Pepperl+Fuchs Blog

Do I Need a Cordset for My Sensor?

Posted by Tracy Molnar on Fri, May 03, 2013

Different sensor connection types

Electronic sensors require connection in order to receive their power and transmit their output.  A connection diagram, included on the sensor’s datasheet and often printed on the device if room allows, labels each available connection point. 

Do you need a cordset for your sensor?Although it’s understood that this connection is made using wires, there are at least three physical ways that wiring can be accomplished:

  • One common connection type for many sensors, especially those with larger housings, is a terminal compartment.  Wires or a multi-conductor cable are brought into the terminal compartment through an opening in the sensor housing and connected to the required terminals.
  • Another common connection type is a cable that is built into the sensor housing during production.  Standard length for an integrated cable connection is two meters, and the cable will contain as many conductors as are shown on the connection diagram.  The end of the cable opposite the sensor is typically unterminated, flying leads.
  • The third connection type, which is the focus of this post, is a circular connector, either integrated into the sensor housing in much the same way as the built-in cable option (sometimes with a short cable between the housing and connector), or prewired into a terminal compartment.  In fact, many sensors with terminal compartment connection are available with a prewired connector added, and many cabled sensor models are available in a connector version.  Sensors with connectors are popular because if they are damaged during use and need to be replaced, it’s a simple process to remove them and connect the new sensor – all it takes is a few turns of the cordset coupling nut.  Such sensors are often referred to as “quick-disconnect” models.

Which connector does my sensor have?

If you have a sensor with a connector, or are planning to use one in your application, you will require a cordset for wiring of power and output.  The sensor includes the male connector with pin contacts, and the cordset includes the female connector with socket contacts.  To determine which cordset your sensor uses, you’ll need to know which connector it has.  Connectors differ in several important ways: thread size, number and arrangement of pins, and the inclusion of one or more keys.

So how do you know which connector your sensor has, in order to select the proper cordset for it?  If you are in physical possession of the sensor, you can look at the connector, but it’s best to also verify what you see by consulting the sensor datasheet.  In a Pepperl+Fuchs datasheet, the connection type is described under Mechanical Specifications >> Connection. 

Many datasheets also include a view of the male connector pinout.  Similarly, a view of the female connector pinout appears on the cordset datasheet.  When matching up connector pinouts (sensor to cordset), remember that they will always be mirror images of one another.

Sensor model numbers usually include a reference to the connector type, often near or at the end of the model number.  For most sensors the reference will begin with the letter V, followed by one or more numbers, but for some photoelectric models (which use a different nomenclature) the connector is referenced as an option number proceeded by a forward slash (/).

Connector types

Standard circular connectors have one of four different thread types, and within those types, there are a variety of pin configurations.  All types, except M8, will include one or more keys, which help to ensure proper connector alignment.  The connector pinouts pictured below show the female (cordset) end view.


Common names: DC Micro, Euro
Typical use: DC-operated and NAMUR-output sensors
Pinout configuration: For 3-, 4-, or 5-pin connection, there’s a single key with four pins arranged in a square and one pin in the center.  For an 8-pin connection, there are 7 pins and a key arranged in a circle, with the 8th pin in the center.
Model number references:

V1 connector diagram

V1 (option /72, /92, /118, /115b, or /159) – the V1 cordset typically has four conductors, even though the sensor may use only two or three for connection.  An exception is NAMUR cordsets (designated by -N in the model number), which have only two conductors (connected to pins 1 and 2) 

 V11 connector diagram

 V11 – a cordset with this connector has 3 conductors

 V15 connector diagram

 V15 (option /105 or /124) – the V15 cordset has five conductors

 V17 or V19 connector diagram

 V17 and V19 (option /151) – both connectors have an 8-pin configuration, but the V19 cordset has 8 conductors, while the V17 cordset has 7 conductors and a shield connection on pin 8






















Common names: Nano, Pico
Typical use: DC-operated sensors
Pinout configuration: The 3-pin connector has no key and pins arranged as three corners of a square.  The 4-pin connector has no key and pins arranged as the four corners of a trapezoid.
Model number references:

V3 connector diagram

 V3 (option /98 or /156) – the V3 cordset has three conductors

 V31 connector diagram

 V31 (option /95, /115a, or /143) – the V31 cordset has four conductors










7/8 in. -16

Common name: Mini
Typical use: AC- or AC/DC-operated sensors
Pinout configuration: All mini-style connectors have a single key and either three pins arranged in a triangle, four pins arranged in a square, or five pins arranged in a circle around the key.
Model number references:

V93 connector diagram

 V93 – the V93 cordset has three conductors 

 V94 connector diagram

 V94 (option /168) – the V94 cordset has four conductors

 V95 connector diagram

 V95 (option /135 or /135a) – the V95 cordset has five conductors

1/2 in. -20

Common name: AC Micro
Typical use: AC- or AC/DC-operated sensors
Pinout configuration: AC micro connectors have two keys and either three pins arranged in a triangle or four pins arranged in a square.
Model number references:

 V12 connector diagram

V12 – the V12 cordset has three conductors

 V124 connector diagram

 V124 (option /166) – the V124 cordset has four conductors

Connector and cordset nomenclature

Although special-use cordsets are available, we will concentrate here on the most common configurations of those that are single-ended – a female connector at the end that attaches to the sensor, and flying leads at the opposite end for wiring power and output.  The connector may be either straight or include a 90-degree angle.  The cable is available in a variety of colors and jacket materials, in standard lengths of 2, 5, and 10 meters.  As an additional option, the conductors may be enclosed in a braided copper shield.

Example model numbers:   

Cordset model numbers begin with the connector type, which is assumed to be female.  (When male versions are available, the connector type is followed by an S, for example V1S-.)

The next character or characters describe the connector.  Common examples are G for a straight connector or W for an angled one.  M8 cordsets (V3 and V31) follow that character with either an M for a metal coupling nut, or R for a snap-on type connector with no threaded nut.  Connectors with a stainless steel coupling nut will indicate this feature with the designation V4A.

After the connector portion of the model number, the cable is described as follows: color and length, jacket material, and any additional options.  Common examples are listed below.  Note that if no color is specified, the cable is gray (unless it’s a NAMUR type, indicated by -N in the model number, and then the cable is blue).

  • Colors: BK (black), YE (yellow), OR (orange)
  • Lengths: 2M (2 meters), 5M (5 meters), 10M (10 meters)
  • Materials: PVC, PUR, PUR H/S (irradiated PUR), POC (resists weld slag), STOOW (heavy-duty), PP (ECOLAB-certified)
  • Options: ABG (braided copper shield), U (UL recognized/marked)


Questions about Cordsets & Connectors?  Get the Quick Select Product Guide

Topics: Cables/ Cordsets, Sensor Accessories

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