Fischer Freedom™ FAQ

Fischer Freedom™ Series - FAQ

GENERAL
What is the Fischer Freedom™ Series?

It’s our newest product line launched in June 2018 and expanded in September 2019. It features breakthrough plug & use technology with three patent-pending innovations.

The Fischer Freedom™ Series is designed for EASE OF USE and EASE OF INTEGRATION to meet versatile requirements, particularly in terms of SWaP (Size, Weight and Power) requirements, cable management optimization, electronic network integration and wearable technology:

-  Easy cleaning – Products within this series are designed to be fully cleanable (on both the receptacle and plug sides), even in harsh outdoor environments

-  Easy mating – Designed for quick, easy mating and unmating in the field

-  Easy integration – Ideal for easy integration into fixed, portable and wearable devices for any market; Freedom connectors are available in a pre-cabled version or for direct integration into devices’ housings, making them ideal for use in applications where SWaP (Size, Weight, and Power) is critical.

The Fischer LP360™ connector in size 14 with 7 contacts for signal & power is the first product in the Freedom Series. The product line grew through a first extension in September 2019 with new features, new configurations & sizes, new materials and new active devices.

How does the Fischer Freedom™ Series serve as a “technology platform” in connectivity and application design?

The Fischer Freedom™ Series is more than a traditional product line. Thanks to its technological innovations, the Fischer Freedom™ Series serves as a versatile and modular technology platform setting new standards in usability, integration capability and versatility. It’s an innovation enabler and accelerator in both connectivity and device development, particularly in terms of SWaP (Size, Weight and Power) requirements, cable management optimization, electronic network integration and wearable technology. In September 2019, Fischer FreedomTM also expanded with active devices (USB 2.0 adaptor, LED, Rugged Flash Drive) to enable innovations in active solutions with the goal, among others, to maximize the usability, interoperability and multifunctionality of electronic devices and ecosystems. Fischer Freedom’s plug & use technology also allows what we at Fischer Connectors call a “connectivity-by-design” process. Connectivity design can (and should) take place upstream in the device design process, not downstream. With this new versatile and modular technology at hand and a large choice of solutions out of their engineering toolkit, Fischer Connectors’ customers – mainly design engineers and integrators – can now design their devices from the outset.

What is the Fischer LP360™?

The Fischer LP360™ is the first product line in the Fischer Freedom™ Series, launched by Fischer Connectors in June 2018, with three breakthrough plug & use technological innovations in mating (360-degree mating freedom), locking (sealed, blind-mate, non-magnetic quick-release locking mechanism), materials (IP68 sealing of contacts via a membrane). The current Fischer LP360™ product line includes connectors in size 14 (7 contacts for signal & power) and in size 08 (4 contacts for signal & power), in metal and plastic, as well as three active devices: a USB 2.0 adaptor, a LED and a Rugged Flash Drive. The connector’s cabled plugs and receptacles are available with a standard one-meter cable. Protective caps are also available.

Where does the Fischer LP360™ connector stem from?

The LP360™ connector was developed in conjunction with UK Prime Contractors for defense with the focus on the military market to contribute, among others, to the Soldier Modernization Program in line with the Generic Soldier Architecture (GSA). Initial signal & power requirements were 4 signal contacts for USB 2.0 and 3 contacts for power up to 5A (in size 14). The product line expanded with new features, sizes, configurations, materials and active devices in September 2019 to respond to the versatile requirements and needs of various markets such as medical, instrumentation, industrial, IoT, etc.

What are the next steps for Fischer Freedom™ in terms of product development and R&D?

To meet their customers’ versatile needs, Fischer Connectors’ R&D engineers plan to continue developing solutions that fulfill various requirements in terms of signal & power management and data protocol, contact configurations and body styles, materials, active devices, as well as cabling and wiring options. For design engineers, one of the main benefits of the Fischer Freedom™ technology platform is the integration capability of the low-profile Fischer LP360™ connector. Its panel plug can be directly integrated into the housing of any devices (e.g. the new Fischer LP360TM USB 2.0 adaptor, LED and Rugged Flash Drive – other active devices are under development). This opens up new development pathways for innovative active solutions integrated into electronic networks where power source and communications are centralized within shared data & power buses and hubs. As for the new cabled receptacle in metal, it’s a ready-to-use solution that also maximizes the usability, operability and functionality of robotic systems or smart vests, into which it can easily be integrated. These solutions are ideally used in applications for portable and body-worn “wearables”, among others, for the so-called “connected human” – a huge trend in the connectivity sector –, as well as in IoT applications.

What are the Fischer LP360™ active devices?

Three active devices are available for the moment: the Fischer LP360™ USB 2.0 adaptor is a rugged interface for any USB application; the Fischer LP360™ LED increases end users’ security, visibility and identification; the Fischer LP360™ Rugged Flash Drive offers safe data storage & transportation. The Fischer LP360™ active devices benefit from the breakthrough plug & use technology of Fischer Freedom™ (easy mating, easy cleaning, easy integration). The Fischer LP360™ panel plug being directly integrated into the device’s housing, they’re examples of innovative active solutions integrated into electronic networks where power source and communications are centralized within shared data & power buses and hubs. More active devices are under development.

Benefits: why choose the Fischer Freedom™ Series?

The new product line serves as a versatile and modular technology platform that opens the door to a new world of opportunities in both connectivity and application design. It’s ideal for applications:

  • Where cable management is an issue, in terms of rotation, cable exit direction, and space optimization
  • Needing integration into devices or garments/textiles
  • Where space and weight matter, with low-profile connectivity being an asset
  • Requiring data transfer: USB 2.0 and Ethernet
  • When performance, reliability and ruggedness are key – compliant with MIL standard in terms of temperature, vibration, wear & tear, sealing
What makes the Fischer LP360™ unique?

The Unique Selling Propositions (USPs) of the Fischer LP360™ connectors and active devices are:

Easy mating

1.  No key code: 360°mating freedom & optimized cable management

2.  Sealed, blind-mate and non-magnetic quick-release locking mechanism with pre-defined force (patent pending)

3.  Emergency release unlocking (no latching)

Fully cleanable

1.  Membrane-sealed contacts (patent pending)

2.  Surface contacts (no female cavity or protruding male contacts)

3.  IP68 sealing to 20m/24h for the connector in metal, IP67 sealing for the connector in plastic

Low profile

1.  Low profile, right-angled plug

2.  (Receptacle) Wearable integration, panel mounted OR cabled

3.  (Plug) Easy cable assembly OR direct integration into the device’s housing

APPLICATIONS & SPECIFICATIONS
Applications
Can you name specific examples of where the Fischer Freedom™ Series can be used?

•  Defense (Dismounted Soldier, Ground, Aerospace and Marine applications, such as radios & communication equipment, tactical vests, virtual training systems, vehicles communication, target acquisition systems, exoskeletons, robotics, etc.)

•  Medical (Interventional & Surgical / Diagnostic & Imaging / Monitoring & Therapeutic applications, such as MRI, CT scanners, ultrasound, robotic surgery, dental applications, heart-lung support systems, surgical headlights, body-worn patient monitoring systems, hearing aids, portable monitoring systems, exoskeletons, etc.)

•  Instrumentation (Automation / Laboratory Technology / Test & Measurement / Process Instrumentation & Control applications, such as test & measurement devices, robotic production & condition monitoring, chemical analysis equipment, spectrometers, electron microscopes, calibration systems, vibration testing devices, thermal sensors and cameras, AR/VR devices, etc.) 

•  Industrial (robots & cobots, workers’ vests, scanning arms, exoskeletons/exovests, warming equipment, sensor integration, etc.)

•  Robotics (cobots, robots, robotic arms, exoskeletons, prosthetic aids, entertainment robots, etc.)

•  Wearables (smart garments, sensor integration, etc.)

•  Motorsports (helmets, removable steering wheels, crash test dummies)

Can you mention a success story from a Fischer Connectors customer whose application uses the Fischer Freedom™ Series?

Piletest, a leader in rugged instrumentation applications, collaborated with Fischer Connectors in 2018 to provide reliable connectivity for integrity test instruments for piles used in building foundations. The project’s key challenge was to replace the connector initially used in the Pile Echo Tester (PET) that Piletest had developed for “pulse echo testing” or “low strain testing” in harsh environments. The connector was not rugged enough and broke under heavy outdoor use by technicians. The new version of PET now uses the Fischer FreedomTM Series chosen by Piletest for its durability (10,000 mating cycles) and the 90-degree low profile of the Fischer LP360™ 7-pin connector, which matched their key requirements for ruggedness, ergonomic design and ease of use. More information on this success story on our website.

Body Styles
Which body styles do you offer?

We offer panel/fabric-mounted receptacles, cabled and panel plugs, and various active devices, such as flash drives, LEDs, and USB 2.0 adaptors. We’re currently developing new solutions (see question above “What are the next steps for Fischer Freedom™ in terms of product development and R&D?”) and always open to custom requests.

Cables
Is the Fischer LP360™ connector cabled?

The LP360™ plug is available as a panel or cabled plug. The cabled plug is either:

•  a single-ended plug with a one-meter cable

•  or a double-ended plug with a 2.5m cable

The LP360™ receptacle is available as a panel receptacle in size 14 (in metal) and size 08 (in metal and plastic), as well as (among the product extensions from September 2019) a cabled receptacle – a ready-to-use solution for wearables, for example.

Cable colors are black and tan.

Custom cable assemblies are possible, so please enquire to the Fischer Connectors’ Custom Projects Team.

Can I buy the components and build my own cable assemblies?

If a customer needs a different cabled solution (different cable, length or termination on the other side, this is possible via a standard custom project request (business case).

For strategic customers, we can assess the feasibility of producing their own cable assembly based on their submission of a detailed business case.

Will any other standard lengths of cable be available in the future?

Further standard cable assembly lengths are not planned, cf. question and answer mentioned above. Of course, different cable assembly lengths are available upon request.

Will there be a wire-to-wire cable version of the plastic version?

We’ll continue to develop and expand the Freedom Series and the LP360™ in accordance with our roadmap. Specific requests may be available – please enquire to the Fischer Connectors’ Custom Projects Team.

Caps
Does the LP360™ come with protective caps? How are they secured?

No. The LP360™ connector doesn’t come with protective caps, but these are available. They can be ordered separately. Protective caps are attached to the connector via a lanyard and secured by friction. The LP360™ Rugged Flash Drive’s protective cap is included in the order.

Contacts /Pins
Which number of contacts are available for the LP360™?

We offer 7 or 4 contacts for signal & power. Specific requests can be handled via custom projects, but only for significant volume business.

Data Protocols
Is the LP360™ connector USB 2.0 or USB 3.0 compatible?

The pre-cabled LP360™ connector is USB 2.0 compliant. Due to its special design, the LP360™ isn’t USB 3.0 compliant. Should you need USB 3.0, we recommend the Fischer MiniMax™ Series, which has a dedicated USB 3.0 variant.

More information on the Fischer Freedom™ Series’ data protocols is available in our Technical Specifications.

Drawing
Do you have a top-level drawing available?

Yes. The LP360™ drawings and relevant information are available in our Technical Specifications. The relevant 3D models are available to download from 3DCC and Traceparts.

Do you have a pin layout of the LP360™ connector?

The pin layout for the LP360™ is available in our Technical Specifications.

Are 3D models available?

The Fischer LP360™ 3D models are available for download from the 3DCC and Traceparts websites.

Locking
Does the LP360™ connector lock in place?

Yes, by quick-release mechanism and pre-defined forces set by special ogive-shaped elements in stainless steel positioned on the inner diameter of the plug body.

Is the locking magnetic?

No. The LP360™ features a non-magnetic locking mechanism. As a benefit, it means no debris attracted to the connectors, and no interference with close-by magnetic sensors.

Rotation
Is the LP360™ designed for rotating applications?

The LP360™ has NOT been designed as a continuous rotatable connector, but it has been tested to 5,000 rotations (7-pin and 4-pin connector in metal; 2,500 rotations for the 4-pin connector in plastic), as it needs to withstand some movement / rotation that may naturally occur depending on the application. Contact our technical support to discuss suitability for specific applications.

Can the LP360™ carry current while rotating?

Yes. The rotation won’t affect the flow of current/signal (also see above info on suitability for rotating applications).

Materials
Plastic
What type of plastic is used for the Fischer LP360™ connector’s housing?

It’s a high-end composite based on PEEK.

Is the plastic version also sealed?

Yes. The plastic version of the LP360™ 4-pin connector is IP67 mated and unmated. IP68 sealing mated is under development.

How do you connect the shielding on the plastic version?

The LP360™ 4-pin connector in plastic is currently not shielded. A shielded solution is under development.

What are the main benefits of the new Fischer LP360™ 4-pin plastic connector compared with the metal version?

The Fischer LP360™ 4-pin plastic connector in size 08, launched in September 2019, is a smaller and more lightweight solution with high quality and durability standards. Made of a high-end composite based on PEEK, it’s IP67 sealed (mated and unmated) and endures min. 5,000 mating cycles and 2,500 full rotations. Up to 70% lighter than the 7-pin connector in metal, it’s ideal for use in applications where size and weight optimization is paramount, for markets such as medical (surgical headlamps), defense (headsets, sensors), instrumentation (outdoor plastic instruments), wearables and industrial IoT (body monitoring).

Metal
What type of metal is used for the Fischer LP360™ connector’s housing?

Stainless steel 316L is used as the primary material.

What plating do you use?

We use anthracite nickel for the plating of the LP360™ 7-pin plug. The receptacle is made of passivated stainless steel without any additional plating.

Testing & reliability
What can the LP360™ connector withstand? Does it pass vibration, corrosion, salt-mist tests? Do you have test results?

The LP360™ connector has been qualified and tested according to international industry and military standards, such as IEC, EIA, MIL-STD-202, MIL-STD-810 with rigorous electrical, mechanical and environmental testing.

Videos of some of the main tests & proofs conducted on the 7-pin connector are available on our website at https://www.fischerconnectors.com/global/en/fischer-freedomtm-series-tests-proofs: endurance, bending (flexing), random vibration, immersion, IP68 degree of protection, field cleaning, corrosion resistance, high and low temperatures.

More information on relevant tests:

-  Technical Specifications

-  Test results are available upon request (contact Technical Support).

Has the LP360™ been tested according to MIL specifications?

The LP360™ connector has been qualified and tested according to international industry and military standards, such as IEC, EIA, MIL-STD-202, MIL-STD-810 with rigorous electrical, mechanical and environmental testing. 

Do you have any MIL-Spec 810 test data that you can share?

The LP360™ connector has been tested in accordance to MIL-STD-810. Performance results are indicated in the Technical Specifications.

Detailed test reports are available upon request (contact Technical Support). 

Temperature
What is the operating temperature? Can it be increased? Can it withstand steam autoclave?

The operating temperature of the LP360™ connectors in metal has been qualified and tested from -55°C to +135°C, that of the connector in plastic and of the active devices from -40°C to +85°C. If a higher or lower operating temperature is required, please enquire to the Fischer Connectors’ Custom Projects Team.