Novice question re pin connections to Arduino

I originally posted this question in the Starter Board kit; however, since it is not limited to the starter kit, I thought I would try here and see if I get any suggestions.

Looking ahead to more permanent projects than those constructed on a breadboard, I envision putting most external components on a piece of perfboard. However, being an old-fashioned kind of guy, I would like to mount switches, LEDs, pots, etc. on the front panel of the enclosure rather than putting them on a board and just having them poke through the panel. This means that I would need (i) wires going from the front panel components to the perfboard, and (ii) wires going from the perfboard to the Arduino board.

For connections to the perfboard, I would probably use Molex KK-type connectors. However, this system generally is designed to have male pins on the board and a female connector on the wires. Thus, it will not work for making connections to the Arduino board, which has female sockets for all of its external connections. I could use individual header pins soldered to each wire, but this is pretty cumbersome and also pretty much guarantees that something will go into the wrong socket. What I'm looking for is a means of making connections to the Arduino board that (i) allows me to connect to multiple adjacent Arduino pin sockets by plugging in a single connector, (ii) is secure (e.g., like the snap connection on the KK connectors), and (iii) is easy to disconnect when necessary. Any suggestions?

Thanks.

Rob Rothman

See:

In case those pins were not secure enough for you liking for instance if you are worried about vibration or other oddities (for the final project once you are done debugging and testing) you could always put a dab of hot glue between Arduino female header and male crimped header.

This way if you need to take it off later for repair or other changes you can use a hot air gun (I’ve even seen people use hair dryers) to heat up the hot glue and you could then simply remove the pins again and then insert them and re secure with hot glue.

I suppose silicon glue would work too.

I use aluminum foil duct tape.
http://www.venturetape.com/product.php?productid=1197&cat=26&page=1

Thanks.

It looks like the Pololu male crimp-on pins and connector housings are just what I'm looking for.

Rob Rothman

I would use female for the connectors and a gender changer on the Arduino.

2014-08-09_22-29-38.jpg

Hi,
After struggling with cables and wire on Arduino, I came up with some of these suggestions on the ArduinoInfo.Info WIKI HERE:

The limited connectivity of the traditional Arduino layout also prompted the creation of the "Sensor Shield" like THIS: with 3-pin connections for every I/O. Then came derivative designs that added many many more I/O pins on the board itself.

The latest I worked on with a designer in China looks like the next photo. I am almost done shipping over 1000 of these to 37 schools across the USA, along with lots of goodies to connect to them and the cables, pins etc.

Pin Strips: solve the "Gender Issue" when necessary:

Using those nice cables like this, makes it easy to run connections to a front panel:

I just cut one end of these cables, strip and solder to front panel components like pushbuttons, pots, LEDs etc. And LCD displays just plug in with a 4-wire section stripped off the flat cable.

PLENTY of Grounds and Vcc connections. I used to grumble about the very few Voltage and Ground pins on the original Arduinos, but no more...

I hope to supply a Mega compatible with at least many I/Os brought out to 3-pin connectors, but I don't think they all can be brought out on a normal Mega footprint. A Mega "Sensor Shield" still seems like the best solution for that:

...and if you have a LOT of wires to connect for your project, the flat cables and Mega Sensor Shield let you do something like this:

The Mega under all that is named "Oley" (From the Swedish accent of his voice synthesizer) and "he" runs a lot of my house, waters the gardens, pumps chlorine into the swimming pool, controls the solar pool heater, monitors the water pump and other energy stuff. And that project will "never be finished" which some of us weirdos think is a Good Thing :slight_smile:

Have a breakout shield made that has Molex connectors for each group of pins? This
would be doable with blob-board if it wasn't for the pin-misalingnments (some clones
have fixed pin alignments).

LarryD:

I had originally thought about using male-to-male gender changers (which could all too easily be misinterpreted) with Molex female connectors on the wires. However, I was concerned that by doubling the number of things that are plugged into something else, I would effectively double the chance of something becoming disconnected.

I'm not going to use anything in a high-vibration environment; anything I build will be no more than a toy for my own amusement, and I don't live in an earthquake-prone area :). However, I don't want connections to come loose from normal handling (including the enclosure possibly getting turned upside-down). Am I worrying too much about this?

Thanks to all.

Rob Rothman

RobRothman:
For connections to the perfboard, I would probably use Molex KK-type connectors. However, this system generally is designed to have male pins on the board and a female connector on the wires. Thus, it will not work for making connections to the Arduino board, which has female sockets for all of its external connections.

@RobRothman

Yes, you are worrying too much.
Buy the same as in the image, i.e gold plated.
These won't disconnected unless you tug at them!
I do this all the time and I prefer using female connectors to male headers.
Use Aluminum foil duct tape to keep them together if you wish. They wont disconnect!
But it's your choice.

Plug in and keep in touch.

I don't want connections to come loose from normal handling (including the enclosure possibly getting turned upside-down). Am I worrying too much about this?

I have used masking tape across a group of these connections in a few cases. Also, when using the pin strips into a regular Arduino connector, I use a wide strip across at least 4 to 7 pins, even if I am only plugging cables on 1 or 2. Cheap, and then that strip stays put when you unplug cables. You could tape just the pin strips, and everything would be male pins, like Xiao In Beijing Intended. (Xiao is the guy who designed the first Sensor Shield (AKA http://flamingoeda.com and I still buy THIS: version of it and some of his Electronic Bricks).

The retention force of the flat cables I use, like THESE: is pretty good. The pins are all .025 square and have lots of contact area in the connectors. I have several demos I haul around to MakerFaires etc that have these YourDuino Robo1s with the 3-pin connectors and those cables going to LEDS, servos, LCD displays, Pots etc., and I have not had any get disconnected (somewhat to my surprise)..

For serious stuff like a boat or high-vibration vehicle, the Hot Glue suggestion is appropriate. It is possible but gooey to remove them.

But for a project with a $15 Arduino derivative board like THIS: maybe things don't need to be commercial/military grade...

DISCLAIMER: Mentioned stuff from my own shop...