MILITARY CONNECTORS

Anyone coming to this site will be aware that whoisbid is interested in lots of things. One of them is connectors. Of course there are literally thousands of different types of connectors on the market and all of them for different applications. Connectors can be made out of plastics, steel and more imaginative materials but I am familiar with something called a "military connector" which has a MIL SPEC which people can read about if they are making products that are following US Department of Defence Objectives. This page is really more of a question than anything else and it is being designed to see whether or not anyone has a specialist knowledge on particular types of military connectors. The next picture shows what I am talking about.


                cracked military connector

I could always spend a few hours researching how connectors fail, crack or even deform from improper usage. However, this particular connector was not improperly used. This is not trying to single out any particular manufacturer of MIL SPEC connectors but to ask the question why this happened? If you want to know more about this actual connector and how it was being used then I have simplified the case.

1. The Military Connector was part of an electronic device supplied to a technician. The device was a measurement instrument with electronics, display, keypad, sensor cable and connectors. 

2. The connectors worked fine for about 2 years plus. After that, they started cracking. The instrument using the connectors was normally stored indoors and use outside every few weeks for a period of lets say 5-10 hours.

3. The operator was not violent with these connectors i.e. they were used as per instructions. This operator liked using the military connectors because he believed that they were watertight. Since the electronic equipment was rather expensive, it seemed logical that these types of connectors should be used. 

4. After some time it seemed that all of the connectors on all of the instruments were cracking. The technician has a question and it is this. Is this normal for military connectors? Has he purchased the wrong type? Has he purchased them from the wrong supplier? Who is a reliable supplier that is concerned about these issues.

If the above image is not clear enough I have uploaded the following picture for experts in the connector business to take a closer look. Of course some experienced users might even know more than certain suppliers and the answer could come from them too.


               mil spec connector specifications


It is possible that I have not provided enough information. if that is the case, then what else needs to be known? This page is not being created to point the finger at any particular manufacturer selling cables and connectors. No! It is part of Web 2.0 where a user can share information on a problem and hope someone might have an answer. When more options and more answer are given, then a website becomes more valuable in general.


              original mil spec connectors

There is more information that might be interesting. The above mil spec connector is from a similar application and about the same age. These connectors don't seem to have any problems i.e. cracking. Is it possible that there is nothing wrong with the military connector designs but a possibility that some of them were simply poorly manufactured? We all know that companies are always trying to save money by importing materials from places with low labour costs. Is it possible that this is actually not a design problem but a QA/QV issue?


            connector cable

Here is another picture showing cable and connector. Notice that the connector cable on the right hand side has a problem and it had to be taped in order to keep it functioning. I wonder how much thought is put into connector manufacturing. I would imagine that it is something that is quite technical because I see a huge difference in price between low cost connectors and well known brands. Surely connector design/ testing/ manufacturing and quality control is not as easy as the common person imagines. If more people were educated on the difference between good and bad connectors would they be more likely to pay more for something that was guaranteed to work over a long period of time?