Binding posts are a type of connector that are often used on various types of electronic equipment, particularly units that are designed to test current flows. It is not unusual to find a binding post on items like loudspeakers and amplifiers. There are several different types of posts in use today, although each design essentially serves the same purpose and function.
A basic binding post is composed of a metal rod that is threaded and a threaded cap that is screwed onto the rod. Often, the cap is color-coded, making it easy to determine the type of charge that should flow through the post. A red cap indicates a positive charge, while a black cap indicates a negative charge. When the post is intended for use as a grounding post, the cap is normally green.
Posts of this type serve as a means of connecting electrical wires to the terminal box on an electrical device. In most designs, the wires are connected by wrapping them around the post. Once the wires are positioned, a nut is used to hold the wires in place. When the wires are connected to the proper post terminals, the end result is an efficient flow of power to the device. This configuration makes it very easy to connect speakers to sound systems, or to quickly add an amplifier to a number of different musical instruments.
There are also different types of plugs that can be used with a binding post. The plugs normally are connected to the wiring, which makes it easier to complete the connection. Even with the presence of plugs, it is not unusual for a nut to still be used to make sure the connection between the plug and the post is secure. Several of these designs are common on converter boxes that translate analog and digital signals, stereo systems, and some brands of televisions.
Pin connectors are one type of plug that is commonly used with a binding post. With this design, the post itself has a small hole drilled into the middle of the post. A corresponding pin is situated in the middle of the pin connector. When the pin is inserted into the hole in the post, then secured with the use of a nut, the connection is established and a signal can be carried from one device to the other. This arrangement is common with establishing a connection between a television and an antenna, a cable running to a satellite dish, or even cable that is carrying signaling from the local cable television service provider.
In general, the maintenance of a binding post requires nothing more than keeping the equipment and the post away from excess moisture. Posts tend to last for at least the life of the devices they serve, and some can even be harvested for repurposing with other devices. It is also possible to purchase replacement posts from electronics dealers and other outlets in the event a post is damaged and is no longer functional.