Choosing a Connector Accessory

Once instruments or switching products have been chosen for a project integrators need to be supported by a range of products designed to make connecting to those modules easy. Finding the right products to provide this connectivity can be a major issue, taking an integrators valuable time as checks are made to make sure that the right connectors and cables are selected. This can be a significant investment in time and money, in some cases perhaps exceeding the initial purchase cost of the devices. Pickering Interfaces understands the importance of offering a complete range of connectivity solutions for the PXI and PCI modules LXI Switching Systems that it supplies. To make selection quick and easy Pickering Interfaces offers a comprehensive line of connectivity solutions for its modules LXI Switching Systems, supplied as optional accessories at competitive prices to small and large users.

Our connection accessory data sheet landing page provides a description of this comprehensive range by connector type to make accessory selection easier, and our data sheets include links to the connectors for each product.

Be Careful on Compatibility

Users are free to chose to purchase accessories on the open market or from Pickering Interfaces. However, some types of connectors (for example 200 pin LFH and 96-way micro D) have various types available which are not always mechanically compatible. Some of the connectors/accessories we use (such as DIN 160 pin) may have been modified in some way to fit the restrictions imposed by the PXI format on front panel space.

Normal and density and a half D Type connectors are usually trouble free as long as the correct type of connector is purchased.

If in doubt contact contact your local Pickering sales office for advice. We always guarantee that parts provided as accessories by Pickering Interfaces will be compatible.

Choosing the Right Accessory

Pickering can supply a number of different types of connection solutions:

  • Connectors. Simple mating connectors that can provide a method for integrators to wire to a part that mates with the front panel connector of the selected device. These are ideal for systems where low purchase cost is required and labor is available to undertake the wiring operation. Some connectors are provided with back shells to protect the connecting wires, and can provide back shells with different exit directions. The direction of the exits can make wiring easier to manage by directing the cable bundles in the direction required for the connection to the test system, it can also influence the clearance distance required between the front panel of the switching system and any doors that might be used in a rack to protect the test system. Pickering can also provide prototyping PCB mating connectors to add you in your system development.

8-way_D_type_connector.jpg

Connector example, 8 pin Power D Type connector with backshell

  • Cable Assemblies. A range of cable assemblies with a mating connector on either one end or both ends. Cables can also be made available to convert between one connector style and another - for example converting between a high density connector suitable for use on the front of PXI or PCI modules or LXI switching systems and 50 way Ribbon Cable connectors. We can also provide options on the direction the cable exits from the connector housing.
40-971-096 Micro D to ribbon cable header 
40-971-096 96-pin Micro D to ribbon cable header

  • Terminal Blocks. A terminal block provides an interface between a mating connector and a set of screw operated terminals using a rising cage mechanism designed to minimize cable breakage or fraying. The use of breakout boxes simplifies the wiring operation to the cable and the breakout includes an effective cable grip to ensure connections are not stressed. Most breakout boxes are provided with a complete metal enclosure to protect the wiring and the cable termination. Breakout boxes are normally designed for use in applications below 200V, for higher voltage applications cable assembly based solutions are recommended
Top view of the 40-965-096, showing the screw terminals

Breakout box includes screw terminals for users to simply connect their own cables to the module connector

Modules can be used with cable assemblies, to link with breakout boxes

Modules can be used with cable assemblies to link them to breakout boxes



  • DIN Fuse Holders and Terminals. To help complete your system cabling requirements, Pickering provides a complete range of DIN fuse blocks and terminals.

Preserving Switching System Functionality

General purpose cabling solutions may not preserve the characteristics of a particular switching product. Products such as 40-736 Data Communications Multiplexer are designed to switch Ethernet signals, and these can only be carried on controlled differential pairs. The product pin-out requires the use of customized interfaces if the functionality is to be preserved. Standard cables will provide a mechanically correct solution to interfacing, but not an interface that is suited for carrying the intended electrical signals. or these types of switching system more customized solutions are required, for 40-736 we offer an interface that preserves the switching system characteristics and presents a set of Ethernet RJ45 connections to the user. 

Ethernet RJ45 connectors for 40-736

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