insertions”.