What Exactly Are MIL-STD-1553 Connectors?

Welcome to the world of MIL-STD-1553 connectors! In many ways, they are similar to other types of connectors, but there are at least two key differences:

Tougher Materials

Because they are exposed to harsher conditions than most other cable connectors, MIL-STD-1553 connectors must be made of durable materials. This allows them to withstand severe shocks and vibrations, and they mate well with high-temperature cable. MilesTek’s connectors are made of a heavy-gauge stainless steel.

Tighter Connections

The form factors of MIL-STD-1553 connectors are distinctive as well, with the main objective of having a rock-solid connection that won’t be bumped or shaken loose. TRB plugs are commonly used because they have a bayonet coupling design with a center contact and an intermediate cylindrical contact. The most popular three-slot/lug type is standard, though other configurations include two-slot, four-slot and threaded mating interfaces. To further beef up a connector, bend relief is offered as an option.

Glossary of MIL-STD-1553 Product Terms

MilesTek carries more than 30 types of connectors for MIL-STD-1553 applications. Do you need solder/clamp or full crimp? Bayonet or threaded? Straight or right-angle plugs? To simplify your search, this blog post explains the features of the connectors that are used with most of our popular 1553 twinaxial cables.

Bayonet-style connectors provide a secure coupling and are easier to attach, especially when you’re working in a small space. (See TRB below.)

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

Bulkhead jacks are mounted to a panel or enclosure. These connectors are insulated and will use an independent signal from the panel’s common signal (if present).

Cable diameter. Most of our connectors mate 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-1553 applications.

A data bus coupler joins one bus to another while maintaining signal impedance levels, reducing reflections and preventing power supply interruption. A box-style data bus coupler has from one to eight stubs for multiple connections. An inline-style data bus coupler offers the utility of a box-style coupler in a smaller form factor. Because of their size, they are commonly used in limited-space airborne applications.

A feed-thru jack is fed from the rear of a panel to the front, secured with a washer. Each end features a jack where a cable assembly can be connected.

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

A jack is a female connector.

A non-isolated connector is not isolated/insulated from the panel it is mounted to. It will be affected by the common signal of the panel and will conduct it.

A plug is a male connector.

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

Terminators have several forms. Stub terminators (1000 to 3000 ohms) are used to simulate a future load from an unspecified device. Bus terminators (78 ohms) are used at the end of each bus. Alternate terminators are available for laboratory use.

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 our connectors lock with either two slots or three-slots, or lugs.

With over 30 years of experience, MilesTek has built its inventory to address military avionics, aerospace, industrial and government project requirements. For your urgent project needs, our MIL-STD-1553 Connectors and the rest of our MIL-STD-1553 products have same-day shipping.

Feel free to contact our U.S.-based sales team at sales@milestek.com or 1-866-484-4136.

March 30, 2023