Can a Card Edge Connector handle powering a light bulb?

Thread Starter

montag1138

Joined Aug 28, 2021
10
I'm hoping someone can guide me in purchasing a suitable item....
I need a card edge connector which can provide power to a circuit board which in turn controls the brightness of an incandescent light bulb or two. All power will pass through the edge connector.
The board has a card edge 44mm wide, with 5 contacts on each side with ~8mm pitch. (Only three are used: 120v in, 120v out, and ground.)

I'm looking at EDAC part #305-020-500-202 which I believe will fit: 20 positions at 3.96 pitch, giving two connections for each contact on the board.
The datasheet says it's rated at 5 Amps, and "Dielectric Withstand Voltage 1800 VAC rms at sea level between adjacent contacts" (not sure what that means.) I think this should be plenty for one or two 60 watt 120v incandescent bulbs, but I don't want to start a fire. (Other very similar candidates are TEC 7-530666-2 and SCS EBM10DSEH)

Thanks for any advice with this weirdly specific question!
Michael
 

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Ian0

Joined Aug 7, 2020
3,508
A 60W lamp at 120V requires 0.5A. Two will be 1A. So a 5A connector will be more than adequate.
Dielectric Withstand Voltage 1800 VAC rms at sea level between adjacent contacts
The Dielectric is the insulating material in the circuit board - so it simply means that it will withstand 1800V between contacts. You have 120V between contacts.
You probably have some electrical regulations that requires the insulation between live and earth to withstand 1500V, so it's still enough.
However - I would question whether it is either legal or advisable to route the earth connection through a card edge connector.
 

Juhahoo

Joined Jun 3, 2019
225
If we talk only can the connector stand up the voltage and current, sure, it can. The other thing is the safety issues. There are regulations of such connections where you need to have physical distances between the contacts.
If this is just for your own use, then its all up to you.
 

Thread Starter

montag1138

Joined Aug 28, 2021
10
Thanks for your replies, they help a lot.
I too worry that the card edge is questionable for a long-term solution, but I don't want to solder directly to the board and mess it up. The three contacts used are spaced far apart over both sides of the board, and the others don't go anywhere, so hopefully that adds some safety to it. Also it'll be plugged in for short periods and always monitored, so I feel it'll get me by until I can find a better solution. I'm surprised I can't find something more "beefy" on DigiKey or Mouser. Anyways, the scratches on the board indicate it had a 20-position connector originally, plus it was used for about 20 years unattended at a certain California landmark, so hopefully it'll hold up just a little longer with something similar!
 

Thread Starter

montag1138

Joined Aug 28, 2021
10
I can't edit or delete my reply: Also worth noting is that the earth connection is first screwed to the case, output receptacle, and other larger components on the board before it goes through the connector.
 
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