I've been looking at M12 circular connectors for a project I'm working on (for example this one, drawing here), and I've noticed that many/all of them have stepped pins that create a 3mm or so offset/gap between the connector and PCB once soldered in place as per the datasheet/drawing. What is the reason for this?

A secondary question is, is there any reason not to make the holes in the PCB bigger to make the part flush, allowing for a stronger joint and higher rigidity without the gap? I've been looking around but can't find anything explaining why it's there.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Passing the whole pin through the PCB will make the PCB weaker, reduce clearance between traces / make it harder to escape, and allow an angle to form such the the connector isn't perfectly parallel. \$\endgroup\$ – Ben Voigt May 6 '19 at 0:09

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