Connect with us

PCB header pins & connectors for amateur?

Discussion in 'Electronic Basics' started by [email protected], Oct 18, 2004.

Scroll to continue with content
  1. Guest


    Is there available a PCB header pin set, with matching socket which can
    be assembled by an amateur without expensive specialist tools?
  2. peterken

    peterken Guest

    try wires :)

    on the other hand, most electronic stores have something on the shelf
    or scrap a tv-set, might find some handy stuff in there too


    Is there available a PCB header pin set, with matching socket which can
    be assembled by an amateur without expensive specialist tools?
  3. Guest

    He he. Unfortunately, the wires only need to be added for 5 mins at a
    time to re-program an on-board PIC microcontroller. The rest of the
    time, the connection isn't required.

  4. CFoley1064

    CFoley1064 Guest

    Subject: PCB header pins & connectors for amateur?
    Been there, done that. If you're on a tight budget, one thing you might try is
    using standard .100" solid headers and Molex KK Series crimp terminal housings
    with .100 crimp terminals. Yes, I know you need a custom hand crimping tool
    for the crimp terminals ($180.00 USD), but a little deft use of a needlenose
    pliers will allow you to fold over the sides of the terminal on the stripped
    stranded wire and the wire insulation just like the tool, except without the
    gas-tight crimp. You then use the tiniest bit of solder to solder the wire and
    the terminal housing. If you're crafty, you can avoid getting solder all over
    the place underneath, and it will fit into the housing nicely. If not, just
    cut it off and try again. The key to this is not to have excess wire or a
    solder blob hanging down beyond the crimp -- that gums up the action of the
    terminal. Also avoid getting flux on the mating surface of the terminal.

    The Mouser part numbers you would need for a 3-pin programming plug are:

    538-08-52-0123 Crimp Terminals (3 ea.) $0.09 ea. (buy a few extra to
    538-22-03-2031 .100" Verical solid header, 3-pin (1 ea.) $0.18 ea.
    538-22-01-2037 .100" crimp terminal housing (1 ea.) $$0.25 ea.

    As long as you use the phosphor bronze terminals with tin flash, you should be
    good for at least a hundred reliable insertion/extraction cycles. Don't jam
    the terminal into the housing. If it doesn't fit easily, you've either got it
    backwards or you got excess solder under the fold of the terminal. Use an
    xacto knife to push the little spring holder in to remove the terminal from the

    By the way, the above parts don't have reverse polarity protection -- least
    expensive solution here. If you're doing it yourself, be careful. If a
    customer is doing it, go with the polarized housings and headers or use a
    polarizing key and cut off one of the pins. Go to and look for
    yourself -- look up p. 807 of the current catalog.

  5. Andyb

    Andyb Guest

    We've always used standard 3M 0.1" ribbon cable and connectors. They crimp
    together using a vice, so long as you get the cable lined up properly.....

  6. Rich Webb

    Rich Webb Guest

    Buy 100 or so of these and you can stack pretty much arrangement you
    need for a lifetime (well...). Many, many other places carry these or
    similar, this is just one example.

    (Long URL -- go to and search for part number 103350)

    To mate with it, as Andy suggested, the easiest is an IDC connector
    crimped onto ribbon cable. Again, many other sources

    (Jameco part # 138376)

    Crimping the IDC connector really wants a parallel-jaw squeeze. Any
    small vice will do the trick (don't over-tighten). The small 2x5
    connector *can* be done with regular slip-joint pliers, though.
  7. Guest

    Thanks for the suggestions. I was put off by the cost of the tools,
    but the actual items are cheap enough to have a play with, thanks.

  8. Rich Webb

    Rich Webb Guest

    You can (and should) use a proper crimper in a production environment.
    For hobby or "just learning" pretty much anything that works, works.
    You'll probably "explode" a few IDC connectors -- at least I've HEARD
    that can happen, yeah that's it, just heard about it... ;-)
  9. Steve

    Steve Guest

    For exactly that, programming PICs in-circuit, we put a simple IDC header on
    the board and used a ready assembled cable with female connectors at both
    ends to connect temporarily to the programmer (actually via a male-male
    convertor, but you might do it another way). In the UK, for instance,
    assembled cables go for about 1GBP in one offs from Farnell, e.g.:

  10. Guest

    Thanks for that link - saves me the aggro of making up my own leads
  11. Rich Grise

    Rich Grise Guest

    Sure. Try mouser or digikey, or .

    Good Luck!
  12. Rich Grise

    Rich Grise Guest

    If you have access to a good machinists' vise, they're a breeze.

  13. Rich Grise

    Rich Grise Guest

    Oh, then just mount a header on the board, and use a small IDC
    socket on a ribbon cable. I think you can get them down to six
    pins, and I have used one-pin female contacts, which were called
    "amp modu", but they seem to have disappeared.

    Hm. Digikey has them down to 10 pins.

    Good Luck!
  14. Rich Webb

    Rich Webb Guest

    Ya - I usually use a Panavise or one of these gadgets (long URL)
    when I'm prototyping. But there's always the occasion when neither is
    handy and the question arises whether it's better to try with the needle
    nose pliers or to walk across the building to the lab with the right
    tools... ;-)
Ask a Question
Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?
You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments (here). After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.
Electronics Point Logo
Continue to site
Quote of the day