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Author Topic: IDC connector reliability  (Read 2224 times)

Mike Sokol

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IDC connector reliability
« on: May 02, 2015, 07:09:59 am »

Mike - I really don't like those IDC connectors on the metering control panel. 

History has shown they don't survive maintenance.

What do you think?

I've had plenty of IDC failures over the years, but the same can be said for soldered connections. Back in my early engineering days I worked for a company that built missile guidance systems. And one of our soldered components failed, sending a missile out of control after launch and requiring a mid-air self destruct. However, the phone company swears by IDC punch down blocks, etc...

Here's a really interesting article about modern IDC connector reliability. Take a read and let's discuss. www.avx.com/docs/techinfo/The3rsofIDC.pdf
« Last Edit: May 02, 2015, 07:14:38 am by Mike Sokol »
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John Roberts {JR}

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Re: IDC connector reliability
« Reply #1 on: May 02, 2015, 09:33:39 am »

I used truckloads of IDC cables/connectors at Peavey and the only problem I recall was one time when the tooling got out of adjustment. IIRC that bad batch was caught and corrected in house before affecting customers.

Properly done, using good wire, these can be remarkably reliable, cutting corners like using cheap wire that may have dimensional issues can affect performance.

These are not mil-spec** soldered reliability, but very good when done properly. As good or better than simple machine soldering.

JR

PS: I was schooled in mil-spec soldering for a Navy project back in the '60s. As I recall the wire must make a strong mechanical connection (wrapped at least 270' around a post or terminal), before soldering. Then the solder connection is visually inspected for appearance with several factors considered. 
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Stephen Swaffer

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Re: IDC connector reliability
« Reply #2 on: May 02, 2015, 10:01:11 am »

I have done a lot of repair work on machine tools and welders using IDC connectors-even after many disconnects/reconnects they seemed to be more reliable/less suspect that the PC boards themselves-though I never assumed anything was good when troubleshooting.
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Scott Hofmann

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Re: IDC connector reliability
« Reply #3 on: May 02, 2015, 10:54:46 am »

I've had plenty of IDC failures over the years, but the same can be said for soldered connections. Back in my early engineering days I worked for a company that built missile guidance systems. And one of our soldered components failed, sending a missile out of control after launch and requiring a mid-air self destruct. However, the phone company swears by IDC punch down blocks, etc...

Here's a really interesting article about modern IDC connector reliability. Take a read and let's discuss. www.avx.com/docs/techinfo/The3rsofIDC.pdf

It is interesting they have created a new word: reparability
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Mike Sokol

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Re: IDC connector reliability
« Reply #4 on: May 03, 2015, 09:28:08 am »

PS: I was schooled in mil-spec soldering for a Navy project back in the '60s. As I recall the wire must make a strong mechanical connection (wrapped at least 270' around a post or terminal), before soldering. Then the solder connection is visually inspected for appearance with several factors considered.

We built R2R D/A resistor ladders for the steering control on nuclear missile guidance systems, so all solder joints we made were photographed, vibration tested, heat and cold stressed, run through x-rays, then finally measured and matched down to 5ppm. Some of the D/A converters we made I was able to calibrate down to 1ppm tolerance which was really cool. Yup, that's one part per million accuracy in a D/A converter.

Of course, it was one of those expensive D/A converters that had a cold solder joint due to gold contamination of the solder pot, and it failed just as the missile was launched at the worst possible time. Murphy's Law doesn't care how carefully you test.
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Mike Sokol
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