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Header Interface Cables


female-female jumpers

male-female jumpers

male-male jumpers

female crimp pin

female pin receptacle

1. Female Wire Bundles / Receptacles

Female 0.1" receptacles plug into the male headers used on many embedded controller boards. They can be used for connecting boards together, and in addition, a lot of devices like R/C servos and some sensors use such receptacles. They are good for making permanent and reliable connections to controller boards.

Cables can be made from individual parts, or pre-made cables can be cut into pieces and spliced for use.

  • adafruit 266 - $6.95.
  • Maker Shed - $5.95.
  • misc bundles.

    You can also make your own female cables using crimp pins and plastic receptacles with 1 or more positions (lower row),

  • pololu - female crimp pins - $5.95/100.
  • jameco - female crimp pins - $0.15-0.19/each.
  • pololu - 1x3 receptacles - $0.79/25.
  • jameco - 1x3 receptacles - $0.29/each.

    2. Male Wire Bundles

    In general, jumper wires with male connector pins, such as plug into regular Arduino female stacking headers, are much less useful than those above. They are good for making temporary jumper connections, but not for making permanent connections.

    They easily fall out, and the round pins do not make very reliable connections with the spade terminals in the typical Arduino female headers. If male jumper wires are used, it's better if they have "square" pins.

  • adafruit 153 - $6.00.
  • Maker Shed - $8.99.

    3. Male Headers - Used to Make Female-Female Interconnects

    breakable male header

    Arduino female stacking headers are convenient for mounting shields, but difficult to make permanent connections to otherwise. One method for making a robust, semi-permanent connection is to use a male header (as shown at right) inbetween Arduino stacking headers and connection wires with female receptacles (as shown in section 1 above).

    A pin length of 6 mm [1/4"] on both sides of these headers is long enough to securely seat female receptacles, but don't get the kind that have one side with a short pin [ie, 3 mm = 1/8"].

  • pololu 1065 - $1.49.
  • adafruit 400 - $3.00, extra long pins.

    A slightly more permanent interconnect can be made by soldering wires to
    one side of the male headers shown here.


  • 4. Male Headers

    male header for pcb mounting

    Male headers with 0.1" (2.54 mm) pin spacing are the industry standard on embedded
    controller boards. A pin length of 6 mm (0.23") above the pcb will securely mount the
    female receptables mentioned above.

    In addition, it's common for boards meant for robotics and other purposes to use 3-row
    male headers with a signal-power-ground arrangement. This is the same as used on
    many R/C servos and sensors, nowadays. It makes a convenient and compact wiring
    bundle that carries both signal and power to the external devices. 3-row headers are
    easy to make by positioning double-row and single-row headers next to each other.

  • jameco double-row headers - $1.09/72-position.
  • jameco single-row headers - $0.55/36-position.

  • servo extension

    5. Servo Extension Cables

    These are common market products, and can be cut and used to connect devices
    to male headers, or used to extend existing cables.

  • adafruit 972 - $1.95.
  • Parallax - $0.80.

  • 6. Arduino Stacking Headers

  • adafruit 85 - $1.95.
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    © OT-Hobbies, April 2013