DIN connector

DIN connector

Five-pin male 180° DIN connector from the keyboard of an original IBM PC. Note the unusually thick shielding skirt.

A DIN connector is an electrical connector that was originally standardized by the

  • DIN 41524, for circular connectors often used for audio signals
  • DIN 41612, rectangular connectors used to connect plug-in cards to a back plane or motherboard
  • DIN 41652 D-subminiature connectors used for computer data and video

In the context of consumer electronics, the term "DIN connector" commonly refers to a member of a family of circular connectors that were initially standardized by DIN for analog audio signals. Some of these connectors have also been used in analog video applications, for power connections and for digital interfaces such as MIDI or the IBM AT computer keyboard (later PS/2 connectors for keyboard and mouse are Mini-DIN connectors). The original DIN standards for these connectors are no longer in print and have been replaced with the equivalent international standard IEC 60130-9.

While DIN connectors appear superficially similar to the newer professional XLR connectors, they are not compatible.


  • Circular connectors 1
  • Loudspeaker connector 2
  • Applications 3
    • Analog audio 3.1
    • Other uses 3.2
  • See also 4
  • References 5

Circular connectors

All male connectors (plugs) of this family of connectors feature a 13.2 mm diameter metal shield with a notch that limits the orientation in which plug and socket can mate. A range of connectors of the same form that differ only in their pin configuration exist and have been standardized originally in DIN 41524 / IEC/DIN EN 60130-9 (3-pin at 90° and 5-pin at 45°), DIN 45322 (5-pin and 6-pin at 60°), DIN 45323 (6-pin), DIN 45329/IEC 10 (7-pin at 45°), DIN 45326 / IEC/DIN EN 60130-9 (8-pin at 45°), and other standards for a range of different applications, including the following examples:

DIN 41524: 3-pin, 90°, 180° 4-pin, 72°, 216° 5-pin, 90°, cube, 270° DIN 45322: 5-pin, 60°, 240° DIN 41524 / IEC/DIN EN 60130-9: 5-pin, 45°, 180° DIN 45522: 6-pin, 60°, 240° DIN 45329 / IEC 10: 7-pin, 45°, 270° DIN 45326 / IEC/DIN EN 60130-9: 8-pin, 45°, 270° 8-pin, 45°/41°, 262°

The plugs consist of a circular shielding metal skirt protecting a number of straight round pins. The pins are 1.45 mm in diameter and equally spaced (at 90°, 72°, 60° or 45° angles) in a 7.0 mm diameter circle. The skirt is keyed to ensure that the plug is inserted with the correct orientation, and to prevent damage to the pins. The basic design also ensures that the shielding is connected between socket and plug prior to any signal path connection being made. However, as the keying is consistent across all connectors, it does not prevent incompatible connectors from mating, which can lead to damage; this is changed in Mini-DIN, which keys different connectors.

There are seven common patterns, with any number of pins from three to eight. Three different five-pin connectors exist, known as 180°, 240°, and 270° after the angle of the arc swept between the first and last pin (see figures above). There are also two variations of the six-pin, seven-pin and eight-pin connectors, one where the outer pins form 360° and one where they form 270°.[1] There is some limited compatibility, for example a three-pin connector will fit any 180° five-pin socket, engaging three of the pins and leaving the other two unconnected, a 180° five-pin plug will fit into a seven- or eight-pin socket. 3-pin and 180° 5-pin connectors will also fit the 270° 7-pin and both 8-pin sockets. In addition to these connectors, there are also connectors with 10, 12 and 14 pins. Some high-range equipment used seven-pin connectors where the outer two carried digital system data:[2] if the connected equipment was incompatible, the outer two pins could be unscrewed from plugs so that they fitted into standard five-pin 180° sockets without data connections.

Screw-locking versions of this connector have also been used in instrumentation, process control and professional audio.[3] In North America this variant is often called a "small Tuchel" connector after one of the major manufacturers. Tuchel is now a division of Amphenol. The pin and socket inserts are nearly identical to those used in non-locking connectors, and in some cases locking and non-locking connectors can be mated. Additional configurations up to 24 pins are also offered in the same shell size. A bayonet-locking version was also used on portable tape recorders and dictation machines through the 1980s, an example of this where found from sixties to eighties in the "Report" family of UHER tape recorders, which microphone input connector was fitted with bayonet locking instead of the standard screw. In addition to this, the input pin of such a connector are inverted with respect to DIN standards.

Some manufacturers offered panel-mounted jacks with potential-free auxiliary contacts that would open if a plug were inserted.

Loudspeaker connector

Speaker DIN line socket (left) and plug (right)

A polarised two-pin unshielded connector, designed for connecting a loudspeaker to a power amplifier (or other device; many of the earlier shoebox style tape recorders used them), is known as the DIN 41529 loudspeaker connector. It exists as a panel-mounting female version, and line-mounted male and female versions. The male version has a central flat pin, and circular pin mounted off-centre. The circular pin is connected to the positive line (red) while the spade is connected to the negative line (black).[4] The panel-mounting female version is available with or without an auxiliary contact that disconnects the internal speaker of the device if an external speaker connector is inserted. Most common is a three-hole female connector with one circular hole on either side of the spade hole, one of them with an aux contact and one without, which provides the option to leave the internal speaker connected by inserting the plug twisted by 180°.

It is now mainly found on older equipment, such as 16 mm movie projectors. The Becker radio found in many Mercedes-Benz automobiles uses this connector. The same connector is used on some LED lamps and halogen lamps to connect the bulb to the power supply. While all other versions of the DIN plug are generally very reliable, the two-pin DIN plug is considered inferior in some ways - the lack of the outer sheath means far less force is required to disconnect the plug accidentally, makes it more prone to bending or shifting of the pins during use, and also not as solidly seated in its socket - worn two-pin speaker plugs on audio equipment are notorious for being very unreliable, often requiring only the slightest nudge to break contact. There are also a three- and four-pin version of this loudspeaker connector used for example by Bang & Olufsen.


Analog audio

The 3/180° and 5/180° connectors were originally standardized and widely used in Germany, Czechoslovakia, and, later, in some other western European countries (for example the Netherlands, UK, Sweden), USSR, Comecon countries for interconnecting analog audio equipment, for example a stereo tape recorder to a stereo amplifier or preamplifier, using the five pins for the four signal connections plus ground. The cord used for this has a connector on each end, and the pins are connected pin for pin, that is, pin 1 to pin 1, 2 to 2, etc. Pins on male connectors are numbered (from right to left, viewed from outside of the connector, with the 5 pins upwards, and facing them): 1–4–2–5–3. Holes on female connectors are also numbered 1-4-2-5-3, but from left to right (facing the holes). A four-channel cord wired in this way is sometimes simply called a DIN cord, a DIN lead or a DIN cable. For mono interconnections, the 3/180° plugs are sufficient. When a mono plug is inserted into a stereo socket, it mates with the left channel. This interface was rare in the U.S. market, and has progressively disappeared on new equipment, both in Germany and worldwide, since the 1980s, in favour of RCA connectors.
Application Connector Pin function
1 4 2 5 3
Amplifier Monophonic 5/180° Audio out Screen/return Audio in
Stereophonic Left out Right out Right in Left in
Tape recorder Monophonic Audio in Audio out
Stereophonic Left in Right in Right out Left out

Other uses

The 5/180° connectors are commonly used for the

The DIN connector saw several other uses outside of audio. It was particularly popular as a data connector for various home microcomputers in the 8-bit era and as an audiovisual connector for several video game consoles. The AT keyboard uses a 5-pin DIN connector; the TurboDuo game console used a 5-pin DIN for its A/V output. Oddly, later versions of the Atari 8-bit computers as well as Commodore C64 and Elektronika BK used a DIN connector for their AC adapter. Also, early C64s that only supported composite video out used a 5-pin DIN for A/V - however, the newer C64s that supported chroma/luma output used an 8-pin DIN to carry extra signals. The Sega Genesis/Mega Drive (Model 1 only), Neo Geo and Neo Geo CD used an 8-pin DIN for their composite, RGB video and mono audio outputs, also providing +5V for using an RF modulator.[6] The Dragon 32 also used four 5-pin DIN connectors for joysticks, tape connection and monitor outputs.

The TRS-80 Model I used three identical 5-pin DIN connectors for its AC adapter, video output, and tape recorder, making it easy to destroy the unit if the plugs were confused. Almost the same could be seen on Soviet Elektronika BK home computers, where four 5-pin DIN connectors were used for tape recorder, B/W video output, RGB video output and AC adapter. The Geneve 9640 uses an 8 pin DIN for its composite video, analog RGB, audio, and +12 V for an RF modulator. On the Colour Genie, three 5-pin DIN connectors were used for the cassette recorder interface, the lightpen interface and the RS232 interface.

The BBC Micro and Acorn Electron used a 270° 7-pin variety, utilising 2 pins for control of the Audio Cassette tape player motor; this family of computers also used a 6-pin DIN for RGB monitor connection, and a 5-pin DIN for the RS423 serial port.

Atari's 16-bit computer range utilized a 13-pin DIN connector for its video output; this single connector could carry the colour RGB signals, a composite video signal, the high-resolution monochrome video signal, vertical and horizontal sync, ground, mono audio, and later, external video clock input, each on its own dedicated pin. If Pin 4 was connected to ground, the computer would detect this and boot into the high-resolution monochrome video mode that was not user-selectable and only worked with specially designed monitors (the vertical refresh rate being 71 Hz as opposed to 50/60 Hz for colour modes). Atari also used a 14-pin DIN connector for their external floppy disk drives, primarily for space-saving reasons; the port occupies much less real-estate on the crowded rear of the computer than contemporaries such as the Amiga and Macintosh, which used physically larger D-shell connectors with a 20+ pin count.

In the Soviet Union, 3-pin and 5-pin DIN connectors named ОНЦ-ВГ (Latin: ONC-VG), could be seen on many pieces of equipment, as well as factory-made audio equipment. Radio amateurs and small cooperatives quickly discovered these reliable connectors and began to put them into almost every low frequency signal device, often with non-standard pin usage. Versions other than 3 or 5-pin were very rare in the USSR and very hard to buy. 4-pin DIN connectors, for example, were never seen on any device or in stores.

See also


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^ IEC 60268-11
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^
  • DIN Connectors
  • IEC 60130-9: Connectors for frequencies below 3 MHz — Part 9: Circular connectors for radio and associated sound equipment. International Electrotechnical Commission, Geneva.
  • IEC 60574-3: Audiovisual, video and television equipment and systems — Part 3: Specification for connectors for the interconnection of equipment in audiovisual systems.