Looking for small locking connectors

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One thing that has always pissed me off in audio electronics is why are there so few locking type connectors.

Coming from professional audio, where the standard was the XLR type interface, balanced or unbalanced, I never got used to how poor audio interface is dealt with in amateur electronics.

The most common interconnect types are the RCA, the 1/4" & 1/8" barrel and several diameter types for DC power supplies. None of them locking types.

Same thing in computers. Except for the old VGA interface, all other types are non-locking: USB (large & mini), 1394, power supply. The Ethernet interface has a lock, but a very poor one.

What I'm looking for now is if anyone knows of any newer small locking connectors that might have been released in the last 10 years. Particularly those with 2-poles that could be used as power supply interface.

Price has to be low too, because I know there are very expensive specialized connectors designed for instruments that are available. But price is VERY high usually.

Recently I got a pair of Neutrik type cable & chassis connectors originally created for speakers interface. They fulfill practically all the requirements, except one: they are big.

So I wonder what someone could suggest as affordable small locking connectors (cable and chassis) .
 

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My experience with mini-XLR connectors like those you showed is terrible.

I know them since the '90s, when almost nobody used them. They were used in small pro equipment, like wireless microphones and similar stuff.

Fragile, unreliable, hard to solder. Not good.

Those aviation type connectors are OK. A bit large though, particularly the chassis part.
 
I suspect the major brands discovered random members of the public can't understand locking connectors and just break them forcibly getting them out and then complain. There is a definite minority of users that always pull wires out by the wire, not the connector. Sad but true. There will no doubt have been lawsuits when some klutz tripped over a cable that didn't pull out the socket.


I'd suggest for low power RJ45 connectors, patch leads readily available. For signal there's no obvious stereo locking connector, but for single signal BNC and SMA are perfectly servicable, and cables available.
 

MAAC0

Member
2010-05-02 10:00 pm
There are aviation connectors with aprox the same size as the mini XLR. As what computer connectors concerns... suppose You have a laptop on a table and someone stomps on the cable. If they where locking You would have a broken LCD or a trashed HDD. But there are locking connectors for racks. Neutrik has them.
 
BNC and SMA are good and reliable connectors. Proof of that is their use in 'scopes and medical equipment, for instance.

Their only weakness is that they extend a bit too much to the outside of the case.

RJ45 are crimpable connectors, which I do not think it's strong enough for plugging them in and out. They do not lock as strong as they should.

There certainly are aviation connectors that are good and reliable. They are also hard to find and very expensive.
 
I often work with what are called "microphone connectors" for power connections where I need a connector that locks in place. They have a screw collar on the female connector that acts as a retainer. They are not too hard to solder, but they do have fiddly small screws on the connector cover and cable clamp that are easy to lose.

If you go on E-pray and load the search with "CB microphone connector - XLR", you get a fair sampling of the connectors I'm talking about.
 
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I often work with what are called "microphone connectors" for power connections where I need a connector that locks in place. They have a screw collar on the female connector that acts as a retainer. They are not too hard to solder, but they do have fiddly small screws on the connector cover and cable clamp that are easy to lose.

If you go on E-pray and load the search with "CB microphone connector - XLR", you get a fair sampling of the connectors I'm talking about.

Please be more specific on the connector you talk about.

If you mean something like this, it's fine:

Mini 3 Pin XLR Male Connector Audio Plug Adapter for Mic Microphone Silver /ND | eBay

Now try to find a small female chassis mate for that mini-XLR. For now I found this:

M-XL-4-31 ITT Cannon, LLC | Connectors, Interconnects | DigiKey

Expensive, and not too small to fit into small boxes, like a DAC. Please remember I'm trying to substitute, if possible, existing standard DC connectors.

Now if you mean something like this, they are very poor, fragile and hard to solder. The cable connectors I mean.

3/4/5/6Pin Female Male Mini XLR Audio Microphone Connector MIC Adapter Adaptor | eBay

There are metal choices for that, though still retaining the awful plastic latch, probably the worst thing in that design.

Mini 3 Pin XLR Female Connector Audio Plug Adapter for Microphone Silver | eBay
 
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