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I have a few of these cheap RF 434MHz transmitter modules (see image below, on the left) that I want to use with my PCBs, but I don't want to solder them directly to the boards. I'd like to attach them to the PCBs using a sort of female conector. I've tried to use some female headers (image also below, on the right) but the RF module leads seem to be too thin to make a good connection.

RF transmitter Female header

What is the best connector for those RF modules?

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    \$\begingroup\$ I don't know what prefabricated sockets there may be for this, but if you can't find one I would recommend soldering a standard size male header to the RF module side and then you could plug it into a standard female header on your PCB. \$\endgroup\$ – Sheriff_McLawDog Mar 18 '14 at 1:26
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    \$\begingroup\$ Try a socket with machined pins. Like this one. They are usually more snug than stamped pins like in the socket in the O.P. \$\endgroup\$ – Nick Alexeev Mar 18 '14 at 1:35
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Sheriff_McLawDog - if you could find a picture of that technique, I guess you could turn your comment into an answer. I don't guarantee I would accept it but I would at least upvote it. \$\endgroup\$ – Ricardo Mar 18 '14 at 12:45
  • \$\begingroup\$ @NickAlexeev You could turn your comment into an answer, don't you think? The question is simple enough to warrant simple answers like yours. \$\endgroup\$ – Ricardo Mar 18 '14 at 12:45
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Try a socket with machined pins. They are usually more snug than stamped pins (which is the type of pink in the black socket pictured in the O.P).

enter image description here ( source )

There are single line (SIP) variants too

enter image description here ( source )

The pins on the transmitter module a stamped from thin sheet. In that, they are not too different from DIP pins.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Your solution works REALLY well for both the transmitter as well as the receiver module. I liked the single line one best. Thanks!! \$\endgroup\$ – Ricardo Oct 12 '14 at 1:09
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Personally I've always soldered them but one thing you could consider is a 0.1" (2.54mm) terminal block which should provide a nice solid mounting. After a quick look for example I found a Multicomp MC000003 at Element 14. I measured the diameter of the pins on one of those modules at 0.5mm which is around 24 AWG. The datasheet shows it as being suitable for 20-26 AWG wire. The picture has 5 pins but that part number is a 4-pin variant:

enter image description here

If the main aim is to be able to change the module relatively easily another method that may be worth considering is mounting the module flush with the PCB and connecting via rectangular pads like you'd find on some edge connectors. That way if you leave a bit of space towards the module you'll be able to lift each pin individually while desoldering which should make it much easier to remove and replace them.

A bit of double-sided tape will help keep it securely in place but you should test the transmitter range mounted both vertically and horizontally, having it mounted parallel to the ground plane and other componenets may have some effect (either positive or negative) on its operation. It's also worth doing similar tests with / without any connector you choose.

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