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Data Bus Cable Assemblies: A Shopping Primer

Posted in: Cable Assemblies

There’s a lot to consider when purchasing cable assemblies for data bus applications. For instance:

  • What type of connectors do you need? Solder/clamp or full crimp? Bayonet or threaded? Straight or right-angle plugs? Bend relief or not?
  • How about cable? Do you want thicker diameter or thinner? Standard or high temperature?

MilesTek wants to simplify the sometimes confusing experience of deciding what data bus products you need and finding them. We’ve divided our big variety of data bus cables and connectors into seven product groups below, with a link to each one. If you already know what you need, scroll down and start browsing. But if you think you might benefit from a little guidance with some of the lingo you’ll encounter in the product descriptions, skip down to the glossary at the end of this blog post.

For additional help or advice on choosing what product is best for you, contact the MilesTek sales team at 1-877-924-1134 or via email at sales@milestek.com. And don’t forget that almost all our products are in-stock and ready to ship today.

100 Ohm Twinaxial Cable Assemblies

These cable assemblies are best suited for deployment in bus networks that are subject to rigorous use or environmental extremes. They are made with 100 ohm Raychem 0024A0024-9X twinaxial cable, which can withstand temperatures up to 200°C. All selections have shielded single twisted-pair cable. The connectors are three-slot, solder-clamp, male plugs.

3-Slot Solder/Clamp Plugs

These basic assemblies are best suited for typical bus networks that are not subject to rigorous use or environmental extremes. The twinaxial cable on all the selections is 30-02001. Connector choices include TRB two- or three-slot solder/clamp or full-crimp plugs.

3-Slot Solder/Clamp Plugs with Bend Relief

These assemblies feature a 1.75-inch steel spring for bend relief that helps to minimize cable damage when exceeding the cable’s minimum bend radius. They are built to withstand severe shock and vibration. Three types of twinaxial cable are offered: 30-02001, 30-02003, and high temperature M17/176-00002.

High Temperature, 3-Slot, Full-Crimp Plugs, Right Angle to Right Angle

Rated to handle high temperatures, these cable assemblies are suitable for vehicle applications. They consist of a pair of three-slot, full-crimp, right-angle TRB plugs affixed to M17/176-00002 cable.

High Temperature, 3-Slot, Full-Crimp Plugs

These assemblies are also rated to handle high temperatures and are suitable for vehicle applications. They consist of a pair of three-slot, full-crimp TRB plugs affixed to high temperature M17/176-00002 cable.

High Temperature, 3-Slot, Full-Crimp Plugs, Straight to Right Angle

These cable assemblies are a third choice rated for high temperatures and suitable for vehicle applications. They consist of high temperature M17/176-00002 cable with three-slot, full-crimp TRB plugs on both ends, with one end being a right-angle plug.

Bus and Scope Test Cable

These standard test cable assemblies are designed for use in laboratories and testing facilities. They combine one center twinax cable with two coax cables. MilesTek offers them in two configurations: one 10-inch twinax cable connected to two 60-inch coax cables, or one 60-inch twinax mated to two 6-inch coax.

Glossary of Terms

The following are some of the features you’ll see in the descriptions of the data bus cable assemblies linked above.

Bend relief on a connector is a 1.75-inch steel spring that minimizes cable damage when the cable’s minimum bend radius is exceeded. The spring allows its cable to gently hang at a wider angle and it reduces stress on the assembly.

Bulkhead jacks are female TRB connectors that can be mounted to something, such as a panel or a backplane.

Cable diameter. Most of the cable assemblies linked above are made with two types of cable: 30-02001 (0.242-inch diameter) or 30-02003 (0.150-inch). Both are standard, laboratory-rated, twinaxial cable well suited for MIL-STD-1553B applications. The larger form-factor of the 30-02001 makes it bulkier but offers lower attenuation per foot than the 30-02003.

Data bus couplers must be placed between the main data bus and the vehicle subsystems, computer system, or terminal to protect the integrity of the entire network. A data bus coupler is often called a “stub coupler,” where a “stub” is simply a pair of wires connecting avionics components to the main bus.

Full-crimp cable plugs require crimping tools to install but provide an extra strong connection built to withstand severe shocks and vibrations.

Two types of high temperature cable assemblies are linked above: Raychem 0024A0024-9X (0.149-inch diameter) and M17/176-00002 (0.129-inch). Both are made to withstand temperatures of up to 200°C (395°F). The latter features dielectric and fillers made of PTFE (Teflon) and outer jackets made of PFA (Perfluoroalkoxy).

A jack in the product descriptions linked above is a female TRB connector. A plug is a male TRB.

Right-angle cable plugs allow you to plug in closer to walls without bending or damaging cords, as compared to straight plugs. Right-angle plugs also offer flexibility in where your cords are directed and are less likely to be accidentally unplugged.

Solder/clamp cable plugs have a clamp nut that makes it easy to secure the plug to the cable assembly with conventional soldering tools and equipment.

Threaded connectors are a straightforward design useful in many applications but not quite as reliable under extreme conditions as bayonet mounts.

TRB is a style of connector with a locking bayonet design to withstand shocks and vibrations. Most of the connectors linked above lock with either two or three slots or lugs.

Twinaxial cables feature a two-conductor, twisted, balanced wire line and a specific impedance, plus a shielding braid around both wires. They’re like coaxial cables, but with two inner conductors instead of one. Twinax is a cost-efficient option for short-range, high-speed differential signaling applications and is best suited for low-frequency digital and video distribution systems such as connecting MIL-STD-1553 bus and stub devices.

December 16, 2021