Common Contact System

We use Deutsch’s “Common Contact System” for good, not evil.


Connector Terminal Standardization

Deutsch has standardized much of their robust connector system around a common terminal shape. Then they allow the customer to mix and match things like terminal plating (gold or nickel), crimp style (stamped or solid), wire insulation thickness (standard or reduced diameter seals), strain relief (shrink boot adapter) etc. This allows large scale manufacturers to tailor the connectors for everything from critical 24 gauge signal wires to high current large gauge connections.

Mill-spec,mill spec,military specification,pins,sockets,DT connector,DTP Connector,DTM Connector,mill-spec connector,mill-spec pins

These Mill Spec Terminals bring robustness to this Mill Spec Connector, this DTM connector, pressure sensors (not shown), etc.

Robust Harness Build

At Electron Speed, we take this concept one step further. The Deutsch “Common Contact System” was based on a robust military terminal. We can create a military specification wire connection in a readily available housing! Where available, all of the Deutsch DT, DTM and DTP connectors we use come specified for motorsports use: mil-spec terminals, reduced diameter seals (where available) and shrink boot adapters. This allows for higher current ratings, sealing despite thinner insulation and enhanced robustness to vibration.

Easy Trackside Repair

The benefits continue after installation of an Electron Speed harness or connector. Only one kind of terminal and one set of tools need to be carried to service the Deutsch plastic connectors and the aluminum Mil-Spec connectors. When spare parts aren’t available, using a “Common Contact” increases the odds that a competitor can come to your aid.

Deutsch DT Caution

The biggest downside of choosing a connector that’s part of the common contact system is that caution must be taken when ordering DT, DTM, and DTP connectors. Many vendors use the general purpose variety of potential configurations to reduce their cost while selling a connector that outwardly looks the same. These parts are good enough for the agricultural applications that Deutsch is targeting. However, care should be taken when using these parts as hard as we do in motorsports.

Reading further

To learn more about the system and how the quality of the terminals effect the specifications of the connector, see the technical document from Deutsch below.

Deutsch Common Contact System


Deutsch manufactures two product styles of contacts, stamped and formed and solid. Within each style is a separate and distinct manufacturing process that allows the widest application with any Deutsch IPD connector series.

Deutsch stamped and formed contacts are designed primarily for use where wire termination costs are of primary concern without sacrificing the reliability and maintainability of the normal operating electrical circuits. The stamped and formed contact series is made on a precision stamping machine using flat strip stock, then a durable and corrosion proof nickel plating is applied. Gold is an optional finish. All Deutsch IPD terminals protect the split socket tines with a closed entry stainless steel sleeve. The stamped and formed contact style is sold on reels.

The Deutsch solid contact series is designed for use for larger wire size and heavy duty applications. This style of contact is manufactured using a cold heading process and solid copper alloy wire. The resulting contact is a solid pin and closed entry socket contact. The standard finish is nickel, with gold plating an option. All Deutsch IPD terminals protect the split socket tines with a closed entry stainless steel sleeve. The solid style of contact is sold in bulk.

Both contact styles terminate to wire using crimp type technology. The only variations in Deutsch’s common contact systems are those dictated by wire gauge and contact style.

Common Contacts

The word “common” describes the Deutsch contact system well. It applies to either style of contact, and its related tooling, processes and terminations.

The stamped and formed style includes 7 sizes each of pin and socket contacts that terminate 12 AWG to 20 AWG (0.5 – 3.0mm2). The specific contact is determined by the outside diameter of wire insulation and conductor size. See the appropriate chart on page 8 of this manual for specific part numbers.

The solid style contact terminates wire from 6 AWG to 24 AWG (0.2 – 13.0mm2). The solid style is available in 6 sizes each of pin and socket. The applicable contact is determined by the size of
the conductor only. See the appropriate chart on page 5 of this manual for specific part numbers.

The selection of Deutsch IPD connectors insures that the contact termination system will be compatible. This reduces changes in the assembly of the wire harness. It also improves performance, reliability and maintainability. Critical functions to any electrical system. The use of a common contact system eliminates many of the failures reported in harnesses where hundreds of different terminations are used. The end result of selecting Deutsch is increased profits and long term performance.

More about Deutsch’s common contact system can be read here