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Contacts, Contacts, Contacts…

February 3, 2015

Kind of like “Marsha, Marsha, Marsha” from the 70’s SITCOM the Brady Bunch. These highly attractive metal (some precious) pins & sockets have an appeal all their own. From the tiniest wire barrel size of 28 to thick high current custom contacts, they can come in in many different shapes, sizes, & styles; such as Crimp, Printed Circuit Tail, Thermocouple, Coaxial, Solder Cup & Wire Wrap, Twinax & Quadrax Contacts.

They have a multitude of materials, finishes, sizes, gender types, and applications and those contacts are like the arms legs & feet of an electrical connection, allowing it to move power and signals at speeds nearing the speed of light.

So, let’s explore why so mnay options for contacts in electronic connectors today and determine how best to choose what is RIGHT one for YOU!

Part numbering systems vary and Mil Spec parameters with their associated numbers can help.

A good resource for how to cross reference MIl Specs to commercial part numbers is provided by Tri-Star, a division of Carlisle Interconnect and a good source for high quality contacts; Some key facts about Tri-Star include: see <>

  • currently supplying over 90% of the world’s leading aerospace, avionics and electronics OEM’s is…
  • the first to be fully compliant with the stringent requirements of Mil-C-39029
  • QPL approved for almost 400 different contacts (nearly double the number of any other contact manufacturer)
  • ISO9001/AS9100C third party qualified and registered
  • cost effective manufacturing through custom designed automation

Lastly, Contacts are the critical limbs enabling current and electricity to reach their next and or final destination, so choose wisely.

Till next time!

Prof G….

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