Friday, March 20, 2009

Molex Expands Range Of Ethernet Plugs & Jacks

Molex has introduced more robust versions of its RJ-45 Ethernet plugs and jacks for use in industrial, marine and telecom applications. Designed for compact applications requiring high-density and high-protection levels, the IP67-/IP20-rated connectors are built in accordance with the Profinet specification. Extended usage of Ethernet applications from office floors to the factory level requires RJ-45 connectors with an enhanced protection level and Category 5 (100Mbit/s fast Ethernet) performance.

Typical industrial applications include Profinet-driven robotic devices. Molex's IP20 data plug is the smallest RJ-45 Ethernet plug and the only version to which 22 AWG cables may be connected to support insulation displacement technology (IDT). The connector is designed with a standard grid of just 14mm, which provides maximum packing density in the application, according to Molex. The IP67-rated data plug version features a push-pull housing that can be locked and unlocked using one hand with minimal force.

The housing is claimed to be very compact, enabling fast deployment and easy installation without the need for special tooling. The panel feed-through jack allows transition from harsh industrial environments to protected IP67/IP20 environments. The RJ-45 industrial Hybrid System integrates the data lines and the power supply into a single connector for hybrid Ethernet networks. The IP67-rated hybrid plug incorporates a lever lock for single-handed mating and unmating, reducing installation costs.

Supplied in tray packs, the RJ-45 industrial Ethernet plugs and jacks conform to IEC-60603-7. The push-pull plugs have a durability rating of 750 mating cycles and the hybrid jacks are rated at 500 mating cycles with a working voltage of 48V. The contact areas of the Molex plugs and jacks are 1.27um gold plated, while in the hybrid version the power contacts are plated with 5um of gold to ensure reliable and consistent performance, according to the company. The housings are manufactured from high-grade thermoplastic, which has a UL94V-0 flammability rating and the operating temperature range of the connectors is 40C to 70C.

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