Whether you simply like DIY projects, or you have a fascination with connectors, at some point you might be interested to make a pin header or a female header connector. When this happens, it will be significant first to understand the basics about the two before embarking on the projects.
A pin header and a female header connector are quite easy to make, and anyone can make them at home provided they know how to go about it. There are some terms that will be important to understand before we go into to detail on how to make the two. Some of these terms include polarity, contact, pitch and mating cycles.
Polarity is the orientation in which the connectors can be connected in, and most connectors can only be connected in one orientation, so they are keyed to prevent wrong connections. Contact are the metal parts of the connectors that come into contact with one another. The pitch is the distance from the center of a contact to the center of another contact. The mating cycle is the lifespan of the connectors as they wear out every time they are connected and disconnected.
How to produce a simple pin(male) header or a female header
What you will need
- 3 Different size heat-shrink tubing
- Single raw female pin header(2.54mm)
- Wire cutters
- Wire strippers
- A third-hand tool (this is optional, but it might come in handy so it would be great to have one with you)
- A soldering Iron
- A heat gun (if you do not have one a standard hair dryer will work just fine).
Making the make connector
If you want to make a sturdy male connector, then you will have to make both a soldered connection and mechanical connection. The mechanical connection will be crucial because it will provide a larger surface area to be soldered to the header pin. To make this connection follow the following simple steps
- Step # 1: Start by stripping the insulation from a subtle gauge wire that should be between 24 and 26 gauge(a smaller one would even be better).
- Step # 2: Wrap the bare part of the wire around the lead to make the mechanical part of the connection.
- Step # 3: Solder the header pin and the wire together to make a relatively permanent connection.
- Step # 4: This is the last step but it is not mandatory, but it is still important. In this final step, you should cover the finished connection with the heat-shrink tube. This is meant to provide insulation to the pin from the adjacent pins. Use the heat gun or hair drier at lowest setting to blow the shrink tubing so that it can shrink as required.
Making the female header connector
This is easier than making the pin header as it is not purely DIY as you will only need to assembly and crimp the female header.
- Step # 1: For this you will use a small female crimp pin and a female connector housing that should have a 0.1 inch(2.54mm) pitch.
- Step # 2: Use a professional crimper or a needle-nose pliers to crimp together the two items mentioned in Step ! and you will have yourself a perfect female header connector.