Everything about DC Power Connectors

DC Power Connectors are electrical connectors used for supplying direct current (DC) power. They have standard types that aren’t interchangeable. The correct dimensions and arrangement should be chosen to prevent interconnection of incompatible sources and loads. They are used in a variety of applications, including small portable electronics and automotive accessories. There are three common types of barrel connectors: jacks, plugs, and receptacles.

Barrel Box connectors, or low voltage DC power connectors, have current and voltage ratings, specified by the manufacturer. The jack and the plug feature one exposed conductor and a recessed conductor. Jacks usually receive power and are mounted inside the appliance. A plug is usually located on the electrical cord and supplies power from a power supply. A receptacle is mounted on a power cord as well but receives power from a mating plug. Most engineers accept the center pin configuration as the defining factor for the gender of barrel power connectors. “Male” connectors have a center pin, and the mating receptacles are deemed “female”.

A common way of categorizing barrel connectors is through the diameter of the inner pin and outer sleeve. The diameter of the inner sleeve should be slightly larger than that of the mating pin. Typical mating connections are cantilevered flat springs. Jack insertion Connectors depth dimensions are often less than the plug barrel lengths for the following two reasons. First, the plug barrel may not be required to be completely enclosed by the receiving jack. Second, the depth of the chassis wall must be considered. Additional depth should be accounted for in the plug barrel length when the connectors are mated.

Connector Plugs and jacks often have two conductors, one for power and one for ground. Usually, the center pin is power, and the outer sleeve is ground, but it’s possible for it to be the opposite. Some jacks have a third connector that forms a switch with the outer sleeve conductor; this is used to detect the insertion of a plug or to select between power sources.


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