Instrument mobility, portable medical equipment, miniature surveillance systems, and many other applications require quick and easy cable connections. These connections must be very highly reliable to meet the shock, vibration, and temperature demands placed on these systems. As electronic instruments, cameras, and sensors continue to get smaller, the need for easy plug-and-go functions evolves. Connector systems and the instruments in which they are used may need to be replaced on the field, requiring small size, light weight, and thousands of mates and de-mates of the connector. Previous standards for connector-to-cable systems, such as MIL-DTL-38999 and D-subminiature connectors, are quite often too large, too heavy and are prone to failure in this new electronics environment. The miniaturization of circuits and other instruments demands miniaturized connector and cabling systems.

Nano 360® Circular connectors from Omnetics are designed to significantly reduce size and weight while maintaining high reliability. They use the same key elements of Nano-D connectors that have passed military specifications for shock, vibration, durability, temperature, and mating/de-mating force and passed specifications for MIL-DTL-32139. Nano 360® Circular connector contacts are spaced at a pitch of 0.025 inches (0.64 mm), and are available with standard contact counts of 6, 11, 16, 28, and 39 positions. They are extremely lightweight at 0.6 – 2.3 grams, including wire. Omnetics has reduced the overall size and weight by as much as 3x compared to standard .050” spaced circular connectors. The gold plated pin and sockets have higher insertion and withdrawal forces that further help ensure connector retention in rugged environmental applications.

Pins and sockets inside the Omnetics’ Nano 360® Circular connectors are gold plated Beryllium Copper. Combined with Liquid Crystal Polymer or Polyphenylene Sulfide insulators, these connectors are capable of over 2,000 mates and de-mates. Standard products come pre-wired with 18” of 32 AWG Teflon insulated copper wire that handles 1 AMP of current per contact. Nano 360® Circular connectors are capable of withstanding temperatures from -55°C to 125°C (200°C with HTE). Overmolds are also available, which bond the cable and connector to provide a pre-wired connector to cable design.

Nano 360® Circular connectors are available in four distinct shell types:

  • Plastic—provides the lightest weight while remaining extremely durable. Low-profile clips and locks are available for added security.
  • Threaded—offering a positive lock and environmental seal. Waterproof up to IP68 and available in panel mount configurations.
  • Breakaway—designed to release or “break away” at a predetermined force of roughly 4 lbs. Waterproof up to IP 68 and available in panel mount configurations.
  • Twist-Lock—mates and de-mates with a simple quarter turn of the socket-side coupling nut. Waterproof up to IP68 and available in panel mount configurations.

Nano 360® Circular connectors have found success in a variety of different markets. Current applications include helmet electronics, surveillance equipment, miniature robotic systems, surgical tools, and soldier-worn portable communications systems. More information on Circular connectors from Omnetics is available.