Energy Efficiency

Choosing between DIN and Deutsch connectors

DIN connectors are easier to assemble than Deutsch connectors, but Deutsch connectors have more customizable parts for specialized applications.
By Paul Badowski September 1, 2018

Example of a standard pre-wired Deutsch cable. Courtesy: Cross CompanyWe have all learned to utilize the benefits and the ease of ordering DIN-style cables pre-wired. DIN connectors had taken over the industrial and mobile market on solenoid valves, pressure switches, and other devices. Users can order these DIN connectors pre-wired, molded, and tested. They also can select the length of the cable, type of wire, and even add circuit protective diodes, resistors, timers, or indicator lights.

Taking this a step further, users can also add a secondary connector on the opposite end. This allows the user to plug the connector directly into a remote output block which is hooked into the machine network. This takes away termination of hundreds of wires and only requires the network connection. Each connector is factory tested and designed to plug and play, which reduces wiring labor costs.

Over the last few years, mobile machine products have seen a rapid growth in the Deutsch style connector. The smaller size, improved environmental sealing, and push-to-lock connection are an improvement over the DIN style plug. Many wiring harnesses utilize the multi-pin Deutsch configuration and then break out into the smaller two-pin Deutsch for direct connection into the device. The 12 and 24 V mobile systems don’t have a third or fourth wire requirement which is available in the DIN-style connector.

Selecting between DIN and Deutsch

One major difference in the DIN and Deutsch connectors are the requirement for multiple parts and special tools. If you buy an un-wired DIN connector, it comes with all of the parts necessary to wire the connector. Disassemble the connector, insert the wire, strip back the individual wires and install into the terminals. The only required tool is a small electrician screwdriver to loosen and tighten the terminals.

Example of a pre-wired Deutsch cable with indicator. Courtesy: Cross CompanyWith the Deutsch connector, you’ve got to specify several parts. Depending on the wire size and connection type (male or female), you’ll need to order socket or pin type, solder or crimp type. You’ll need the connector body, a wedge, and then the connector cover and seal. The parts are relatively inexpensive and many options are available. If you choose the crimp style, you will also need a specialty crimper to ensure a positive and secure connection.

Once the wires are attached to the connections, the connections are pushed into slots until positively seated and then the wedge, connector cover, and seal are installed. This seems a bit complicated but once you get the knack of it, the process is not too difficult. In the end, the electrician can spend their time doing much more meaningful tasks. So, to recap:

Option #1: Deutsch

A six-foot or 15-foot-long Deutsch cable is standard and would cover most requirements. Specialty lengths are also available. Plug in the cable and terminate the two wires. In quantity, you can order these with an additional cable installed on the opposite end for a complete plug and play system.

Example of a DIN connector to 2-pin Deutsch adaptor. Courtesy: Cross CompanyThese cables are available unlit or with the choice of an indicator light, solenoid valve, and pressure switch. With the solenoid style indicator, the indicator glows when there is power to the solenoid. With the pressure switch style indicator, the indicator glows when the switch contacts are made. A variety of ac/dc or combination voltages are available with a 10 A rating.

Option #2: DIN

A pre-wired DIN to Deutsch adapter allows the user to utilize the Deutsch technology on applications which already have the DIN style in place or where there is not an option to change the product to Deutsch connectors directly at the source. Plug in the adapter and you’ve now changed the connector style to Deutsch. Either of these choices will allow you to utilize your time for more important functions other than wiring connectors.

Paul Badowski, Cross Company. This article originally appeared on Cross Company’s blog. Cross Company is a CFE Media content partner. Edited by Emily Guenther, associate content manager, Control Engineering, CFE Media, eguenther@cfemedia.com.


Paul Badowski
Author Bio: OEM account manager, Cross Co.