Everything You Need to Know About the DIN Connector

DIN connectors are a type of electrical connector that feature various designs, standards, and capabilities to serve different applications. Electrical connectors are components that conjoin contacts, establishing an electrical circuit for a system and providing for applications that are power, data, and audiovisual related. DIN connectors were introduced in the early 1970’s by Deutsches Institut für Normung (DIN), a German national standards organization, and have greatly expanded since. In this article, we will discuss the various types of DIN connectors available, their methods of mounting, and the applications that they serve across various industries.

In general, DIN connectors may be male or female in gender. Male connector parts are used to plug into jacks, outlets, receptacles, or other connection methods with a combination of three to fourteen pins that are inserted. The female connector parts, on the other hand, feature sockets that are designed to mate with a correlating male DIN connector. To convey the number of pins or sockets that a particular DIN connector may have, such cables will most often have an attached number to their naming. For example, a five wire DIN cable may be called a “DIN 5”. For a connector to be considered a “DIN connector”, it must meet certain standards and have a document number that corresponds to it. If the connector becomes considered a standard, it will then have a number assigned to it. Examples of such standard types include DIN 41524, which are circular connectors providing for audio signals, or DIN 41585 that are automotive coaxial connectors.

To install a DIN connector within a system or assembly, there are various mounting methods that may be followed. Flange mounting is one type that refers to installing DIN connectors through the bolting of a flange or using rivets on the flange surface. PC mounting is another method, consisting of connectors that are attached to a printed circuit board (PCB) through soldering. Pin termination is similar to PC mounting, though it does not use soldering to attach the DIN connectors to the printed circuit board. Lastly, surface mount technology (SMT) may be used for small printed circuit boards that lack pre-drilled holes. In these cases, the DIN connectors are soldered to the printed circuit board, mostly being used for smaller parts that operate at high frequencies.

For applications of DIN connectors, the most common use is for analog audio. Originally, DIN connectors were used for the interconnection of analog audio equipment, such as stereo amplifiers and tape recorders. Each pin typically has its own function, including audio out, audio in, and screen/return. These pins would sometimes be labeled for easier connection. Electronic musical instruments, such as MIDI and SYNC also rely on connectors, such as 5/180° circular DIN connector parts. DIN loudspeaker connectors are also available, allowing a loudspeaker to be connected to a power amplifier. Other uses of DIN connectors include certain personal computer peripherals, HME wireless communicators, UMTS Antenna tilt controls, radio controlled model aircraft, and more. In general, DIN connectors provide for many applications across industrial and mobile markets.

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