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What is an AMP Receptacle?

By Paul Scott
Updated May 17, 2024
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An AMP receptacle is the female half of a range of plastic plug and receptacle connectors used to join electrical cables or leads. The connector sets consist of male and female parts featuring between one and 12 or more separate connector points. The connector housings are made from durable plastic and have locking tabs molded into them, which ensure a secure connection. The housings accommodate metal pins to which the leads are crimped or soldered. AMP receptacles may be designed to mount onto the surface of panels and enclosures or may be free hanging.

The ability to easily separate different parts of wiring harnesses makes for flexible and convenient wiring routing, fault finding and part replacement. One of the best ways of achieving this modular wiring effect is to use male and female plug sets. These connectors allow for the simple and rapid change out of sections of harness or parts in a circuit. AMP plug sets are one of a wide range of modular connectors and are available in a wide range of pin configurations and in several sizes and power ratings. The sets consist of interlocking male and female sides that simply push into one another to make the connection.

The pins used in both the AMP receptacle and plug are light-gauge steel items that feature a crimp area at the rear of the pin and a set of locking tabs along the pin body. Once the leads have been crimped or soldered onto the pin, it is simply pushed into a socket on either the receptacle or the plug until the tabs click into place, locking the pin securely. The AMP receptacle is fitted with male pins and the plug with female pins, which aids in sure connections with minimal pin deformation. Should the pins require removal, a special pin extractor tool is used that depresses the locking tabs and pushes the pin out of the housing.

AMP plug sets are available in several sizes suitable for a selection of current ratings. Several AMP receptacle pin configurations are available, ranging from single-lead plugs to those capable of accepting 12 or more leads. The housings have a basic key profile, which allows the two halves to mate in one orientation only, preventing inadvertent cross-wiring. AMP receptacle and plug sets have a set of tabs molded into the housings that lock together when the connection is made, preventing the plugs from pulling apart if tension is placed on the wiring. The connectors also come in panel mount free-hanging varieties, allowing for additional application flexibility.

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