Understanding Mil-Spec D-Sub and Mil-Spec Micro D-Sub Connectors

D-Sub connectors are arguably the most versatile interconnect used around the world, and their Mil-Spec versions are widely used beyond military and defense applications. The evolution of D-Sub connector technology has led to its use in industrial, telecommunications, commercial aviation, information technology, high-performance computing, and industrial test equipment. Products as diverse as barcode scanners, industrial robotics, high-speed data transmission systems, and marine navigation equipment rely on Mil-Spec D-Sub and Micro D-Sub connectors to operate without failure.

Mil-Spec D-Sub and Micro D-Sub Connectors

The U.S. Department of Defense developed several specifications in the 1930s to outline requirements detailing how specific electrical connectors should be designed for military applications. Mil-Spec connectors are engineered to meet specific operating requirements put forth by the individual military standard. These requirements can include anything from connector shape to operating temperature, making them much safer for mission-critical operations than the average connector.

 Modern Mil-Spec D-Sub and Micro D-Sub connectors continue to meet stringent specifications set by the U.S. Department of Defense; the standards and connectors have steadily evolved alongside the technology that utilizes them. Their ruggedness and performance guarantee makes them an extremely popular solution for various markets.

MIL-DTL-24308 D-Sub Connectors

The main military standard for D-Sub connectors is the MIL-DTL-24308 standard. This Mil-Spec defines a rectangular or D-shape connector designed with parallel rows of contacts surrounded by a metal shell. MIL-DTL-24308 connectors provide a small footprint and significant weight savings while accommodating many circuits relative to their size. The design of M24308 D-Subs aids in quick mating and usually has small screws to securely mount the connector to a panel or board application. The metallic shell also provides EMC shielding and can operate between -55°C and +125°C. 

 One of PEI-Genesis’s offerings is Amphenol Pcd’s MIL-DTL-24308 D-Sub connectors. These particular D-Sub connectors have contacts manufactured from a copper alloy with a gold mating surface to ensure a reliable connection. They are also fitted with flame-retardant thermoplastic inserts to conform with the UL 94 standard. Amphenol Pcd M24308 product line has excellent EMC shielding and effective sealing against environmental contaminants. These versatile connectors are offered in PCB, solder, and crimp contact options. 

 Other MIL-DTL-24308 D-Sub connector solutions are available at PEI-Genesis from ITT Cannon, Positronic, and Cinch Connectivity Solutions.

MIL-DTL-83513 Micro D-Sub Connectors

Another commonly used Mil-Spec standard is the MIL-DTL-83513 specification. This standard defines Microminiature D-Sub connectors. Micro D-Sub connectors are extremely similar to standard D-Sub connectors but are much smaller, making them suitable for mission-critical applications where space and weight are at a premium. Micro D-Sub connectors feature a high-density design allowing for more contacts as compared to standard D-Sub connectors. 

 One of PEI-Genesis’s offerings is the ITT Cannon MDM Series which features aluminum shells manufactured from high-strength aluminum that can handle ballistic launching but are small and lightweight enough to fit within highly constrained spaces. Their ultra-high-density design means they occupy half the space that an equivalent D-Sub connector would. 

 ITT Cannon MDM Micro-D 83513 connectors are rated to 10K mating cycles and is available in a high-temperature variant for those environments that require excellent performance at temperatures up to +200°C. 

 ITT Cannon Micro-D connectors are available in three styles: solder, printed circuit, and a pre-wired connector version, and they can work with flat cable, flex circuitry, and PCBs or multi-layer boards. These connectors are commonly used for commercial avionics, robotics, medical equipment, missiles, satellites, and navigation systems.

Thanks to PEI-Genesis for Submission

At PEI-Genesis, offers Mil-Spec connectors from industry-leading manufacturers and a comprehensive range of backshells, accessories, and plating options. They have components in stock to custom-build 24308 or M83513 connectors that your design needs and have knowledgeable engineers available to help every step of the way.