Machine Design

Insulator displacement connectors eliminate PC boards

To solve the problem, Tyco came up with a simple module in which the wires snap into grooved channels where embedded insulation-displacement contacts pierce the insulation and create a circuit.

Tyco Electronics, Harrisburg, Pa., faced an interesting challenge when a manufacturer came looking for a better way to attach LEDs to low-voltage wiring. The company wanted to string the LEDs together to create decorative lighting strips, but the process they were using -- attaching the LEDs to tiny PC boards and soldering the boards to the wire -- was both expensive and labor-intensive.

This not only does away with stripping and soldering, but also eliminates the need for a separate PC board, significantly cutting assembly costs. The molded channels also keep the wire from coming loose during assembly, shipping, installation, or use. The module accommodates LEDs of different intensity, voltage, and color and incorporates a current-limiting resistor. It can be used for 12 Vdc or other low-voltage applications and can be customized for use with devices other than LEDs.

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