Design of Custom Waterproof Circular Electronics Connector
Groundradar designs and constructs custom geophysical survey equipment. One of our instruments is designed to be dragged along the ground in jungles in the form of a long "snake". The snake contains two pods (a transmitter and a receiver), and from each of these pods is a rubber hose containing a detachable antenna.
The connection to the antenna requires four electrical connections, with a maximum of 200V. Due to the nature of the instrument's use, this connection must be waterproof (ideally IP69). There are dozens of circular electronic connections that are waterproof on the market. However, our specific challenge is that this connector also must be used for pulling a load of approximately 100 kgs.
We have tested many commercial waterproof connectors for their ability to withstanding pulling, and the main problem appears to be that the locking threads are too fine. We require a panel mount and cable connectors.
Thus, we require a custom design with the following stipulations:
1. Must use commercially-available brass pins (www.newark.com, www.digikey.com, www.mouser.com all carry numerous varieties.
2. The connector locking collet should be a coarse pitch, ideally M14X2.
3. The machining of the parts should be simple, with minimal individual components. Plastic inserts (pin and socket holders) would be 3D printed by FDM.
4. On the cable end of the connector, the antenna extends into a rubber hose. Thus, the cable end of the connector has a barb fitting.
Please see the attached PDF file for photos of the existing design, which uses Lumberg connectors. This design is prone to failure due to the fine thread pitch on the locking collet.