A Berg connector is a device used to join electrical circuits in computers. The best known Berg connector is used to connect the floppy drive to the power supply unit. This type of computer hardware can also be used to connect the front panel lights, the turbo switch, or the reset button to the motherboard.
The Berg Electronics Corporation, located in St. Louis, Missouri, manufactured the Berg connector for many years. In 1998, it became a division of a European manufacturing company, Framatome Connectors International. Although the hardware is still called a Berg connector in some areas, many people began calling it a P7 or a mini-Molex after the company's ownership transferred.
These connectors typically have either two pins or four, and are used for many purposes. Computers in the late 1980s often had dozens of Berg connectors completing circuits in several different areas. On the other hand, more recent computers primarily use other types of connectors, such as Molex, SATA, or P1.
Most connectors are keyed to prevent incorrect mating. In other words, a physical component prevents people from connecting it backward or to a different plug. This is important because improper connections can break or bend the pins or damage the computer. Nevertheless, high amounts of pressure can break the key mechanism and force a bad connection.
The best known Berg connector has four pins and connects a floppy drive to a power supply unit. One red pin runs five volts, one yellow pin runs 12 volts, and two black pins between them act as grounds. Often called a floppy power connector, it can destroy the floppy drive if it is plugged in backward.
A two pin Berg connector is often used to connect the front panel lights to the motherboard or to complete a circuit within the motherboard. A connectors within the motherboard is called a jumper, because it covers such a short distance. In the late 1980s, a computer might have a few dozen jumpers crisscrossing the motherboard, but manufacturers quickly began cutting down on the number of jumpers in each computer.
Older computers also used Berg connectors with two pins to connect the turbo switch and the reset button to the motherboard. A turbo switch was used to change processor speed, while a reset button forced a computer to begin the shutdown process in order to clear its memory and return the original settings. Eventually the reset button was integrated with the power button, using a different type of connector.