Jul 11, 2023

New Architecture for PCB Connector System

By Editor | February 13, 2013

Last year WAGO introduced a connector contact system that replaced pluggable PCB terminals with screw connectors. This year, the company is introducing a new architecture that enables the picoMAX® Pluggable Connection System to offer an improved price-to-performance ratio for PCB interconnect applications. The simplified, unique dual-usage of the force from one CAGE CLAMP®S contact spring increases connection integrity. This patented design shortens the current path, lowers contact resistance and improves vibration resistance, with less material than traditional pluggable Euro-style terminal blocks and pin-strip devices.

This connection system still saves up to 30% of the space taken by other connection systems in wire-to-board applications, as well as offering vibration resistance to 20 g. One of the new features is that the connection system delivers absolute connection integrity in operating temperatures as high as 125°C, instead of the previous version’s 105°C.

Dynamic contact force from one Cr-Ni stainless steel spring clamps the conductor and connects the header pin; it then continually adjusts for optimum contact. An extremely short contact bridge separates the termination unit from header pin, shortening the current path and minimizing voltage drop for absolute signal integrity.

picoMAX® terminations are simple: directly insert solid or ferruled conductors. Integrated pushbuttons provide easy terminations for stranded and fine-stranded conductors.

One firm push automatically interlocks male and female halves — no screw interlock flange minimizes space and labor. The male header almost entirely shrouds the female connector; integrated latches prevent unintentional disconnection.

Disconnection was made easier. Select units carry gripping plates and an orange Sliding Disconnect releases for easy disconnection. A convenient unlocking tool is available for units without gripping plates.

The connection system spans from 2–12 poles with wire-to-wire, wire-to-board, board-to-wire and panel feed-through variants. Applications include industrial electronics, controllers, data loggers and consumer electronics.

Anchoring the connection system is the eCOM Pluggable Terminal Block. Shedding the pin housing further minimizes space consumption, which makes this device suitable for direct PCB soldering. Once soldered, eCOM female connectors are wired as terminal blocks, but can then be plugged/unplugged as a complete unit for PCB maintenance. eCOM is intended for extremely cost-sensitive applications, such as control boards in vending/dispensing equipment or commercial appliances.

picoMAX® and picoMAX® eCOM accommodate wire sizes 24–12 AWG and carry ratings up to 15 A/300 V. The system is available in 3.5 mm, 5 mm or 7.5 mm pin spacing; all variants are suitable for THR soldering applications.