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    WIRE CONNECTOR TUTORIAL

    Crimped Connector

    Wire Connector Tutorial
    There are many ways to connect wiring with your robots. But if you do it badly, you could end up with a hard to debug intermittent connection. Or even worse, wires that short!

    But fear not, I will show you a 'professional' way of connecting wires.

    For a quick rundown and demonstration, check out my video:

    Required Parts
    This method involves these parts from DigiKey.com or Mouser.com:

    WM2512-ND pins
    WM2800-ND 2 pin housing
    WM2801-ND 3 pin housing
    WM2802-ND 4 pin housing
    22 or 24 guage wire

    Other connectors can be found by searching for 'molex' and 'housing'. As for crimpers, this forum post is useful. The tool I use is the Pro-Crimper III.

    Servocity.com sells pins and crimpers too.



    Basic Summary of Steps
    As also demonstrated on my photoresistor tutorial, get a crimper (~$100) or use cheap pliers to attach the pins to the wires. Basically just stick a pin in the crimper hole with the right setting, stick your wire in the pin, then squeeze.

    crimped wires

    A closeup.

    crimped wires

    Then stick each of the three wires into the molex connector.

    molex connector housing



    Step-by-Step
    First, using wire strippers, strip off about half a centimeter of insulation off the wire.

    wire

    wire strippers



    Next, get a pair of crimpers.

    crimpers

    This is a close-up of the crimping part. You will notice numbers that represent the gauge of wires they were designed for. Typically, you want between 18 and 24 gauge.

    close-up of crimpers



    Next, you will need a pin that looks like this.

    pin

    Place the pin into the correct setting as shown.

    pin in crimpers

    You will want to squeeze the crimpers partly to hold the pin in place (but not all the way yet!!!).

    close-up of pin in crimpers

    back view of crimper and pin



    Now stick your stripped wire into the pin. You want about 3 millimeters of insulation to also go in.

    wire in pin

    Squeeze the crimpers all the way.

    squeezing crimpers

    Now release the crimpers, and pull the wire and pin out.

    pull wire out of crimpers

    This is what it should now look like. Notice that the insulation is squeezed by the back of the pin, and the wire is squeezed by a different part in the center of the pin. This is to insure a good hold on the wire, and good electrical contact as well. Some people like to then add a bit of solder, but this is not required.

    completed part



    Now push the pin into the housing as shown.

    push wire into housing

    Make sure the tab end of the pin goes the correct way into the housing. Notice how the tab locks into that open square hole in the housing.

    pin locks into housing

    This is an example of sticking the connector onto a circuit.

    connecting into electronics

    You are now finished!



    There are also male pins that you can use.

    male pin

    male pin connector



    But wait! What if you made a mistake? Or want to reuse the housing for something else? Simple, take a sharp object such as wire snips and push the tab in as shown. Simultaneously pull the wire out. Be careful not to over-bend the tab (if you do, manually bend it back after you remove the wire).

    removing wires from housing



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