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Author Topic: 10 segment array - Best way to physically connect?  (Read 536 times)
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Manchester, New Hampshire
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I'm going to need to connect a 10 segment display to my Arduino, but the 10 segment display isn't going to be placed in the same location as the Arduino.  Also, it's gonna be in a rather tight spot and there probably isn't gonna be enough room to stick it on it's own circuit board.  So, I've been trying to figure out a good way to wire the thing.  

I know .100 headers fit into IC sockets, so I toyed with the idea of trying to plug the dispay into a ribbon cable, but since the connectors on those are designed for headers and not IC pins, that probably wouldn't work too well.  Besides, the original plan was to use a 20 pin ribbon cable socket with two rows, which I just realized won't be the correct distance apart.  

And stripping ribbon cable probably won't work too well either, not with the tools I have.  So ribbon cable is probably out of the question.

So I guess that leaves using plain wire.  I guess I can bundle it together with electrical tape.  I would have liked having everything including the arduino plug into connectors on a common circuit board though.  I dunno how I'd do that with individual wires.  

That leaves just one question.  On this ten segment display, I wanted to try to get away with just using one resistor and one wire to go to ground or vcc by multiplexing the display.  But while this display:

http://mouser.com/Search/ProductDetail.aspx?R=DC10YWAvirtualkey60400000virtualkey604-DC10YWA

Says that it has a common anode, there's no mention of it in the spec sheet, and I only see 20 pins there, so unless there's something about 10 segment led arrays I don't know, I'd guess the Mouser description is wrong and if I do want to give all those led's a common anode, I'm gonna have to solder all the leads together.

I was wondering though, is there a GOOD way to solder all those leads together?  I'm afraid I'm gonna make a mess trying to get solder to bridge all those gaps.  I guess I could try to strip a long length of wire and lay it across them all but that doesn't seem a good solution either.

Anyway, sorry if I'm rambling. :-)  I'm just trying to find the easiest/cleanest way to hook this thing up.

Hm.. maybe I should get one of those 90 degree "display" sockets for IC's and mount a little circuit board vertically.  I hate to spend all that money on an IC socket and a circuit board just to mount one little 10 segment led array though.
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SE USA
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well ribbon cable is not that hard to strip if you do it all at once

take a razor, score both sides and you should be able to strip all the connections at once with a couple tugs

as far as the connections go, well if your
A) lucky and the ribbon cable you chose is solid core
B) in the US

you can drop by most radio shacks, who have a 4-5 $ wirewrap tool, solid core ribbon cable is the same size as wirewrap, and allows you to twist the wire up in a nice coil around the lead

It will never stay there by itself (you need square post's) but it takes 90% of the fiddly part out and its real easy to solder the coil without bridges

as far as bridging leads together, I use long solid core wire and just solder it together as a bus, it should be fine unless your experiencing a bunch of vibration, then a wrap or 2 around each lead would hold better
« Last Edit: February 08, 2010, 01:32:15 pm by Osgeld » Logged


Rural Arizona
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You can buy IC sockets that crimp onto standard ribbon cable.  They're not as cheap as the styles of connectors that are made by the billions,  but you're probably not going to build thousands of these, so the extra few bucks is probably worth it for avoiding the hassle.
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Manchester, New Hampshire
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I tried stripping an old IDE cable with the scoring method, but that didn't work out too well.

As for the IDC to DIP connector, that would be perfect!  

...if I can find one.  Looking on Mouser.com right now, but I don't see one.  Gonna check Newark next.

There is still one problem though, even if I find such a socket.  

The crimping tools they sell to make IDC cables are insanely expensive!  The ones I've found on Mouser are like $600.  And I don't know if you can crimp those connectors on reliably without such a tool.  Can you?
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Manchester, New Hampshire
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I'm having no luck finding those connectors.  I've searched for dip and dil in combination with idc, on mouser, newark, allied, and google, but all I can find is plugs, not sockets.
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Quote
I tried stripping an old IDE cable with the scoring method, but that didn't work out too well.

even more than 10 years ago hard drive cables were shielded, so 2x conductor per ribbon bump, one half connected to ground

you can zip and strip, but if you have x0 connectors, knowing at anytime you could cut a wire instead of strip, instantly  burns 19 connections

game over, insert coin

-----

use floppy cables, a light barley score on each side, just enough to break the plastic mostly, grab with pliers in a inline position, and keep in mind that most needle nose are at a ~60 degree angle, then lightly yank in a perpendicular  fashion, 5 seconds of thought, 5 seconds of effort, and 1 second of MAN ! problem solved

I have stripped 68 pin SCSI cables using a box cutter and a bench vice ;D
« Last Edit: February 09, 2010, 12:43:51 am by Osgeld » Logged


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as far as the original problem goes, why dont you order 1 or 2 of the IC sockets and at least see how it fits

once your done debugging you could solder in the sockets (which is impossible to remove)
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It's been a while since I saw the crimp-on sockets,  but I'm almost certain it was in a Digi-Key catalog,  and I think (low confidence) they were from Aries.

The fancy crimp tools are necessary to crank out good cable assemblies quickly and reliably,  but you can do them at home if you're careful and take your time.  The DIP socket connectors will be a little fragile,  so you really want to squeeze them in a bench vise,  instead of trying to do them with pliers (I've done female header connectors that way,  but I've broken a few,  even though they're sturdier).  The more pins,  the greater the risk of not applying pressure evenly across the connector and breaking something.
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Since you mentioned those IC sockets for the ribbon cable, do you know where to get them?  All my google searches have turned up nothing.
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