USB (48 MHz) connector - can I use a plastic housing?



I am designing a product that needs a USB connection to a PC.

The case is made from ABS and has some connectors already decided, they are plastic quick connect types like this, in different colours and pin counts.

I just have the USB connector to go.

I can either go for this type:

which is obviously a standard USB mini connector.

  1. standard USB connector means a standard USB cable can be used
  2. includes shielding against EMI


  1. Milling the enclosure requires high precision and the PCB must be slid sideways during assembly
  2. The connector needs to be fitted onto a tiny PCB and connected to the main PCB using a cable (FFC with ground between each wire)

Alternatively I can use something like a 4-pin connector Redel like the first picture


  1. Same look as the other connectors (but different colour and pin count)
  2. Easy to mill hole in the enclosure
  3. The other connectors will use a connector board, which can then be shared if designed well


  1. Not shielded
  2. Requires a custom cable at one end (but very simple to make, solder 4 wires…this is not a volume product, and other cables need to made anyway)

What I would like to ask the community here is this: what kind of connector can be used for a 48 MHz USB signal while observing electromagnetic compatibility regulations? Does it have to be USB with shielding, or can it be an industrial 4-pin connector? If the enclosure is plastic - does it matter if the connector is metal or plastic as a metal housing won’t be electrically connected anyway?

Thanks for any insights!


Bulgin PX0443 paired with Bulgin 14192, and Bob’s your uncle.


Hi, Joseph,

Thanks for the reply!

It’s a good suggestion, but unfortunately there are some issues with it. Firstly the connector is too large. I have tried it, and I had to cut the PX0443 down top and bottom in order to fit into the case. Second the mating cable only comes in 2 meters, which is really long for my need. It’s impossible to source a good looking and reliable type A connectors. Only over-moulded connectors work properly and look good. And the PX0443 is just too ugly to use with a regular mini USB cable…

I did try another alternative USB connector from Amphenol. The connector fit, but they don’t even supply the type A connector on their cable…

I think I have found an acceptable solution, though:

Still, I’d love to hear from someone if 48MHz USB can be transferred through an unshielded, plastic connector :smile: