What does the IP code exactly describe when applied at bulkhead receptacles? The ability to seal the conductors inside of the connector from the environment or the ability to seal the enclosure from the environment, when the receptacle is installed or both?

For example this SMA connector says in the datasheet "SMA IP67 bulkhead jack to SMA plug RF coaxial cable assembly", but on the picture I can't see any sealing for the enclosure, so I can't imagine that only metal on metal could make a waterproof seal in this case.

  • \$\begingroup\$ The data sheet you have attached is rubbish - if it doesn't give you the dimensions of the device then how would you know what hole is needed in the enclosure. Think sensibly about this - if the data sheet looks pants then don't use it; look for another with the information you need. \$\endgroup\$
    – Andy aka
    Commented May 10, 2019 at 10:44
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Andyaka is right; that datasheet is useless. First of all, it's for a cable assembly, not just the connector. The picture is fuzzy, and it gives no detail about the actual connectors used. In my experience, connectors with wide flanges like that have O-rings incorporated into them; with this assembly, you'd have to buy one and see whether that's the case here. \$\endgroup\$
    – Dave Tweed
    Commented May 10, 2019 at 11:40
  • \$\begingroup\$ Hey Dave, hey Andy, thanks for your replies. But I have to say, that they don't answer my question - they are just complaining about the bad quality of this example datasheet and don't help anyone who searches this topic. Please focus on my question: What does the IP code exactly describe when applied at bulkhead receptacles? \$\endgroup\$ Commented May 10, 2019 at 11:51

1 Answer 1


Here be dragons!

Sometimes it describes the seal achieved between the connector and the case, but ONLY when the appropriate mating plug is inserted!

Sometimes it includes the unmated condition (Where the pins need to be sealed into the shell as well as the shell being sealed to the case and the mating connector being sealed to the shell when mated.

An example of the difference is the two variants of the (Excellent) Souriau UTS series which are available either with push in contacts (only sealed when mated) or with factory fitted and expoxied contacts that are sealed in both mated and unmated condition.

"RS Pro" is radio spares own brand and tends to be a 'minimal datasheet' sort of thing, use someone else if you want proper data and for parts ordered a year or so apart to be the same. Basically the RS version of Farnells Multicomp.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Hello Dan, thanks for your answer. If I conclude right it means, that the IP class always describes the seal between connector and case. The only uncertainty in this information is, if its for the plugged or unplugged state, right? In other words: When I install a IP65 rated connector to an IP65 rated enclosure properly it stays IP65 if a plug is connected? \$\endgroup\$ Commented May 10, 2019 at 16:53
  • \$\begingroup\$ @DennisErnst Not really. The IP class of a component says that when it was tested in a particular way it passed the test, and that is about all it says... In the same way as combining two CE marked subassemblies does not guarantee an EMC pass for the combination, combining two IP68 components does not guarantee the result will be IP68, you have to test. \$\endgroup\$
    – Dan Mills
    Commented May 13, 2019 at 11:42

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