DIN Connector

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What Does DIN Connector Mean?

A DIN connector encompasses several types of cables that plug into an interface to connect devices. It has an architecture that is composed of multiple pins that are within a protective circular sheath. Typically, a full-sized DIN connector has three to 14 pins with a diameter of 13.2 millimeters.


The DIN connector was initially standardized by the Deutsches Institut für Normung (DIN), the organization for the German national standards. DIN standards pertain to various DIN connectors. The term DIN connector does not refer to a specific cable but entails all connectors that meet the DIN standard.

In computer electronics, the DIN connector is referred to as a circular connector that is DIN standardized and used for digital interfaces like the musical instrument digital interface (MIDI), the IBM AT computer keyboard or mouse, and in analog video architectures. Original DIN standards for older connectors are no longer in print and have been supplanted with the corresponding international standard IEC 60130-9.

Techopedia Explains DIN Connector

A DIN connector is a type of electronic cable that was widely accepted as the standard for many years and for various applications. It is comprised of a protective metal skirt that contains straight round pins. The skirt is strategically keyed to allow the plug to be inserted correctly and to prevent damage to the pins. However, keying is uniformed in all original DIN connectors and can be accident ly connected to the wrong mate, which may cause damage. The introduction of the Mini-DIN prevented possible misconnections.

There are seven familiar patterns with three to eight pins with different five-pin connectors: 180°and 240° or 270°. The 180° five-pin connector was sometimes used to connect a stereo recorder to an amplifier using four of the pins for a connection and one to ground. This was sometimes called a DIN cord, DIN lead or DIN cable.

The 3/180° and 5/180° connectors were originally designed to connect analog audio equipment such as stereo tape recorders to amplifiers or preamplifiers using four pins to connect and one to ground the system. The cable has a connection on both ends with each pin matching up to the other pin.

The 5/180° connectors are normally used for various applications like:

  • Control interface for antenna line devices
  • Serial ports in the original Apple IIc computer
  • MIDI interface for electronic musical instruments
  • DIN sync interface for electronic musical instruments
  • Connecting two controllers for radio controlled model aircraft
  • Audio equipment such as the original HME wireless communicators and inbound/outbound audio for drive-through restaurants
  • Keyboard and mouse connectors for the original IBM PC and IBM Personal Computer

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Margaret Rouse
Senior Editor
Margaret Rouse
Senior Editor

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.