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View Full Version : Suggestions needed for interfacing a Prop Plug to a metal enclosure



ElectricAye
01-16-2009, 08:45 AM
Hey everybody,

I'm interested in transforming my prototype from the "Lawrd ha'mercy it ain't nothin but a wig of wires!" stage to the "Yep, it's all inside that box" stage and I'm not at all familiar with the different types of electronic connectors. So can anyone please suggest a part number, source, etc. of a plug that will fit nicely through a metal enclosure so that I can plug in a Prop Plug when the need arises? In other words, on the outside of the metal box I want to have a little hole (or something, not necessarily a hole) into which the Prop Plug can be inserted easily when I need to update software, etc.

a thousand thanks,
Mark http://forums.parallax.com/images/smilies/smile.gif

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Mike Green
01-16-2009, 09:54 AM
A little rectangular hole is exactly what you want. You want enough clearance so that the PropPlug doesn't short out on the edge of the metal, but the female header on the PropPlug should be long enough to reach through the opening without shorting out the PropPlug itself. The male pins on the inside should be inset just enough so that everything fits nicely. Have a look at the Protoboard and imagine the Protoboard installed in a box.

ElectricAye
01-16-2009, 11:28 AM
Mike Green said...
A little rectangular hole is exactly what you want. You want enough clearance so that the PropPlug doesn't short out on the edge of the metal, but the female header on the PropPlug should be long enough to reach through the opening without shorting out the PropPlug itself. The male pins on the inside should be inset just enough so that everything fits nicely. Have a look at the Protoboard and imagine the Protoboard installed in a box.


Thanks, Mike,

but I was hoping to find some kind of widget that screws/bolts to the metal enclosure so it takes all my clumsy force when having to plug and unplug the Prop Plug when needed. I then wanted to solder wires to lead from the widget to the Propeller so the Propeller itself does not have to be very close to the wall of the enclosure. Maybe those leads have to be super-short anyway??? Hmmm.... that I don't know. Anyway, I figured there were plenty of people who have ruggedized this sort of connection and I am hoping to find exact part numbers so I don't have to play guessing games with connectors. I seem to have a terrible time sifting through the mountains of connectors I see in catalogs of the sort Digikey puts out. http://forums.parallax.com/images/smilies/shocked.gif

cheers,
Mark

Leon
01-16-2009, 11:58 AM
You could use any robust four-way chassis-mounting connector, and make an adapter up for the Prop Plug. Or, make your own version of the Prop Plug to match the connector.

Leon

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SRLM
01-16-2009, 12:51 PM
How about mounting a four pin header flat on the side of the case, then just run a ribbon cable through a slot and to the propeller? Set it up so that the soft plastic side of the plug is against the case.

Phil Pilgrim (PhiPi)
01-17-2009, 01:21 AM
I'd mount a 4-pin right angle receptacle on the board (http://search.digikey.com/scripts/DkSearch/dksus.dll?Detail&name=S5440-ND), so that the end pokes through a rectangular hole and is flush with the outside surface of the enclosure. Then, when you want to program the Prop, insert one end of a male header into the Prop Plug and the other end into the receptacle.

-Phil

Mike Green
01-17-2009, 01:43 AM
Another option would be to use a 4-pin boxed male header on the board with the box just protruding through the case. I think you'd be able to fit the PropPlug's female header directly onto the 4 pins and there should be a little bit of clearance between the female header and the inside of the box. Something like this: www.mouser.com/Search/ProductDetail.aspx?qs=3GplPa2Pkf3d7uxuLeNVDg%3d%3d (http://www.mouser.com/Search/ProductDetail.aspx?qs=3GplPa2Pkf3d7uxuLeNVDg%3d%3d )

ElectricAye
01-17-2009, 03:02 AM
Thanks, guys, for all the suggestions.

But I think what I'm looking for is something with a flange, kinda like the thing seen in the photo I've attached (but with 4 positions, of course, and none of the little latchy things inside).

I don't want to have to kluge anything too much. My prototype cornered the market on kluge activity, so I'm aspiring for something a little less me.

Anybody out there with the ultimate mate for a Prop Plug? Is there a website something like eHarmony for electronic plugs???




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Phil Pilgrim (PhiPi)
01-17-2009, 03:26 AM
I take it, then, that your PCB will not abut the wall of the enclosure and that you want the connector to connect with it via wires?

-Phil

JasonDorie
01-17-2009, 03:31 AM
If I were you I'd use a flush mounting DIN connection, like an S-Video jack, and make an adaptor for the prop-plug as Leon already suggested. You're probably going to have a hard time finding a 4-pin, 0.1", male pin flush-mounting socket that doesn't look like it was meant to be INSIDE the case.

Jason

ElectricAye
01-17-2009, 04:13 AM
Phil Pilgrim (PhiPi) said...
I take it, then, that your PCB will not abut the wall of the enclosure and that you want the connector to connect with it via wires?

-Phil


Yes, Phil, that's correct. On the other side of the enclosure, I have a line of BNC connectors whose leads I want to be as short as possible (these are accepting pulses of about 50 ns wide). For all else (Prop connection, DS18B20 connections, etc.), I can run longer wires, I hope.

I'm surprised that it's so hard to find the plug of my dreams. I've looked through Digikey, etc. and.... perhaps JasonDorie is correct.... http://forums.parallax.com/images/smilies/cry.gif

Jonathan
01-17-2009, 05:03 AM
I use phone connectors for this, you can get panel mount ones dirt cheap. I made a prop plug to phone jack dongle. Works great, I have a number of projects like that. Cheap too.

Jonathan

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ElectricAye
01-17-2009, 11:12 AM
Jonathan said...
I use phone connectors for this, you can get panel mount ones dirt cheap. I made a prop plug to phone jack dongle. Works great, I have a number of projects like that. Cheap too.

Jonathan


(Sigh) Yes, hokay.... I guess some sort of dongle thingy is the only way to go. And a phone jack sounds like a good idea. At least the adapter doesn't always have to be hanging off the box. But, knowing me, it probably will. I can almost hear the church ladies on the tour bus already: "Lawrd ha'mercy it ain't nothin but a wig of phone cords!"


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Mark

Tubular
01-17-2009, 01:18 PM
How about this one?
http://www.molex.com/pdm_docs/sd/701070038_sd.pdf

Sticks out a bit. I'm also surprised at how hard it is to find something.

We can't talk you into a USB mini-B which has plenty of panel mounted options, with the usb-to-uart inside your box?

tubular

Post Edited (Tubular) : 1/17/2009 6:26:23 AM GMT

ElectricAye
01-17-2009, 10:18 PM
Tubular said...

We can't talk you into a USB mini-B which has plenty of panel mounted options, with the usb-to-uart inside your box?

tubular


Well, I'm opening up to all kinds of suggestions on this. Your molex idea looks inviting, too. At least I know I'm not totally "plug-stupid" and simply couldn't find what I was first looking for. It seems that, unless you select your maie-female hookups from the beginning, retrofitting electronic connections is like looking for extra-terrestrial intelligence: you are almost positively sure it's out there somewhere but wh-wh-..... WHERE??? http://forums.parallax.com/images/smilies/rolleyes.gif

thanks for the help,
Mark

Jonathan
01-18-2009, 12:12 AM
ElectricAye said...

·
·


(Sigh) Yes, hokay.... I guess some sort of dongle thingy is the only way to go. And a phone jack sounds like a good idea. At least the adapter doesn't always have to be hanging off the box. But, knowing me, it probably will. I can almost hear the church ladies on the tour bus already: "Lawrd ha'mercy it ain't nothin but a wig of phone cords!"



Actually, I think the dongle is a plus. If the project is sitting on a shelf for example, the dongle makes it easy to get to the programming port (phone jack) on the back. There wouldn't be enough clearence if the propplug had to connect to the back, I'd have to pull the unit out away from the wall on the shelf. I have projects stacked on top of each other on the shelf, and it is easy to get the dongle inseterted "blind" without moving the project enclosures.

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Tubular
01-18-2009, 04:51 AM
I've used the bigger version of these Bulgin connectors·(PX0842) and have been very impressed by them.· If these are like their big brothers you should be able to plug a standard USB-MiniB cable into the recess (otherwise its about $10 for their terminated, waterproof cable).

The one shown is the PX0446 with the nut on the outside of the enclosure.· They do others with the nut on the inside, and with PCB pins rather than a dangling cable/header.· Mouser or Newark.

tubular

http://www.bulgin.co.uk/Products/Buccaneer/PX0446_400px.jpg