Deutsch Compatible Connectors

Deutsch Compatible Connectors

What are Deutsch Connectors?

Deutsch connectors are the common name for the most popular type of waterproof multi-pin connector found on boats today.  They are known for reliability and endurance under the extreme conditions of the marine environment.  This style is made by a number of manufacturers (some quality and some less-so) that are interchangeable and compatible with each other.  We carry Amphenol brand, which are well known for mil-spec and audio connectors and known for their quality.

Deutsch connectors are the common name for the most popular type of waterproof multi-pin connector found on boats today. Read More They are known for reliability and endurance under the extreme conditions of the marine environment.  This style is made by a number of manufacturers (some quality and some less-so) that are interchangeable and compatible with each other.  We carry Amphenol brand, which are well known for mil-spec and audio connectors and known for their quality. Read Less

AT/DT Plugs/Wedgelocks

  • Used for smaller loads - Rated up to 13A
  • Fits size 16 sockets
  • Generally uses 18-14 AWG wire
  • Offered in 12, 8, 6, 4, 3, and 2-way options
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AT/DT Receptacles/Wedgelocks

  • Used for smaller loads - Rated up to 13A
  • Fits size 16 pins
  • Generally uses 18-14 AWG wire
  • Offered in 12, 8, 6, 4, 3, and 2-way options
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ATP/DTP Plugs/Wedgelocks

  • Used for larger loads - Rated up to 25A
  • Fits size 12 sockets
  • Generally uses 14-10 AWG wire
  • Offered in 6, 4, and 2-way options
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ATP/DTP Receptacles/Wedgelocks

  • Used for larger loads - Rated up to 25A
  • Fits size 12 pins
  • Generally uses 14-10 AWG wire
  • Offered in 6, 4, and 2-way options
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AT/DT/ATP/DTP Terminals

Marine-grade pins, sockets, and seal plug for use with AT/DT/ATP/DTP Connectors.

AT/DT connectors fit size 16 contacts; ATP/DTP connectors fit size 12.

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All about

Deutsch Compatible Connectors

Why are they used?

Deutsch or Amphenol connectors are used on boats for a variety of applications.  For example, when you need to regularly unplug and re-plug a wire in.  Or in a case where you want to connect two electrical panels together, but they are on opposite sides of a wall or bulkhead.  Deutsch connectors are also used when you want to be able to quickly swap a component on a wiring harness.

The Deutsch connectors are popular in marine environments due to their waterproof properties and resistance to harsh conditions. They are designed to withstand exposure to saltwater, extreme temperatures, and other harsh conditions typically found in boating and marine applications.

Where would you find them on your boat?

Typically you would find a Deutsch connector inside your console, behind the switch panel, or connecting one of your devices (like a bilge pump) to the wiring harness.  You may also find them connecting a switch or dash panel on the front, with an interior bulkhead mounted circuit breaker panel.

What Parts Make up a Deutsch Connector?

There are several parts needed to make up a working Deutsch connector.  First is the housing, this is the large grey (usually) part.  Next you’ll need a wedgelock.  This is green or orange, and it holds the pins or sockets into the housing in the correct position and prevents them from pulling out by the wire.  To make the electrical connection, you’ll need either pins or sockets, and if there are any empty spots in your Deutsch connector (where wires do not enter), you’ll need one more part… a hole seal.  This will seal the empty hole to maintain the waterproof seal of the connector.

So the parts list is:

  • Housing
  • Wedgelock
  • Pins or sockets
  • Hole seal (if all the cavities are not filled with pins or sockets)

Each Deutsch connector WILL need a wedgelock, and only one wedgelock will work.  We clearly show the required wedgelock with each housing.  On the other hand, a housing MAY accept different pin part number based on the gauge of the wire being used.

How do I know which contact type I need (pin or sockets)?

There are two types of contacts, and each connector housing can only accept one:  either a pin or a socket.  Receptacles require pins, plugs require sockets.  As you may have guessed, pins are the male part that goes into the socket when the plug and receptacle are pressed together, making the electrical connection.  It is typical to put the side providing the power (the 12V+ side) on the socket side, but you’ll find this is a loose rule and not always the case.

Each Deutsch connector has a specific size contact as well.  The common contact sizes are 16 and 12 (8 and 4 are larger contact sizes).  Both pins and sockets can be size 16 or 12, and a size 16 pin will only make with a size 16 socket, etc.

How do I know what size pin or socket I need?

It’s easy to know what contact size you need:

  1. DT series connectors require size 16 contacts.
  2. DTP series connectors require size 12 contacts.

It’s important to note the current rating of each contact size.  Size 16 contacts are rated up to 13A, and size 12 contacts up to 25A.

What is the difference between DT and DTP connectors?

The choice to use DT or DTP is all about current rating.  DT connectors fit size 16 contacts rated for 13A each, and DTP connectors fit size 12 contacts rated for 25A each.

DT series connectors are used for smaller loads, generally 18 – 14 gauge wire with circuit protection 10A and under.

DTP connectors are used on larger loads, generally 14 – 10 gauge wire with circuit protection between 10A and 25A.

Note also that DT connectors are available larger… we carry up to 12 cavity DT connectors, while DTP’s are only made with up to 6 cavities.

What tools are required to assemble Deutsch Connectors?

There are specialty tools required to crimp DT pins and sockets onto the wires, and to remove pins from the housings after they have been installed.  DT crimp tools come in a variety of features, and associated costs, and the nice ones can be quite expensive ($300+).  There are different tools required to crimp stamped contacts and solid contacts.  We carry solid contacts, and there are inexpensive off-brand tools available that will crimp these contacts.  Please Contact Us if you need us to recommend a tool.  At this time we do not carry them ourselves.

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