New Kits And Tools For Clean, Easy Wiring

I am a huge fan of good wiring and doing it right.  We thought it would great to get some affordable starter kits that contain all the basic stuff you need to do great wiring job. We have selected the some of the most popular items and put them in well organized kits.  We also sell refill packs if you run out of one of the types.

Header Connectors

Header connectors are all over the place.  Arduino, Raspberry Pi, Beagle Bone and just about every CNC controller has them.

Often projects come with connectors and contacts, but how does the average person use these?  A lot of people try crimping with needle nose pliers.  With practice you can get a reasonable crimp that way, but often the shape is distorted and the pin does not fit or latch in the connector well.  To do it right you need a real crimper

Header connectors come in pin (male) and socket (female) varieties.  Most controllers primarily have female connectors.  These work well with shields and jumper wires.  They also don't have exposed pins that can easily get shorted.  Many shields have male contacts.  With this kit you can make mating connectors for both types.

The header connector kit contains the following items in a well organized container.
  • (100) female/socket contacts
  • (100) male/pin contacts 
  • (25) 1 x 1 Position Connector (Great for making single wire jumpers)
  • (25) 1 × 2 Position
  • (25) 1 × 3 Position
  • (25) 1 × 4 Position
  • (25) 1 × 5 Position
  • (25) 1 × 6 Position
  • (25) 2 × 2 Position
  • (25) 2 × 3 Position
  • (25) 2 × 4 Position
  • (25) 2 × 5 Position
  • (25) 2 × 6 Position

How to Crimp Header Connetors

Crimping is a skill learned through practice.  It takes a few tries to master it, so don't be discouraged if your first few attempts don't work so well.  After a half dozen crimps you should be quite good and productive at it.  Here is the basic process.

Step 1 : Trim the wire to the right length.  This is, by far, the most important step.  A crimp gets nearly all of its hold on force by clamping to the insulation.  If you strip to much, you will crimping on more wire than insulation and your contact will pull off the wire.  You can use a pin to gauge how much to strip.

This is what you want it to look like when you are done.

Step 2:  Insert the contact into the crimper and ratchet it down until it is held in the crimper.

Step 3: Push the wire into the contact

Step 4: Crimp the contact.

Step 5: Test the contact grip by giving it a gentile tug.  It should not pull off the wire.

Step 6: Insert into the connector housing.  The crimped side on the contact faces the side of the connector with the opening and plastic tang.

How to remove a contact.

The pin can be removed from the housing by lifting the plastic tang slightly and pulling out the contact..  If you lift it too much it might permanently bend and not be reusable.

Wire Ferrules

Ferrules should be used when stranded wires are used in terminal blocks.  Ferrules keep the wires together and provide a little extra strain relief.

A common failure occurs when one stray strand on a wire comes loose from the terminal block and touches another terminal or circuit.  Another failure can come from the small amount of exposed wire just outside terminal block.  If the wire is tugged it can contact another circuit.

Using a Ferrule Crimper

The ferrule crimper is generally easier to master than the header crimper.  The only trick is to choose the right ferrule.  It must be snug to start with.  The crimper cannot squeeze a big ferrule onto a small wire. 

Step 1: Select an appropriate size ferrule.  The ferrule should slide snugly on the stripped wire.

Step 2: Strip wire  Use the un-insulated portion of the ferrule as a gauge for the strip length.

Step 3: Twist strands

Step 4: Insert the stripped portion of the wire into the ferrule

Step 5: Insert the Ferrule into the crimper

Step 6: Close the crimper as far as you can

Step 7: Test the how well the wire holds.  If it is loose, try a smaller ferule.


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