For most electronics where multiple leads need to be grouped into the same connector, a soft shell connector is the best option. These connectors are relatively new in design and evolved mostly due to the demand for multiple-lead connectors in computer equipment, some appliances and in specific industrial applications.
There are many different design options in any soft shell connector line or group. The different designs provide the most compact, efficient and effective way to connect the number of leads required. The more leads, the larger and more complex the connector will be.
There are several different options in soft shell connector lines besides just number of leads, size, and shape. They are also designed with different types of contact styles. These typically include the pin and socket variety, also known as a round contact style, or the blade and receptacle or rectangular contact style.
There is a range of different soft shell materials, colors, and options available. Many manufacturers offer a clear plastic housing as well as a white and black. There are also companies offering beige or tan colored soft shell connector options, and choosing the right color is largely a factor of the design of the electronics. When connectors are not visible often clear is the best option for any application.
The actual connection with the soft shell connector is also a feature to consider. Many of the designs of these connectors, especially for a smaller number of leads, use a lock type of system. Arms or extensions on the sides of the connectors click into the corresponding tabs on the other side of the connection and hold both sides securely attached. This prevents the connection from separating without direct pressure on both sides to allow the arms to slide back through the tabs.
Locking systems, no matter what they may be, are a central feature of many soft shell connector models and designs. These connectors are often used where movement may occur within the equipment or machine such as on a process line in industrial applications or in vending machines, printers, photocopiers or where vibration may be an issue to consider.
Examples of this could be in air conditioner units, refrigerators, lift chairs and in commercial and residential washing machines and dryers. The benefits of soft shell connector models include a secure connection, multiple leads in one connector, and an easy to use system even in small, confined spaces.