TT Electronics, a global provider of engineered electronics for performance critical applications, today launched its mag‑Net® soldier connector, the world’s first and only C4I2 MIL-spec connector specifically designed for textile mounting. Unlike circular barrel connectors, mag‑Net® is a robust, flush rectangular solution with a self-aligning, automatic magnetic latching system that enables the easiest‑ever, one-handed blind mating. This system will be showcased by TT Electronics at the AUSA Exposition in Washington, October 3-5, 2016.
Intended for equipment connection to soldier-worn garments and load-carrying systems, the mag‑Net® design provides mechanical latching with no moving parts for reliable, jam-free operation. Together with an ultra-lightweight, no-bulk design that maximises mobility and eliminates cable snag hazards, mag‑Net®’s abrasion-resistant, flush-flat receptacles are virtually self-cleaning and require no protective caps, ensuring maximum durability and full environmental-sealing, both in mated and un-mated conditions. The 8-way contact configuration supports power up to 8A and USB 2.0 high-speed data transmission. Cable plugs can be oriented to allow for cable entry in any direction.
TT Electronics’ beta and alpha testing of the mag‑Net® connector system has received very positive reactions from various military authorities and the manufacturers of rugged equipment. These include: “This is clearly the next generation, it makes all other soldier vest connectors look stone age” and “I think that this really is the future”.
The garment part of the mag‑Net® connector system comprises two elements: A low-cost, garment cage made of thermoplastic, which is strong, durable and chemical resistant, can be easily and securely sewn into clothing by garment manufacturers who may not necessarily be skilled in the integration of expensive wearable electronics. This non-polarised cage provides an aperture into which the second element, the connector receptacle, can be fitted with the desired orientation. The receptacle itself features a ruggedised, lightweight shell and thermoplastics carefully chosen to provide maximum abrasion resistance. The magnets are fitted under the front face of the insert, which is flush to allow easy finger-wipe cleaning, while removable sides in the backshell enable cable or e‑textile entry from 4 possible directions. Once terminated to the wiring harness, the receptacle is introduced into the cage from behind.
The mag‑Net® plug connector can be fitted to equipment such as personal role radios (PRRs) or batteries, providing a direct connection to the vest. Plugs feature ‘pogo’ spring contacts, machined from copper alloy, for high mating cycle resilience and easy cleaning, with an optional first-mate, last-break contact configuration. At the rear, PCB tail contacts provide for flex-print or regular PCB termination. An ‘O’-ring gasket and blind holes ensure environmental sealing when the plug is fitted into an equipment box or enclosure. For cable connections, an over-moulded flying lead assembly, which is fully EMC shielded to MIL‑STD‑461 and Def Stan 59‑411, delivers best-in-class ergonomics and minimises snagging. Cable plugs can be over-moulded to match any colour requirement including Multicam®, MTP and Coyote. Both equipment and cable plugs are available in either latching or non-latching versions and the standard garment receptacle can accept either type.
Additional key performance parameters for the mag-Net® soldier connector are:
- Endurance 5000 mating cycles
- Operating temperature of -40°C to +80°C
- IP68 (3 metres for 1 hours) mated/unmated
- Corrosion resistance 500hrs salt fog
- Contact resistance <15m ohm
- Fluid and shock resistance to MIL-STD-810G
- RoHS, REACH, WEEE compliant