Header Sockets

The official pyboard running MicroPython.
This is the reference design and main target board for MicroPython.
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UltraBob
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Header Sockets

Post by UltraBob » Wed Jul 30, 2014 1:09 am

Some header sockets came with my micropython board, but not enough to solder sockets on all of the pins. I would like to add in two more 8 pin socket rows. Does anyone know a good place to source the same header sockets that were included in the kickstarter packages?

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dhylands
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Re: Header Sockets

Post by dhylands » Wed Jul 30, 2014 2:12 am

It partly depends on what country you're in, and how much stuff you're going to order.

I buy most of my raw components from DigiKey.ca (in the US use digikey.com) You typically need to get your order size up to take advantage of reduced/free shipping.

sparkfun.com, adafruit.com, mouser.com, jameco.com, are other places you can typically buy those types of things. mouser and jameco are slanted more towards raw compoenents.
sparkfun and adafruit are slanted more towards the hobbyist, so you can also get lots of breakout boards and other nifty stuff.

Many electronics stores will carry those components as well, (and there are electronics surplus stores around too - it depends on where you are).

The sockets that came with my micropython boards are what's referred to as "machine pin" sockets. i.e. they're round. The most common pins and sockets are square.
https://www.sparkfun.com/products/743 - these are similar, but don't appear to be as tall.
I measured mine. They are 0.275" or 7mm high (just the black plastic portion).

This is the "regular" kind (not machine pin): https://www.sparkfun.com/products/115

This is a part from digikey that has the same height
http://www.digikey.com/product-detail/e ... ND/3757440
If you click on the 801 Series link near the bottom, you'll see the other sizes.
I generally buy the longer strips and cut them down. This is the 50 pin part:
http://www.digikey.com/product-search/e ... endor=1212

If you'd like, I can dissect some and show you the differences internally.

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UltraBob
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Re: Header Sockets

Post by UltraBob » Wed Jul 30, 2014 2:29 am

Thanks again Dave!

I am in Japan, and it has been more challenging that I would have thought to find electronic hobbyist type shops like adafruit and sparkfun, but I've managed to find a few. the machine pin sockets terminology may be useful, and the measurements definitely are because I don't truly care if they are the same pins, I just want then to fit and be very close to the same height.

I soldered the provided sockets along the two outside rails of the board and now I have two rows of eight empty pins in between those rails. I ordered a 40 pin strip of sockets, and tried to cut them down, but the strip I bought seems not to have been designed to be cut (or just as likely, I don't know how to cut them properly), so I ended up with a lot of 7 pin segments, on the way to getting 2 8 pin segments. After I got those two segments cut out though, I couldn't make them fit in between the other rows, my efforts seemed to be making the board start to flex so I thought I'd better call it a night and try to order some more appropriate sockets.

Digikey and Mouser are, like you mention, very expensive to ship unless you get up to a threshhold I'm not reaching with my desired orders.I'll look around and see what I can find, including reviewing the links in your post. Greatly appreciated!

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dhylands
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Re: Header Sockets

Post by dhylands » Wed Jul 30, 2014 3:00 am

Hey UltraBob,

The ones that are designed to be cut apart typically have a scribe lines between each pin.

For the types that don't have a scribe line, what I normally do is to sacrifice one socket. I'll push/pull the metal portion out and then use wire cutters to cut down the middle. Then use a file to trim up the sides.
It sounds like you need to file a bit away on one or both sides.

I find using a one of those X-acto style razor saws works quite well for cutting the breakaway one as well.

These ones on ebay appear to be of the right size. You should probably ask the seller.
http://www.ebay.ca/itm/5-Pcs-2-54mm-Pit ... 27cc5db3c8

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UltraBob
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Re: Header Sockets

Post by UltraBob » Wed Jul 30, 2014 3:48 am

I guess 2.54mm pitch sockets are what I need? It turns out the ones I ordered and broke all the hell last night were these: https://www.sparkfun.com/products/115 resold through a supplier in Japan http://www.switch-science.com/catalog/505/

Maybe I'll try by luck with these http://www.switch-science.com/catalog/1375/ that are already cut to length (https://www.sparkfun.com/products/11895)

I filed the ones I had down far enough that I was worried I was going to break through to the pins and they still weren't fitting well, so we'll see if these will fit better or not.

gianrisa
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Re: Header Sockets

Post by gianrisa » Wed Jul 30, 2014 6:13 pm

Best online shop for me is www.exp-tech.de
cheap and with a lot of electronic components assortments,
If you look for headers 2.54 :
http://www.exp-tech.de/Zubehoer/Steckve ... -pack.html
Bests Gian

JennaSys
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Re: Header Sockets

Post by JennaSys » Fri Aug 08, 2014 8:03 am

I realize the best way to mount the headers would depend on a given application, but by design is there an intended standard or preferred way (i.e. top/bottom)? How about header type (male/female or extended pins)?
John Sheehan

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dhylands
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Re: Header Sockets

Post by dhylands » Fri Aug 08, 2014 4:02 pm

This photo shows how you should install the headers in order to use one of the "skins" with the MicroPyton board.

Personally, I prefer using male pins when I'm developing (easier to clip to a logic analyzer probe onto), so I wired up one of my micropython boards like this.

When my LCD skin arrives, I'll wire up another micropython board using the "standard" layout.

If you go with the female headers, you can purchase jumper wires like this:
https://www.sparkfun.com/products/11026
for connecting to solderless breadboards.

You can also get M/F wires:
https://www.sparkfun.com/products/9140

and F/F wires:
https://www.sparkfun.com/products/8430

I tend to prefer using F/F wires and pull the pins from male headers to convert the female ends into a male end (when needed).

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Re: Header Sockets

Post by JennaSys » Sat Aug 09, 2014 2:56 am

Thanks Dave, that helps a lot. The pictures make it perfectly clear. I've been working with the Raspberry Pi quite a bit lately and have been using Adafruit's cobbler (http://www.adafruit.com/products/914) breakout cable for making connections to the GPIO from a breadboard and it has kind of has me spoiled me in that regard. I suppose it wouldn't be too difficult to make something similar for the Pyboard.

Do you think there is any benefit to using male pins on the bottom of the Pyboard so you can plug it right into a breadboard or for use as a daughter board on a larger PCB, or is it more efficient to just use cables to make the connections in those cases?
John Sheehan

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dhylands
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Re: Header Sockets

Post by dhylands » Sat Aug 09, 2014 4:10 am

JennaSys wrote:Thanks Dave, that helps a lot. The pictures make it perfectly clear. I've been working with the Raspberry Pi quite a bit lately and have been using Adafruit's cobbler (http://www.adafruit.com/products/914) breakout cable for making connections to the GPIO from a breadboard and it has kind of has me spoiled me in that regard. I suppose it wouldn't be too difficult to make something similar for the Pyboard.

Do you think there is any benefit to using male pins on the bottom of the Pyboard so you can plug it right into a breadboard or for use as a daughter board on a larger PCB, or is it more efficient to just use cables to make the connections in those cases?
Yeah - if I was going to work with a solderless breakboard, I would probably do what you suggest. Just put 2 rows of 16 pins down the sides.

You could also do a hybrid approach and buy some stackable headers like these:
https://www.sparkfun.com/products/9279

Then you could plug it into a breadboard, and also plug in a skin.

I'll also sometimes buy some of these: https://www.sparkfun.com/products/10158 and using my vice I can move the plastic strip into the middle and get male pins on both sides.

I see SparkFun also has some solderless headers: https://www.sparkfun.com/products/10527

I normally just do whatever is going to work best for the project at hand. Using "cables" works for lots of things, but you're better off if you don't have to.

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