Trying to find a female USB-A connector to use on a Raspberry Pi Zero adapter that comes with a male connector

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seanspotatobusiness

Joined Sep 17, 2016
206
I'm trying to add a permanent female USB-A port to my Pi Zero. You can buy little PCBs allowing you to add a male USB-A connector via the test points on the underside of the Pi Zero. You have to solder the connector yourself which is what gives me the opportunity to substitute it for a female connector. The problem is, I'm not sure how to find a female USB-A connector which will properly match the pads and holes on the PCB.

This is the adapter I bought: https://www.aliexpress.com/item/4000298648416.html

This is the first female USB-A socket I tried: https://www.aliexpress.com/item/32481009463.html

This is what it looks like when I put the two together: 2020-03-15 09.34.37.jpg

The power and data legs go past the pads on the PCB - the pads on the PCB are largely covered by the rear of the connector.

Part of the problem is that the pads on the PCB require an SMT connector but there are holes in the PCB for mechanically securing the connector to the PCB. Can anyone advise what kind of connector I need to search for? Could it be that there is no such connector?
 

jpanhalt

Joined Jan 18, 2008
10,251
It appears you bought a through hole (TH) connector for an SMD PCB. I am not surprised they don't fit together. Here's a typical TH connector:
1584270949588.png
Here's a typical SMD (not same series):
1584271083635.png
The scales are different. Notice how the SMD pads do not extend as far past the outline as the TH pads do. On some SMD devices, the pads are completely hidden.

Solution?

Pick any large retail distributor, like Digikey, Mouser, whatever in your country. Their web sites will allow you to check out the pad design for various parts. Find a part that fits the PCB pads you have. You could also redesign the PCB. In a pinch, one can solder wire (like 28 to 32 awg) to the SMD pads and connect that to the TH pins. I would not recommend that for long term use.

Edit: I forgot to add that if everything else lines up, you could bend the TH pins under the device, trim them to prevent shorts and solder to the SMD pads. If you look at some device packages in libraries, you will see that some SMD's look like TH devices to which that has been done or visa versa.
 
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