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Hermaphroditic Signal Connectors

Gender bending connections
  (+6, -2)
(+6, -2)
  [vote for,

Neutrik have announced a twist on the ubiquitous XLR audio connector [link], providing both male and female connections in one device.

Having recorded a device called the "ambi-jack" in my lab notebook back in 1974 (said device would accept either "RCA" or 1/8" phone plug connectors), I am pleased to see another advance in this area.

But I think the idea should be extended to all sorts of signal connectors (power wiring probably not such a great idea.) I have a large briefcase full of adaptors for the standard audio / video interconnections (RCA, BNC, 1/4" mono and stereo phone plugs, 1/8" ditto, XLR, dual banana, F-type, etc. etc.)

Not all of these are susceptible to the Neutrik approach, but certainly one could imagine the cable-type 1/4" plugs (for instance) having a lockable retractible male appendage which could also retract sufficiently to function as a female connector.

Other types are left as an excercise for the student.

csea, May 07 2008

Unisex cable connector http://showdaily.bi...view&id=19&Itemid=1
Scroll down a page to see the article [csea, May 07 2008]

Combo http://www.neutrik..../productsearch.aspx
Another receptacle for XLR or 1/4" phone [csea, May 07 2008]

IBM Token-Ring connector http://www.cablesdi...txtKeyword=CTRC5-BA
These were designed that way, but the were huge, ungainly and ugly to boot. [krelnik, May 07 2008]


       You didn't provide the idea portion of your idea. Do you need to select the end first, or does the mechanism move and connect automatically? How would, say, a pin change to a socket? Will it be compact enough to fit in a bank of receptacles? It's hard to tell what it does, from the link.
Amos Kito, May 07 2008

       [+] mostly for the usage of the word 'hermaphroditic'---the only problem is, it will be difficult for these connectors to really understand 'who they are', and they may go through life with deep-seated confusion and anxiety.
drummac88, May 07 2008

       Is anyone else thinking of *that* scene from *that* movie?
4whom, May 07 2008

       If you cut the head off a hermaphroditic signal connector, would it grow another one?
DrCurry, May 07 2008

       I'm with [Amos Kito] - where's the idea here?
phoenix, May 07 2008

       // would it grow another one? //   

       Hmmm. If you cut the cable in the middle, surely it should grow a new connector at each end ?   

       What would happen if a mass of cables like this were left shut away in a dark cupboard ? Wire coat hangers are bad enough for multiplying, this is some new horror .... we sense a movie coming ...... Mutant Hermaphrodite Cables from Mars .....
8th of 7, May 07 2008

       On a related note, Apple makes an audio connector on its Airport Express and some high-end laptops that will take either a 1/8" stereo analog audio cable, or a Toslink-style fiber-optic digital audio cable with the "Mini-TOSLINK" end. Its quite ingeniously designed.
krelnik, May 07 2008

       OK, perhaps I should clarify. Imagine an (n)-pin connector, where the pins are spring loaded, but fully retractible into sockets deep enough to conceal the pins. When introduced to a female connector, the pins are forced into the socket by the spring loading (and presumably there is a latch on the body, as on an XLR connector.)   

       Should such a connector be required to mate with a male connector, the spring-loaded pins are pushed back into the surrounding sockets.   

       Similar mechanisms would work for a standard 1/4" TRS (tip-ring-sleeve) connector, twice as deep as regular, with all 3 contacts retractable into the housing. Instead of a latch, for this type of connector, one could imagine an annular threaded ring to keep the contacts inserted.   

       Illustrators welcome...   

       And, yes, my DAT machine uses a Sony 1/8"-toslink fiber connector.
csea, May 08 2008


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