From Formula 1, WRC, and MotoGP, to rally raid races and endurance racing, Esterline Connection Technologies – SOURIAU has always been a force in the world’s market for car and motorcycle motorsport connectors. The market—which today represents several hundred thousand connectors a year—really took off in the early 2000´s, when the advent and massive adoption of onboard electronics resulted in a need for specific connectors inspired by those used in aeronautics.From aeronautics to motorsport activities
While aeronautics and motorsport activities share some technical similarities—such as vibration resistance, tightness, weight, and number of contacts—they diverge significantly when it comes to duration of use. Indeed, aircraft are built to last several decades, but racing cars change each season. As electronics are being installed in increasingly tighter spaces, connectors used in motorsports must also have a small form factor.
A new shell for the 8STA Series
“SOURIAU’s 8STA Series for motorsport activities is based on MIL-DTL-38999, which is recognized as a standard specification for aeronautical connectors,” says Samuel Tournier, 8STA Product Manager. Until recently, the 8STA was available in seven shell sizes and five to sixty-eight 26-gauge contacts. The constant quest for performance in motorsports, and especially Formula 1 racing, lead engineers to optimize every possible parameter. With the 8STA 01, SOURIAU answers the need for an ultra-compact shell fitted with three 26-gauge contacts.
“SOURIAU’s 8STA 01 connector offers the same level of performance as all the other models in the range. The bayonet lock withstands vibrations of 10 to 2000 Hz and has a shock resistance of 147 m/s². Each connector is IP67 rated, withstands mechanical shocks in accordance with EIA-364-27, withstands more than 500 mating cycles, and has an operating temperature range of -55 to +175°C. The connector’s aluminium body is plated with zinc nickel in order to withstand harsh environments. In addition, the 8STA 01’s shell is 20% smaller than the 02’s shell, which is a significant gain in Formula 1 racing,” says Mr. Tournier.
Connectors with a very small form factor
Electronic equipment used in motorsport activities is reduced to the smallest size possible, and connectors are no exception to this. The receptacles fitted on the shells must take up the least possible space. The oval-flange receptacles fit as close together as possible and the thread insert version, which prevents the attachment nut from detaching, takes up less space and is faster to fit. Cable-wise, the plug is very small and has a built-in rear connector, rendering it a complete connector that eliminates the need to add a rear accessory.
8STA 01: a complete range of connectors
The 8STA 01 is available in a variety of models. The female plug and extension piece make it possible to create wiring interconnection systems for connecting electronic boxes with test, programming, or inspection benches in pit lanes and garages. The colour-coded rings on the plugs and receptacles ensure that the right connections are made quickly and without error. Lastly, the 8STA 01 plugs and receptacles are shielded by a protective cap.
From motorsport activities to other applications
“Motorsport activities are an exceptional test bench,” says Mr. Tournier. “They allow us to develop and validate innovative solutions that can subsequently be extended to other fields. Due to their very specific performance levels, SOURIAU’s compact and high-performance 8STA connectors open up many opportunities for use in applications such as drones and equipment carried by military personelle. The 8STA 01 strengthens the position of connector range.”
Esterline Connection Technologies
Esterline Connection Technologies (SOURIAU SUNBANK) is a global leader in interconnect solutions engineered to withstand the harshest of environments (aeronautics, space, defence, transport, energy, industrial equipment, healthcare devices, and lighting).
It invests in R&D and manufacturing facilities to produce solutions that comply with environmental requirements and international trade rules.
SOURIAU-SUNBANK’s wide range of products are designed using cutting-edge electrical and optical connection technologies. All are suitable for use in non-hazardous environments as well as those involving extreme temperatures, strong vibrations and corrosive liquids, and meet specific international market standards.
SOURIAU is celebrating 100 years of Passion and Innovation in 2017.