14 Replies Latest reply on Feb 8, 2020 6:39 PM by colporteur

    Male/female pin converter?

    madbilly

      Hi everyone,

      First, this is my first post in element14 so I don't know if there is a better subforum for my question - if there is, then mods please move it there.

       

      I'm trying to find some pin converters, by which I mean something which will change a male pin into a female socket. This is primarily for stacking shield boards on top of a microcontroller board when I've got the wrong sense pins soldered in and don't want to change them. For example, I have two boards which I want to stack, both have male pins, so how do I connect them? I've looked around a lot of sites trying to find these but haven't succeeded yet and when I was thinking of where I could ask element14 seemed like the logical choice.

       

      Helpful suggestions much appreciated.

      Cheers

        • Re: Male/female pin converter?
          shabaz

          Hi,

           

          I don't think such a thing exists (maybe it does as some hobby item but I've not seen it), but there are a few other options if you don't wish to remove the pin header from one of the boards.

          The simplest is to use jumper wires with the sockets on each end, and patch the two boards. Sometimes just a few connections are relevant (e.g. if the shield board only uses I2C, then four jumper wires are sufficient for SDA/SCL and the supply connections.

          Another option is to get hold of a couple of header sockets, and solder them back-to-back. It would be an ugly solution though. One more way is to build an intermediary adaptor board (i.e. a printed circuit board perhaps), but that's design effort.

          Depending on which side of the board the pins are on, another option could be to use ribbon cables with sockets on both ends. However, this won't always work, because the top and bottom row can become flipped if the pins are on opposite sides of the board. It only works if the pins are on the same side on both boards.

          5 of 5 people found this helpful
            • Re: Male/female pin converter?
              madbilly

              Hi @shabaz, thanks for your suggestions.

               

              You make a good point about the orientation of the boards, I need to check that I have got them in the right orientation to each other - if not then jumper wires are the only solution. I would prefer to find something which keeps the whole assembly rigid, which is why I was looking for the pin converters, but if I've got the orientation of the boards wrong then this won't work anyway.

               

              Cheers

              • Re: Male/female pin converter?
                beacon_dave
                "Another option is to get hold of a couple of header sockets, and solder them back-to-back. It would be an ugly solution though."

                 

                If you use separate header shells and female inserts, then you could crimp or solder two inserts back-to-back using solid tinned copper wire. Repeat for as many connections required then sandwich them between the two shells. A dab of adhesive on the backs of the shells when assembling and it should look tidy...

                6 of 6 people found this helpful
              • Re: Male/female pin converter?
                luislabmo

                Hello,

                 

                I agree with others, maybe if you need an adapter for these kind of situations, pay good attention to the orientation, as usually parts that are stackable use stackable-female headers and most of the time are placed in the same orientation. Here are a few options to consider:

                • Change your shield boards to use stackable female headers, these are mainly used for your intended purpose, when used on a PCB they look like these
                • For female-to-female connections use break-away headers
                • For male-to-male connections SMD approach: I think you can make your own PCB and use SMD female headers on both sides connected with vias, like a type of sandwich, this way you can decide how many pins you need and by using SMD female headers, they can be perfectly aligned one on top of each other.
                • For male-to-male connections, If you don't want to fiddle with SMD, well you can make your own PCB with two edges like in the picture below and solder two female headers on each side. The downside of this approach is that the spacing between the shields will be huge
                • Poor's man male-to-male connection, well the last resort is to use a piece of solderable PCB protoboard and offsett to female headers each on different side of the PCB. The downside of this one is that will offset your shields.

                  OR
                  use two right angle headers with the same PCB  (clip the terminals so don't interfere and solder only on one side), this approach will offset your shields but can greatly reduce the spacing between them

                Luis

                8 of 8 people found this helpful
                • Re: Male/female pin converter?
                  madbilly

                  Hi all,

                  Thanks for the great suggestions, I think that if I can't make one of these work then there's no helping me!

                   

                  One remark on replacing male headers with female ones - I've previously tried this and found them very difficult to remove. Since the pins are connected to each other, one pin cannot be easily removed without the others, and removing all the solder to detach them all before removing the whole assembly is very difficult. I tried to just push the pins through when the solder was molten, but this resulted in damage to a board so I've not tried it again.

                   

                  I'm still very surprised that such a simple and convenient thing as a male to male connection adapter doesn't exist off the shelf, but since it doesn't I have to consider all other options.

                   

                  Cheers

                    • Re: Male/female pin converter?
                      luislabmo

                      To desolder headers this is what I'd do: use a flush-cutter to clip the pins as much as you can from the soldered side, then remove the header plastic retainer -use the flush cutter as well for this, the pins now are individually held just by the solder. Then desolder them one by one (they are going to fall by themselves or use a tweezer to help removing them), use a solder pump in this step to desolder them and/or to clean the pads after. If you try to desolder the header without disassembling it, chances are you will end up burning the copper traces.

                       

                      Luis

                      3 of 3 people found this helpful