Learning about really tiny connectors

The 1mm connectors arrived from Digikey this week, and rather than leap straight in and wire up a decoder, I took the unusual step and practiced first. I’m glad I did!

The connectors are delicate. Indeed, they barely hold together. I found that without a bead of CA to keep the pins in the plastic matrix, the male headers in particular fell apart when trying to get into the top-tight female ones. They’re better once broken in, though. Pushing .015” music wire into the female openings makes them more accepting of their mates.

I bought the header sizes that Digikey had in stock, figuring I could shorten as necessary. That was indeed the case, but the plastic is a little brittle, so I wound up sacrificing rows of pins and filing back to the correct dimensions.

To facilitate all the work on the headers, I made a slot just big enough for the pins in a piece of wood. I shall probably create a new one out of metal, however, as the wooden one is starting to get worn.

Soldering was another matter. The best results came from tinning both the pin and the wire. Then, holding the two parts together with a third hand, a tiny drop of hot solder marries the two tinned surfaces.

Some others have found that the plastic melts faster than heat shrink tubing does its business when heated with a heat gun. I don’t have a heat gun anyway, but hold my soldering iron close to shrink the tubing. I didn’t have the same issue.

2 thoughts on “Learning about really tiny connectors

  1. There’s something about this blog that reminded me of James Harriot.

    The image is of the test piece?

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