Connectors for Military Electronics

Brooke Clarke 2001 - 2015


Background
Audio
Antenna
Battery
Contact Pins
Circular Multi-Pin
Rectangular Multi-Pin
Coaxial
Telegraph era
USB
Unknown - Wanted
Links

Background

The first thing that you need after acquiring a military electronics treasure is the power cord or some other cable.  These are almost never available so the next thing is to make up one, but that requires the manual (see an example of reverse engineering) and the mating connector.

Audio

Separate web page for Audio connectors.
My main source for the U-183 (6 pin version of the U-229) has been surplus cables sold on eBay. But they are available from Newark.

Antenna

Many field radios use what amounts to a threaded hole to mount the antenna.  In order to connect a coaxial cable you will need some type of adapter.
PRC-68 series radio antenna adapter.

Battery

Contact Pins

The contact pins have a size number that may be related to the American Wire Gauge (Wiki: AWG) of a solid copper wire.  Connector makers have tables saying what size wire can be used with a certain contact size, but those are for solid wire.  As the number of strands increases (for the same total AWG) the bundle diameter increases.  Also if the wire is twisted the size gets bigger.  So if you are having trouble getting the wire to fit into a solder cup, first be sure the wires are straight and second use a pin vise and drill bit to slightly enlarge the hole.  Note that it's common for a bur to be pointing into the solder cup and just cleaning the bur can make the difference.
Contact #
Wires
AWG
Solid Cu
Wire dia mils
Wire Max
Amps
contact Max
Amps1
22D
22 - 28
25.3 5.0
5
22M
24 - 28
25.3 5.0
3
22
22 - 26
25.3
5.0
5
20
20 - 24
32.0
7.5
7.5
16
16 - 20
50.8
13
13
12
12 - 14
80.8
23
23
8
8 - 10
128.5
46
46
4
4 - 6
204.3
80
80
0
0 - 2
324.9
150
150
0000
0000 - 00
460
225

Note1: applies when all contacts are carrying current.  Slightly more current if only one contact is carrying current.

The Amp brochure for their MIL-C-22992 Heavy Duty Cylindrical connectors has this relationship between shell size and current:
Shell Size
Amps Max
Contact Size
28
40
6
32
60
4
44
100
1/0
52
200
4/0

Circular Multi-Pin

In almost all cases the part number is printed on the connector or a partial p/n on the insulating body.  You may need a magnifying glass or need to look at the front or back side, but in 99.9% of the cases it will be there.
Although there are as many of these as there are stars in the sky, most come from a few families and do not use many of the options.
Most of these are very modular.  For example there is a shell that comes in a number of standard sizes and for use on cables or panels.  Some shells use a screw on coupling and others use a lug and twist lock connection.  There are what would be called wards (Wiki) in the locksmith trade, ridges on one shell and groves on the mating shell to both get the correct rotation and to be sure that two connectors with the same insert but different applications will not be cross connected.  It is not often that the optional warding is used, only on large boxes were there are many of these connectors.  Into the shell you can put either pins/plugs or sockets into an insert.  There are a limited number of inserts for each shell.  Then for cable applications there is the cable clamp/strain relief.

There are a number of families of similar connectors.  One of the most common is the MS series (Mil Spec).  There are many manufacturers that make these.

Another common type is the Bendix series.

The connector can be made with the pins and sockets captured or the pins and sockets may be separate parts so that they can be crimped or soldered to the wire, then pressed into the insert. This is almost mandatory for an insert with a large number of contacts because of the difficulty in soldering with nearby contacts.  It's pretty easy to attach a contact to a loose wire using the proper crimping tool. A crimp type connection is superior to a soldered connection in a number of ways and for many high reliability programs are mandatory.

In all of these cases you need to be careful when ordering that you get all the bits and pieces that are needed.
The type of connector shell is determined by the 4 digits that follow the "MS" and control if you get a receptacle or plug and other factors.

Receptacle

This connector shell has no moving parts and is typically found mounted to a panel

Plug

This connector shell has a sleeve that moves to join to a receptacle.

DIY

It is possible to make your own connector using the loose pins/sockets and epoxy or hot melt glue.  The idea is to connect the pins/sockets to the wires, spray a very light coat of WD-40 as a mold release agent, and apply the epoxy or hot melt glue.  I have not yet tried this method, but there are a number of web references to doing this.  In some cases I have just used the pins/sockets from connectors sold at my local Radio Shack and connected to the connector without any molding.  This works well for indoor bench type work, but would not be good for outdoor use.

Amphenol Catalogs and Series

Catalog
Title
Style
Coupling
shells
Shell
Sizes
12-022
97 Series Std Cyl
MIL-C-5015
Threaded
MS3100A
MS3101A
MS3102A
MS3106A
MS3106B
MS3107A
MS31-7B
MS3108A
MS3108B
8S-1
to
36-403
12-023
67 &











 165 Series Miniaturized
"Mini E"
MIL-C-5015

Bayonet








all about size 16
-00E
-00P
-00C
-01E
-01P
-01C
-02E
-03E
-06E
-06P
-06C
-06J
?
12-7
to
22-69









16-5
to
16-24
12-026
MIL-C-5015 MIL-C-5015
Threaded
MS3450
MS3454
MS3456
MS3459
8S-1
to
40-62
12-053
QWL Cyl
Heavy Duty Industrial
MS type shells
Threaded plugs & receptacles
0
1
2
3
4
6
7
9
10S-2
to
48-62
12-070
Miniature Cyl
MIL-C-26482 Series 1
MIL-C-26482 Series 1
Bayonet or
Threaded
solder cup
PT00 (MS3110)
PT01 (MS3111)
PT02 (MS3112)
PT06 (MS3116)
PT07 (MS3114)
PT08E SP08E
PTB, SPB
PT1H (MS3113H)
PT02H
PT07H (MS3114H)
crimp (add E suffix)
6-1
to
24-79
12-071
MIL-C-26482 Series 2
MIL-C-26482 Series 2
Bayonet
Crimp
MS3470
MS3472
MS3471
MS3474
MS3476
MS3475
8-33
to
24-61
12-073
MIL-C-83723 Series III
MIL-C-83723 Series III
Bayonet,
Threaded or
 Quick Disconnect
Crimp
/71 & /72
/73 & /74
/75  /76 /77 /78
/82 & /83
/84 & /85
/86 /87 /91 /92
/95 & /96
/66 & /67 /68 /69
0803
to
2842
12-091
SJT Miniature
MIL-DTL-38999 Ser 1 Lengths
MIL-DTL-38999 Ser 3 dims
Bayonet
Crimp
SJT00RT
SJTP00RT
SJTP02RE
SJT06RT/SJTG06RT
SJT07RT
Hermetic
SJTIY
SJT07Y

8-6
to
24-61
12-092
Tri-Start Subminiature MIL-DTL-38999 Ser 3
Metal or Composite
Threaded
TVP00R (38999/20)
CTVP00R (38999/20)
TVP02R
CTVP02R
TV06R (38999/26)
CTV06R (38999/26)
TV26/MTV26
TV07R (38999/24)
CTV07R (38999/24)
TV01R
CTV01R
TV09R
TVPS02Y (38999/21)
TVS07Y (38999/23)
TVSIY (38999/25)
TVSHIY (38999/27)
C prefix = Composite
9-5
to
25-97

non Mil
25-16
to
37-5
MS-102
Amp /Pyle Hi Temp

M83723
Pyle BT
Boeing BACC
Pyle BSK
Pyle ESC11
AECMA EN 2997
SOBAC/RR ESC10
Aerospatiale ASN-EO
MIL-C-83723 Series 3
Threaded
71
72
73
74
75
76
82
83
84
85
86
87
95
96
08-98
to
28-42
62GB Plugs
62GB Recp
62 GB- Series Plugs CE-2Pa
62 GB- Series Recp CE-2Ra
MIL-C-26482
Bayonet
Solder
0
1
2
3
4
5
6
7

8-2
to
24-61
GB for Great Britain

For more on the cables and connectors used with the VINSON series (KY-57) of voice security equipment see the USM-481 Cable Tester web page.

Amphenol - Aerospace -
Bluefeather - Special Connectors for Military Surplus and Aerospace Hardware -
Digi-Key - has some mil type connectors
Encyclopedia of Connectors by Edward's Publishing Co - 10 volumes, very pricey
ITT (Cannon) -
Newark - has many mil type connectors
Spacecraft Components Corp. -
William Perry Co in Louisville, KY - Connectors:Amphenol, Bendix, Cannon, Burndy, Cinch and Winchester
Plug List by Ray Robinson - some have drawings

Rectangular Multi-Pin

Cinch - Jones

D-Sub (Wiki)

These are the popular connectors used on computers for RS-232 serial and many other applications.  They can be built with coax connectors intermixed with the normal pins and sockets.
Conec - D-Sub Combination Connectors -

Micro Miniature D Connectors

This is the connector used on the PRC-68 Family of Squad Radios for the Secure Voice Module.
It is made by Microdot Connectors who is part of Tyco Electronics - Micro Minature D .
MCK series has a metal shell and MCD has a plastic shell.

Coaxial

N (Wiki), BNC (Wiki), TNC (Wiki)

Note: you can mate a male from any of these to a female of any of these, but it may require removing the male nut.  I say this not for some practical reason but to make the point that they have identical electrical interfaces.

2540012 Electrical Connector, Salati Octavio M, Jan 30, 1951, 333/260, 174/89, 333/33, 439/314 - developed to allow constant impedance connectyors for coax cables 1/4" or less diameter.  Done by stepping up and down the impedance is such a way as to maintain the line impedance when two connectors are mated.  Patent if for the BNC connector.

Connectors: N,
                BNC, TNC
The N, BNC & TNC connectors all have the same 50 Ohm interface.
Adapters: Nf-HNm,  BNCf-Nm,  TNCf-Mini_UHFm
Connectors: N
                & HN
The Nm on left and the HN (High Voltage N) on the right.
The N O.D.of the ground sleeve is close to 0.325".  For the HN the ground sleeve O.D. is about 0.555".

SMA (Wiki)

In the 1960s when I was working with these connectors the male connector was made by starting with some 0.141" OD simi-rigid coax cable which was similar to a copper pipe with Teflon insulation and a copper center conductor.  50 Ohm impedance.  The shield and insulation were cut without nicking the center conductor and a nut assembly slipped over the coax outer conductor and soldered in place.  The center conductor acted as the male pin.  Pasternack Enterprises PE4007 is an example.

The female center pin has springy fingers that grab the male pin.

I learned a number of ways of making microwave male and female SMA connectors to be part of a number of products like detectors (Shrike missile) or the ALR-54 front end limiter-detectors and many other products that used SMA(m) microwave input connectors and SMA(f) output connectors.  The key things were to get the spring into the female center contacts by choosing the metal alloy and heat treatment and capturing the male and female center contacts so that they did not move.

RG-174 Coax Connectors

Here is some quick ID info for common coax connectors used with small diameter coax like RG-174:
50 Ohm SMA uses a 1/4-36 thread
50 Ohm SMB these are the push on type where the diameter of the part with the male pin is 0.144"
75 Ohm SMB these are the push on type where the diameter of the part with the male pin is 0.243"
50 Ohm SMC uses a 10-32 male thread on the part with the male pin and also has a body diameter of 0.144"
75 Ohm SMC uses a 0.3125-32 thread
              SSMB looks like SMB but has a body diameter of 0.104"
The antenna connectors for the AS-2108 DF antenna are not there, anyone know what these are (one has 2 lugs, the other 3 lugs)?
Most of these are standards, except for the antenna connector on field radios, which are much more rugged than normal connectors.
Amphenol coax web page with drawings for most types
Kings Electronics - aerospace & RF -
Pasternack Enterprises - Good Connector ID info - Minimum PO is $100 and $10 per line.
Pomona Electronics -
S. M. Electronics - On line, photos and 1 each pricing
The R.F. Connection - RF and other connector types + adapters
Tower Electronics - carries the 3.5mm to SO-239 needed for the BK radios RF jack.
Trompeter -
Also see my distributors web page for more sources.

Telegraph era

Also See the Telegraph web page for Binding Posts, phone tip, Fahnestock Clip, etc.

USB

Wiki-USB 

USB connectors from Wiki

USB 1.x/2.0 Miniplug/Microplug
Pin Name Color Description
1 VCC Red +5 V
2 D− White Data −
3 D+ Green Data +
4 ID none permits distinction of

Micro-A- and Micro-B-Plug

Type A: connected to Ground

Type B: not connected

5 GND Black Signal Ground

USB A & B connectors
USB A, Mini-B, Micro-B
A = 12 mm wide                                           B = 8.5 mm wide
Micro-B = 5.2 mm wide                             Mini-B = 6.8 mm wide


There are (July 2009) three connectors:

Unknown - Wanted

They all are coax connectors with a male pin for the center conductor and have 2 or 3 lugs for the mating connector.
Looking for the mating connectors to make up cables.  Manufacturer might be Dage.
 
Where Used
AS2108/ARN-89
C-7392/ARN-89
AN/URC-68
O.D.(inch)
0.285
0.285
0.264
Photo 
2-lug & 3-lug
2-lug
ID
inside the white dielectric is about 0.143"
DAGL 1-531-1
5935-783-7232 SM-B-597016-1

Links

RS Components - Connectors and Cable -
William Perry Co in Louisville, KY - Connectors:Amphenol, Bendix, Cannon, Burndy, Cinch and Winchester
PEI-Genesis -
Brian, at Prime Connectors Inc. recommended on the Army Radios list-server (no web presence)
Voice line is 1-215-658-0700,    FAX is 1-215-658-1495
Nexus - Audio Plugs & Jacks
Spacecraft Components Corp - circular and Coax - ARC-114A
Cooper Interconnect - Mil Connectors
Pasternack Enterprises - many coax connectors including a connector ID helper
Brooke's Home, Military Information, Electronics Page
[an error occurred while processing this directive] page created Jan 30, 2001.