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Everything Else » Wire connectors

November 15, 2009
by FWSquatch
FWSquatch's Avatar

I'm looking for something to connect 4 wires to 4 other wires in such a way that they can be plugged in and unplugged. I'm really only needing to connect my nerdkit project's enclosure to my PC's USB/Serial cable and Radio Shack's choices left a lot to be desired. I've looked at digikey and a few other sites and I'm absolutely overwhelmed by choices. I have no idea what to choose. Any advice?

November 15, 2009
by mrobbins
(NerdKits Staff)

mrobbins's Avatar

Hi FWSquatch,

Something I've done in the past is to use RJ11 connectors, like analog phones use (I imagine that in a few years our younger customers won't know what these are!!!), because you can then use ordinary phone cables to connect things up. (You can also go up to ethernet-style RJ45 if you need 8 conductors.) They even have these jacks at RadioShack if you need them in a hurry, which has screw terminals inside.

Pros:

  • easily available and fairly inexpensive
  • uses standard, inexpensive cables available in lots of different lengths
  • latching connector

Cons:

  • can't carry a lot of current
  • unshielded and not necessarily twisted pairs -- may be susceptible to electrical noise and crosstalk over long runs
  • may not be super-elegant or compact to put one of these jacks inside your enclosure

Mike

November 16, 2009
by tech20
tech20's Avatar

i have used these before, and for basic data carrying like TLL and sort, it should work fine for quick connection. I'm planning on possibly developing a personal, dev kit for my own use, and will be using this for the uart connection and a RJ45 for the ISP programmer.

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