Connecting wires to male headers

Hello everyone,
This is my first post here. I found out about Arduino a few days ago. Got me really excited . .since my previous attempts at electronics haven’t really been successful. I know the basics … but if you ask me to make a circuit myself to do something complex . .I will be stumped . I have a good background in programming ( C, PHP etc. )though … which is what got me really interested in Arduino .

So I found a local dealer who sells arduino clones, bought a Severino board and an extra Atmega168 with bootloader.

Thats like 9 USD for the board at the current exchange rates.

Anyway, I got the board today evening and I connected it using a USB-to-serial cable ( since mobo doesn’t have a serial port ). I had some trouble finding a compatible Vista x64 driver but finally got it to work.

So now to come to the point.
The headers on the board are all male headers. How am I supposed to connect them using jumper wires to breadboards or whatever. Are there any adapters for this? Or can I somehow hack the female headers available online ( with pins underneath them of course ) to make a female-to-female header adapter?

I did search online for this and found only like one forum post which didn’t make things very clear.


You can use these:

and combine them with these:

Not exactly cheap thoug.

Alternatively find the connectors and some wire and solder your own, pain in the neck thogh :-)

I would think about cutting down some computer cables (disk/floppy drives cables.)

You can use some of these:

and/or these:

for female ends (note: the wire on the cables with the LEDs is a little fat and stiff for most breadboarding, but tolerable). If you need individual wires, you can pull the contacts out of the 5-pin shells: they use a box-type connection that works outside the shell. Just slap a little heat-shrink on them so they don't short to adjacent pins when wiggled, and you're all set. And, thanks to The Miracle of Surplus Shopping (tm), they're cheaper than buying the contacts new and crimping/soldering them yourself. :)

For males, there are these:

(If the auction has expired, look for ebay user "fcb_electronics". There are other people selling the same stuff, but they were the cheapest US supplier at the time I bought, and the service was very fast).

The quality of the male-male jumpers is nowhere near as good as the ones I bought from JDR Microdevices a few years back: the pins are a lot flimsier. But JDR appears to have dropped the product, and they cost about 5 times as much. The ones from FCB are so cheap that I just hack them up when I need to wire something like a potentiometer to a breadboard.

Another good alternative for male jumper ends is to use the crimp-style pins for high-density D-sub connectors: they're a good size for getting a solid connection without stressing the springs in the breadboard contacts (standard-size D-sub pins require more force than I like, and I'm pretty sure they shorten the life of the breadboard).


Another good alternative for male jumper ends

I think my favorite "zero cost" male jumper end is the cut-off lead from an LED...

Hey guys. Thanks for the tips. Especially the one about the ebay seller. I found some other items which seems to suit what I want such as:|66%3A2|65%3A12|39%3A1|240%3A1318|301%3A1|293%3A1|294%3A50


But they are kinda expensive :slight_smile: .
But now I know what I should be looking for.

Thanks anyway :slight_smile:

I bought this one

Seems like a really good deal for a breadboard+jumper kit. For connecting to my board, will it be possible to .. say pull out those "pins" from the male connectors on the jumper wires?

The jumpers you bought are just solid wire (probably 22 or 24 ga)...there are no pins, just stripped ends.

Oh yea .. I thought they had little connectors at their tips ( like M-M jumpers ). Its not a waste since I didn't have any jumper wires anyway. Now I just need to get a small number of female connectors and I am done.

The motherboard header connector cables such as those used to connect the power LED, HDD LED etc. seems just perfect. I think I have an onboard audio cable or something from an old dvd writer. That could work.

I use a lot of those "LED-to-motherboard"-type cables, myself. There are two styles of connector. If you want to get usable individual female pins, you need to use the thinner style (like the CD/DVD drive audio cables). They have the "box"-type contact that surrounds the header pin. The thicker (and cheaper) style have a spring that only contacts one side of the header pin, and pinches it between the contact and the plastic body of the connector. They won't work except in the plastic body. Those LED aseemblies I suggested above are pretty typical: they use the cheaper connector to hold the LED, and the thin connector at the motherboard end, where space is tight.