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Connector Insights from iCONN

How Do Wet-Mate Connectors Work?

Posted by Rick Regole on Mon , July 27, 2020

The first underwater electrical connector — a transatlantic communication cable — made a splash in 1858. In the early years, most underwater connectors were homemade using regular electrical components wrapped in rubber. Of course, they didn’t last long in subsea conditions (some less than one month). Saltwater, in particular, is extremely damaging to electrical assemblies due to its corrosive properties. If connector contacts or parts of the metal connector body are exposed to water, they will eventually corrode, causing electrical failure. Over the last 150 years, engineers have gone through many iterations to develop a better solution for underwater applications. Enter the “wet-mate” connector category.

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NiobiCONN™ Performance in Freshwater & Saltwater Environments

Posted by Robert Czyz on Mon , July 20, 2020

This is the second in a six-part series as we take an in-depth look at how NiobiCONNTM performs in various applications and can provide solutions no other connector can.

Advances in wet-mate connector technology, specifically connectors that utilize niobium, have extended the life span and capabilities of underwater equipment while making servicing this equipment in wet environments safer and more convenient for technicians.

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Understanding the Different Types of Electrical Connectors

Posted by Rick Regole on Mon , July 6, 2020

To name every type and variation of electrical connectors in existence would be like counting grains of sand on a beach—the options are virtually limitless. What we can do is break electrical connectors down into general categories and subcategories to help you understand the expansive inventory of products available to you. Let’s start with the basics.

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What is a Wire Amp Rating?

Posted by Rick Regole on Mon , June 29, 2020

Electrical circuits are capable of producing immense energy, but despite their powerful output, circuits are also quite delicate.

Ampacity is a rating system used in electrical work to define the maximum current of energy a conductor can carry without exceeding its temperature rating. The current is measured in “amperes” or “amps.” If an electrical circuit does not have the proper wire amp rating, the wire can overheat, causing irreversible damage to the conductors and wire insulation. In severe cases, overheating can even lead to fires, explosions, and serious injury.

Wire amp rating requirements are established by the National Electrical Code (NEC) and defined in their published codebook, which can be viewed online. The NEC sets the standard for electrical safety in residential, commercial, and industrial applications. Every three years, the organization releases updates to its codebook, and 2020 happens to be a benchmark year, including important changes to the standard wire ampacity guidelines. Fortunately, one of the goals of the NEC 2020 codebook is to clarify ampacity tables, which have been notoriously difficult to understand.

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NiobiCONN Application Series: The Underwater Power & Signal Connector

Posted by Robert Czyz on Mon , June 22, 2020

This is the first in a six-part series as we take an in-depth look at how NiobiCONNTM performs in various applications and can provide solutions no other connector can.

Few things contradict as strongly as water and electricity. Nonetheless, electrical engineers have found ways to conquer Earth’s aquatic frontiers, but not without shouldering the tremendous risks, responsibility, and challenges of working in some of the most damaging and dangerous environments on the planet. Fortunately, electrical components have evolved significantly to enhance the safety and efficiency of underwater power and signal systems. Arguably one of the most noteworthy advancements is the development of an electrical connector that prefers the ingress of water.

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What You Need to Know About a Shielded Cable Connector

Posted by Rick Regole on Mon , April 27, 2020

Electromagnetic Interference (EMI) occurs when electric currents, magnetic fields, and radio frequencies disrupt the energy flow of nearby electrical circuits. The most common offenders of EMI include computers, wireless devices, power lines, microwave equipment, and high-frequency electronics.

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What to Expect From Your Interconnect Solutions Provider

Posted by Rick Regole on Mon , April 13, 2020

Choosing the right cable and connector assemblies for your product will ultimately factor into its success or shortfall. As such, we encourage development teams to take their time, think through their needs, and choose an interconnect solutions provider wisely. Here’s what you should expect from a trustworthy, experienced manufacturer.

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The Benefits of iCONN’s New i12 Plastic Connectors

Posted by Rick Regole on Mon , March 30, 2020

On a quest to engineer electrical connectors that strike the perfect balance between quality, cost and performance, iCONN Systems Inc., took one of its top-performing product lines and made it more cost-effective. Introducing, plastic i12 connectors, the newest member of the i12 connector series.

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What is Soldering?

Posted by Rick Regole on Mon , March 16, 2020

Google “What is soldering?” and thousands of answers will flood your screen in less than 1 second. Consider this your quick and easy guide to soldering as it relates to electronics. Soldering is a fundamental technique in electrical manufacturing that fills two needs with one deed. First, it serves as a strong mechanical connection between wires and electrical components. Simultaneously, the solder material acts as a conductor that carries an electrical charge from one terminal to another.

Generally speaking, the act of soldering involves melting solder material over the top of a joint (e.g., between two terminals, wires or switches) to bond the two components and complete the electrical circuit.

Solder is not a glue, and soldering is not the same as welding or brazing. Though a fast, convenient method used to affix metal components permanently, soldering uses much lower temperatures than welding or brazing, which makes the technique well-suited for delicate electronic environments.

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iCONN's CNC Machining Capabilities

Posted by Rick Regole on Mon , March 2, 2020

Computer Numerical Control (CNC) machining is a fully-automated manufacturing process akin to robotics. Instead of human operators who manually prompt and guide machines using levers, buttons and wheels, this technology uses pre-programmed computer software to command the speed, position and movement of factory tools with little involvement from humans. At iCONN Systems, CNC machining is the secret weapon behind our advanced rapid prototyping capabilities. Here’s how it works:

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