Neutrik Releases New "True Outdoor Protection" (TOP) UV Resistant Connectors

Table of Contents:

What is Neutrik TOP?

Neutrik recently launched the new TOP (True Outdoor Protection) connector series specifically designed for outdoor applications. These connectors can resist harsh weather conditions, such as rain, snow, dust, dirt and sunlight. Currently the etherCON, powerCON TRUE1, and XLR 3 and 5 pole product ranges will benefit from the new TOP series features. In this article, we will tell you a bit more about the important features and key takeaways of the TOP Series. Hold tight!

Didn’t Neutrik already have outdoor connectors?

Well, yes and no. You see, Neutrik already manufactures some connectors which were, to a certain degree, resistant to weather conditions. Take a look at Neutrik’s NAC3MX-W powerCON TRUE1 for example. It features an IP65 rating, meaning it is protected against water jets from any angle. However, Neutrik’s standard connectors are not protected against prolonged outdoor exposure and sunlight.

In reaction to pressing market demands, Neutrik decided to take its connectors’ quality up a notch with the TOP series. In addition to being IP certified, they also passed the tests for the UL50E certification. The two standards are similar in terms of definition, criteria, and testing, but in order to comply with the UL50E standard one need pass the UV tests.

What does IP65 mean?

IP stands for Ingress Protection. These two letters are always associated with two numbers to indicate the level of protection of a material against solid objects and water.

  • The first number is an indication of how well protected is a material against solid objects, such as hands, fingers, a wire or dust. “6” is the highest value in this category. While “5” protects against dust just enough as to avoid potential harm, 6 completely isolates the material from the ingress of dust.
  • The second number is there to tell you how well protected a product is from water. The values can vary between 1 and 9. The TOP series has a water protection of “5”. Basically, this means that it’ll withstand long heavy rain showers.

What is the effect of UV on connectors?

The TOP series’ biggest improvement is undoubtedly its protection from UVs. But why is UV resistance so crucial for connectors, you ask? Let’s answer this question before moving on to the products.

Contrary to the IP standard, UL50E requires a thermoplastic material (think water bottles made of plastic) to be tested against Ultra-Violets. Indeed, if you let connectors for a considerable amount of time exposed to sunlight, you will notice that their material becomes malformed due to the nature of thermoplastics. The latter can be exposed to heat or ultra-violets without melting, but over a period of time the material will degrade and the connector will lose its mechanical protection properties. Now we know why testing against UVs is important.

Which products are concerned?

We will now take a closer look at the different products which have recently promoted to the TOP series. It is important to note that some products will be discontinued and thus replaced with the new TOP editions. Neutrik decided to convert its most popular connectors into TOP connectors. This includes the etherCON, powerCON TRUE1, and XLR product ranges.

etherCON TOP – Chassis Connectors

  • Discontinued: The etherCON SE versions (NE8FDP-SE, NE8FDV-SE and NE8FDH-C5E-SE) are discontinued and will be replaced by the following etherCON TOP receptacles: NE8FDP-TOP, NE8FDV-TOP and NE8FDH-C5E-TOP.
  • Assembly Kit: It is possible to convert existing etherCON types into TOP versions using Neutrik’s SE8FD-TOP assembly kit.
  • Mounting Screws (E-SCREW-1-12SS) : All etherCON TOP chassis packages include stainless steel mounting screws.

Neutrik NE8FDH-C5E-TOP

etherCON TOP – Cable Connectors

Neutrik NE8MX-TOP
  • NE8MX-TOP for Outdoor Use: True Outdoor Protection cable connector carrier. RJ45 plug nog included, compatible with most standard RJ45 plugs.
  • Note that the etherCON TOP cable connector carrier cannot be used for retrofit assemblies. In other words, it can’t be placed on an existing RJ45 connector. Assembly must begin from scratch.

powerCON TRUE1 TOP – Chassis Connectors

  • Discontinued: The new powerCON TRUE1 TOP series will be replacing all powerCON TRUE1 connectors, both in their cable and chassis editions. Like other TOP connectors, they benefit from the same outdoor protection features and meet the conditions required by the NEMA 250 and UL50E certification requirements. NEMA 250 is yet again another standard set of rules defining the protection of enclosed equipment against specific environmental conditions.
  • How to achieve True Outdoor Protection: powerCON TRUE1 TOP chassis connectors, namely NAC3MPX*, FPX*, PX-TOP, are now resistant to harsh weather conditions. It should be noted though that in order to fully take advantage of the outdoor protection, chassis connectors must be used in pair with their rubber sealing covers: SCNAC-PX, SCNAC-FPX, or SCNAC-MPX. This is not required for indoor applications.
  • SCNAC-PX / SCNAC-MPX / SCNAC-FPXThe powerCON rubber sealing covers stay unchanged and still meet the UL50E / NEMA 250 enclosure type 4 rating. Please note that, in the unmated condition , the chassis connectors must be equipped with the covers to be fully protected in unfavorable weather environments.
Field Applications
Power inlet and outlet connector
Daisy-chain capable (inlet/outlet combo)
Chassis without insulation dividers for OEM
Chassis with screw terminations

powerCON TRUE1 TOP – Cable Connectors

Neutrik NAC3FX-W-TOP
  • NAC3FX-W-TOP / NAC3MX-W-TOP: These are the new versions of the powerCON cable connectors. They distinguish themselves by their black design and silver-colored latch lever.
  • Enhanced latch design: Not only are the new powerCON cable connectors protected against rough weather conditions, they also highlight an enhanced latch design for a more ergonomic grip.
  • Improved fixation: The cable connectors also offer a better fixation on the housing.

XLR TOP – Chassis Connectors

  • Brand New! Another great pride of Neutrik’s in this announcement comes from the brand new range of XLR connectors. The chassis are completely replaced by tightly sealed and heavy-duty male and female D-sized connectors. FDX-TOP and MDX-TOP are available as 3 or 5 pin connectors.
  • High-impact UV resistance. Until now, Neutrik didn’t really have a true weather-resistant XLR series in its product range. Well, expect that to change. The newly-minted XLR TOP chassis connectors feature a maximal isolation from outside conditions thanks to its high UV resistance and protection against water.
  • Old Series? Unlike the powerCON, the old MPR-HD series will still be available for purchase.
  • Protection Covers: additional protection covers can be used to prevent dust or dirt from entering the connectors. Note that you don’t need the covers to achieve the true outdoor protection (in mated condition)
  • Note. To guarantee the sealing function and outdoor capability, the chassis connectors must be fastened with four stainless steel countersunk screws as where the standard D-size chassis connectors only require two screws.

Neutrik NC5FDX-TOP

XLR TOP – Cable Connectors

Neutrik NC3MX-TOP
  • Outstanding Bushing Design. Why try to invent new solutions when they’re already in front of you? Neutrik understands that. That is why they modeled the X-TOP cable connectors after the etherCON TOP cable connectors.
  • Stainless Steel Housing. The male connectors keep the same stainless steel housing as their older NC*MX-HD* counterpart connectors.
  • UV resistant rubber die cast housing. Whereas the female X-TOP connectors feature a highly UV-resistant rubber housing which will protect your connectors even from the most painful sunburns.
  • Old Series? Neutrik has stopped producing the previous X-HD series. Time to gear up!

Fun Fact:

“Do you know why the TOP connectors are black? Black (neutral) compounds are best resistant against Ultra-Violet radiation. Coloring these materials would mean adding other compounds, in its turn fragilizing the UV resistance.”


Neutrik TOP Series Product Guide


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