V5 Symbol Library Symbol Connectors Gender


Your reference to IEEE Std 200-1975 is outdated by a couple of decades. This has been replaced by ANSI/ASME Y14.44-2008 (Reaffirmed 2014).

The Fig. 3 that has been shown above from IEEE 200 is Fig. 4 in Y14.44 and shows W2P1 and W3P1 as female/sockets with A7J2 and A9J2 as male/pins. This was done at my suggestion/insistence. No, P1 does not necessarily connect to J1, see the figure.

If two flexible cables connect with mating connectors each of the connectors is ref des with class letter P, thus a P can connect to a P but you would never find a J connecting to a J.

The question is how do you ref des mating connectors that have no gender/sex, like an APC-7 precision 50 Ω coaxial connector or connectors that have flat or D shaped “pins” that slide in against each other and are held tight by turning a lever? The answer is you treat each of them as a butt connector or male. The most fixed uses class letter J and the most movable uses class letter P.

Another question is how do you ref des a pair of mating connectors that have both male and female contacts (they do exist)? Again the most fixed uses class letter J and the most movable uses class letter P.

As for showing the contacts, whether they be male or female, in a connector the graphic symbol should not be drawn with a box or rectangle around them but should use mechanical connection lines (dashed lines) as shown in IEEE 315A, Clause, the 2nd (middle) symbol shown. Actually this comes from IEC 60617 and I would heartily endorse its use.


I’m not sure if @Rene_Poschl or the other librarians have access to the updated standards (see my comments above about paying for all the standards being out of the financial reach of many of us). Rene may still be on vacation, so we will have to wait to hear back from him.


While ANSI/ASME Y14.44-2008 does replace IEEE 200-1975 there’s really no need to have it. While it is more affordable than most standards it is basically a condensed version of IEEE 200-1975.

From ANSI/ASME Y14.44-2008: Connectors. Connector reference designations shall be assigned in accordance with the following principles:
(a) The movable (less fixed) connector of a mating pair shall be designated P (see Fig. 4, connector P3 on A7 and connector P1 on W2).
(b) The stationary (more fixed) connector of a mating pair shall be designated J or X (see Fig. 4, connector XA7P3 on A9 and connector J2 on A7).
© A connector designated P on a flexible cable shall mate with a fixed connector designated J rather than X.
(d) If two cables are to be connected to each other, each of the mating cable connectors shall be designated P.
(e) A connector to mount an item, or affixed to the mounting for an item, shall be designated with an X prefix if its mate is directly affixed (not on flexible cable) to the mounted item.

There is still no mention of gender except to display the correct male/female symbology.


I was issued a copy of ASME Y14.44-2008 because I serve as a volunteer on subcommittee 44 of committee Y14. I just did a search for Y14.44 that revealed a pdf copy at <gost-snip.su/…>. [The two letter extension .su stands for the Soviet Union.] Download it now before the ASME enforces the copyright.

By looking around on the internet at various times I have been able to get a pdf copy of IEEE 315 (Includes 315A that implements the newer IEC graphic symbols.) I got that off of a metal working website before the IEEE enforced the copyright.

The IEC has a lock on 60617. You have to pay Swiss Francs for a yearly fee to obtain full access. Again, by doing a search for IEC 60617 at various times on the internet I have been able to get snippets of sections of IEC 60617, especially connector symbols. Between IEEE 315A and the snippets I believe I am covered for analog graphic symbols.

On the subject of sockets (connectors) that use the X class letter, KiCad has a problem handling suffix letters for individual parts, and so here is a work around:

  1. Fuses use the class letter F and the socket (fuse holder) would use the class letter XF. The problem is if you use a pair of fuse clips to hold the fuse. Say the fuse is ref des F1, then the fuse clips would use ref des XF1A and XF1B. My suggestion is to use ref des XF1E1 and XF1E2. The class letter E stands for a bunch of items, but in this case E means an individual terminal or miscellaneous electrical part.
  2. Look at Fig. 2(e) of ASME Y14.44. This depicts a printed board assembly (PBA) A5 with two sets of fingers that plug into two sockets (connectors) that are ref des XA5A and XA5B. My suggestion is to use ref des XA5J1 and XA5J2.