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Cable Connectors for Monitoring Solutions

Maintain Full Visibility In Any Environment

Monitoring and inspection solutions allow technicians to survey systems and equipment, collect data, identify potential issues, and take corrective action before issues evolve into larger problems. These solutions are often deployed in locations deemed inaccessible or hard-to-reach for human technicians, and rely on the integration of a range of technologies and electrical components, including fiber optic cables, sensors, cameras, and software to gather and transmit data in real time. Cable connectors for monitoring solutions play a vital role in ensuring that all of these components work together to provide stable and reliable power and signal transmission.

Challenges with Monitoring And Inspection Solutions

Designing a cable connector for monitoring solutions requires careful consideration and forethought. In particular, the following challenges must factor into design decisions:


Monitoring solutions can be complex, consisting of various types of sensors, devices, and data transmission protocols from more than one manufacturer. This can make it difficult to navigate the compatibility and standardization of cables and connectors across a variety of pin layouts, connector types, and signal requirements.

Limited Space

In some cases, technicians may need to work in tight or confined spaces, making it difficult to access equipment or perform necessary tasks. This can be particularly challenging when dealing with high-density cabling. Though compact or miniaturized connectors are available, technicians walk a fine line between reducing size and maintaining the necessary functionality and robustness.

Frequent Connect and Disconnect

Cabling for monitoring solutions may require a high number of mating cycles, which can cause wear and tear on connectors and other components and result in decreased reliability and failure over time.

Exposure to Harsh Environments

Monitoring solutions are often used in harsh environments. Without adequate protection from the elements, such as dust seals, moisture-resistant coatings, or IP-rated enclosures, connectors will deteriorate rapidly, causing equipment failure, downtime, and the need for maintenance. 

High Costs

Tooling costs, order quantities, engineering and design time, lead time for manufacturing, and sourcing materials all play a significant role in the success of cabling for monitoring solutions, especially when applications require using tens of thousands of connectors.

Connectors and Cable Assemblies for Monitoring Solutions

iCONN offers a variety of standard connectors, modified connectors and custom connectors and cable assemblies ideal for monitoring and inspection solutions. Here are just a few examples.

Pipe Inspection, Profiling and Rehabilitation

Pipe inspection, profiling, and rehabilitation involves the assessment and maintenance of underground or inaccessible pipes, such as sewer lines, water mains, or oil and gas lines. These applications require compact yet rugged waterproof connectors with strong mating properties that ensure a stress-proof connection.

To optimize the performance of monitoring solutions for applications involving confined, hard-to-reach spaces and exposure to moisture, we recommend connectors that are reinforced with o-rings, glass-filled epoxy, mechanical mating properties (e.g., bayonet or threaded couplings), and overmolding to achieve a high IP rating. These connectors must offer a profile small enough to navigate narrow pipe channels. 

The iCONN iMINI iSENSOR series offers miniaturized circular connectors - each designed to optimize pin density and placement. With cable dimensions as small as .27 inches and multiple contact configurations, up to 12 contacts, this series provides an off-the-shelf yet customizable solution that works in tight spaces and meets higher power and signal demands. 


Water Monitoring Systems

Water monitoring systems assess the quality, flow rates, level, and leak detection in water distribution networks, reservoirs, or environmental surveys. These systems require connectors that can withstand complete water submersion and potentially high PSI while maintaining strong conductivity and protecting technicians from the inherent risks involved in mixing electricity with water.

In applications involving submersion in depths beyond one meter, traditional wet-mate connectors may not offer the watertight properties required for safety and reliability. The NiobiCONN niobium wet-mate connector is ideal for these applications.

The niobiCONN product line is designed to allow water inside of the connector without gaskets, seals, or O-rings. When pure niobium is exposed to water, the contacts create a protective film, preventing corrosion on the contact surfaces and keeping electricity from traveling through the water. The niobiCONN can be mated or unmated safely while completely submerged in water with virtually limitless mating cycles, and can withstand 500+ PSI.

Weather Monitoring Systems

A weather monitoring system collects, analyzes, and reports various meteorological and atmospheric data in real time to identify weather patterns, create accurate forecasting, and predict severe events. These systems involve multiple sensor connections spread across various locations. Due to exposure to extreme weather elements and electrostatic discharge from external sources, such as cellular networks and broadcast towers, connectors must be properly shielded, resistant to environmental factors, and robust enough to maintain strong signal integrity.

Chief design concerns include:

  • Electromagnetic Interference (EMI)
  • Hurricane-force winds
  • Torrential downpours
  • High humidity
  • Extreme temperatures and fluctuations
  • Prolonged exposure to UV radiation

iCONN's in-house engineering team can develop custom cable connector solutions to meet these specific requirements. 

Agriculture Monitoring & Inspection

Agricultural monitoring and inspection systems are used to manage crop health, analyze soil conditions, detect pests, and optimize growing environments. These systems rely heavily on sensors to collect data on crop growth, irrigation needs, and more. In agricultural settings, connectors must be dust-proof, water resistant, reliable enough to withstand continuous use and rugged enough to endure vibration caused by machinery.

Chief design concerns include:

  • Dust ingress
  • Exposure to weather elements
  • Temperature variations
  • Contact with chemicals or fertilizers
  • Prolonged physical stress

In environmental applications such as weather or agricultural monitoring, where conditions can be unpredictable and extreme, we recommend a versatile connector that can be easily configured to meet unique demands, such as additional RFI shielding, or pin variations that allow for different degrees of power and signal transmission. These connectors should also allow for easy installation in the field and a high degree of protection against harsh environmental conditions. 

iCONN’s iMate circular connectors are intermateable and intermountable with existing solutions for compatibility and easier in-the-field installation. From overmolding and contact materials to coupling mechanisms and shielding, these connectors can be adapted to meet the toughest environmental demands, including extreme temperatures, stress, UV exposure, water ingress and more while maintaining strong power and signal integrity.

Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS)

Unmanned aircrafts (also referred to as unmanned aerial systems or UAS) are used for surveillance, mapping, delivery services, and agricultural and environmental monitoring. These sophisticated aircrafts are equipped with sensors, cameras, communication systems, and propulsion systems for autonomous or remote-controlled flight. Connectors used in unmanned aircraft solutions must prioritize a lightweight design, compact size, and signal strength as well as high-speed data transmission capabilities.

Design concerns include:

  • Weight and size limitations
  • Operability in high altitudes
  • Secure, high-speed connectivity
  • Electromagnetic Interference (EMI)

In applications where weight is a limiting factor, we recommend high-quality plastic connectors that offer the same durability as metal components using lighter materials, such as iCONN's i12 plastic connector series. 

The i12 series is both lightweight and compact and can accommodate larger wire gauges or bundles, making it an ideal option for aerial systems dependent on secure, high-speed connectivity. These connectors are also electrically insulated and engineered to provide excellent vibration resistance, ensuring a stable connection. 

Re-engineering Solutions

Depending on the application, technicians may require tens of thousands of connectors, making cost and deliverability a significant pain point. This was the case for a company that deploys advanced autonomous aircraft solutions for government defense missions. When supply chain disruptions prevented them from sourcing the materials they needed to acquire high-volume connector orders on time and within budget, they contacted us for help. 

Our reengineering capabilities helped reduce cost and delivery time by sourcing substantially equivalent materials without affecting fit, form, or function. To do this, we carefully reevaluated an existing design, explored alternative approaches, and identified opportunities to reduce material and labor costs and turnaround times. Reengineering capabilities can also include the following: 

  • Simplifying the design
  • Utilizing existing tooling or components
  • Finding innovative solutions that meet the application's needs more efficiently
  • Optimizing the manufacturing process 

When you need eyes everywhere, count on our connectors for monitoring solutions

Whether you're developing a new product or improving the functionality or manufacturability of an existing one, our team is here to help.

Contact us today for a custom solution or use our configuration tool to design connector solutions that meet your exact needs and download a CAD rendering of the design to share with the rest of your product team.