Q:

What is the purpose of a male-to-male connector?

A:

Quick Answer

A male-to-male connector, or gender changer, allows two devices that both have male-style connection ends to connect to one another and complete a circuit or form a whole. The convention is for devices with a male-style end to connect only to devices with female-style ends, but sometimes there is a mismatch in connection types.

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Full Answer

As of 2015, the electrical and mechanical fields both use a convention they call gender to describe interlocking parts of devices. A male connection sticks out, while a female connection is a hole or hollow into which the male connection can be coupled. This gender analogy applies especially to electrical cords, but it also applies to pipe fittings, screw threads and other non-electrical devices. In electrical devices, male connectors have metal pins, while female connectors are outlets or receptacles.

Sometimes two devices that need to be connected have incompatible gender. This can happen if the manufacturer does not follow electrical specifications, or the designer of the device devices used the wrong format. When this happens, a connector called a gender changer can connect the two. Gender changers come in both female-to-female and male-to-male forms. Male-to-male gender changers have two receptacles on each end, so both devices can plug into the changer and complete the circuit. Gender changers are also known as gender menders.

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