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Connectors for Arduino project

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YurkshireLad
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One of the projects I've been messing around with is a parking sensor for our garage. One corner of the garage is angled, which makes parking a bit difficult.

I connected an HC-SR04 ultrasonic sensor and a 4 digit LED display to an Arduino. The Arduino simply reads the data from the sensor and displays the distance on the LED display.

I don't know if I'll actually turn this into a finished product; turning a prototype into an installable "product" (loose sense of the term) is quite a feat, requiring properly wiring and one or more containers.

I realised I might have to place the sensor lower on the wall to reflect off the front of the car, around the number plate, where it's more vertical. The hood and front windscreen are too angular and won't work. I'll also have to position the Arduino and LED higher so the display is visible from inside the car.

This means I'll need to work out which connectors to use to properly wire the device together. I don't have any connectors or a crimper I can use. As a starting point, would JST XH connectors work for me? I'm using 22 AWG wires at the moment.

My problem is that I have too many ideas and prototypes on the go and never seem to turn them into finished products. Doh!

Thanks


   
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Will
 Will
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@yurkshirelad

If you're going to install that in your garage, I'd suggest changing out the LED display for a very loud buzzer or a bright flashing LED/light mounted higher than the dash of the car. Just trigger it when you're at the (outer) limit of car position that will still allow you to close the garage door. Or have two flashers, green to tell you that you're close enough and red to tell you to STOP about two inches before you hit something.

Do you have mains power in the garage ?

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YurkshireLad
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I do have mains in the garage but it's about 6ft from where this would be installed.

The red and green LEDs are a good idea. I went with the LED showing distance for now until I can work out a safe range for parking. I could always change it later to just use LEDs to show if the car is in or out of range.

Thanks

 


   
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Will
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Posted by: @yurkshirelad

I do have mains in the garage but it's about 6ft from where this would be installed.

You could buy a USB charger, connect it to the mains and run a 2M (or even longer) USB cable to power your device.

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YurkshireLad
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Yeah I thought about that. I guess there's a limit for the length of a USB cable, after which you need some kind of booster.


   
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Will
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@yurkshirelad 

Or a very large capacitor 🙂

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Ron
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Posted by: @yurkshirelad

One of the projects I've been messing around with is a parking sensor for our garage. One corner of the garage is angled, which makes parking a bit difficult.

I connected an HC-SR04 ultrasonic sensor and a 4 digit LED display to an Arduino. The Arduino simply reads the data from the sensor and displays the distance on the LED display.

I don't know if I'll actually turn this into a finished product; turning a prototype into an installable "product" (loose sense of the term) is quite a feat, requiring properly wiring and one or more containers.

I realised I might have to place the sensor lower on the wall to reflect off the front of the car, around the number plate, where it's more vertical. The hood and front windscreen are too angular and won't work. I'll also have to position the Arduino and LED higher so the display is visible from inside the car.

This means I'll need to work out which connectors to use to properly wire the device together. I don't have any connectors or a crimper I can use. As a starting point, would JST XH connectors work for me? I'm using 22 AWG wires at the moment.

My problem is that I have too many ideas and prototypes on the go and never seem to turn them into finished products. Doh!

Thanks

Oh darn. I just recently tossed a couple pairs of crimpers in the garbage. I had too many and some were of questionable quality. I think I still have 3 or 4 for various reasons though.

Yes, turning a prototype into a finished product is no simple matter. It requires a somewhat different set of skills and probably additional tools. Today of course a young guy will tell you that you need to get a 3D printer to make the custom case you need or at least get access to one at a maker club. I have the later, but creating the software to drive the printer is still a challenge for me at least and the maker club fees are $50/month, that's a lot of money for me.

Instead of connectors, what about soldering?

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YurkshireLad
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I can solder connections, though I'm still practicing. I thought I'd like to try connectors to make it more complete. For better or worse, I picked up a crimper set from Amazon. I don't want a 3d printer so I'll try to find dirt cheap containers/boxes to use.


   
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Will
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@yurkshirelad 

Which type did you get dupont or JST ?

I tried both and I found the JST to be much easier to work with. I usually buy them in packs by pin count (i.e. 2-pin, 3-pin, etc) and get the male connectors that solder directly to the PCB and empty female sockets. I find it's easier for my large clumsy hands and diminished eyesight to manage the JST crimper in two stages - one for crimping the wire metal and another to crimp the wire insulation. The dupont crimper requires me to do both in one operation which I find more difficult.

Also, although I'm NOT young and I won't claim that you NEED a 3D printer, they're a wonderful tool if you need more than just boxes 🙂

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YurkshireLad
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I'd have to check the box, I can't remember! The various types are so confusing. 😀 


   
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Biny
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@yurkshirelad I started out crimping connectors on my current project, but it's so small they couldn't fit the case gracefully, and I switched to teeny terminal blocks instead. They have the benefit of providing a rock solid connection mechanically, so depending on the number of connections, that might be the direction you might want to go.

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YurkshireLad
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Posted by: @will

@yurkshirelad 

Which type did you get dupont or JST ?

I tried both and I found the JST to be much easier to work with. I usually buy them in packs by pin count (i.e. 2-pin, 3-pin, etc) and get the male connectors that solder directly to the PCB and empty female sockets. I find it's easier for my large clumsy hands and diminished eyesight to manage the JST crimper in two stages - one for crimping the wire metal and another to crimp the wire insulation. The dupont crimper requires me to do both in one operation which I find more difficult.

Also, although I'm NOT young and I won't claim that you NEED a 3D printer, they're a wonderful tool if you need more than just boxes 🙂

The kit included Dupont and JST-XH, so I have options. I also have a limited number of terminal blocks I can experiment with. If I use those, I could pick up a larger number/selection. I just need more time!!

This post was modified 10 months ago by YurkshireLad

   
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Ron
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@will I always check with 'The Swiss Guy' before buying tools, and unless my brain is completely fried this AM (a real possibility) he pointed out that one of the two at least dupont crimpers he recommends is also a two step process. It wasn't until I saw that video that I was able to get a half decent dupont crimp. Still don't like them and have recently found a decent price on pre-made dupont wires in the 8"/200mm length.

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Biny
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@ronalex4203 

Yeh, I use the two step crimpers for greater precision. "Engineer PA-09" is the marking on it.

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Ron
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@binaryrhyme Yup, that is the crimper he used to recommend but verrrrry expensive, now he recommends the iWiss 2820M although it's a real close call, the iWiss is about half the price I think.

"Don't tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do and let them surprise you with their results.” - G.S. Patton, Gen. USA
"Never wrestle with a pig....the pig loves it and you end up covered in mud..." anon


   
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