Better Connectors

Does anyone know of some really neat connectors or ideas for wiring?
There is usually a narrower range of electronics components in Australia.
I am building my second 'bot for Microcontroller Project at TAFE college, hacking a RC Jeep Rubicon. The problem is I have had to to solder up many connectors like data cable (from a microcontroller, sensors, etc) with male or female headers and shrink-wrap them, as the metal always seem to slip out of the plastic casing. I use "Super Glue" to try and remedy that, but doesn't really cut it.
Keep in mind that I am using a Mark III controller and sensor board with male/female 2.54 mm headers, although any alternatives on future projects with some type of connectors to fit custom PCBs, prototyping board or breadboard are also welcome.
I am aware of screw-type terminals and even the RJ-type for telephone and Cat-5 cable.
Cheers
:-]
Dale
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In that scale, 3M insulation displacement connectors are often a good choice. Take a look at
http://www.mouser.com/catalog/623/941.pdf
In general, complex wiring should go on boards, not in cables. If you need to, design a custom PC board that has nothing but connectors on it and connections between them, so each cable just plugs in. You can also build such a board with wire wrap, although that's kind of retro and takes up more space. That's a good way to fan out all the stuff that has to connect to J1 on that controller board.
Then you can use ribbon cables and IDC connectors, instead of making wiring harnesses one wire at a time. Your cables will be far less fragile.
If wires are slipping out, you have the wrong wire size, the wrong type of wire, the wrong connector size, or the wrong tool. Read the connector data sheets carefully. You can find most connector data sheets on line at Digi-Key or Mouser.
                John Nagle
Dale T Stewart wrote:

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OK thanks John
How do you connect your wiring to these connectors. The data sheet didn't help much
:-]
Dale
John Nagle wrote:

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Dale T Stewart wrote:

<snip>
Modular connectors are actually among the best, though the solder-on type have offset rows of terminals. It's easier to use the wired terminals if you aren't producing your own board or using an adapter.
I'd suggest most any crimp-on connection scheme. Some are more expensive than others. I used to hassle about this until I ponyed up for a real terminal crimper. Now I use standard, cheap 0.100" header terminals on most everything. One advantage is ease of breadboarding. The only soldering I do, if I'm not using a solderless breadboard, is the pin headers on copper boards. Everything else is crimp-on.
-- Gordon
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On Mon, 21 May 2007 13:03:34 +1000, Dale T Stewart

I use a mix of header pins, which I once used almost exclusively and modular connectors. The modular connectors are really easy to work with. In my latest set of robots I have used 4P4C and 6P6C modular connectors to interconnect all subsystems, using the vertical header pins and sockets only for the motors. The modular plugs make it easy to make a cable, just cut, strip, poke, crimp and presto! Plus orientation and polarity is automatic. The only problem is the pins on the sockets won't fit a breadboard but I make my own PCBs so I have no problem. I'm not sure why the metal would be coming out of your plastic casings, I've never found that problem. The tiresome thing with the header sockets is attaching each metal spring thingy to a wire. I crimp and solder cause I don't have a proper crimper. I also use AT style connectors for the keypads, because the ones I've made use AT keyboard curly cords, though PS/2 style would also work.
____________________________________________________ "I like to be organised. A place for everything. And everything all over the place."
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Crimps are best if there is vibration or any kind of pull on the wires. For crimps and screw terminals you should use the recommended size of stranded cable not solid core.
For crimps and Cat-5 you need a good quality tool.
Ribbon cable has a poor reputation...
If you must solder then you can use heat-shrink tubing and rubber sleeves to support the joints.
I know it all seems a pain but otherwise things tend to fall apart :)
Cheers Rich
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Rich C wrote:

Ribbon cable and its connectors come in different qualities. The good "rainbow" stuff from 3M is fine, especially when used with connectors that have strain relief. Some of the no-brand stuff is unreliable. Simple though those parts seem, the tolerances on the wire and the connectors are tight.
                John Nagle
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I get most of my connectors from Hansen Hobbies: http://hansenhobbies.com/products/connectors /. They're inexpensive and work very well. They ship internationally. The crimper sold there also works very well.
-Michael
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Gold? Don`t wipe it though.
------------------------------------------------------- Ashley Clarke -------------------------------------------------------
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