I am an EE/CE and I do a lot of hobby level electronics projects on the side. When I work on and design systems at work I use mil-spec or comparable connection systems to connect components. As a hobbyist, I don't have that kind of budget I'm wondering what kind of connection systems other hobbyists use, what they cost, and where they source them! Thanks!

  • Mike

Mostly I use various pin count headers; either making them myself or ording them pre-made from online stores like Adafruit, Polou, or Sparkfun. As shown in the links, they offer more specialized cables (usually for a decent price) as well. It's also worthwhile to check-out the finished cables from Digikey or Jameco but unless you are buying more than several at a time there usually isn't a worthwhile price difference versus the smaller stores (although parts for making your own cables can be different). Occasionally, I find good deals from surplus stores like American Science & Surplus, but it's tends to be hit or miss as most of their inventory varies for obvious reasons.

I use a lot of the crimp terminated wires & crimp housings from Buy bags of 10 to 20 housings in different sizes (1x1, 1x2, 1x5, 1x6 etc), bags of 50 wires in different sizes & male-male, male-female, and female-female & make up what I need. Female pins on male wirewrap socket pins are very secure, or male pins into female headers with a spot of hot glue or similar if worried about vibration. Or male pins into female headers.

I like that idea! That’s dirt cheap and clean.