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Old 7th October 2008, 02:19 PM   #1
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Default PCB to PCB board style connectors

In general, for PCB to PCB board connections for low power/low priority signals (I.E. not high current power wires or sensitive analog signals), I'd like to know what people use. For instance, if there are six wires (let's say digital signals, and a ground wire) that have to go from the front panel PCB to the main board PCB, what is a good kind of connector/socket to use?

Here's a list of the more-or-less common connectors that I have seen used in the past:

Rectangular header (0.1 inch pitch) [some of these need crimp pins to insert the wires in to each individual header slot]

RJ-11 (telephone jack)

RJ-45 (network cable jack)

The issue isn't really with the cost of the connectors, the crimp pins that come with some of them, or the wire from connector to connector. The major issue is the cost of the crimp tool that goes "with" each kind of connector! Some of them cost over $100.
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Old 7th October 2008, 02:57 PM   #2
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I use the 0.1 inch headers, the crimp pins can be done by hand with small needlenose pliers. Slight faff though.
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Old 7th October 2008, 03:21 PM   #3
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I use the molex 0.100 headers as well -- and you can get premade flat cables with male/female male/male etc. made up for you by DK.
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Old 7th October 2008, 03:35 PM   #4
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Default Re: PCB to PCB board style connectors

Quote:
Originally posted by rtarbell
The issue isn't really with the cost of the connectors, the crimp pins that come with some of them, or the wire from connector to connector. The major issue is the cost of the crimp tool that goes "with" each kind of connector! Some of them cost over $100.

Those tools are sold for ripoff prices.

GB is a "jobber" brand for electrical tools. An F-59 crimp tool for them costs $10 at the local hardware store and up to $140 at the electronic stores and y'know what? They are both GB brand!!!!!!

Shop around.

Cheers!
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Old 7th October 2008, 06:27 PM   #5
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You can get these Molex to Molex connectors from Digikey.
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Old 8th October 2008, 01:43 AM   #6
BWRX is offline BWRX  United States
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You could always just use 6 pole terminal blocks and wire to make the connections.
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Old 8th October 2008, 05:33 AM   #7
amc184 is offline amc184  New Zealand
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My favourite are the 2 by X IDC cables and headers. A really quick way to make a lot of connections, and cheap too.
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Old 8th October 2008, 12:48 PM   #8
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Thank you all for your replies!

I really like those IDC cable connectors - they splice the insulation for you! No crimp tool needed (well, maybe a small vice would be helpful, but I already have one of those!), and they can come keyed (with the male end shrouded) if needed so that you can't insert them the wrong way!
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Old 8th October 2008, 10:55 PM   #9
amc184 is offline amc184  New Zealand
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There is a proper tool, but a small vice or pliers usually works. I have to recommend that you test each IDC cable you make though, if you don't use the proper tool, some of the knives may not cut the insulation first time.
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