DIN cables are a type of electrical cable used in a wide range of applications, allowing various devices and equipment to be easily connected. DIN cables that feature a DIN connector allow them to plug into a compatible interface.
How do DIN cables work?
DIN cables commonly consist of a wire with a DIN connector attached. These connectors often feature a protective metal skirt that contains several straight round pins. The skirt is placed specifically to allow the plug to be inserted in only one orientation to prevent damage to the pins. Then, the DIN connector is plugged into an interface to ensure a secure connection. An example of an interface used would be two different controllers, a mouse and computer and inbound/outbound audio devices.
Where are DIN cables used?
DIN cables have been used for many years and were once the commonly accepted cable standard for a wide range of electrical devices. Depending on the pattern and number of pins will determine which kind of application the cable will be suitable for. DIN cables are often used to connect devices such as:
- MIDI interface with instruments
- Controllers and radio-controlled appliances
Types of DIN Cables and Assemblies
There are a range of DIN cables available, each with different pin profiles to suit various applications. The three most common types include:
- Five-pin DIN cables feature five pins arranged in a circular pattern. This type of connector was commonly used for older AT-style computer keyboards.
- Six-pin mini DIN is most commonly used to connect a mouse or keyboard to a computer.
- Eight-pin DIN has eight pins arranged in three rows and is typically used in portable video devices.
Are DIN Cables the Same as XLR Cables?
Although similar in appearance, DIN cables and XLR cables have distinct features and are each best suited to different applications. DIN cables are commonly used to support an interface that is single ended, whereas XLR support a balanced interface. In an audio-based application, DIN cables are ideal for carrying a signal to both left and right channels, whereas an XLR will carry to right or left channel only.