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D-Sub connectors for high voltage?

Discussion in 'Electronic Design' started by Pimpom, Nov 16, 2011.

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  1. Pimpom

    Pimpom Guest

    Are D-Sub connectors suitable for carrying multiple lines of
    low-current 230V AC? The idea is to connect up to 10 individually
    controlled loads over a 50-foot multi-core cable. The wires are
    rated for the voltage. Current levels are sub-100mA.

    The cable is to be used only 2 or 3 times a year for a couple of
    days on each occasion, to be dismantled and stored in between
    each use. On three previous occasions, I used a bundle of twin
    wires with individual male plugs at one end and a box with a row
    of females at the other, but I'd like to make the whole thing
    less bulky and fiddly. (As I've occasionally mentioned in s.e.d.,
    I'm in a place where it's not a simple matter of choosing a
    suitable connector from an online list and ordering it).

    I don't know if there's a universal standard voltage rating for
    D-Subs. I've seen one manufacturer's specs of 1000Megs minimum at
    500VDC and dielectric strength of 1000V AC for 1 minute. To keep
    things simple, forget about mechanical reliability. I have good
    soldering experience and could cover each soldered pin with
    heatshrink, clamp the wires and provide strain relief. I'm sure
    D-Sub connectors will be fine initially, but I'm wondering about
    the long-term since they are normally used at much lower
  2. There is not the creepage distance (less than 1.5mm?) to meet safety
    standards used in most developed countries, particularly when it gets
    dirty ("pollution" in the IEC standards).

    My unconsidered opinion (which you should not rely upon) is that it
    will probably be okay from an electrical pov, but you should pay some
    attention to the safety aspects, such as fusing the lines so that the
    current rating of the pin (3A or whatever) and the wire going to it
    cannot be exceeded, and also make sure that nobody can get shocked.
    Higher voltages are actually better from a conductivity pov, since it
    will break through oxide layers. They are not better from a safety and
    a corrosion pov (ie. if the connector were to get wet and power was
    applied). At less than a volt, nothing much will happen, at 5V, bad
    things will eventually happen, but slowly, at 230VAC with dirty water,
    bad things can happen pretty fast.
  3. Pimpom

    Pimpom Guest

    I couldn't access the site. I'll try again later.
  4. Pimpom

    Pimpom Guest

  5. Guest

    You still have the problem of (creepage) distance from pin to shield/ground.
    That's still < .100", IIRC.
  6. Pimpon has mentioned before that he hasn't easy access to a wide line
    of products, and is asking about "making do".

    If one wants to go with Harting, these connectors are frequently used
    for temporary connections to plastic molds (eg. hot runners) and
    would be a good choice if one doesn't need military style connectors
    and have little in the way of space/weight concerns :

    They're rugged multiple-contact connectors properly rated and
    safety-agency-tested for mains applications. Not particularly cheap.

    Best regards,
    Spehro Pefhany
  7. Rich Grise

    Rich Grise Guest

    Don't do it, because someone will plug it into the back of your computer.

    Pick almost any other kind of connector for 230VAC.

    Good Luck!
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