Military connectors and Cables (MIL-SPEC) are built in accordance with military specifications.
Fiber optic cables are technically advanced and can send large amounts of information further and faster than other cables. However, military and industrial Fiber optic cables are even more advanced. For the military, a fiber optic assembly must be extremely rugged and durable for tactical field use. The buffers fit tighter than regular Cable assemblies, as they could otherwise be jostled loose during military use. A polyurethane Jacket protects the cable from being crushed or damaged and it can also withstand a heavy pull. Designed for use in any terrain or weather conditions, a military Fiber Optic Cable is built to last.
Military connectors, MIL-SPEC Shell type connectors are built in accordance with military specifications. Their design takes into account the need to protect the connection from environmental factors, allowing them to be used in military and aerospace applications. Important parameters to consider when specifying the Connector configuration part of military connectors include number of contacts, Contact type, shell size, specific military specifications met, shell style or gender, Coupling type, Contact Size (AWG), contact Termination options, backshell accessories included, Lanyard included, and applicability to audio or visual applications.
Number of contacts are the number of conductive elements in a connector, which mate, with a corresponding element to provide an electrical path. Contact types can be pins or sockets. The main connector housing is called the shell. The shell of a circular connector is a cylinder available in incremental sizes starting around .375 inches in diameter. The most common shell sizes are available in .0625 increments starting at shell size 8 (.50) to shell size 36 (2.25), e.g.: 24 shell size is determined by 24 x .0625 = 1.50 outside diameter of the connector shell. This nomenclature becomes significant, as backshells (accessories which attach onto the connector shell) must intermate with the connector shell rear end geometry. Both the connector and accessory manufacturers use the term shell size to designate the size of their respective products. Connectors, which utilize threads to attach backshells, are usually equal to or within .062 of the connector shell size. Some common names used for connector Rear accessories are: endbells, strain-relief clamps, cable clamps, and backshells.
Specific military specifications that can be met by military connectors include, MIL-C-5015, MIL-C-26482, MIL-C-81703, MIL-C-22992, MIL-C-27599, MIL-C-26500, MIL-C-38999, MIL-C-28840, MIL-C-81511, MIL-C-81582, MIL-C-83723, 40M39569, AND 40M38277. The shell style or gender can be straight plug, angled plug, wall or box mount receptacle, in line or cable receptacle, dummy receptacle, solder or weld mount receptacle, jam nut receptacle, and thru-bulkhead receptacle. Coupling types can be bayonet, threaded, push or pull (ball detent), breech lock, and spring rack or quick connect. Contact size is the designation used to differentiate one contact from another, typically denoted using AWG. The AWG is used to measure certain conductors including copper. The higher the AWG number the thinner the wire. This is because AWG stems from a measurement that represented the number of times the copper wire was run through a wire machine, which reduced the diameter of the wire. Thus 24-guage wires went through the machine 6 more times than 18-guage wires. Contact termination options include crimp, solder or solder cup and tabs or quick connect.
Some common names used for military connectors rear accessories are: endbells, strain-relief clamps, cable clamps, and backshells. Caution must be used when selecting Receptacle connector accessories due to the fact that some box mounting receptacles do not have accessory threads or the threads are of a different size from the plug and may be internal versus external threads. Some connectors can include lanyard release, lanyard can be of various lengths. Some connectors meet military specifications, however it is designed for carrying audio or visual signals as opposed to power signals.