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Introduction to JST & Molex Style Connectors

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  • Introduction to JST & Molex Style Connectors

    With the introduction of the Sure and Dayton Bluetooth/Amplifier boards, we have had the pleasure of working with the tiny and sometimes troublesome plug-in connectors on the boards. The connectors used on these boards are JST-PH and Molex Micro-Fit 3.0 connectors. I have been making my own wire harnesses and modifying the ones that come with these boards for a while now and thought it might be helpful to pass on what I have learned. Below, I will highlight the tools I use as well as the source and part numbers for the connectors used on these boards.

    I first started to dabble in the JST (Japanese Standard Terminal) connector world with the 2.1 amp board that PE sells and with some parts from another vendor. The sub control on the 2.1 board uses a 3-pin JST-XH connector. So, why crimp your own connectors when the harnesses included are adequate? The main issue I have with this connection method is the potential for failure. Imagine putting the final touches on a build and a wire breaks at the plug. Also, being able to repair/shorten wire harnesses is a plus.

    For the BT/Amp boards, the first thing I address is the 4-pin Molex for the speaker wire harness. I really wish Sure/Dayton would specify that this specific harness use red/black wires. Having 4 black wires is not really usable. To remedy, I never take this harness out of the packaging. I just make my own. I am also able to use better quality 20GA wire that is a tad heavier than what the manufacture supplies. I can use 4 different colors if I want to easily identify what goes where.

    For the rest of the harnesses, they are usually too long. I cut to length and crimp new pins on the wires and insert the pins into new JST plugs. I have not been able to effectively remove pins from JST-PH connectors, reuse them, and have the pin stay in. Plugs and pins are cheap. Take your time and in a few crimps you can clean up the excess length or repair a harness if needed.

    TOOLS
    Crimpers & Wire Strippers

    OEM JST crimp tools are very expensive. The beauty of the OEM tool that it is able to make both crimps on the pin at the same time. Since the cost of the OEM JST crimp tool is not reasonable for hobbyist use, I purchased and tried several different crimp tools that all stated they would work with JST-PH and XH style connectors. Either they would not crimp enough and the wires would pull away from the pins or the tool would crimp too much and pinch the wire at the pin essentially cutting the wire. After a lot of research, I found a crimp tool that has worked flawlessly and a fraction of the cost.

    Engineer PAD-11 Precision Open Barrel Crimping Tool With Interchangeable Die SystemGreenlee 1917-SS Stainless Wire Stripper and Cutter, 16-26AWG






    CONNECTORS
    JST & MolexJST-PH Receptacle & Terminals

    LEDs & Power Switch PHR-2
    Battery ChargerPHR-4
    3.5mm Line inPHR-5
    Volume ControlPHR-6
    Female Terminals for Receptacles - SPH-002T-P0.5L

    Molex Micro Fit 3.0 Receptacle & Terminals

    Speaker Wires0430250400
    Power Plug0436450200
    Female Terminals for Receptacle, Part # 0430300007

    I hope the above sheds some light on the type of connectors used on the Sure/Dayton BT/Amp combo boards. I keep a storage tray will several different sizes and usually 4x the number of crimp terminals. I also use the headers and solder them to boards as it makes an easy removable connection when needed.
    Last edited by Gordy; 01-02-2017, 10:21 AM.
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  • #2
    Awesome! I like making custom harnesses to keep things cleaner and have used some of the JST stuff before for mobile video systems. The crimpers we used in the past were the OEM JST crimpers, if I recall, they ranged anywhere from $300-500 each. Thanks for the link to a more reasonably priced pair. This thread may not be for everyone here on TT, but I'm betting there are a few that will find it useful. Nice job Gordy.
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    • #3
      Thanks Gordy, good info! The 4 black speaker wires along with the LR +/- orientation on the Sure/Dayton Bluetooth boards is pretty annoying. I hooked mine up wrong at first and I'm sure plenty of others have too. They probably should have done 4 different colors or at least red and black.

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