Jumpers for Prototyping

Chuck McManis

February 15th, 2002



"Hey, where'd you get those cool jumpers?" Is a question I get quite often. The cables in question are the wires I use to hook things like the BASIC Stamp 2 to a proto-board. The answer is, I make them myself. It isn't hard, and you can't actually buy them anywhere so you don't really have a choice now do you?


A typical jumper cable is shown to the right. These are actually a commercial form from JameCo (part number 126359) You will notice that they have pins on both ends.

That's great if you're going to be wiring up stuff on a typical proto-board but most microcontroller boards use jumper blocks, not jumper sockets (note that Fred Martin resisted this trend with the Miniboard and Handyboard). 

Anyway, I searched for a long time to find a way to make a jumper that was a socket on one end and a pin on the other end. That would let me plug jumper block pins found on microcontrollers into a proto-board. I was finally successful using the pins sold for DB25 connector hoods. Yup, those make your own serial cable kind of things. 

From Mouser Electronics I ordered a bag of #571-7486104 crimp on sockets and a bag of #571-7483334 crimp on pins. To build a cable you decide if you want it socket-socket, pin-pin, or pin-socket and get the appropriate crimp-ons. Next you cut a length of 24AWG wire, and cut two .75" pieces of small heat shrink (3/32" or 1/8" works great). Crimp on the connectors, then slide over the heat shrink and shrink it. Leave about 1/4" of pin exposed but on the socket end line the heat shrink right up to the edge. Voila' you've got a cool jumper cable.

Now for the stuff you don't know but need to :-)

Keep these simple rules in mind and you'll get a great deal of use out of these cables. 

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