The next connector we’ll look at is the Conxall (Fig. 1). These connectors have been used by Raven for close to 40 years for Flow meters and other sensors. I thought they would be easy to find and even easier to order. I was wrong. I have found that all the old brand names I’ve known over the years are not found under the original name anymore.
There are only a few primary companies that own all of the original manufacturers. The connectors we use in agriculture are considered “automotive” applications and round connectors are simply referred to as circular connectors. Under “Switchcraft,” “circular connectors,” one of the selections is the Conxall line.
I had trouble understanding the connector description and frankly, my last order for connectors was wrong again! That was just recently and I was close, but missed a major component. However, the connector sub-categories are really quite simple.
There are three series of Conxall connectors — micro, mini and multi that control the shell size. Multi is what we see on Raven liquid controllers and mini is used on the company’s new series computers and control systems. The connector is either a plug, a receptacle or a cable-to-cable connector. The receptacle is a panel mount that accepts the plug. Then you could have pins or sockets in any combination.
So what did I miss? Connector size! I didn’t even know that was a variable. The connectors I ordered for the 3 pin Raven system were correct, but the 4 pin connectors used for the valves were wrong.
These connectors can have at least three different connection sizes. Connection size is measured like a wire gauge. I found that the connectors I received had the correct shell size, but the wrong pins and sockets.
What I bought were 20 gauge connections and what you need for Raven, 4 pin connectors is 16 gauge! Once I found that, I discovered Mouser doesn’t stock the 16 gauge. Before ordering connectors, check and study the details! You can download a wire gauge chart here. Your micrometer will allow you to check the pin size.
I finally found the 16 gauge connectors at Mouser Electronics, but you need to be very careful when ordering.
In part 3 of this series, I’ll discuss Weather-Pack connectors and the male and female versions.