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A Comparison Between Amerline’s AEC 3106 Connector & the MS3106 Connector

Amerline’s AEC 3106 connector is a commercial drop-in equivalent for the MS3106  connector. Delivering the same functionality, these two cable connector plugs can be used to mate to receptacles mounted on the same types of equipment to ensure reliable power source connections.

Here, we’ll take a closer look at the similarities between the AEC 3106 connector and the MS3106 connector, as well as what sets the two connectors apart.

Looking at Essential Requirements

Commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) connectors deliver on the most important functions as MS connectors. In the context of the AEC 3106 connector, that includes meeting temperature, salt spray and vibration testing requirements. In the case of salt spray, the AEC 3106 connector actually improves upon the MS (MIL-SPEC) 48-hour rating by passing 500-hour salt spray testing. 

With MS connectors, what can be considered non-essential requirements enter the picture. This can include governmental, state department and federal agency specifications that have more to do with regulatory standards than performance attributes. These added conditions contribute to higher costs, alongside the Qualified Products List (QPL) designation and shorter production runs that also pass costs on to customers.


The incentive to shift to COTS connectors is about more than cost and availability. It’s an opportunity to piggyback on military-designed standards with room for customizations that include a variety of plating finishes and accessory options.

Compared to the MS3106 connector, the AEC 3106 connector offers more finish options. Some examples of these finish options include electro-deposited black and olive drab — both of which meet the 500-hour salt spray test and are RoHS compliant. Compared to cadmium alternatives, these finishes provide a smoother, more appealing look. 

(Due to the risk and cost involved with handling and processing cadmium, the government and defense contractors have started to move away from its use. Meanwhile, in the private sector, cadmium has been banned outright for environmental reasons.)

The AEC 3106 connector can be customized with a variety of special backshells that allow for greater performance. Amerline can machine special adapters that provide effective strain relief, environmental sealing and EMI & RFI shielding. 

It’s on the back end of the connectors where problems can arise. By sealing that area, you can enable maximum environmental protection, which is ideal for welding and industrial equipment that go through rough, continuous use cycles.

Pair the Functionality You Need With Flexibility

As a commercial version of the MS3106 connector, Amerline’s AEC 3106 connector checks all the right boxes. You’ll have a design that meets military-grade standards for robustness and durability with flexibility to modify its design to meet your needs. Not to mention, you’ll experience the benefit of improved connector availability and cost.

Interested in AEC 3106 connectors for your application? Contact us for a quote.

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