While there are many connectors available to choose from, finding the right one for your project can be a challenge. For your convenience, here is a link to our picture Connector Selector. To start with, we’ll discuss some of the idiosyncrasies and issues associated with using cables, jumper wires, and connectors.
Noise can be a problem for cables, especially when high frequency signals travel long distances. Even short jumper wires used to read analog voltages from sensors may be prone to picking up EMR (Electromagnetic Radiation) from other circuits generating EMI (Electromagnetic Interference) and wires carrying digital signals, with a potential to interfere with the analog voltages coming from a sensor. In this case, using shielded cables or shielding products may help eliminate those disruptions.
Using three or four jumper wires may be perfectly acceptable for connecting an Arduino to a serial EEPROM chip, however using 24 wires to control a parallel EEPROM can be difficult to troubleshoot the path and signal unless each colored wire and pin numbers are defined.
Many Jumper wires used in a project can be made permanent by soldering to its PC board. However, most projects that use jumper wires are removable and if used many times can become bent or broken. Always have multiple sets of jumper wires available when prototyping. Prototyping often involves connecting and disconnecting modules while testing, so integrating a connector between them makes it very convenient.
Bridging the gap between modules with connectors can be a convenient way to eliminate jumper wires. See these Male headers for PC mount and Female sockets to mate with the headers. Also, see this article to learn more about connecting boards together.
Depending on your requirements, you may need to pick a connector that provides more standardized interfacing and or requires many mating cycles. If your concern is related to noise-sensitive signals, get a connector that is shielded (I.E., USB, D-SUB 9); if you are dealing with too many individual wires that don’t need to be shielded from noise, consider using our ribbon cables;
Below are the links to the list of parts in the chart and their part family links for your further review to choose a connector for your next project:
Additional Resources includes a great article discussing the basics of connectors here.