Re: USB and cold weather


Xentex
 

In automotive applications I've seen people slop silicone grease all over a multi-prong connector and not have any issues.  I do it myself for outside connectors, but for the most part those are only speaker terminals and low speed or low voltage power terminals (pool applications).

Thinking more about USB connectors, I'm not so sure.

The way the USB connectors work you have relatively small surfaces making contact with each other with pretty low pressure spring force.  The silicone greases are pretty viscous and very good insulators.  So my concern is they might actually weaken the signal transmission a bit because when you slide the connectors together the pins might not have enough surface pressure to completely push the grease out of the way.  I'm sure they'll still make contact, but it could be a little less contact area, which could slightly degrade a signal that's already nearing its limit.  As it the temp gets colder the silicone grease gets thicker (harder to displace) and the spring force on the connectors likely goes down.  So a silicone grease could make the situation worse, not better.

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