Exploring the Versatility of IDC Connectors
For those familiar with flat cables, working with insulation displacement connectors (IDC) is a straightforward and reliable experience. IDCs, available as sockets and plugs, find extensive use in connecting flat cables to double-row box headers or pin headers on computer cards, facilitating various interfaces with external devices. A notable example is the multi-purpose Z80 card mentioned in Ref. 1. The present adapter cards, featured on the PCB (Ref. 924049) showcased here, serve the purpose of transitioning from IDC to eject-header style connectors, especially when a flat cable needs to link a board to a connector on the enclosure’s rear panel. Additionally, using an adapter board equipped with an eject-style header can often be a more cost-effective and flexible solution. When dealing with the connection and disconnection of flat cables, an IDC-style sub-D socket or plug is the way to go.
Strategic Placement for Efficient Connectivity
The component overlay exhibits designated spots indicating where holes need to be drilled, a necessity when employing smaller types of eject headers. These headers, available in configurations of 10, 14, 16, 18, or 20 pins, offer versatile options. An interesting application arises when two box headers are affixed to an adapter board. This setup allows the coupling of flat cables terminated in IDC sockets, enabling the creation of IDC extension cables. Such extensions prove invaluable, especially when a PCB with numerous flat cable connections requires removal from an enclosure for repair or inspection purposes.
Understanding Insulation-Displacement Contacts (IDC) or Insulation-Piercing Contacts (IPC)
An insulation-displacement contact (IDC), also referred to as an insulation-piercing contact (IPC). It is an electrical connector specifically engineered to be linked to the conductor(s) of an insulated cable. This connection process involves the use of a selectively sharpened blade or blades that pierce through the insulation without requiring the conductors to be stripped of their insulation beforehand. When executed correctly, the connector blade cold-welds to the conductor, establishing a theoretically dependable gas-tight connection.