When you’re working with electrical wires, it’s important to use the right connectors. Using the right connector or terminal will assure you of safety and efficiency in your electrical project.
There are a variety of different connectors and many people don’t know the difference between them. That’s why this article covers everything you need to know about spade connectors, which are commonly known as spade terminal connectors.
What is a spade connector?
A spade connector or terminal is a type of connector used for electrical wiring. It is a flat, circular connector that is attached to the end of a wire to connect it to an electrical device, such as a light fixture or switch. The spade connector was invented in 1884 by William O’Shea and George Campbell, who were both employed at the Brush Electric Company.
The first connectors were made from brass and had three holes that connected the wire to the device. Over the years, spades have evolved into connectors that are made from plastic and can be used with wires of different sizes and gauges.
Design and structure of the spade connector
A spade connector may be made from plastic, glass, or ceramic. In some cases, the connector is made from all three materials. The typical spade connector has a metal base that is screwed onto a wire and then covered with one of the other materials.
The base of the spade connector is flat, circular, and made from metal or any other conductive metal element. It has holes in it that allow you to insert wires into it.
The metal base is connected to the center part of the connector by a metal wire that goes through a hole in the center.
The center part of a spade connector is typically made from ceramic or glass and it’s usually colored white or black. This center part of the spade contains metal wires that are surrounded by ceramic or glass and they provide support for the spades on either side.
The wires are also used to connect to electrical devices, such as switches or outlets.
The two parts of this type of connector are held together by screws or glue.
How does a spade connector work?
Spade connectors are used for making electrical connections. When you connect wires to a spade connector, the metal inside the connector conducts electricity from one wire to another.
The connectors are able to achieve this goal based on their design. The metal base of the spade connector acts as an electrical conductor. It is connected to the center part of the spade connector by a metal wire that goes through a hole in the center part.
The wire conducts electricity from the metal base to the center part of the spade connector.
The center part is made from ceramic or glass and it’s usually colored white or black. The wires inside it provide support for the spades on either side.
The wires are also used to connect to electrical devices, such as switches or outlets.
How do you connect spade terminal connectors?
Follow these steps when connecting spade terminal connectors;
-Choose the spade connector you want to use.
-Make sure that the wires you want to connect are small enough to fit inside the spade connector.
-Make sure there are no metal elements, such as screws in a wall, nearby that might touch the wires and cause an electric shock. This is a safety tip!
-Make sure there is enough insulation on your wires so they won’t touch each other or any metal element during the use of your electrical device.
-Twist the wires in a clockwise direction so they won’t come loose during the use of your electrical device.
-Choose which one of the spades you want to connect first and make sure it will go well with your electrical device.
-Connect it correctly and make sure it’s tight enough so it won’t come loose during the use of your electrical device.
-Connect the other spade connector correctly and make sure it’s tight enough so it won’t come loose during the use of your electrical device.
-Put the cover back on and make sure it is tight enough so it won’t come loose during the use of your electrical device.
-You’re done! Now you can use your electrical device!
Types of spade connectors
There are different types of spade terminal connectors in the market. Below is an example of what they look like:
-Standard spade connectors are usually used for low-power applications.
-Power spade connectors are larger in size and are used for higher power applications. They are also used for grounding applications.
-Quick connect spade connectors: As the name suggests, this type of spade terminal connector is used for creating super quick connections. The connectors are used in situations where the connection is needed within a short period of time.
-Polarized and nonpolarized spade connectors: These are commonly called “Y” and “T” connectors respectively. They are used in situations where the connections need to be made between two pieces of equipment with different polarities.
-Wire lacing spade connectors: These are used for creating wire lacing connections. Wire lacing is a technique where wires (cables) are interleaved to create an extra layer of insulation between them to prevent electrical interference or leakage between the wires through mechanical stress or vibration caused by external forces such as vibration or shock etc.
-Flag terminal: This type of connector is used in situations where the connections need to be made between two pieces of equipment that have different signal and power levels.
-Flexible spade connectors: These are used when a quick connection is required but you don’t want to go through the hassle of using a wire lacing connector.
-Crimp spade connector: These are commonly called “T” or “3 prongs” connectors. They are used for making connections between two pieces of equipment where the connections need to be made through a crimp, usually done by hand.
-Piggyback spade connectors: These are commonly called “Piggyback” connectors. They are used in situations where the connections need to be made between two pieces of equipment that are not connected directly to each other. In most cases, they are used between the control unit and an auxiliary unit such as a printer, monitor, or similar.
So, which type of spade connector would you like to install? Simply check the requirement specifications of your application or circuit. From there, you will know the exact type of spade connector that you will need.
Spade connectors insulation
As we have mentioned, handling spade connectors requires the utmost level of care. The good news is these connectors are insulated. The purpose of these insulations is to provide protection against ESD (ElectroStatic Discharge) as well as short circuit conditions. Moreover, the insulation can be considered as a safety measure in case of accidental contact with metal parts.
Also, the insulation protects the conductors from getting into direct contact with fluids and other elements that can interfere with the smooth flow of the electric current.
How do I measure a spade connector?
Spade connectors come in different sizes and dimensions. It is vital to know the size of your terminal to determine whether it will be relevant for your application area.
But how can I take the measurements of my connector?
Spade connectors are available in different sizes. You can measure the terminal by using a standard ruler and a micrometer. You can also use a millimeter probe and an electronic scale.
For measuring the pins of the connector, you can use a dial caliper. The measurement of the outer diameter is done by using an electronic scale and a micrometer.
The measurement of the inner diameter is done by using a combination of both devices, i.e., an electronic scale and an indicator gauge that has both decimal points as well as mm markings on it.
The measurement of the length is done by using a combination of both devices, i.e., an electronic scale and an indicator gauge that has both decimal points as well as mm markings on it.
How to buy spade connectors: What to look out for
Before you proceed to buy a spade connector terminal, here are some of the things to look out for.
– You will have to check the manufacturer’s datasheet of your connector.
– You should check the packaging and make sure that it is not damaged.
– You should also check the number of terminals in a package, as well as its type of packaging and the type of plastic used for packaging.
– You should also check if there are any other markings on the package, such as a country code or a batch code.
– You should also check if there is any marking on the spade terminals that can give you an indication about their quality or their performance characteristics.
I hope from this guide you have acquired adequate information about spade terminal connectors, how they work and where to use them.
In case you are planning to buy spade connectors in China, let ICRFQ be your partner. As a reliable electrical components sourcing agent in China, we will connect you to the right manufacturer and supplier.
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