I think my demand is quite unusual,

or maybe i just don't search with the good keywords...

Any help will be greatly appreciated !


I actually work on a robotic project and have specific need for making an electrical connection with a special port (?) at a some point.

In short, this is a CNC Machine with an interchangeable tools system, and each of these tools have embedded electronic sensors that need to communicate with the Micro-Controller (Just an Arduino MEGA), in digital, analog and maybe even power (not exceeding 1.5A).

The system is almost done, but..

The problem is, how can i effeciently manage the electrical connection between the static part (the head of the CNC) and the tools ?

Due to my requirements i cannot use regular Port like DB25 and thing like that, this will obviously result in "Kaboom" because of the shape. It must be able to handle the tool change so i need something that can plug-in with a low and progressive force.

Do i need to make myself a custom port because it's too specific, Or does something that fill the same utility exist ?

Like.. a port in a conical shape, pushed by a spring behind for avoid short-circuits, all of that in parallel. You see ?

Or Maybe i'm too dumb and i miss something (This is not my domain) .. ?

Is it clear ? What do you think, Do you have some hint ? Thanks !

  • \$\begingroup\$ Would something like pogo pins help? Maybe you should detail a bit more what you are trying to connect electrically, is it power? Some communication protocol? Analog signals? \$\endgroup\$ – Wesley Lee Apr 24 '18 at 4:54
  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks for your answer, potential the 3, Digital, Analog and power (with like 1A for a little stepper motor). Thanks for the PogoPin hint, but the "two-part" must be able to detach, and it would be better if the shape of the male and the female are in a conical shape (or something like that) for making the connection and de-connection process safe and easy. \$\endgroup\$ – user186810 Apr 24 '18 at 5:03
  • \$\begingroup\$ I can't picture it. If you could draw a picture or annotate a photo it might help. Do you need something that mates and unmates every time you change a tool? Maybe the term "blind mate" will help. Or "self aligning." \$\endgroup\$ – mkeith Apr 24 '18 at 7:36
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    \$\begingroup\$ Do you need a static to rotating connection i.e. like something that would normally use slip rings but detachable? \$\endgroup\$ – Andy aka Apr 24 '18 at 8:40
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    \$\begingroup\$ I think you need to describe better what your connector needs to do that an off-the-shelf one can't. It is handling rotation, misalignment, or what? \$\endgroup\$ – Simon B Apr 24 '18 at 13:45

You have not stated whether communication is to

  • a) identify/log/store-wear the tool at pick/replace/install time.
  • b) is it a non-rotating power tool head (sounds like it)
  • c) Or is it to use while rotating?

for a,b

Jack plugs (headphone plugs) or TRS plugs (Tip,Ring,Sleeve) or Barrel Connectors , give you 2 to 6 conductors, in a variety of sizes, if your application has enough travel in the correct direction to plug them in.

Very easy to make an alignment funnel and spring. Small 3.5mm jacks are not reknowned as reliable industrial connectors. 1/4 TRS professional audio plugs and sockets are probably far better (e.g Cannon). You can get 4/5 pin 1/4" but 3 pin is much easier...

Pogos pressing on PCB are a good way to make a custom connector with very wide tolerances. Good for side loading. A variant on that, might be re-using inkjet cartridges that have the flex contacts,and the matching connector/nest on the carriage.

You might consider putting all the analog elx on the tool, and only have power and ground going through the connector.

You can pass data by infrared. That way you can make it tolerant of slightly intermittent connections.

If you are passing data electrically, while drawing motor power, then you should have two completely separate contacts for the data wires if at all possible. (i.e. data wire should have its own ground contacts that power does NOT flow through)


You are looking for a slip ring type connector. A slip ring is used to make connections between rotating parts. But it will depend on the speed and power you need.


  • \$\begingroup\$ Thank you for your answer, Good One to know, it's close to what i'm looking for, however i do not have the "rotation" constraint, only the "plug-in/out" one, does one that really focus on that (A one with like maybe a conical shape ?) exist ? \$\endgroup\$ – user186810 Apr 24 '18 at 5:14

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