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A PCB can contain many different connectors. Some of these shall exist on the edge e.g USB connector, power barrel connector, Ethernet connector, Serial port, HDMI, DVI, Parallel port e.t.c. All these things are components that are soldered onto the PCB near its edge.

Then we have a separate scenario where the PCB itself has copper contacts of regular size and pitch that are designed to be sided into another connector on a motherboard or backplane.

My question is, what is the proper type name for these two type of connectors. I believe the second type is called edge connector but am not sure. This question arises since the first type is special because it will possibly be accessible when the PCB is in an enclosure. This is a basic requirement for the connectors of the first type.

EDIT:

Below is a connector that must go to the edge of the PCB:

enter image description here

Below is a connector that can be put anywhere:

enter image description here

Below is another type of thing that exists on some PCBs:

enter image description here

My question is quite simple. How are these differentiated? I find that second and third option are called edge connector but the first one is not.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Are you asking about right-angled versus straight connectors? Can you show with a photo? An edge connector on the PCB is no connector at all, just beveled PCB and gold fingers to allow insertion into a connector on another board. \$\endgroup\$
    – winny
    Oct 30, 2023 at 12:43
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    \$\begingroup\$ (a) Connectors and (b) edge connectors \$\endgroup\$
    – Andy aka
    Oct 30, 2023 at 13:50

1 Answer 1

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These are called

  1. Right-angle connectors
  2. Card edge connectors (or edgecard connectors, or edge connectors, it varies)

There's other types of connector that go on the edge, too. One is called an end-launch connector, which mounts directly in line with the edge of the board. These are for making high-performance RF connections that minimize the number of discontinuities (such as right-angle turns) in the signal path.

A product photo showing several solderless 3.5 mm and 2.92 mm end-launch connectors screwed onto a PCB
(image source)

There are end-launch connectors that are soldered into place too, I'm just having a hard time finding pictures of those mounted onto a board. Solderless connectors typically give you better performance in the microwave band, though they're substantially more expensive.

There's also the non-coaxial version of this, which is sometimes called "straddle mount":

A 3D model of a connector on the edge of a PCB, with curved surface-mount pins contacting pads where they'll be soldered in place.
(image source, or so duckduckgo tells me at least. The site won't load for me right now, for some reason.)

It's not clear in the picture, but there's a second row of contacts that get soldered to the other side of the PCB. These are used more to reduce the overall thickness, rather than to improve any signal characteristics.

Here's another picture that shows the contacts on both sides:

The mounting pins of a straddle-mount connector.
(image source)

This differs from a card edge connector in that the side the board goes into is where the connector is meant to be soldered; the connector itself faces away from the board and typically mates with another connector, not simply a pattern on a PCB.

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