molex connectors & alternatives?

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seigenblues
Posts: 38
Joined: Mon Nov 05, 2012 3:32 am
Location: pacific nw

molex connectors & alternatives?

Post by seigenblues » Thu Mar 21, 2013 7:54 am

I don't know if anyone else on this forum has gotten the hankering to wire up their motors with some molex connectors and figures they can get by crimping 'em with a nice pair of needlenose pliers, but I've got a bit of advice.

Don't.

Anyone got any alternatives they'd like to suggest?
Batch 4 Shapeoko #837, dual y & dw660
Shapeoko2, TinyG w/ dw660, NEMA23 XY.

ThatOtherGuy435
Posts: 108
Joined: Sat Feb 16, 2013 2:08 pm

Re: molex connectors & alternatives?

Post by ThatOtherGuy435 » Thu Mar 21, 2013 11:56 am

I actually had good success with TE Connectivity's Mini MATE-N-LOK and a pair of small hooked needlenose... and a lot of patience and some extra pins. Got all of my motors wired up with em, and the wired extensions. Beware that if you don't like tiny, fiddly pins, don't bother... but they do fit through the ebay drag chains floating around.

Digikey parts:
A30270-ND (Pins: A30305-ND)
A30294-ND (Pins: A30307-ND)
ShapeOko1 #??? - 1000mm Dual-drive Y, Double X, S2 gantry motor plates, ACME Z-Axis.

mjohn
Posts: 69
Joined: Thu Jan 31, 2013 5:12 pm
Location: Baltimore, Maryland
Contact:

Re: molex connectors & alternatives?

Post by mjohn » Thu Mar 21, 2013 4:02 pm

Why not? I figure as long as you give the crimps some solder - what could go wrong?

I brought home a bunch of male and female molex connectors and pins but never got around to it. I've been looking at something for a nicer external connection, like the 4 pin XLR plugs. Just haven't prettied everything up to that extent yet.
seigenblues wrote:I don't know if anyone else on this forum has gotten the hankering to wire up their motors with some molex connectors and figures they can get by crimping 'em with a nice pair of needlenose pliers, but I've got a bit of advice.

Don't.
John Milleker Jr. - Historical Process Photographer/Instructor
Baltimore Maryland, USA - http://www.JohnMilleker.com
ShapeOko #1,284 - Upgrades: 2x4Oko (24x48" footprint), Double X rails, Acme-Z, Dual Y, DW660, IC's Dust Shoe w/Dust Collection.

seigenblues
Posts: 38
Joined: Mon Nov 05, 2012 3:32 am
Location: pacific nw

Re: molex connectors & alternatives?

Post by seigenblues » Thu Mar 21, 2013 4:48 pm

Maybe it's easier if you have the correct crimping tool, but I found them hideously finicky. Having had one wire pull out of it's pin after putting the metal bob in the plastic bit (yeah i've got all the terms of art right here), I resorted to increasingly desperate measures to try and clear the pin from the housing... and that's after all the struggles with getting the wires correctly seated and the stranded conductors correctly in their channel.

It got so bad I was trying to cut the plastic with a razor so i could get purchase on it with pliers. It ended up with me actually cutting the pin in half with snips... like a good 15-30 minutes down the drain easy.
Batch 4 Shapeoko #837, dual y & dw660
Shapeoko2, TinyG w/ dw660, NEMA23 XY.

ThatOtherGuy435
Posts: 108
Joined: Sat Feb 16, 2013 2:08 pm

Re: molex connectors & alternatives?

Post by ThatOtherGuy435 » Thu Mar 21, 2013 4:56 pm

Keep in mind, a decent crimping tool isn't murderously expensive, either. Pololu has one that I think works on even the tiny pins that I linked above for a pretty reasonable price. I'm probably going to grab a set at some point here myself.

http://www.pololu.com/catalog/product/1928
ShapeOko1 #??? - 1000mm Dual-drive Y, Double X, S2 gantry motor plates, ACME Z-Axis.

alpha
Posts: 174
Joined: Thu Apr 12, 2012 2:49 pm

Re: molex connectors & alternatives?

Post by alpha » Fri Mar 22, 2013 2:02 am

I found a $20 crimp tool at my local electronic store that works ok. I found soldering was not very helpful, and caused damage inserting the pins sometimes... it took me a while to master crimping the pins. I found that if crimping to much it would not longer lock in place (micro fit style).

mjohn
Posts: 69
Joined: Thu Jan 31, 2013 5:12 pm
Location: Baltimore, Maryland
Contact:

Re: molex connectors & alternatives?

Post by mjohn » Fri Mar 22, 2013 3:55 am

seigenblues wrote:Maybe it's easier if you have the correct crimping tool, but I found them hideously finicky. Having had one wire pull out of it's pin after putting the metal bob in the plastic bit (yeah i've got all the terms of art right here), I resorted to increasingly desperate measures to try and clear the pin from the housing... and that's after all the struggles with getting the wires correctly seated and the stranded conductors correctly in their channel.
Fair enough, those metal hold-in pins are a pain. Was just wondering if you had problems other than the inherent issues with those things. There is a tool to flex those hold-ins so that you can pull the pin out, but to me it was always easier to just make a new connector.
John Milleker Jr. - Historical Process Photographer/Instructor
Baltimore Maryland, USA - http://www.JohnMilleker.com
ShapeOko #1,284 - Upgrades: 2x4Oko (24x48" footprint), Double X rails, Acme-Z, Dual Y, DW660, IC's Dust Shoe w/Dust Collection.

jsbannis
Posts: 80
Joined: Tue Apr 10, 2012 11:09 pm
Location: Chicago, IL

Re: molex connectors & alternatives?

Post by jsbannis » Fri Mar 22, 2013 11:17 pm

Removing molex pins is easy once you get the hang of it. You need to use something thin and metal (bobby pin or bent paper clips work) to push in both sides of the "wings" at once, and then it just pops right out. Once it's out you may have to bend the wings back out, but be gentile as they are a bit fragile. I've crimped a bunch of pins with pliers, a lot of force, and a dab of solder and not had any problems. All of my experience with pulling them back out comes from accidentally putting them in the wrong hole :)

There are tools for doing it as well, a lot of people in the PC modding community use them to sleeve power supply cables.
shapeoko #0057

phlamingo
Posts: 66
Joined: Fri May 25, 2012 10:42 pm

Re: molex connectors & alternatives?

Post by phlamingo » Mon Mar 25, 2013 5:01 pm

I got a crimping tool and pin removal tool from Jameco, and it works fine. It's the Molex connectors themselves that I regret.
---
ShapeOko Batch 2, Number 571, dual-Y motors, Y belts outside, odd anchors. Not operational at the moment: needs rewiring.

jsbannis
Posts: 80
Joined: Tue Apr 10, 2012 11:09 pm
Location: Chicago, IL

Re: molex connectors & alternatives?

Post by jsbannis » Wed Mar 27, 2013 2:54 pm

They are a bit ugly, large, and hard to disconnect. The XLR type connectors that a lot of people here have look really nice. I have molex on mine and don't mind them, I think they look nicer and are more functional than terminal blocks, but I'll probably switch to the other type connectors whenever I get around to making an electronics enclosure.
shapeoko #0057

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