Selecting board-to-board connectors

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by msr, Oct 31, 2012.

  1. msr

    Thread Starter Well-Known Member

    Jul 8, 2008

    Im designing a sensor's platform based on a stacked design, so I have two boards which I have to connect trough a board-to-board connector.
    I already spent dozens of hours trying to select the most appropriate connector but Im still not sure.
    Some specs Im looking for:
    - small (about 1cm on the wider side)
    - should provide a solid connection (a "click" sound)
    - 15~20 pins, 2 rows
    - stack height = 5~6mm
    - polarized

    My first choice was this (from FCI):

    But they have only 12pin (pitch=1,27mm) and don't provide a solid connection.

    Then I tried some Hirose DF9 series but the stack height is < 5mm.
    Now Im using FCI Conan series (pitch = 1mm, 15pins):

    These fit really well, but now Im worried about their availability.
    Im in Europe so my prefered distributors are Mouser and Farnell. But just Mouser keeps stock of these connectors and the current stock is ~500 or less. So, I guess if I want to make >250 boards I will get a problem, taking into account that each board has 2 connectors.

    So, I would like to ask you two questions:
    1 ) Based on the specs above, could you suggest me a good board to board connector? (which has good availability)
    2 ) What is the common practice on buying and maintaining connectors stock (from a commercial standpoint)? I guess relying on distributors is not safe.

    Thanks in advance for your help!
  2. mcgyvr

    AAC Fanatic!

    Oct 15, 2009
  3. JohnInTX


    Jun 26, 2012
    If your distributor (Mouser in this case) normally stocks the item(s), they will replenish their stock as req'd. The number in stock is what they have for immediate shipment (as they usually buy is some case lot 500pcs or some multiple of ICs in tubes etc). As long as they show it as a current item (not obsolete or on allocation or with unacceptable leadtimes) you should be OK.

    Sometimes if its a slow mover, they will drop a part from the catalog but still can order from the Mfr. When this happens, you'll usually have to buy the mfrs. minimum number which may or may not be acceptable.

    To be prudent, I would contact the sales dept and ask them for a quote your on larger qtys including price and availability. Also ask if they expect the part to be available from them on an ongoing basis. If sales can't answer your questions, ask for someone in Technical sales or a buyer. They'll be able to answer your concerns.

    EDIT: like mcgyvr, I also love Samtec and have had great service from them (samples too!). For leanness, consider setting up scheduled delivery of a larger order. Ships and bills on some interval. Spreads things out for you and gives the distributor the ability to source parts on time for you.
  4. mcgyvr

    AAC Fanatic!

    Oct 15, 2009
    No company in their right mind buys from Mouser/Digikey/Newark/Farnell (prototype distributors is what I call them) for production items/volume.. Prototype sure..low volume..ok but not for production. Their pricing is simply not the best at all.
    A regular distributor that will buy the product from the manufacturer and stock if for you can beat the "prototype distributors" prices any day.

    We simply buy from them till our "real" distributor gets the parts into stock,etc...