Bulgin: programmable smart connector for harsh environments

Rugged connector and component manufacturer Bulgin has launched a smart connector which allows easy pairing of devices and connectors, real-time connection status sensing and electronic device serialisation. Its rugged, miniature design is impervious to the harshest possible environmental conditions such as temperature extremes, exposure to dirt, water immersion and chemical spray.

The intelligent connector enables the system designer to implement serialisation, save valuable space, identify the possible use of counterfeit products as well as saving time costs associated with the physical marking or labelling of connectors.

Bulgin initially designed its first smart rugged connector featuring a built-in integrated circuit in 2017 as a customisation project for an agricultural sensing and control application and went on to develop the product as an off-the-shelf solution for a wide variety of other applications, including medical, industrial, the Internet of Things and agriculture.

 The environmentally sealed connector contains a 7 x 5 mm PCB with an EEPROM (electrically erasable programmable read-only memory) device, situated securely underneath the overmould of the miniature Bulgin 400 Series connector.

EEPROM devices in connectors can be used for a wide variety of applications requiring an electronic security check to establish a connection, including those requiring accessory or PCB identification, sensor calibration data storage and analog sensor calibration.

With their ability to reliably store data and file systems for decades, EEPROM data memory technology allows for easy calibration and security code changes and can also facilitate efficient customisation of application programmes such as transmitter codes and appliance settings.

The 400 Series is one of the most compact series of connectors within Bulgin’s Buccaneer range, and is ideal for designs requiring a small footprint. The miniature sealed circular connectors are lightweight and rugged, offering highly reliable power, data or signal connections condensed into a compact form factor.

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