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What is Berg Connector?
A Berg connector refers to that which connects different electrical circuits in a computer system to provide the necessary power to them. Technically, this is used in the computer hardware for power connection.
- Berg connectors are the creation of the Berg Electronics Corporation and were used widely in the 1980s to 1990s especially for supplying power to the different components in a computer system.
- Also known as P7, Mini Molex connectors and others, this connector is used to power up the front panel lights, floppy disk drives, and turbo or reset buttons.
- These connectors come with different pin configurations but the 4-pin connectors are more commonly used to power up the 3.5-inch floppy drives.
Understanding Berg Connector
A Berg connector is actually a power connector that powers up different electrical circuits in the computer systems.
It basically refers to the variety of electrical connectors found in the computer hardware manufactured by the Berg Electronics Corporation.
The power connectors are known by different names. For example:
- A P7 connector
- Mini Molex connector
- DuPont connector
- IDC or Insulation Displacement Contact connector
- Floppy power connector and
These power connectors are pretty small in size as compared with the Molex connectors and come with 0.64 mm or 0.025 inch square pins arranged either in single or double rows.
These connectors have a pitch or distance from center to center of pins ranging between 2.50 mm and 2.54 mm or 0.098 inch and 1 inch.
Based on the design and pin layout, the Berg connectors can be classified usually into two different heads, 2-pin and 4-pin connectors, while the latter is more familiar.
The 4-pin Berg connectors are more commonly used and popularly known as the floppy power connector mainly because it is primarily used to connect the PSU of the computer to a 3.5-inch floppy disk drive.
On the other hand, the 2-pin Berg connectors are usually used in connecting different components of the computer to the motherboard such as:
- The turbo switches
- Reset buttons
- Front panel lights and
- Jumpers for motherboard configuration.
The design of the Berg connectors, like most of the other connectors, is keyed so that it prevents incorrect mating or improper connections.
Since these connectors are not backward compatible, a floppy power connector may often destroy the floppy drive itself if it is connected in the wrong way.
The original IDC connectors usually used plastic pins and shells for both the male and female parts.
The female shells had male pins and the male shells had female pins going to the ends of the cables. Several female pins were crimped on the cable wires.
Things changed shortly and the design was modified to make the cables more physically compatible.
These flat cables now had short teeth cutting through the insulation on the wires of the cable, which gave it the name Insulation Displacement Contact connector, and crimped simply on it.
This improved the throughput of the cables making it much easier, faster and more reliable.
Now, the connectors that go onto the printed circuit boards are called headers and are normally available in two distinct forms.
One usually has pins pointing up in a straight line and the other has the pins pointing sideways and arranged at a right angle.
As for the crimp-on connectors, these are now presented in both male and female forms.
However, with the advancement in computer technology, the use of these specific power connectors have reduced significantly in comparison to the extent of its usage within the 1980s and 1990s.
Berg Connector Functions
The Berg connectors perform several different functions which primarily involves connecting the different electrical circuits in a computer to the power supply or the motherboard.
The most common function of this connector is to supply power to the 3.5-inch floppy disk drive by connecting it to the Power Supply Unit or PSU of the computer.
Depending on the pin configuration, it can also function as a connector between the front panel lights, reset and turbo buttons and the motherboard of the computer to ensure proper functioning and power supply to them.
It helps the turbo switch to change the speed of the processor and the reset button to force a computer to start the shutdown process when it is needed to clear its memory and go back to the original settings.
However, the rest button today is usually incorporated with the power switch and for that a different type of connector is used.
Berg Connector Vs Molex
- The Molex connector is typically used as a power plug for the CD drives and hard drives in the earlier PATA or Parallel Advanced Technology Attachment type computers but the Berg connectors are typically used to power up the floppy drives and other smaller components of the computer
- The Molex are typically the female part but, in comparison, the Berg connectors are mainly used as a male part
- The main difference between the Molex connector and a Berg connector is in their size where the former is slightly larger than the latter.
How Many Pins Does a Berg Connector Have?
The Berg connectors typically come with either 2 pins or 4 pin formats and can be used for different purposes based on the availability of the pins.
The IDC connectors in the earlier days came with a wide variety of sizes having one pin to 64 pins and more, all arranged in one, two or three rows.
The original version of these connectors however came with as many as 40 pins and each were numbered A to V and then from AA to VV.
The PCB was at the bottom and the pins faced the header with Pin A on the bottom left side, pin B above it and so on.
The pins in the Berg connectors today are recognized by numbers while the orientation of the header being Pin 1 in the upper right corner, Pin 2 immediately under it and so on.
However, the pin configuration of the more commonly used 4-pin Berg connector for the floppy drives is as follows:
- Pin 1 is red in color and runs +5 volts DC
- Pin 2 and Pin 3 are both black in color and act as grounds and
- Pin 4 is yellow in color and runs +12 volts DC.
The Berg connectors in a computer are a useful component that ensures that all electrical circuits in the system get the desired power to function properly.
Thanks to this article, now you know the use, importance, and other vital aspects of this power connector.