Application Note 45 - Connectors for Home Theatre & Computers

Application Note 45 - Connectors for Home Theatre & Computers

Types of connectors in common use:
  1. Composite Video
  2. VGA - A single cable with fifteen pins in three rows
  3. RGB + H/V - Five cables with BNC connectors
  4. Component Video - Three RCA Type connector
  5. DVI - Special connector
  6. Firewire - or (SB1394 - Soundblaster - Audigy Platinum)
  7. S-video - A special video cable -
  8. USB
  9. Fiber Optical Cable

1) Composite Video
pic: composite video -RCA-type plug
An older standard using RCA-type plugs
- major problems in differentiating color as well as line crawl.

2) VGA
This is the usual video connector used on most computer video cards.

3) RGB + H/V - Five cables with BNC connectors
This type of connector was used for many years in CAD/CAM applications where high resolution was needed.
It is also used in many projectors where long runs of cable are employed.

4) Component Video - Three wires with RCA-type connectors
  1. Green marking on shell - Y
  2. Blue marking on shell - B-Y
  3. Red marking on shell - R-Y
This is used on many HDTV and line doubling sets.
It is also used on DVD players.

5) DVI (Digital Visual Interface) connector
This finds increasing use in flat screen TV's as well as in high resolution monitors.

6) Firewire (IEEE 1394)
Firewire-equipped devices are hot-swappable, allowing you to plug in / unplug such devices (eg: Sound Blaster Audigy 2 with SB1394) without turning off the computer.
The smaller connector is generally used on cameras where space is at a premium, and the larger size is used on a PC board in a computer.
Firewire plugs for the connectors shown above
Cables with these connectors must be used with a Firewire-compatible device; many CD/DVD burners, external hard drives and cameras make use of the Firewire / IEEE 1394 standards. They have a high transfer rate - from 25 Mbytes per second (Firewire 400) to 400MB/s in later versions. Cable length is limited to 4.5 Meters and up to 63 devices may be connected.

7) S-Video
A special video cable - S-Video
Better than "composite video", as it seperates the luminance (white level) and chrominance (color information).

8) USB
USB "A" and "B" Connectors (PC Host / device)
PC connectors are the "A" type. A standard "B" type connects to printers and other devices. "Mini-B" and "Micro-B" are used for small electronics such as smart phones. Some manufacturers use proprietary connectors on the "B" end. Any USB controller (PC Host) is limited to 127 devices as of USB 2.0, and cable length is 5 Meters or less. FullSpeed, HighSpeed and SuperSpeed data rates are 1.5 MBytes/sec, 60 MB/sec and 625 MB/sec (USB 3.0 adds SuperSpeed).

9) Fiber-Optic Cable
The TOSLINK optical audio cable has a squarish outer housing with the optical fiber inside.

Caution - do not attempt to bend optical cable into a small radius as the glass fibers inside may fracture.

10) HDMI (Hi-Def Multimedia Interface)
HDMI cables carry uncompressed audio and video.
HDMI began with mixed support. Initially it did not support Dolby 5.1. Some prospective consumers regarded it as another attempt by the RIAA to control the use of computers to play media. It has gone through versions 1.0, 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 1.4, 2.0 and has gained popularity as of 2014.

I have not mentioned the various types of power supply or hard drive connectors for the data transmission. There are several common types in use. The most common is the parallel-port class of conections. This ranges from the connection to a 3 1/2 " floppy disc, through the basic parallel-port connections to a hard disk drive. Then their is SCSI one, SCSI two and SCSI three. The oldest was SCSI one, that used a connector much similar to a printer connector. SCSI two and beyond used still higher density connectors.

Then serial-port hard disk drives began to be more common in 2002. Initially, the power-supply connectors were the familiar four-pole. With demands for higher density packaging, a special power-supply connector began to be used. This one was polarised with a rib/recess at one face. Some of these had problems that led to a change in the standards.

Then consider audio:
Speakers can be set up for Stereo - using two cables with RCA Type connectors, or any of these arrangements for home theatre:
  • 5.1 Channel surround sound : Left, Center and Right at the front + Left rear and Right rear
  • 6.1 Channel : Left, Center and Right at the front + Left side, Right side, Center rear
  • 7.1 Channel : Left, Center and Right at the front + Left side, Right side + Left and Right rear
In all cases the ".1" refers to the non-directional sub-woofer. This may consist of one speaker, or several.

The many types of connectors used in mixers, patch bays or microphones are not listed here!

Problems with all of these (except for the fibre optical cable) can be treated by the use of Stabilants:
There is no need to flood the connector, just apply it with a soft brush so that the contact surface is barely wet. That is why we suggest that you start with a diluted form, such as Stabilant 22A or Stabilant 22E.
What is Stabilant 22?
Stabilant 22 is an initially non-conductive block polymer which when used in a thin film between metal contacts becomes conductive under the effect of an electrical field. This occurs at an electric field gradient such that the material will remain non-conductive between adjacent contacts in a multiple pin environment. In addition, Stabilant 22 exhibits surfactant action, as well as lubrication ability providing a single component resident solution to virtually all contact problems.

When applied to electromechanical contacts, Stabilant 22 can provide the connection reliability of a soldered joint without bonding the contact surfaces.

Where can Stabilant 22 be used?
Stabilant 22 can be used in all types of connectors, at frequencies from to DC to several gigahertz, on fader's or potentiometer's, or in non-inductive (non-arcing) power-interrupt switches. The number of uses are almost limitless.
Is Stabilant 22 just another contact cleaner?
No, Stabilant 22 is a resident potentially electrically active material which through a synergistic combination of effects enhances conductivity within a contact without causing leakage between adjacent contacts. Thus large quantities of the material do not have to be "hosed" on, as is the case with cleaners.
Is Stabilant 22 cost effective?
As Stabilant 22 can be quickly applied to all contacts and connectors in a system, the often difficult diagnostic determination as to which one of many contacts are erratic, can often be eliminated. This can significantly reduce service time in the field and in many cases eliminates the need to return boards for shop service or re-manufacturing. As any service manager knows, the diagnosis of electronic problems, especially where intermittent failures are concerned, is often much more difficult than the actual part replacement; as well as requiring service personnel of exceptional calibre. In many cases the use of Stabilants can thus increase the efficiency of existing staff as well as allowing many connector harness related problems to be handled at a much lower cost.
Many of our users have reported savings of from $250 to $3000 as a result of using $3 to $5 of the material. In many electronic applications demodulation (detection) of RF signals in connectors exhibiting thin film rectification effects can either reduce the signal-to-noise ratio or introduce artefacts which can disrupt data flow. Stabilants can cure these problems.
While Stabilants have demonstrated that they can cut the cost of both shop and field maintenance; their use in the manufacturing of electronic systems can speed up production as well as reducing rejections.
How can Stabilants correct electrical contact problems?
In many electronic applications demodulation (detection) of RF signals in connectors exhibiting thin-film rectification effects can either reduce the signal-to-noise ratio or introduce artifacts which can disrupt data flow. Stabilants can cure these.

While Stabilants have demonstrated that they can cut the cost of both shop and field maintenance; their use in the manufacturing of electronic systems can speed up production as well as reducing rejections.

How does Stabilant 22 work?
Contact failure is rarely caused by a single factor. Thus, treatments that solve only one problem don't necessarily offer a reliable long term solution. For example, cleaners do not prevent the re-entry of contaminants or the reformation of contaminant films; nor do they offer any lubrication. They must be used each time a connector gets dirty. Lubricants in themselves are rarely cleaners. Corrosion inhibitors are neither cleaners nor lubricants and are often specific to one type of metal or plating. Unsaturated oils used as contact treatments can cross-link under the influence of elastomer or thermoset plastic curing agents and accelerants.
While resident in the connector, Stabilant 22 performs several concurrent functions. Its very presence in the contact gap will prevent the entry of outside contaminants. It has sufficient surfactant action to lift surface contaminants and hold them in suspension. In cases where corrosion products are present, Stabilant 22 will penetrate them and prevent rectification effects. Due to its high dielectric constant it will act to form a capacitive layer which is in parallel with whatever residual resistance exists in the contact increasing the passage of AC signals. Given sufficient DC bias within the gaps of the contact the thin film of Stabilant will "switch", conducting by quantum tunnelling, and thus limit the resistance of the contact to a serviceable level.
In what forms is Stabilant available?
The Stabilants are available in several forms. As a concentrate (Stabilant 22), an isopropyl alcohol-diluted form (Stabilant 22A), and an ethyl alcohol diluted form (Stabilant 22E). For example, a given size container of Stabilant 22A will cost about one-fifth the amount of a container of Stabilant 22 as it contains only one-fifth the amount of the concentrate. Another form of packaging is available. Stabilant 22S packages the concentrate such that it occupies one-fifth the volume of an otherwise empty container. This allows the end-user to add his own diluent, and thus saves the added costs of shipping the diluent (e.g.: isopropyl alcohol), as well as allowing the end-user to use an alternate diluent such as one of the Freon-based solvents.
In addition a 0.5 ml vial of Stabilant 22A is available for manufacturers to include with plug-in circuit boards
What is the difference in use of these materials?
Stabilant 22 is most useful where the connections are out in the open - such as card-edge connectors or where the lubricating properties of the material are useful -such as an aid to installing microprocessor IC's or on switches. Where the connections are not too easy to get at or where the user wishes to apply the material to something such as a socketed IC (without removing the IC from its socket), it is easier to use the alcohol diluted form (Stabilant 22A or Stabilant 22E). The alcohol diluent serves ONLY to carry the concentrate into the connector.
What is the best way to apply Stabilant to a contact?
The 15 ml (and the 50 ml) container have "controlled-dropper" type caps that allows Stabilant 22A to be applied directly to such components as socketed IC's, switches, connectors, etc. Some end users prefer to use industrial syrettes to apply the material. Camel's hair brushes can be used to brush it on card-edge connectors or they could be dipped into the dilute material. Most metering type liquid dispensing systems can be used as well.
What packaging is available?
Many manufacturers make large volume purchases, diluting the material for specific applicators used on their production lines. We can supply the concentrate (Stabilant 22), in 0.5 mL, 15 ml, 5O mL, lOO mL, 25O mL, 5OO mL and 1 litre bottles. The dilute (Stabilant 22A or Stabilant 22E, the latter which is available in a limited number of bottle sizes except on special order), are available in 5O mL, lOO mL, 25O mL and 5OO mL containers. We do not have a 1 litre container of the dilute as 500 mL is the largest size bottle that can be shipped by air (in single or multiple packages) without additional restrictions. We maintain our stock in depth and ship most orders the next day that they are received. ( On large quantities , more time may be required) For companies which want to use the material as a stock store item, we can produce custom labels with your part or stock number. The 15 mL sizes are in dropper bottles, and these are available on request for the 50 mL sizes as well.
Custom labelling has been provided for many manufacturers who wish to assign their own stock control number, or to distributors who wish to market the product under their own logo. Obviously this requires purchase in of the product in suitable quantities.
Is it available in a spray can?
No. Why waste the material? We would like to think we are environmentally responsible and safety conscious. This ruled out the use of either a chlorofluorocarbon or highly inflammable mixture of butane and propane as a propellant.
In addition even Stabilant 22A for example, has only about 71200th the solvent impact as conventional contact cleaning solvents, over a three year time span. As Stabilant 22 contains no solvent it has absolutely minimal environmental impact and is, therefore, becoming the treatment of choice for many service organizations!
Just how much should be used?
Normally, a final film thickness of from 0.5 to 2 mils of the concentrate is all that it necessary. In other words, you want just enough to fill up the interstices between the contact's faces. When using Stabilant 22A, or Stabilant 22E, use enough so that once the isopropyl alcohol (or ethyl alcohol), evaporates the desired 0.5 to 2 mil film of Stabilant 22 remains.
In applications to moving surfaces, such as in slip-rings or potentiometers, film thickness should be minimized to the point where "hydroplaning" won't occur.
What is the 15 ml service kit?
This was made up at the request of several manufacturers who wanted a standard kit that they could issue to their service personnel. It consists of a 15 ml dropper bottle of Stabilant 22A and some applicators, all in a small capped cardboard tube that can be tossed into a tool box without damage. As noted, we can provide these kits with special labels when large volume orders are involved.
Does the action of Stabilant deteriorate with age?
In some field trial applications lasting over fifteen years Stabilant 22 has shown no sign of reduced effectiveness. With a high molecular weight and a very low vapor pressure, little is lost by evaporation. Unlike some other contact protection oils, Stabilant 22 will not cross-link when exposed to free machining materials such as high sulfur brass, or when used on contacts where agents used to promote cross linking of thermosets or elastomers are present in the environment or in the actual connector components. Unlike non-saturated oils, Stabilant 22 does not "varnish".

Revision 3

Stabilants™ are a product of Dayton Wright research & development and are made in Canada

NATO Supply Code 38948
15 ml of S22A has NATO Part # 5999-21-900-6937