A Guide to Single Pin Electrical Connectors

1 pin electrical connector

A Guide to Single Pin Electrical Connectors

Single pin electrical connectors have two mating ends, one permanently connected to the device and the other detachable. The different end types are identified by their naming conventions.

For example, looking at the XH Series options on Digi-Key will reveal that each connector type has associated products that are offered with each housing. These include socket and plug contacts.


Often called pins or sockets, these contacts are the current carrying components of a connector. The number of pins and their position within the connector can impact signal transmission, grounding and EMI suppression. Connector pins are precision-machined and have concentric geometry to ensure proper mating of receptacles to avoid misalignment and damage.

When choosing the right pin connector for a project it is important to consider 1 pin electrical connector the size of the wires you will be using and the type of pin or socket you prefer (Stamped & Formed or Solid). Solid pins and sockets are solid pieces of metal with a barrel through which the conductor is inserted and crimped. They are generally easier to work with than stamped & formed pins and sockets.

Many pin connectors are designed to be soldered directly to a printed circuit board (PCB) via through-hole or surface-mount technologies. These are known as headers or pin headers and are sold in long strips that can be cut down to the required number of pins for a specific application. Some pin headers have a plastic guide box around them to keep them in place, this is called a shrouded or box header and has a square notch to prevent the connector being placed into a receptacle the wrong way round. This can help reduce ground loops which are a significant source of radiated EMI.


The contacts of a connector are the metal parts that touch each other and form an electrical connection. They are the business end of the connector, and if they are soiled or oxidized, or if their springiness fades with time, it can affect the integrity of the connections they create.

Contacts can come in a variety of shapes, sizes and materials. They also can be plated in different ways to add durability and lubricity, as well as to change the electrical properties of the contacts. Gold plating, for example, offers high reliability, but it’s expensive. A brass or tin contact may offer the right balance between cost and reliability.

Another key consideration is the number of points of contact within a contact system. The more contact points there are, the more resilient and reliable the contacts will be.

Finally, there’s the question of how a connector is mounted in use (panel mount, free-hanging, board mount), and how it’s mechanically attached to that mounting point (solder tab, surface mount, through hole). The answers to these questions will impact what type of contact is best for your needs.


There are a lot of electrical connector types on the market and it is easy to become confused by terminology. For example, a male connector is often known as a Molex Connector or a female connector is sometimes referred to as a waterproof connector manufacturer RJ Jack Connector. In this guide we will be looking at the single pin DC connector, which is commonly used in consumer devices and power supplies.

There is a wide range of insulation available for these connectors, which can be made from different plastics. Some examples include polyamide, polycarbonate, acrylonitrile/butadiene/styrene copolymer (ABS), polypropylene, and polyphenylene ether. These are commonly used in the shells of the connectors and can be moulded or injection molded into the shape required. They have good toughness, abrasion resistance, can be drilled, cut and planed, are odorless and have low moisture absorption. They also have a very good creep resistance of KB600.

Other insulation materials include phenolic resin, urinary formaldehyde and polysulfone. These are more typically used as an insert material. Polysulfone has a high chemical resistance, excellent temperature stability and is not easily contaminated by common solvents. It is relatively expensive, however, and does not have good electrical properties. Polytetrafluoroethylene is another highly rated plastic for electronic connector insulation and has excellent resistance to corrosion and chemicals, is water-resistant and has high thermal properties.


The terminals of a single-pin connector are where the wires connect, and they come in many forms. Most are round and barrel-shaped, and they feature two mating sides: a male plug or jack and a female port. Single-pin connectors conduct direct current (DC) power, so they’re often used for simple devices that need only a positive (+) and negative (-) power connection.

Screw terminals offer a common way to connect bare wire to a circuit, and SparkFun carries several different types – from 2.54mm (the breadboard standard) to 3.5mm and 5mm pitch. They work well for a wide range of wire gauges, but they can sometimes be difficult to use when the connector is mounted in a tight space or when the wires are very thin.

Other popular alternatives to screw terminals include spring terminals and “poke-home” connectors. The former works in a similar fashion, except rather than tightening a screw to make a connection with a piece of wire, a spring clamps the pieces together.

Poke-home connectors, on the other hand, are designed to be pushed down on with something like a ballpoint pen to make a connection. They’re easy to use, but they don’t provide as much flexibility as other types of connectors. These are often used on boards that need a quick and reliable way to transfer I/O pins, such as the gamer:bit or LumiDrive.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *