What's your favorite cable connector?

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Dec 3, 2013


Apr 20, 2008
I remember those military connectors. They were great until you had a pushed or bent pin on a 50+ pin connector then that was a pita to fix.

lol - that's exactly what I was looking for KK
an old Lockheed P3C wiring harness from the 80's

Indeed. One the shipboard air radios I studied they all had connectors like these. Cool but highly specialized.

USB should have been reversible from the beginning.

Personally, I hate keyed and directional connectors. I think everything should be reversible. Blind-plugging keyed connectors blows.

The way it was designed is so much cheaper to make than anything else before it. It needed everything it could get in its favor to become the universal standard.


Diamond Member
Oct 15, 1999
Never did liked the DB9 DB25 connectors, even as solid they were back then. The only way to really secure them meant screwing the two screws to the sides - otherwise these made for poor quick securing connecting and disconnecting. This goes as well for the VGA connector too. However, I never had a problem NOT screwing in these connectors.

Also, with USB, HDMI, and Displayport connectors, they go in fine. A rule of thumb for me is that I shouldn't force a connector in to have it work, the connector should go in smoothly. With the three mentioned connectors, I can eventually blind connect them.

Looking when connecting, the label should be facing up. (with motherboard orientation and device orientation though, this is getting ambiguous - tower PC setups have the USB label facing up away from the motherboard and on the fan heatsink side).

What sucks is that Micro USB requires some force and it isn't as smooth. Mainly due to the two prongs needed to secure the tiny connection in place. They also need some tiny force to disconnect due to that factor. But Micro USB does the job in a compact USB connection... Being tiny, there is risk in blindly figuring out the connection - moreso than normal USB (at least I have a good job in blindly connecting USB plugs).


Oct 14, 1999
TRS of any kind. No lining up, just find the hole and push it in.
I checked out this thread since my mind was jogged by the recent USB thread.

The problem with TRS (sometimes) is that the poles will slide across all the contacts during insertion/removal.


No Lifer
Jul 20, 2001
you could always send multiple frequencies through a cable (or air). similar troubleshooting is easily done with a time-domain reflectometer or optical tdr.

As long as we're resurrecting the thread anyway...

I loved TDR. In grad school I had to automate a TDR unit for making soil moisture measurements. You could squeeze a coax cable with your fingers and watch the impedance change on the TDR.


Oct 14, 1999
I just realized I've seen a setup similar to this at an older facility in Fremont or Milpitas. I also heard some amazing stories about how old engineers sent various analog signals down a single wire; that to me is still magicwtf.
There's actually an analog interface out there that can transmit data for any frequencies between 20 Hz to 20,000 Hz... Sometimes across an even wider passband (oops, did that give it away?)

Also, you can't send electrical signals down a single wire (usually). You need a circuit.

Red Squirrel

No Lifer
May 24, 2003
MTP. 12 strands of fiber in a single connector. Go go gadget 40 and 100 gig ethernet.


How do these work, do they split different light spectrums from the different strands into a single fibre or does that connector on the end actually have 24 separate "conductors"? I think the new FTTH service they setup here uses something similar to this where they have 64 or so customers on a single port at the CO and it goes to the street then in the cabinet it actually splits off (passively, no powered equipment in those) into individual strands which then go to the poles and drops to the houses. Essentially each customer has their own wave length straight to the CO with no equipment or point of failure(other than layer 1 obviously) in between but it shares glass along the way. At least that's how it was explained to me, unfortunately we don't have much to do with this setup so just really got little tidbits of info here and there.

Though in our case it's actually 1 strand of fibre for send and receive. I don't really understand exactly how it works but the ONT actually has no laser, it uses some kind of mirror to bounce the light back. I guess there is a time slot where the light goes solid and the end point waits for incoming data or something, not sure.
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Diamond Member
Nov 7, 2001
BNC is definitely the most fun, at least to me this is mostly because of the cool interlocking mechanism, plus its got the nostalgia thing going on.

Having said that, right now my favorite connector is definitely Lightning. Simple, short, and it always works.


Golden Member
Jul 2, 2010
As long as we're resurrecting the thread anyway...

I loved TDR. In grad school I had to automate a TDR unit for making soil moisture measurements. You could squeeze a coax cable with your fingers and watch the impedance change on the TDR.

I only needed to use a TDR box once or twice in my short Navy Avionics stint long ago but do remember being impressed how it pointed the exact location of a short in a super long coax cable on one of our P3C birds
- saved a lot of time.


Golden Member
May 6, 2013
BNC: old school, but yes BNC. aah just saw it's been resurrected, dang I always get fooled into joining in these old threads.