Category Archives: Board to Board

Board to board - bottom entry

Connectors demystified – Bottom entry board to board connectors

bottom entry board to board connectors

GradConn have created a guide to explain bottom entry board to board connectors, customers are often confused by the variety of board to board connectors female sockets on offer.

GradConn have forty five vertical PCB sockets with leaf spring contacts in the range.  Where sockets are described as dual or bottom entry they may accept header pins from underneath the PCB.  Customer must drill holes in the PCB to achieve this type of design, details of the required PCB cut-outs are shown on GradConn’s product drawings.  You can see an example in the ‘bottom entry socket’ image above.

Using a PCB socket in bottom entry mode allows customers to connect from the underside of the PCB,  this allows very low profile parallel PCB stacking solutions, which depending on pitch might be as low as 2.00mm to 3.00mm above the PCB.  It also allows designs which pass through the PCB to connect more then two printed circuit boards in parallel orientation.  You’ll find more information about that here.

Both surface mount and through hole connectors have bottom entry options.

That’s our guide to bottom entry board to board connectors finished.  We’ll be producing more of these guides in the weeks and months to come.  Please ask us if there any thing special you’d like us to cover.

Board to board connectors demystified – Polarized Connectors

Polarized connectors

Check out GradConn’s new pages, aimed at helping customers understand board to board connectors.

The first one deals with Polarization and shrouding on board to board connectors, it shows how polarized connectors work and provides useful links to GradConn’s parametric search.

Customers choose to use polarized connectors in applications where it’s important that the two mating connector halves are plugged together correctly, IE pin1 to pin1.

Connector polarization is achieved by a variety of methods, for larger pitch connectors, such as .100″ pitch contact spacing the normal arrangement is for the header with males pins to have a shroud, with a key cut into one wall, normally the longer side of the rectangle.  See example in the image above.  The mating socket has a raised bump, this ensures that the connectors may only mate in the correct orientation.

For finer pitches, such as .050″,  by definition are smaller and have thinner plastic sidewalls, extra keying features are built in.  For the PCB header, there’s a key on each shorter rectangular end, matched by a different sized pegs on each end of the mating PCB mounted socket.  In additional an off center top key provides extra polarization.

If you seek any further information or help with board to board polarized connector applications contact GradConn. 

Shrinking Solutions for a connected world

Micro_connectors_smart_applications 72dpi

GradConn offer a suite of products to help our customers connect their products to the world.   The demand for connectivity between devices and the desire for slimmer,  lighter and more portable devices is driving the connector industry to offer ever smaller solutions. GradConn are at the forefront of these innovations and have an exciting line-up of super – miniature products with a perfect synergy for device to device connectivity.  Here are some examples –

If you’re designing a smart device, space is at a premium then visit to see our shrinking solutions for a connected world see the full range of products for a connected world or contact your local GradConn sales office now.

Connectors for Asset Tracking and Remote Monitoring

Connectors for asset tracking and remote monitoring

GradConn offer a wide range of connectors for asset tracking and remote monitoring applications.  Rapid advances in both wireless and mobile technology have seen costs fall significantly and the range of possible applications expand. Applications are interesting and in some cases tell a story about the changing relationship between our society and technology. Gradconn offers a wide range Board to Board connectors, SIM card connectors, including Micro SIM and RF Coaxial cable assemblies. GradConn connectors have been designed into applications as diverse as:

  • Wireless monitoring of vending machines, cuts out need for unnecessary service calls such as when machines run out of change or products.
  • Pest control devices. Cutting out unnecessary service calls and monitoring for example when triggered an employee could clean up dead vermin, alternatively technology might monitor when a colony becomes active and take the appropriated action.
  • Security bracelets for both Children and the Elderly:
    • Elderly – Neck pendants warn of accidents, allowing more independent living.  If out and about a person is able to summon assistance. So for the example of a person suffering dizzy spells too scared to go out, this technology can be empowering and confidence building.
    • Children – GPS tracking device normally built into a watch – Allows parents to see the child’s current location. Designated safe zones such as  home or school can be set.
  • Offender monitoring –  Electronic tags for prisoners released on licence to ensure bail conditions are not broken, monitors curfew, location and automatically check visits to a particular location, such as a police station have been completed and logged.
  • Agricultural products to measure micro climates and watering requirements.  This technology allows conservation of water by automatically controlling irrigation. Another example is temperature monitoring to protect from frost damage.  These technologies reduce costs and increase yields.
  • Livestock monitoring-  Animals are tagged and tracking for safety and/or shepherding purposes. Examples of monitoring applications are: Data from animals provides information on breeding cycles and flags potentially sick animals.
  • Remote asset monitoring, for example monitoring the condition of structure of buildings bridges, tunnels, etc. This type of monitoring supersedes the need for weekly visual inspections which are expensive and potentially dangerous.

If you’re looking for connectors for asset tracking and remote monitoring then please contact GradConn.

Connectors for Home automation

Home automation is rapidly evolving from a luxury few people could afford into a technology for mass consumption that will be in most homes within a few years. The global home automation market is growing at over 30% a year and expected to be worth US$9.5 billion globally in 2015.

Technology advancement and innovation represents the key driving factor for the growth of the home automation market. Demand is growing for cost efficient wireless home automation products to reduce installation and maintenance cost. Wireless technologies such as Z-wave, Zigbee, and EnOcean are seen as the way to achieve this.

Connectors for home automation

GradConn’s range of board to board connectors, SIM card connectors and RF Coaxial Cable assemblies have been used by a number of the leading manufacturers in Home Automation. Our products can be found in main control units and in components through the system.

Short-range wireless technology controls the wireless system around the home via the control panel, however remote control elements allow consumers to access their home devices while away from home by use of a smart phone. This communication is handled by the mobile phone/GSM network, for example switching on an oven remotely so your dinner is cooked as you walk through the door or setting the to the correct temperature heating to ensure your house is warm when you return home. Alarm systems can contact your phone by text message when triggered.

Home Automation - Connector Components

GradConn offer connectors for home automation applications.  SIM connectors and coax cables enable the link between communication modules and the GSM network. The SIM card stores the required phone details for the control panel to interface your smartphone. GradConn offer Mini & Micro SIM card connectors in many configurations including push-push, push-pull, hinged and open contact types.

If an external antenna is required, it will be necessary to break through a bulkhead of the control unit and a coaxial cable assembly is needed. This mates with PCB board of the communication module (using a tiny RF connector PCB plug and cable socket such as Hirose U.FL) and by the use of a bulkhead mount RF connector, such as SMA allow plugging to an antenna with appropriate connector interface. GradConn offer a wide variety of coaxial cable assembly options.

Fine pitch Board to board connectors are generally used in control panels as they allow ultra slim connections either in parallel PCB mating with a mated height of just 3.1mm. Alternatively where customers require end-to-end PCB mating, the height above the PCB is a tiny 1.5mm. Use GradConn’s PCB mating tools to find the perfect solution for your connector design.