The Connector Menagerie

I’m just refining and polishing (typos, cross references) a major new resource in the Wiki, allowing you to identify practically any kind of connector you’ll come across, including that wierd one you found in a box of old computer bits you were given by the widow of some bearded nerd (or even the widower of some wrinkly nerdess)!

There are over 40 types of connector listed, plus variants of some, and where possible I’ve included information about adapters and compatibility between different types.

Do take a look and see if your favourite (or most hated) type of connector is missing, or whether you can find any inaccuracies. Click on the Edit link at the top of any section to fix typos (there’ll be a few of them) or to make minor changes.

For comments and suggestions, if you can’t easily effect them yourself, click the Discuss tab at the top and enter them in the associated discussion page.

The page is not currently linked to from the wiki main page. I’ll do that once it settles down.

Finally, I’m not certain about the name of this page. I need to distinguish it from Connectors, which covers the sorts of connectors you find inside a gadget. Suggestions?


Nice work! I spotted a couple of typos and tried to correct them but not sure I was successful:
In the Audio Jack section there’s a microphobe
In the Mains Connector there’s a revers

Maybe this should be ‘External Connectors’ and the existing page renamed to ‘Internal Connectors’?

Thank you Ian. Your edits did indeed take but needed to be approved (now done) before they appeared. If you look at a page you normally only see the latest approved version, but if you look at History (under the More tab) you can see unapproved versions and view them. We’d just love you to come onboard as an editor if you could see your way to more substantial contributions - you woudn’t then need to get them approved. There are some skeleton pages under Electronic Gadgets, and under Household and Kitchen items which badly need fleshing out.

I did like the microphobe though. I’ve a good mind to add that to the Glossary. We could define it as someone with an irrational fear of surface mount devices and microsoldering!

Great addition to the wiki.

Looks great Philip! Looks like a lot of work to get that all written up! :clap:

I’ve added a couple of small suggestions to the ‘Discuss’ page about laptop power connectors, including whether to mention Apple’s MagSafe power connectors.

Hi Philip. I’ve amended a few spellings in the Power Connectors section. (Having written manuals for various items at work in the past, I know how difficult it is to proof-read ones own work, so it is a pleasure to help here. )

The document looks to be a fabulous resource, and I’ve already bookmarked it.



Could you include audio speaker connectors like those ones where you push the lever up and put stripped wire in then push the lever down? Screw down terminals for speakers? Also odd ones like this

Never-ending, isn’t it - you seem to mostly show the cable side of the connectors: if we’re trying to be comprehensive maybe there should be pictures of the chassis side of each type?

Also, I discovered the expensive way that there are two sizes of the satellite male F-type connector - one for what I’d describe as conventional coax but another smaller size for miniature coax :-o - can we add a note about this?

Nice work, thank you!
I am using an offline copy of the old ‘Hardware Book’ webpage, from about 2004. You can download the complete content with the help of the wayback-machine, unpack the archive and look at the files with your web-browser.

Hi Hubert -

I hadn’t come across the Hardware Book before. Interesting, though probably mainly from the point of view of nostalgia! For anyone into restoring vintage computers it could be useful but not much relevant to modern technology. The one that are still current such as DVI have probably been updated many times since then. I’ll put a reference to it in the Menagerie page.

I’m inclined not to include those speaker connectors as I was concentrating on mating plugs and sockets where you might have one and need to know what it mates with. There’s a passing reference to them in the original Connectors page under Screw and Spring Connectors, which could possibly be given more prominence, but they hardly need any explanation.

I haven’t (consciously) come across the smaller F connectors. A brief Internet search leads me to believe they mate with the same sockets but are simply designed for use with thinner (more flexible) cable. Is that your understanding?

Yes, it’d be nice to have pictures of both genders of each connector. Nearly all the pics are pulled directly from Wikipedia, many only showing one gender. It could turn out to be a lot of work to find examples of both, or to find physical examples to photograph.

Yes the two sizes of F connector screw onto the one size of socket - the ones I unwittingly bought were for miniature coax when my coax is/was the usual (larger) diameter.

Maybe mark the missing images with some clear text that an image of the chassis part is missing?