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PCB Interconnects and Socket Technology

PCB Interconnects and Socket Technology

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How to save a lot of money by NOT customizing your spring loaded connector

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Junior Member level 3
Junior Member level 3
Aug 11, 2016
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A spring loaded contact is an assembly of 3 to 4 miniature components. The components are typically machined brass components and
compression springs. Each machined component must be manufactured to precision tolerances, then plated gold for durability and
corrosion resistance. Typically assembled spring loaded contacts must go through a series of electrical and mechanical tests to ensure their
performance. In short, there are a lot of processes involved in manufacturing spring loaded contacts. that is why they are not cheap or
inexpensive to modify. Modifying a spring pin is a very complicated process, as all of the components must be reviewed to see how the
change affects the overall assembly.

If a customer is looking to achieve a mating height that exceeds the length of off-the-shelf, catalog spring pins, I ask the customer if he
controls the other side of the mating surface. If the customer controls the other side of the SLC connection, then I can introduce the concept
of PAD contacts or PAD connectors, which are simply nothing more than gold plated, conductive surfaces for the spring pin piston to mate
against. It is FAR less expensive to make a PAD contact pin a desired length to achieve the correct spacing between modules then it is
modify an existing spring pin. It is NOT even close in cost. If I can provide a custom PAD contact solution to satisfy the desired height
requirement between a module, then I saved the customer a lot of money. Below are examples of various forms of PAD contacts and
PAD connectors. If you would like to understand this concept in more detail please feel free to contact me - Kind Regards, Marty

**broken link removed**

Top Row Left to Right
1. Printed Circuit Board PAD land, gold plated with hard nickel makes an excellent mating surface for a spring loaded contact
2. A simple gold plated pin of desired length, with a flat face makes an excellent target to mate a spring loaded contact
3. A small disc with shallow post for press-fitting into a PCB.
4. A PAD contact does not necessarily have to be a solid male pin, this is a concept for a PAD contact that also serves as a socket receptacle.

Middle Row Left to Right
1. A PAD connector with soldercup termination for attaching wires
2. A simple disc, that is SMT soldered onto a PCB pad. The advantage of this is the PCB is not required to have gold plating on the pads.
This can save a lot of money during PCB fabrication.
3. An S-Bend Horizontal Mount SMT PAD connector, S-Bend leads allow for visibility and access to the solder joint if required.
4. A horizontal SMT barrel PAD connector - offers a low profile centerline

Lower Row Left to Right
1. A Right Angle solder tail PAD connector for horizontal mount connections
2. A straight tail, vertical mount (shown sitting on its side) PAD connector
3. A PAD contact with a press-fit knurl for non-plated through holes.
4. A PAD contact with eye-of-the-needle tail for plated through holes.

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