19 July 2010

Question for Readers

I just received my two LaunchPads this morning; I'm excited they're finally here!  One of the things I mentioned in an early post was that, with my PW28 target board, I put female headers in for the breakout section.  These are my reasons for having used that convention:

  • A socket can connect to a plain solid wire for quick connections to breadboards, etc.
  • In rockets, the rule of thumb is if something is disconnected, the side that remains powered should not be an exposed pin to prevent an accidental short when wires are jostled around.
  • Looks cleaner than the bare pins; no concern of something outside the circuit (eg. a meter) brushing up against a pair of pins and accidentally shorting them.
It seems many others use the opposite convention, such as in the Arduino case.  (Reader Plazma points out that other photos of the Arduino show the female convention being used.)  Ultimately, it would be nice to use the convention that is common to most users, making use of other people's designs, "shields", expansion boards and what not easy.

So what does everyone think?  Which convention would be the better one to use, male or female headers on the LaunchPad?  Why?


Anonymous said...

Female headers on board is a better choice IMHO. Contacts are protected and easy to connect bare wires.

I used to put pinheaders on board but that was only because others also do so. No better explanation.

plazma said...

Most Arduino boards have female headers on board. Except the one on the front page :)


OCY said...

The advantage of using pins is that you can use ribbon cables (3M?) to connect to other boards.

But for LaunchPad, you will need two such cables and can only use half of the wires in each cable.

David said...


Guess I should have dug a little deeper. Thanks for clarifying that!

plazma said...

OCY: If you want to use a ribbon cable then you can make a breadboard that has a two row male pinheader for the ribbon cable. This also uses both rows and all wires of the ribbon cable.

The breadboard can then use one row male pinheaders to connect to the female pinheaders on the LaunchPad.

Anonymous said...

Just use a female-female pin adapter if you need to. Or a male-male adapter. No big deal.

Anonymous said...

The professional way is to put the more robust part of a connection (socket / plug pair) where it is more difficult to replace.

In this case that would be to put the male header on the board. Because it is more robust. The female headers wear out more easily, therefore belong at the wire. A wire is more easy to replace then a soldered socket on a PCB.

The Arduino people got that wrong. They got quite a few things wrong, this is one of the more glaring things they got wrong.