Adding to existing circuitry (PocketCHIP) - small connection advice?

Thread Starter


Joined Jul 24, 2016
I recently got a PocketCHIP and have been working on ways of making it more useable. One way that would help immensely would be the addition of a mouse. What I'd like to do is create a pair of small pcbs that will fit over the limited open space at the bottom of the PocketCHIP, one with three buttons (for left, middle and right clicking), and one with a 5-way tactile switch for moving the mouse around. The plan is for each of these boards to connect via flat wires to a third small pcb that will be mounted on the back, inside the case, consisting of an MCP23017 I2C port expander and the connectors for the wires. From there, a final set of wires will connect to the SDA, SDC, ground and 3V pins on the CHIP. Alternately I could use one board for both the buttons and switch to save connectors, but the same issue described below applies.

I've already worked out most of the circuitry and placement, as well as the software side of things to make it all work, but the last hurdle is the wiring. I need a way to run connections between these boards in a limited area--preferably without obstructing or altering the profile of the PocketCHIP. One way to do this would be to utilize the two holes in the area I plan to put these boards, for passing the connections between front and back, but in that case I need a header/terminal that can accommodate at least 6 pins (though 7 would be better) and fit into a hole the size of a pencil - 8mm in diameter. I've looked around online and been overwhelmed by the sheer number of connector types, with little guidance for the proper name to look for. The closest I've found is a mini-DIN PS/2-style connection, but even that is a just a tad too big. The other two options are to extend the board slightly over the edge of the PocketCHIP to place a connector, or use one with a flat cable that can fold over from underneath, but these also require finding the right small connector and wire combination.

So here I am, wondering if anyone on this forum with more experience in the area of small connectors can point me in the right direction for this project. Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated!

For reference, here's a image of the PocketCHIP. The area I'm intending to use is the bottom left and right sections, covering (and potentially using) the pen/pencil holes.


Thanks in advance!