A GX16 connector that does not fail

If you’re working in the weighing industry, you’ve probably come across the GX16 connector:

GX16 connector
Typical GX16 connector (male)

This circular connector is named after its M16 thread and can have up to 8 pins. While it is frequently referred to as an “aviation connector”, I sincerely hope that it is not actually used in aircraft, as I’ve seen many of these connectors fail. Their tiny screws are prone to coming loose, which renders the strain relief useless. Then it’s only a matter of time before the cable is pulled too hard and the wires detach.

What does it take to make a reliable GX16 connector?

This is the Ohaus Catapult 5000 scale:

Ohaus Catapult 5000 scale

It uses an overmolded GX16 connector to connect the platform to the indicator:

Ohaus Catapult 5000 scale indicator

We’ve sold hundreds of these scales and never had an issue with them that was caused by the connectors. This is due to the extensive work that Ohaus put into making them, as demonstrated by the photos below. Apologies for the photo quality, I didn’t take them in our photo studio and it shows.

Completely disassembled GX16 connector
Disassembly of the overmolded Ohaus Catapult 5000 GX16 connector (female) reveals that it contains a complete regular connector, including the metal backshell
The screws of the strain relief are secured with heat shrink tubing
The connector is completely filled
After removal of some material
Further material removal reveals that heat shrink sleeves were used after soldering

Further info

Which compact platform scale is the thinnest?

This article is based on an actual question asked by a potential customer*:

In the technical data of the Kern DE scale the dimensions are given as follows: 318 x 308 x 75 mm. I would like to know how high the scale is when it is standing on a straight surface, i.e. whether anything needs to be added to the 75 mm height.

Although I was not quite sure what the last sentence meant, I took the opportunity to confirm the height of the base of this scale. The Kern DE 60K10D I measured was around 77 mm high:

Kern DE scale base height

This is not much, but we sell an even thinner compact platform scale: The smallest scales in the Ohaus Catapult 5000 series are specified as 310 x 270 x 40 mm. The C51XE30R I measured was only around 42 to 43 mm thick:

Ohaus Catapult 5000 scale base height

While the base of the R-series Ohaus Catapult 5000 models is super slim, please note that the indicator is relatively bulky and that the stainless steel platform is not removable:

Ohaus Catapult 5000 R scale

Another option would be the simpler Ohaus SD scales, which are also around 42 mm high (most compact models).

Thin scales can be advantageous if you plan to integrate them into a packing table (or other type of furniture), but keep in mind that they may not be as robust and serviceable as larger platform scales.

Links to the manufacturers’ websites:

* I mentioned this so you don’t think I’m getting bored during the lockdown and just going around and measuring things.