Meet Lars, GCT’s New German Sales Manager

Lars Klapproth German Sales Manager GCTWhat better way of introducing the latest addition to the GCT team than a Q&A session? Lars Klapproth joins us as our new German Sales Manager and has participated in a short interview. Let the questions commence!

Q1.  How are you settling into your new role?

It’s been a lively and busy month so far.  Meeting the wider team and learning about the GCT product portfolio has certainly helped me ease into the role quickly.

Q2. Can you give us some background on your career to date?

My career in sales spans over 20 years, 14 of which have been in the connector industry focusing on the automotive market.  I’ve also held roles outside of sales, such as Key Account Management and in Engineering.

Q3.  What skills and experience have you bought to the GCT team?

I adopt a very customer-centric approach in order to attract and retain top-tier clients.  Building customer relationships and providing excellent customer service is critical for growing any business and this is what I excel at.  My experience dealing with distributors, CEMs and OEMs will also be valuable.

Q4.  Which GCT products are popular in your territory?

Board to board connectors and Smart card connectors are very popular in the German market.  I also see an increasing demand for Modular Jacks and USB connectors, but most GCT lines tend to perform very well due to the product quality and suitability across a wide range of applications.

Q5.  Are there any market and product trends do you see currently?

The concepts of the ‘connected world’ and the Internet of Things (IoT) are now reality and with it brings a new wave of electronics to the market.  Many of these devices require GCT products such as USB assemblies, board to board connectors, SIM and memory card connectors.  Take home automation for example, our products meet the need of demanding and sophisticated features that equipment require in this sector.  Renewable/Green Energy and Wearable technology are also sectors that will see strong growth.

Q6.  Is there anything else you would like to add?

I’m very enthusiastic about our recently launched USB Type-C range and I expect this will be very popular in Germany.  GCT will also be exhibiting at Electronica Munich this November and I’m looking forward to meeting with many customers, new and existing.

GCT’s Vertical Micro USB Plug used in Cluster HAT application

GCT are excited to work with Cluster Hat, which uses 4x vertical micro USB plug connectors interfacing a (Controller) Raspberry Pi A+/B+/2/3 with 4 Raspberry Pi Zeros. Configured to use USB Gadget mode, it is an ideal tool for teaching, testing or simulating small scale clusters.

Cluster Hat with vertical micro USB plug 2

GCT’s USB3150 is a low profile, tiny footprint vertical micro USB plug, perfect for applications such as docking and charging.  You can pick up stock at Farnell, Newark or Future Electronics.

Here’s some more information and links to Cluster Hat’s website:

  • USB Gadget Mode: Ethernet and Serial Console.
  • Onboard 4 port USB 2.0 hub.
  • Individual Raspberry Pi Zero power controlled via Controller Pi GPIO using 4 x GCT’s Vertical micro USB Plug (USB3150)
  • Connector for Controller Serial Console (FTDI Basic).

As with most things there are many ways to configure the ClusterHAT. Designers have demonstrated with the links below.

  • Assembly – Connecting the ClusterHAT (plugging/unplugging the Pi Zeros).
  • Software – Installing our Customised Raspbian for the Controller and Zeros.
  • Control – Controlling power to the Pi Zeros

Stock of Raspberry Pi USB connector available at Newark

For Global Connector Technology’s (GCT) North American customers, we have stock of Raspberry Pi USB connector at our channel partner Newark.  This is the dual USB2.0 A type connector used on the Raspberry Pi.  Link to Newark website.

Dual USB Connector USB1035

This connector allows space saving as two USB A interfaces stack on top of each other.  It’s rated for use from -40°C to 85°C with a mating cycle rate of 1,500 cable insertions.

See more information on USB1035-GF-P-0-B-B on the GCT website.  Including drawing, product specification, 3D models & links to distribution stock.

PCB stacking connectors above 50mm

Planar PCB connection when the PCB spacing is greater than 50mm is a challenge using traditional, economical elevated pin headers and sockets as the length of the pins can cause distortion either during the product manufacturing process or in the final assembly process.

An alternative option is to utilize a low cost PCB in place of the elevated pin header.

PCB stacking connectors above 50mm

The picture shows an example from GCT’s 2.00mm pitch board to board connector range. Receptacle connectors are mounted on both horizontal PCBs.  BF100 on the uppermost PCB and a BF120 on the lower PCB.

On the vertical PCB the uppermost connector is a BF060 with the lower part being a custom shrouded version.

This arrangement can be made using parts from GCT’s 1.00, 1.27, 2.00 & 2.54mm pitch ranges.

Filter to find PCB stacking connectors above 50mm using GCT board to board connector link

GCT exhibiting at Del Mar Electronics and Design Show – San Diego, CA May 2016

Del Mar Electronics

GCT are exhibiting at the Del Mar Electronics & Design show in San Diego, California on 4th and 5th May 2016.

Come and meet our connector and cable assembly experts and learn more about how GCT products are the design choice for many leading brands, spanning a wide variety of products and markets

We look forward to seeing you at booth 570 in the Exhibit Hall.

To register for free go to – http://www.mfgshow.com/electroshows/delreg.cfm

To learn more about GCT go to GCT’s website.

Custom PCB header with supporting feet

PCB header with supporting feet

We’ve been working with a customer who needed a customized stacking header with an extended height but tiny footprint to stack two PCB’s in parallel orientation. We offered an elevated header from our 1.00mm pitch board to board connector range, this looked like a perfect solution, but was prone to tipping during the solder process, a problem magnified by the tiny contact pitch.

To help balance the connector we molded a custom insulator and produced a PCB header with supporting feet.  The feet were designed to strategically to work around existing components on the PCB, which enabled the customer to avoid a PCB re-design.

Turnaround time on this design was seven to ten days.

Another problem solved with a clever solution from GCT’s custom connector team!  We can offer a wide range of custom PCB header solution, from simple modifications of existing parts all the way up to a bespoke PCB header solution.

If your PCB header requirement seems out of the ordinary speak to GCT, our low tooling charges and minimum order quantities might surprise you.

Link to Global Connector Technology board to board pages.

Link to Global Connector Technology custom PCB connector pages.

SIM card dimension guide

SIM card dimensions and release dates

Here’s GCT guide to SIM card dimension and thicknesses.  We offer a large variety of SIM card connectors which accept the three main SIM card types.

Mini SIM, also known as 2ff or 2nd form factor was introduced in 1996 and has been the standard type for many years, there are a wide variety of connector products in the market, but with the emergence of Micro and Nano it’s now a mature product.

2003 saw the introduction of the Micro SIM card, also known as 3ff, or 3rd form factor. Micro SIM is the same thickness as Mini SIM at 0.76 mm, however it offers a much smaller overall package, the contact area remains exactly the same, but size is reduced by more than 50%.

Nano SIM was introduced in 2012 and is becoming more and more prevalent in the market. Nano SIM is also know as 4ff or 4th form factor.  It’s even smaller and thinner than Micro SIM, with a 108 mm footprint, vs. 180 mm for Micro. However it is very small and can be fiddly for end users to handle.  We see that Micro SIM has longevity in the market, as although smaller it is more easily handled by the end consumer.

Global Connector Technology offer connectors for every SIM card type, with a variety of different styles, such as push-pull, push-push and hinged.

Smart Card connector high cycles durability tested to 500,000 cycles

See video of Global Connector Technology SCC055 landed contact Smart Card connector being put through it’s paces in durability testing.  A ISO/IEC 7810 smart card is inserted 500,000 times.  For exacting applications, such as retail point of sale equipment this high cycle rate is essential.

SCC050 is a PCB mounted, horizontal push-pull smart card connector high cycles.  It has eight contacts and includes a card detection switch set as normally open.  The connector is shielded and contacts a sealed switch which is designed to withstand the very high card insertion and extraction rate.

Smart card connector high cycles

GCT offer a range of Smart Card connectors, including low cost versions with lower card cycle rates.  Learn more about GCT’s range of Smart card connectors at www.gct.co. You’ll find explanations of the different contact types friction and landed, card detection switching methods, reverse mount versions and much more.  Drawings, product specifications and 3d models are available for instant download.

New High Current vertical DC Jack – unique in market

high current vertical DC jack

Global Connector Technology (GCT) has released a new high current vertical DC power jacks with 2.50mm centre pin diameter suitable for 5.5mm OD plugs.   The high power parts are shielded and through hole.

High current vertical DC jack DCJ250-15 is unique in the market place in high power format.  In DC jack products horizontal is standard, mounted on the edge of a PCB and thru a panel cut out.   However, GCT’s customers were looking for alternative design configurations, we worked with them to develop a vertical type to solve their design problems.

Customers use high current products to allow fast battery charging in handheld or portable equipment.    This may be in a standalone application, or distributing power to a docking device where multiple handheld units are plugged in to charge.   The high current jacks are tested and rated at 7A in vertical orientation and 8A in horizontal, within a strict temperature rise of 30°C over ambient.   Full product specifications are available at the GCT website, something you may not find using a competitor product.

All of GCT’s DC power jacks are tested to 5,000 mating cycles and offer an operating temperature range of -20°C to 70°C.

Find drawings, product specifications and 3D models for all parts at http://gct.co/dc-power-jacks/ .  Samples are available next day from GCT’s locations worldwide.

Micro USB plug vertical durability testing video

A look behind the scenes at GCT durability testing PCB mount micro usb plug vertical -USB3150  This USB connector is suitable for 10,000 mating cycles, you’ll see it being put through it’s paces at the Global Connector Technology test center.

In this video, the vertical USB plug is mating with a horizontal, PCB mounted, USB micro receptacle.  You can see that both PCB’s are held in a fixture for testing purposes.

The USB3150 has a tiny footprint (7.35mm x 2.80mm) and low profile height (7.13mm) above PCB.  Competition parts are bulky, taking up a large piece of PCB real estate and higher in profile.

Customers are using this connector in docking applications, normally to charge a handheld device, that’s why it’s important that the vertical plug is tested to ten thousand cycles, this is actually the standard for Micro USB2.0.  It’s important that the connector contacts are plating in 30µ” gold to achieve the high level of mating cycles, watch out for competitor products on the market with thinner levels of gold.  You might find a lower cost solutions, but will they perform in demanding applications?

Find out more about the USB3150 micro USB plug vertical here, you can download drawings and full product specification. Our 3D model viewer allows you to view the model online, without installing any special software, click to download 3D models.

Samples are available next day from your local GCT office and from our distributor partners Newark and Farnell.

If you need any help or advice on USB connectors and their applications please contact your local Global Connector Technology sales team.