Customer application January 30, 2023
PCB Connections with a Lever: Keeping Up with Miniaturization

Today, both the line and signal levels are combined on the printed circuit board. The result: Higher power density changes the requirements for connection technology.

Everyone knows it from their computers: devices have become smaller and smaller in recent years. At the dawn of the millennium, the home PC filled the so-called Big Tower, which was over 60 cm high; over the years, the hardware has shrunk and today resides in notepad-sized housings that can be comfortably inserted into a pocket.

WAGO PCB Connection Technology with a Lever:

  • Intuitive: Tool-free, intuitive lever operation

  • Secure: Lever clearly locks into position (open/close)

  • Tool-free: Faster and easier wiring

The same applies to machine and industrial electronics, which are also shrinking steadily. Engine control example: Where previously space-intensive protective circuits were required, today the engine, transmission and converter form a compact, intelligent and powerful unit.

This development also affects the electronics used in drives or inverters. The separation of the signal level and the ever-decreasing installation space of printed circuit boards constantly move components closer together – with constant or even more connection power. This influences circuit board design and thus connection technology.

High Demand, Even for Small Components

PCB terminal blocks and connectors must be correspondingly compact and, at the same time, reliably transmit high currents. To withstand demanding conditions, for example, in the case of vibrations and temperature fluctuations, the components must operate reliably in conjunction with the printed circuit board. At the same time, electronics developers must be cost-conscious. Regarding connection technology, this means: The price plays an important role, but the components must also convince through construction and function to guarantee flexibility for the printed circuit board design and simplify use.

WAGO’s current PCB terminal blocks and connectors with levers are ideal for electronics developers. This includes terminal blocks for the nominal cross-sections 1, 5; 2.5; 4; 6 and 16 mm² for rated data up to 1,000 V and 76 A. The central core is the connection technology with push-in CAGE CLAMP®.

The spring clamp with push-in connection technology has been trusted for years, for example in rail-mount terminal blocks, pluggable connectors and PCB terminal blocks from the connection technology manufacturer WAGO and is regarded as a standard for secure and maintenance-free connection technology for all types of conductors in industrial and transport applications.

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WAGO PCB Terminal Blocks are available in different cross-sectional sizes. This makes them suitable for many applications. Photo: WAGO

» IN ADDITION TO CONNECTION RELIABILITY, THE NEW WAGO PCB TERMINAL BLOCKS OFFER THE DECISIVE ADVANTAGE OF SAVING SPACE. «

Viktor Dick, Product Manager PCB Connections at WAGO

Save Space on the PCB

In addition to connection reliability, the PCB terminal blocks and connectors offer the decisive advantage of saving space: they may generally connect solid and fine-stranded conductors up to one size larger in cross-section than their nominal cross-section dimension. In this way, for example, with power supply units, PV inverters, wallboxes or frequency converters, it is possible to operate in a higher power class with a fine-stranded conductor (10 mm²). For connecting a 10 mm² conductor, the 6 mm² PCB terminal block is sufficient; otherwise, a 16 mm² terminal block would have to be used. The space savings on the PCB is thus over 55%.

In particular, using a pluggable connector offers maximum user comfort. By pulling the plug-in connection, devices in areas that are difficult to access can be easily wired. Thanks to the lever, the connector can be easily wired in your hand, eliminating the need for a third hand to hold the connector and a tool.

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The Entire Pluggable Connector Family of the WAGO MULTI CONNECTION SYSTEM (MCS) with Levers

Quick and Easy Wiring

In addition to the space requirement, rapid wiring is an important factor in ensuring the shortest possible assembly times. Developers who opt for these PCB terminal blocks or connectors benefit from push-in termination of solid conductors and fine-stranded conductors with ferrules. This enables wiring within a few seconds.

If individual modules will be prepared by the manufacturer and later wired for operation in the field, convenient and unmistakably clear operability of the connection points is crucial. To meet these requirements, the company from Minden has launched the 2601, 2604, 2606 and 2616 Series PCB Terminal Blocks and the 2734, 2231, 2721, 831 and 832 Series Pluggable Connectors. These models combine compact dimensions and high current carrying capacity with intuitive and tool-free usage via lever. Due to its ease of operation and because the respective locked positions (open/closed) can be clearly identified, the lever proves to be particularly user-friendly.

An easy-to-use lever is a great advantage, especially when closing the clamping point: The force of the opened spring ensures that the lever closes – even with low force. This intelligent design always provides a secure connection of the clamping point and virtually eliminates errors due to misuse.

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» ONE LOOK, ONE CLICK! «

PCB Connection Technology: Small lever, big effect
Discover the advantages and possible applications now!

Flexibility for the Design Process

When designing their circuits, developers do not want to focus on the connection technology, they'd rather integrate it as simply and inexpensively as possible after the printed circuit board’s main functionality has been solidified. This means conversely that: Components for connection technology must integrate flexibly into an overall design. WAGO’s PCB terminal blocks and connectors allow the PCB connection to be made horizontally and vertically to the PCB.

Lever Design Advantage

The lever-equipped variants bring a further constructive advantage: In the open state, the lever is at an angle of 60° to the terminal block, so simple operation is possible even when the conductor connection occurs vertically to the PCB. In this case, the open lever does not rest on the PCB so that the clamping point can be closed more conveniently while simultaneously minimizing the risk of damage to the PCB. In addition, the installation space remains free for additional flat components, such as SMD resistors.

WAGO’s PCB terminal blocks and connectors form a product range that meets these high requirements. They combine compact dimensions, high current carrying capacity and convenience in wiring with a particularly high degree of design freedom.

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Authors

Viktor Dick

Viktor Dick is Product Manager for PCB Connections at WAGO in Minden. Among other things, he is responsible for PCB terminal blocks with levers.

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Lukas Westermeier

Lukas Westermeier is Product Manager for PCB Connections at WAGO in Minden. Among other things, he is responsible for PCB connectors with levers.

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