Connections, wires and connectors - Connectors

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Connectors used in optical connections:

  • FDDI (Fibre Distributed Digital Interface)

    The following figure shows a FDDI connector:

    Connections, wires and connectors - FDDI connector

    FDDI connector

  • SC (by the manufacturer NTT)

  • ST (by the manufacturer AT&T)

  • Toslink (by the manufacturer Toshiba)

    The following figure shows a Toslink connector:

    Connections, wires and connectors - Toslink connector

    Toslink connector

Connectors used in electrical connections:

  • TRS jack 1/4": TRS - Tip Ring Sleeve. 1/4" jack connectors can be used for unbalanced connections (jack mono - TS) and balanced connections (jack stereo - TRS).

    The following diagram shows an unbalanced wire connected to a two-pole 1/4" jack connector:

    Connections, wires and connectors - 1/4" jack connector in an unbalanced connection

    1/4" jack connector in an unbalanced connection

    We can see how the wire transporting the signal is connected to the tip of the jack.

    If we were to invert the tip and the ring connections we'd get a phase inverter wire.

    The following diagram shows the connections of a balanced wire with a three-pole 1/4" jack connector:

    Connections, wires and connectors - 1/4" jack connector in a balanced connection

    1/4" jack connector in a balanced connection

  • TRS jack 1/8": identical to the previous ones except half their size. The quality here is lower due to a smaller exposed metal surface for connections.

  • Bantam: these have a shape which is similar to two pole 1/4" jacks and they are used for patchbays [PatchBay ] connections.

    The following figure shows a bantam connector:

    Connections, wires and connectors - Bantam connector

    Bantam connector

  • RCA: Other names are: phone, cinch, tulip. It has the shape illustrated in the following diagram:

    Connections, wires and connectors - Male RCA connector

    Male RCA connector

    Connections, wires and connectors - Female RCA connector

    Female RCA connector

    It is used for connections on home Hi-Fi's and for S/PDIF digital connections [S/PDIF: Sony/Philips Digital Interface ]

  • BNC: Similar to RCA connectors but with a ring nut which allows them to be securely fixed. Generally they are used for video connections and for network computer connections.

    The following figure shows a BNC connector:

    Connections, wires and connectors - BNC connector

    BNC connector

  • XLR - Canon: used with microphone cables: their shape and connections are illustrated in the following diagram:

    Connections, wires and connectors - Male XLR connector

    Male XLR connector

    Connections, wires and connectors - Female XLR connector

    Female XLR connector

    Sometimes this type of connector is used for light wiring, digital connections and MIDI connections [The Midi Protocol ] .

  • Speakon: used in live setups for connecting final amplifiers to stage monitors:

    Connections, wires and connectors - Male Speakon connector

    Male Speakon connector

    Connections, wires and connectors - Female Speakon connector

    Female Speakon connector

    They also have a ring nut which allows them to be securely fixed.

  • EDAC: large multipin connectors which allow large amounts of signals to be connected with just one socket:

    Connections, wires and connectors - EDAC connector

    EDAC connector

  • 5-pin DIN: used in MIDI connections:

    Connections, wires and connectors - DIN connector

    DIN connector








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