Board level power connector

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Board level power connector

Postby brian » Tue Feb 19, 2013 9:50 pm

I have some projects that will have off board power supplies. Historically one of the issues with these guys is that the connectors are so expensive that I often have just used 0.1" headers. We are talking 0.5 A at most here at 15 V.

Any tips for cheap good connectors for this sort of task. Of course there are lots of things from Molex but again just not ultra cheap. It always seems cable assemblies are pricier than they should be. I'd like to have at least 4 rails so 8 wires perhaps. Min 4 wires for 3 rails with 1 COM.

Thanks for the useful suggestions in advance.

PS: Must have a real supply source (thus probably not an ebay thing).
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Re: Board level power connector

Postby brian » Wed Feb 20, 2013 7:17 am

Okay option 1 monoprice (for whatever reason I didn't think of monoprice as I think of that as consumer)...

They have somewhat commodity computer wire harnesses. Price of < 1 dollar is okay but would probably cause some people to think they could use an ATX supply which could cause things to blow up.
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Re: Board level power connector

Postby bearmos » Wed Feb 20, 2013 8:25 am

molex KK is about as cheap as it gets, in terms of total cost (including crimpers).

JST XAD is also a great choice if you're willing to pay for the crimpers (usually around $700) - and live with more expensive headers (Which you're probably not). Depending on what quan you're doing, find an ECM you can get along with and let them to the cable assemblies, then you can just hack together the first couple for the prototypes.

Here's an XAD 8 pos housing for $.32 ea @ quan 1. The headers also aren't too bad at $.52 ea quan 1 and contacts are around $.03 ea @ quan 100.

There were some discussion on this in another thread. It actually prompted me to do some digging - I couldn't find anything cheaper than molex KK, here's a page with all the info I collected.

Sager has amazing pricing on the housings ($.06 ea!) quan1 as well as the headers ($.08 ea) quan 1 and contacts ($.03 ea) quan 1.


So, molex KK from an extremely reputable supplier for around $.25 for a 4 pos header, housing and contacts - all in single quantities. I think you'll be extremely hard-pressed to find something less expensive than that.
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Re: Board level power connector

Postby bearmos » Wed Feb 20, 2013 8:42 am

Oh, the other thing that you didn't really mention that I usually try to take into account. . .

Molex KK is on 0.1" centers, which means that most hobbyists probably have some connectors laying around that will work. The JST XA series are 2.5mm, so with the higher position connector, you'll probably be hard-pressed to get a "standard" 0.1" connector on them. Just something else to think about.
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Re: Board level power connector

Postby brian » Wed Feb 20, 2013 7:26 pm

Those are good suggestions...

I was really looking to find cable assemblies + headers rather than having to either special order crimped cables or making them all myself.
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Re: Board level power connector

Postby bearmos » Thu Feb 21, 2013 7:40 am

brian wrote:I was really looking to find cable assemblies + headers

Sorry, I missed that. Although I've never looked for partial assemblies specifically, if they exist I suspect you'll find them to be extremely expensive for what you're looking for from a reputable supplier. The closest "stock" cable assemblies are probably those used in the RC world, but my guess is that the majority are going to be 2 or 3 wire (e.g. http://www.pololu.com/catalog/product/1164)
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