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

GCT work with picoPOD in application to help the energy poor

picoPOD 30 with GCT dual stack USB connector for the energy poorPICOPOD 30 SET with GCT dual stack USB connector for the energy poor

Global Connector Technology is delighted to supply connectors for MOAB POWER’s picoPOD project, which is a fascinating application.

There are estimated to be 1.6 billion energy poor people in the world, mainly in developing countries. The picoPOD delivers a solution for those people who are off the electricity grid to be able to power simple appliances, offers basic lighting and mobile phone charging.

Moab claim its 10 year plus battery life delivers more power and brighter lights than competitors, wrapped up in a smaller package.

MOAB Power teamed up with the GCT Sales staff in the early stages of development allowing for product samples and engineering support during the crucial stages.  As a result, the picoPOD is using GCT’s  full size, dual stacked receptacle USB1035 to allow for multiple, simultaneous charging capabilities.  The USB1035 dual stack is ideal for all applications requiring multiple horizontally USB sockets, where space is an issue.

The picoPOD utilizes proprietary, safe, 10-year lithium solar cells, coupled with smart power management and an LED gauge. Enclosed in a small form factor case, it is less than 1/3 the size and weight of competing lead acid systems and much more environmentally friendly.

The picoPOD line up consists of two versions with 30Wh and 60Wh batteries, each with 4x12v and 2 USB ports. Application include LED lighting, mobile phone charging and powering DC appliances such as fans, radios, televisions, etc.

A 90Wh, laptop version, is also in development.

Included with the picoPOD, are appropriately sized solar panels, 3x1W [100 Lumen] LED lights and a multi-tip mobile phone charging cable.  160 Lumen – 1 Watt LED lights are optional.

We’re told the picoPOD units to help the energy poor will start shipping Q1 2016.  Find more information here.

View GCT’s range of innovative connectors


USB Cable Assembly – Hideaway with molded pivot

This USB cable assembly is designed with an overmolded & wired pivot to snap into the customers housing this innovative USB cable assembly allows the whole assembly to be hidden in a cavity until needed.

Our customer came to us with the design brief, ‘we need to design a USB cable that can be packed away until required’.   We worked with in tandem with the customer and developed a plastic molded pivot which allows the cable to be hidden in a cavity until required, pretty neat!

One end of the cable assembly is a USB2.0 A type plug, the other a 4 pin 1.25mm pitch wire to board connector.

Contact GCT to discuss your custom molded cable assembly requirements, the minimum volumes and tooling charges might surprise you!

To view GCT’s wide range of custom overmolded USB cable assembly click here

Custom USB cable assembly with molded pivotUSB Cable Assembly - Molded Pivot1.25mm pitch wire to board cableUSB cable assembly - Type A USB2.0 plug

GCT Micro USB plug in ‘Nipper’, Worlds Smallest Phone Charger


Micro USB vertical plug

Global Connector Technology’s new vertical Micro USB plug is perfect for docking applications. Often Micro USB male plugs are cable mounted and supplied as part of a cable assembly, however USB3150 is vertical PCB mounted, which allows it to be used in docking charging applications. A great example is the new launch of worlds smallest phone charger ‘Nipper‘ – currently on Kickstarter – using this part.

Nipper’ uses AA batteries to give your gadgets an emergency boost

  • Nipper charger was created by two students from Brunel University
  • Measures 1.7cm across and is designed to fit on a keyring
  • In the event of a phone running out of charger, users can buy two AA batteries and insert them into the device, using it to charge their phone
  • Batteries provide just enough power to make a call or access a map online

The Nipper is designed to be attached to a key ring (shown in the first illustration) and only used in an emergency. When this happens, users open it (2) and place two AA batteries between magnets (3) before connecting it to their phone (4). Includes GCT's micro usb plug.

The small cube has a cloth or leather strap and weighs just 10grams – less than a house key or charging cable.  The gadget doesn't need to be charged beforehand, meaning that people don't have to remember to charge a battery, as well as their phone. Includes GCT's micro usb plug.

To see GCT’s extensive  range of Micro usb plug and receptacle connectors, click here.

Micro USB connectors for PCB stacking?

Micro USB connectors for parallel PCB stacking?

GCT recently introduced USB3150, a vertical, B-type, PCB mounted, micro USB plug. Customers asked us, ‘can we use Micro USB connectors for PCB stacking ‘?

Our answer is yes, it’s a good option for some designs. From a PCB real estate point of view it’s a similar small footprint compared to post and box board to board connectors, such as 1mm (.039″) pitch.   There are two options for customer to choose from, a SMT receptacle, such as USB3140 or a thru hole receptacle, such as USB3105.

The graphic above shows the mating height options, unfortunately the stacking profiles are fixed, however a low profile of 8.63mm (.339″) may be achieved.

The additional benefits are that there is a lead in on the Micro USB receptacle which guides the Micro USB plug into place, this is not the case with a board to board connector.

There is an obvious advantage vs standard board to board connectors in high cycle application.  Micro USB connectors are rated and tested to ten thousand mating cycles, compare that to standard board to board connectors, which are rated at one hundred cycles.

One downside is that the contacts are limited to five circuits,unfortunately that is a given of the USB-IF standards for USB2.0.

To enquire on the universal suspects go to Micro USB vertical B type 2.0 filter and see all the choices in one click!

All the parts mentioned above are available via GCT’s distribution stockists, Newark and Future Electronics have stock on hand.  We expect Farnell to have UK stock of USB3150 early in 2016.

Vertical Micro USB Receptacle – SMT short stakes

vertical Micro USB receptacle SMT with short shell stakes USB3140

A high volume customer using USB3140 requested shorter leads of GCT’s vertical Micro USB receptacle.  This connector has SMT leads with two thru hole shell stakes and a plastic supporting base for stability.

The customers are using a 1.00mm (.039″) thick printed circuit board with a paste in hole process, the existing shell stakes were protruding beneath the PCB, which was not acceptable to the customer.  The shell stake length options were 1.70mm and 2.30mm.

The change was handled by commission special tooling, we amended the shell tool and achieved a solution for the customer by using 0.7mm long shell stakes.  This was a perfect solution for the customer.

If you are a volume user (100K+ annually) and a GCT vertical micro USB receptacle requires a tweak to fit your design, contact GCT to discuss a custom solution.

See GCT’s industry leading range of Micro USB vertical receptacles and plugs. 

Micro USB plug for vertical PCB mounting

Micro USB plug vertical

Micro USB plug vertical

Our new vertical Micro USB plug is perfect for docking applications. Often Micro USB male plugs are cable mounted and supplied as part of a cable assembly, however USB3150 is vertical PCB mounted, which allows it to be used in charging or docking applications.

There are very few competitors products on the market, the Hirose ZX80-B-5S and ZX80-B-5SA are most prevalent in the market place, whilst great products they have a huge plastic base, are relatively high profile and expensive.

For a docking applications customers asked us to develop a version that while strong has a much smaller footprint and lower profile height. We delivered the USB3150, a thru hole micro USB male with a 7.13mm (.28″) profile and 7.35 x 2.80mm (.289″ x .110″) footprint. The mating contacts are 30µ” gold plated and has been tested to industry standards, including 10,000 mating cycle.  Strength is achieved with six metal shell stakes, aided by two large plastic locating pegs.

There are two versions of USB3150 with different stake and lead lengths. This allows customers to most closely match the PCB thickness they are using: 0.75mm (.029″) and 1.30mm (.051″) stakes and leads.

Go to GCT’s website to browse Micro USB plug product drawings, product specification and 3d models, including downloadable models in IGES, Step and Parasolid and an online 3d model viewer.

GCT also have the widest range in the market of Micro USB female receptacles in horizontal and vertical orientation.

Edited 15th Sep 2015 – USB3150 is now in stock at Future Electronics and Newark.

Vertical Micro USB Connectors – Long leads for thicker PCB’s!


In response to customer demand GCT are delighted to release Micro USB connectors with 2.3mm leads suitable for 1.6mm PCB thickness.  GCT’s range of vertical micro USB connectors now stretches to six products, including SMT and thru hole types.

Customers loved the original thru hole connectors – USB3105/3130, however some customers using thicker PCB’s found the original 1.5mm shell stake/lead length wasn’t suitable for 1.6mm (.062″) thick printed circuit boards.  USB3106 B type & USB3131 A/B offer 2.3mm leads perfect for thicker PCB’s.

USB3106 & 3131 are in stock in your local GCT office for next day sampling.  Future and Newark Electronics have stock in place today.

contact GCT if you require design assistance.

Vertical Micro USB2 Connectors – SMT & Thru hole for .062″ PCB thickness


Customers asked us two questions; 1: Why do your vertical microUSB connectors have short shell stakes, they are not suitable for .062″ printed circuit boards?  2: Why not offer a version suitable for pick and place?

GCT responded by expanding its industry leading range of vertical Micro connectors with the launch of two new B type products.

An SMT type with cap allows fully automatic pick and place and a thru hole version with extended leads for use with .062″/1.6mm thick printed circuit boards.

  • USB3140- SMT which offers automatic pick and place by the use of an removable plastic cap.  Two shell stake length options provide solutions for .039″/1.00mm &  .062″/1.6mm thick PCBs.
  • USB3145 – Thru hole with shell stakes suitable for .062″/1.6mm thick PCBs.

Both parts offer  – 30µ” gold plating allowing 10,000 mating cycles, metal stakes for extra PCB strength.  Both parts also have an optional mating entry face, for customers who seek to use their own moulding to guide the USB cable assembly into place.

Vertical USB connectors are in stock at your local office for same day sampling.  To speed up your design download 2D drawings, 3D models and specifications from www.gct.co.

Call today, or visit www.gct.co to see why GCT should be your supplier of choice for vertical USB connectors.

Looking for an A/B Micro vertical connector with longer leads?  Contact GCT please, this option is currently under review (edit as of 18th Nov 2013 it’s USB3106).

Micro USB connector without lead in

Micro USB connector without lead in

Common wisdom has it that customers always seek a lead in on the face of a Micro USB2.0 PCB receptacle. A lead in provides a easier mating connection with the µUSB cable plug, the flange guides the plug into the correct position and the end user does not have to work quite so hard, I know how fiddly it is plugging in my smart phone charger, so I’m sure that having the flange is useful, right?

Numerous customers approached GCT because they wanted a Micro USB connector without lead in.  Our first thought was a triumph of style over substance in this age of throwaway products.

Dig a little deeper and that not quite the story, a high end hi-fi equipment customer wanted to mount flush with a panel, shown in the image above. Their beautiful product design was more important than user functionality, especially for a connector slot that may only be plugged once in a blue moon, their product must look good even from behind!

Other customers told us they desiged they own moulding for the connector to sit within, in effect the customers moulding becomes the lead in, so no need for the mating lead in on the connector.

After a tooling change on a standard µUSB connector (USB3075) to remove the mating entry lead in, we now offer a Micro USB connector with flush face USB3076, see GCT’s full range of Micro USB connectors.

USB3076 is stocked by Newark, Farnell & Element 14.

Note GCT also have vertical Micro USB connectors without mating face, see the range in our narrow your search