PC/104 Connectors


PC/104 and PC/104-Plus

Simply stack it - with ept press-fit technology

PC/104 is a standard for PC-compatible modules which are intermateable to set up a complete computing system.


PC/104 is an embedded computer standard defined by its compact footprint and its stacking bus structure. In essence, PC/104 boardPC/104 is a modular, ruggedized version of the PC. Instead of using a backplane, PC/104 modules mate together via stackable ISA, PCI, and PCIe bus connectors. The stackable connectors and asymmetric corner mounting holes create a compact and modular rugged system.
The design and location of the PC/104 connectors (ISA, PCI, and PCIe) allow PC/104 modules to be connected or stacked like building blocks. A PC/104 stack might include a CPU (single board computer), a power supply module, and peripheral modules such as data collection modules, network modules, or storage devices. Modules within a PC/104 stack are joined by stand-offs.
PC/104 is inherently rugged. A small footprint and corner mounting holes ensure minimum PCB (printed circuit board) flex in high-vibration scenarios. PC/104 modules offer highly powerful computer processing and data-collection capabilities.The PC/104 ensures complete hardware and software compatibility, is extremely compact (96 mm x 90 mm), and comes with a standardized PC/104 Bus (ISA). Due to this standardisation, different PC/104 cards can be combined to implement a defined task. The older standard PC/104 bus uses the PC/XT, and PCAT card specification (IEEE P996). PC/104-Plus allows the addition of the PCI bus onto the card. The PC/104-Plus adds another connector to accommodate the PCI signals. In other words a PC104 card is just like the old Personal Computer PC-XT interface card, or PC-AT interface card, and the PC104-Plus board is just like an older mother board with ISA slots and PCI slots. This latter standard is widely used for embedded computing application


  • Complete single-board computers
  • I/O boards for digital or analog I/O
  • Boards for CAN, Profibus, LON,Ethernet
  • PCMCIA boards


Since more powerful components are available, the PC/104 systems had to be supplemented with a faster bus system. The PC/104 system was supplemented with the PCI bus and thus it was further developed. This supplement is described in the PC/104-Plus specification.

While the PC/104 bus comprises two connectors with 40 and 64 pins which can be placed side-by-side and a grid size of 2.54 mm, the PC/104-Plus features 120 pins with a distance of 2.00 mm. By using connectors with long press-fit pins, several boards can be stacked on top of each other. The clearances specified by the PC/104 consortium are ensured by using spacers and shrouds. The additional use of spacing bolts is therefore not required.

Historically, all long tail PC/104 connectors required a through hole solder application. While many through hole components may be hand or wave soldered, this is extremely difficult and time-consuming for the 104 gold-plated connector pins. Solder pre-form donuts or solder and flux bearing clips allow for improvements in the soldering process by eliminating the hand soldering operation; they do, however, still require a high temperature IR or hand solder process and close visual inspection.

The superior option for applying a long tail stack-through connector is with compliant pin technology. Adopted by the telecom industry many years ago, press fit technology has proven itself to be a cost-effective alternative to soldering connectors to a board. The compliant pins on the connector are designed to deform during the "press-in" process, resulting in an extremely tight and reliable connection to the PCB. Extensive laboratory testing and years of field operation have proven press fit connector reliability in demanding environments. Pressfit connector technology using compliant press-in zones on every pin has revolutionized the way PCB manufacturers mate connectors to PCBs of all kinds. It is the simplicity of applying the connector to the board, and the superior mechanical holding ability, which makes pressfit connectors a cost effective replacement for soldering.

The pressfit advantage:

* Proven reliability in environmental testing where temperature changes, shock, and vibration weaken solder joints

* Constant and defined impedance across all positions (excellent high frequency properties)

* Compensation for plated through hole irregularities

* No thermal stresses on the PCB

* No chance of fumes, gases, flux residue or solvents penetrating the solder joint

* No risk of cold solder joints

* No risk of shorts as a result of solder bridging

* No risk of solder interference on long tail connectors

* Fast and reliable application of the connector to the board with simple, flat rock insertion tools

* Serviceable and replaceable single contacts and whole connectors

Key Features


Blue Bullet PC/104 and PC/104-Plus Embedded Consortium Member
Blue Bullet Press-fit compliant pin which compresses as a result of insertion into the PCB 'through hole'
Blue Bullet Male and Female connectors can be pressed in with the same ept press-fit tool in one single step ~ offering significant time-savings in production.
Blue Bullet No complex manual soldering ~ lower labour costs
Blue Bullet No reworking at the rear mating zone (solder bridges, solder splashes)
Blue Bullet

Female connectors can be mounted cost-effectively due to flat rock technology.

Blue Bullet Lower engaging and seperating forces so bending of the rear mating zone is prevented
Blue Bullet VarPol straight pin headers, female connectors and sockets
Blue Bullet

Within the scope of PC/104 and PC/104-Plus applications, ept can offer customer-specific solutions with 2.0 mm and 2.54 mm grid.

Blue Bullet Press-fit tooling and machines


Blue Bullet Insulator - PBT, UL94V-0
Blue Bullet Contact - Copper alloy
Blue Bullet Contact surface plating - Gold over Nickel
Blue Bullet

PC/104 max. 1.9A 1.5A max. 

  PC/104-Plus 1.7A max.  

Socket connectors max. 1.0A

Blue Bullet

Working Voltage: PC/104 = 150 V   

  PC/104-Plus = 100 V   

Socket connectors = 100 V

Blue Bullet Contact Resistance - <20m Ohm
Blue Bullet Insulation Resistance - > 106
Blue Bullet

Insertion and withdrawal force (per contact): PC/104 Insertion 0.9N max. Separating 0.6N  

  PC/104-Plus Insertion 1.5N max. Separating 0.3N    

Socket connectors Insertion 1.8N max. Separating 1.0N

Blue Bullet Press-Fit insertion force/pin - max. 80N
Blue Bullet Operating Temperature - -55C to +125C
Blue Bullet PC/104
Blue Bullet PC/104-Plus
Blue Bullet PC/104-Plus straight headers
Blue Bullet PC/104 shrouds
Blue Bullet VarPol-PC/ 104 female connector in FlatRock press-fit construction.
Blue Bullet VarPol Angled pin header
Blue Bullet VarPol straight pin header
Blue Bullet Socket connector
Blue Bullet

The ept press-fit sections - solid and compliant pins - meet the requirements of the DlN 41612 Part 5 and IEC 352-5 specifications. Printed Circuit Card through holes must meet these specification for press-fit insertion of pins.


PC/104 connectors are now available in pressfit versions in long and short tail. This allows for fast and simple insertion of the connectors into the finished boards, without any risk of uneven solder flow or contamination to the gold tails of the connectors.

Fast and simple insertion of the connector into the through hole is accomplished by means of a flat rock tool and a simple bottom support fixture mounted on a hand press. The entire press-in process takes less then five seconds, with all positions maintaining equal resistance across the hole. Another added benefit of pressfit connectors is the ability to rework the board by pressing the connector in a reverse process, allowing a replacement connector to be inserted. The innovative 'ept' PC 104+ pressfit-style connector is a revolutionary concept in the PC/104 market.

'ept' now offers the VarPol-PC/104 female connector in FlatRock press-fit construction. This connector was developed for the stacking of PCBs (Piggyback, Sandwich) and is particularly well suited for use in PC/104 modules. These connectors are available in the J1 and J2 variation with 2x32 and 2x20 pins. They can be obtained with short or long pins according to the PC/104 standard. VarPol connectors offer a wide range of possibilities for embedded PCB connection solutions.


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