About board to board connectors
Board to board connectors from GCT are of high quality and very competitive prices,
with connector pitches ranged from 0.8mm x 1.2mm, 1.00mm, 1.27mm, 2.00mm to 2.54mm, 4.00mm
(0.031" x 0.047", 0.039", 0.050", 0.079", 0.100", 0.157" centerline), of single,
double, triple or quadruple rows, with vertical (straight) or horizontal (right-angle)
orientations in surface mount or through-hole (DIP) lead style. All the board to
board connectors can be custom made based on specific customers design requirements,
to achieve different stacking heights, from as low as 3mm, to more than 60mm, as
well as different PCB orientations (right-angle, planar, and stacked). All posts
& tails pin lengths, insulator or profile heights, contact plating (gold flash,
tin, gold or selective gold plating from 1u" to 30u" thickness), locating pegs or
polarization keys, contact terminals types (tuning fork, dual beam folded), insulator
materials of UL94V-0 thermoplastics (Nylon 6T, LCP, or PBT), suitable for high temperature
reflow or wave soldering and are RoHS compliant, different entry types (top entry
or dual entry sockets), voided pins or contacts for increasing pin pitch, can all
be built and customized based on customers' requirements.
- .031" x .047", .039", .05", .079", .100", .157" imperial centerlines
- 0.8mm x 1.2mm, 1mm, 1.27mm, 2mm and 2.54mm, 4.00mm metric pitches
- Customer specifiable pin lengths and spacer heights
- Through hole and Surface mount (SMT/SMD)
- Headers, Elevated Headers, Sockets and Elevated Sockets
- Single and Dual row
- Straight and right angle
- Choice of insulator heights
- Choice of pin material and plating
- Packaging options, loose, tubes, or tape and reel for automatic pick and place
- Suitable for lead free soldering processes and RoHS compliant
- Please see individual datasheets for full details
Read more about board to board connectors.
Board to board connectors are manufactured in the following types:
- Pin header (also known as male header)
- Elevated pin header (also known as stacked, stacker, mezzanine and PC104 headers)
- Shrouded header (also known as box header)
- Socket (also known as female header or receptacle)
- Elevated socket (also known as stacked, stacker, mezzanine and PC104 sockets)
Read more about connector styles.
Connector row types
Board to board connectors are available in a choice of row types and can be selected by the customer to best suit their application:
- Single row (SIL)
- Double row (DIL)
- Triple row
- Quad row
Read more about row types.
Standard board to board pitches are:
Read more about connector pitches.
Larger pitches can be created by selective loading (i.e. a .100 (2.54mm) pitch pin header with every 2nd pin omitted = .200 (5.08mm)
pitch). Voided pin (also known as selective loading or polarization) can be applied to all types of board to board connector. Example of a voided pin:
As above but with reference to sockets (also known as voided contact or polarization)
Example of a voided contact:
Dependant on the customer application PCB’s can be oriented in a variety of ways:
Also known as right angle,
daughter card or vertical
Also known as planar,
side by side or butt ended
Also known as mezzanine,
stacked or sandwich
U –Shaped connectors are an economical alternative for LED connector strips.
In order to be able to connect the differing types of PCB orientation board to board
connectors have been developed to suit.
In most applications a pin header (male) and socket (female) would be used as a
pair to simplify assembly and allow disconnection/reconnection (mating cycle) as
To achieve a connection between a pair of right angled PCB’s two part combinations
could be used:
- Straight (also known as vertical) pin header and right angled socket.
- Right angled (also known as or horizontal) pin header and straight socket.
To achieve a connection between a pair of stacked (mezzanine) PCB’s only one
part combination can be used:
- Straight pin header and straight socket.
To achieve a connection between a pair of horizontal (planar) PCB’s only one
part combination can be used:
- Right angled pin header and right angled socket.
In applications where repeated mating cycles are not required a single pin header could be used and soldered directly to both PCB’s.
All board to board connectors use plastics to insulate the metal conductors.
For pin headers this plastic part is referred to as the insulator, for sockets it is referred to as the insulator or housing.
Read more about plastic insulators.
Through hole (TH) or Surface Mount (SMT or SMD) dependant on part selected.
Read more about lead styles.
The board to board connector height from the PCB face to its highest insulator point above the PCB is known as its profile.
Read more about connector profiles.
When an exact distance is required between PCB’s it is common to use a stacking
pin header and regular socket arrangement.
For example, if a PCB separation distance of 20mm is required a 5.00mm profile socket
and 15mm stacking height elevated pin header could be used:
Read more about stacking heights.
Post and tail length
Post length (also known as post height) is the length of pin above the plastic insulator
that mates with the socket (only applicable to pin headers):
Tail length is the length of pin below the insulator that is used to solder to the PCB. Tail length is applicable to pin headers and sockets but only in through
Read more about post and tail lengths.
Bottom entry socket
A bottom entry socket (also known as pass through) allows mating with a pin header
from the underside rather than the top side.
When bottom entry sockets are used, holes must be made in the PCB to allow the pin
header to pass through.
Typical bottom entry PCB layout:
Bottom entry sockets can be used to reduce distance between stacked PCB's.
Read more about bottom entry sockets.
Post or pin size (mm²)
Post/pin size is the cross section of the conductor measured in mm².
Each different pitch has a different post size:
- .039" (1mm pitch) = 0.30mm²/0.012”²
- .050" (1.27mm pitch) = 0.40mm²/0.016”² or 0.46mm²/0.018”²
- .079" (2mm pitch) = 0.50mm²/0.020”²
- .100" (2.54mm pitch) = 0.64mm²/0.025”²
- Custom connector – GCT design & manufacture board to board connectors to suit customer specific applications
Read more about post or pin sizes.
Locating pegs (also referred to as locating posts, alignment pins or board locks)
are used to assist alignment of connectors to the PCB. Locating pegs are particularly
useful when using surface mount components.
Example of locating pegs on a surface mount socket:
Kinked pins (also known as locking leads) are used as a method of fastening a through
hole pin header or socket to a PCB prior to soldering.
Kinked pins are particularly useful when using tall components and/or wave soldering
process that may cause the connector to move out of position before it can be soldered
Example of a kinked PCB header pin:
GCT manufactures 4 types of contacts for use in sockets:
- Stamped tuning fork
- Dual beam spring contact
- Triple beam spring contact
- Four sided spring contact
Please see individual datasheets for contact types used in each range.
All metal components are manufactured using copper alloys (brass or phosphor bronze).
These parts are nickel plated and then re-plated in lead free tin, gold or a combination.
Combination plating using tin and gold is called selective or duplex plating.
Please see individual datasheets for plating options in each range.
Read more about contact plating.
All plastic parts are manufactured using UL approved high temperature thermoplastic 94V-0 materials.
Please see individual datasheets for plastics used in each range and suitability for use in lead free IR soldering process.
Board to board connectors are available in a variety of packaging options:
- Loose in bag
- Loose in box
- Tube with pick and place (P+P) cap
- Tape and reel (T+R) with pick and place (P+P) cap
Please see individual datasheets for packaging option available for each series.
Read more about connector packaging.
Polarization and Keying
GCT offer polarisation and keying options in various configurations. Polarised connectors allow the mating header and socket to plug together in the correct orientation only, this is useful in many designs, especially so where incorrect connection may cause damage to equipment. Polarisation also offers advantages for mated product strength, protecting pin headers from damage and blind mating.
Read more about polarized connectors.