easiest interconnects?

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by spinnaker, Dec 13, 2009.

  1. spinnaker

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    There are TONs of interconnects out there. Say you have an LCD panel that you want to attach to a second project perf board or pcb. Say maybe 8-10 connections.


    What are the easiest interconnects to work with?

    I have tried setting up ribbon connectors in the past. The ones with two rows of connectors. They have always been a pain, my guess is that I probably needed a special tool to press on the the cable and top part of the connector.

    Any better method with a low wire count connection that is also low cost?

    I was thinking of just using some of those breakaway header pins and then just use some rainbow wire. But then I would have a mess of wires. Can sleeves be purchased for the wires?
     
  2. SgtWookie

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    Why not stack 'em vertically?

    Use a male header on one board. Use a female header on the other board.

    That route has been in use for years. One very widespread use is for PC/104 boards. These are little CPU boards that are full-blown computers, used for industrial processes.
     
  3. spinnaker

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    Sorry to be so dense.

    Mouser has tons of headers.

    Do you mean like this?

    And then I guess I just use ribbon cable? What is the best way to press them together? I have made them up long ago and they have always been a bit of a pain.


    Sorry but what do you mean by "stack them".

    I really only need around 8 conductors. And then supply. Is it save to run my supply for the LCD in the same cable?
     
  4. SgtWookie

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    Better than being an airhead. :)

    Yep.

    Well, are you planning on using single-sided boards without thru-plating on vias?
    If so, you're pretty much stuck with using male headers and ribbon cables.

    If you're thru-plating, you can use male headers and female sockets.

    That means one board fits on top of the other. Like stacking up a deck of cards.

    If you use a ribbon cable without grounds separating the signal, I'll guarantee you that you will have crosstalk between the signals (LC coupling, like a transformer) and be very unhappy about it.

    If you use male headers and female sockets, you won't likely run into that problem, as they'll only be parallel for about 3/4", if that. Not much inductive/capacitive coupling.

    It's always a good idea to run multiple grounds through headers. A few extra Vcc pins won't hurt you, either. Just doing the absolute minimums will almost always bite you; you'll find you always need more pins for some last-minute reason.
     
  5. spinnaker

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    Yeah in fact my first version is going to be a perf board. I figure I could get into PCBs later and they most certainly will be single sided till I get the swing of things.
     
  6. SgtWookie

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    Ribbon cables it is, then.

    Make sure you run grounds in between the signal wires. Run a couple extras for Vcc.

    [eta]
    It's easier to make up ribbon cables if you have a vice. Even a drill press vice works quite well, as long as the jaws are square.

    If you don't feel like fiddling with making up cables, you could always salvage one from a junked computer.
     
  7. spinnaker

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    Thanks!


    So signal wire, ground, signal wire, ground etc. etc. etc?


    How do you snap those bad boys together? Does it just take practice?
     
  8. SgtWookie

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    No, ground, then signal, then ground, then signal, then ground, then signal, then ground, then signal, then ground, then signal, then ground, then signal, then ground, then signal, then ground, then signal, then ground.

    You said you had eight signals, right?

    Don't forget to run at least two Vcc lines, preferably not next to a signal line. Signals should be isolated by ground lines.

    I use a drill press vice! Do you know what a drill press vice is?
    http://www.sears.com/shc/s/p_10153_...LE01&sid=IAx20090815x000001&aff=Y&origin=prod

    You can use something else, but a drill press vice and some practice makes it easy.

    I've assembled 'em using vice grips, tapping lightly with a hammer, and even just stepping on it carefully with the heel of my shoe.
     
  9. spinnaker

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    Yep I know exactly what they are. I just got a new drill press and have been meaning to pick one up. Now I have another use for one! Thanks for the great idea.

    Yes I have tried using pliers before. Not a lot of fun. :)
     
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