Speaking of special tools, who wonders about all the crimping tools that it takes to crimp pins for all the different connectors we use in our projects?
The 'official' crimping tool (the one recommended by the connector manufacturer) for each of the different connectors could cost you way more than the remainder of the project.
Does anyone have the magic bullet when it comes to crimpers? In other words one tool that fits all!
So far, in the DB1 project, we've used or talked about DuPont, Molex, and JST XH connectors. Maybe even two different types of Molex connectors.
How do you crimp all the pins for your connectors?
I think that you have to be realistic when you invest in special tools, like wire crimpers for specific terminal types. As Steve pointed out you can often spend more than the project itself on the crimping tools for the connectors.
My thought process is "how often will I use this tool?". If it is likely that I'll continue to use it after the project then it's worth the purchase. Otherwise, I'll see if I can make do with something else.
I purchased a reasonable-quality tool for crimping Dupont connectors a few years ago, as I also invested in thousands of Dupont pins and sockets and a huge assortment of headers of different sizes. I know I'll get a lot of use out of that tool.
I also have an older crimping tool that I've had for so long I honestly can't remember where or when I bought it. I find it to be a good general-purpose crimper and it seems to work on many different sizes of connectors - I used it for the connectors I employed in the DB1 power distribution wiring for example.
Crimpers are a great example because you can spend a fortune on these. There are some really good ones that use interchangeable heads, so you can use them with many different types of terminals. But if you were to invest in one with an assortment of heads you'd easily be a thousand dollars poorer.
That's a lot of money to join a wire to a terminal!
"Never trust a computer you can’t throw out a window." — Steve Wozniak
All these different connectors, it's dam confusing. For the high current wires to motors and power supplies I've been using xt60. I also use some spade crimp connectors to attach wires to switches and fuse connectors. These spade connectors and crimper was a cheapie box set with a crimper and terminals for $20 and they work well enough. I also put some heatshrink the end of the wire as well. For i2c I bought a small collection of grove connectors and pre terminated wires.
But I still look around for general wiring where I want to hook up wires that I cut to length. I have found that some molex connectors, the sort used in PC power supplies can be a bit difficult to prise apart.
For the up to 5 amp wires I would like to settle on a connector that is easy to connect and disconnect with a latching mechanism, easy to connect wires form AWG 20 to AWG 14 to the terminals, preferably by crimping and can be properly fixed with a quality crimper that costs no more then around $50. The male/female connectors should be available as 1 to 6 way connectors.
I would be good to hear if anyone has any particular recommendations. Hey, a test and recommendation of the options might make a good DroneBot episode (hope I'm not loading up poor old Bill too much this is not the first subject I've suggested) ?
I was most concerned about the JST XH crimp pins as they are very small and I had read several online stories and watched a few YouTube videos about the experiences others had had with crimping the XH pins. The "official" crimping tool for these pins runs about 5 Ben Franklins and put them way out of my reach unless I'm going to build many DB1s.
Well to make a long story much shorter I must be living a charmed life at the moment, so I'm going to run out and buy a lottery ticket for the next big drawing!
I just returned from a fellow amateur radio friend's home who passed away a couple of years ago. His widow had asked me to stop by and see if I would like to look through his tools and pick out a few for myself before she had a garage sale to begin emptying the basement. And what did I find? One of the "official" JST XH crimp tools! Still in its original box and looking like it had hardly ever been used. She wanted me to take it for free, but I couldn't do it! So she finally said "OK, how about $10.00?" I still couldn't do it and handed her $50.00. She was flabbergasted, but said she didn't even what to know what he had spent for them. So I obliged her by not telling her and headed home with a few other less expensive item that she refused to take anything for.
I'll let you know later if I win the lottery!
So if you need any JST XH pins crimped let me know!! ?
I've know I've seen that name "grove connector" before, but not sure exactly what one is. Maybe I've just been calling them those "whatchamacallits!"
@codecage Your a jammy bugger (old english slang for a very lucky person ? ) And just in case you luck does extend to a big lottery win I want you to know you are my best friend, my very very best friend ?
Grove connects are produced by seedstudio https://www.seeedstudio.com/blog/2016/03/09/tutorial-intro-to-grove-connectors-for-arduinoraspberry-pi-projects/
They make hats and shields for arduino and rpi for multiple i2c connections but you can just get the connectors to put on your own PCB's. I see Digikey also sells them.
Thanks my new best friend! I'll look into those "grove connectors." If I win the big lottery I'll buy everyone building the DB1 Robot a set of "official" JST XH crimpers! But please don't any of you hold your breath until I win. You're going to turn real BLUE! I haven't even gone back out to purchase the lottery ticket. I'm having too much fun crimping XH pins! ?
I was actually approached by Seeed Studio several months ago to review some Grove connector products, but I declined as I've stopped doing sponsored videos (at least for a while). However, I do think they are a great system, especially for people who want to experiment without worrying about soldering. I think their modules would be excellent for schools.
Another cool connector that I've been considering is the QWiiC connectors from Sparkfun, they are intended for I2C devices. I have a few Sparkfun modules with these already. It's a small JST-type connector, they also sell cables and a surface-mount QWiiC jack.
They also have a QWiiC to Grove cable as well!
@codecage - Steve I'll make a space on my pegboard for the JST XH crimpers! Hopefully, your luck in the lotto is better than mine, I failed to win the 30 million yesterday. Of course, that's 30 million CANADIAN dollars, so it's only about 50 bucks US LOL. But lotto winnings are tax-free in Canada.
@byron - Actually I hadn't thought about a connector episode, that's a good idea.
"Never trust a computer you can’t throw out a window." — Steve Wozniak
Those Grove connectors look very similar to the JST XH connectors.
@byron you wouldn't happen to have the Digikey part number would you? I didn't find them on my first search attempt.
@codecage - part number 1597-1083-ND - here is a link to the part to digikey page:
And I remember from something I read somewhere, they are not the same at something that looked very similar. A bit vague I know. Whether what I remember was comparing Grove to JST XH I cannot remember and a quick google did not bring anything up.
As far as I can tell you can't get the plugs and pins separately but only in pre-made specific length cables. And they seem to be just 4 pin, no other pin numbers are available. Did I miss something?
Not as flexible as what I can see the JST XH connectors will be.
You may well be correct. I only got a few cables already made up with a Grove i2c board for the rpi I also got a few sockets for mounting but I have not actually used any of those. I was only thinking to use them for i2c connections hence my continued hope to find something else to settle on, hopefully to the spec's I mentioned previously.
Maybe the JST XH connectors will fit the bill, but unless some good fellow has a lottery win and buys me a massively expensive crimper maybe I have to keep looking. ?
Well even if I don't win (I've yet to buy a ticket!) if we get the ability to send personal messages I could be convinced to crimp the XH cables for those that send me the pins, the number, and length of wire that need pins crimped along with a SASE so I can return them.
Thanks for the most generous offer. Actually I've just been googling JST XH connectors and I see an ENGINEER pa-09 Universal Crimping Tool has some good reviews and a reasonable price. It seems to crimp a bunch of things but JST XH was mentioned. I have not yet done proper research on these connectors to see if they are what I want go for but they look promising, Nor have I looked properly to see if the crimping tool really any good. Theres a lot of fake reviews out there.