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I built a convenient prototyping station with a bipolar and 5V power supply in an enclosure, exposing binding posts for the supply and with a solderless breadboard stuck on with the adhesive backing. I would like to install some 1/4" phone jacks and DIN connectors, etc. What kind of panel-mount solderless fixtures are available that I could install to connect to the jacks?

Clarification: I want to install phone jacks and din jacks onto the enclosure. Those are terminated inside the enclosure. Then, I want to bring the contacts to the front of the enclosure into something I can easily wire to the breadboard as needed. My solution for the power supply was binding posts that I can secure wires to. I am looking for something more convenient than binding posts to wire the new connectors.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Did you know you can peel the backing off of breadboards? If you are fast, you can solder to the contacts before the plastic melts ;-) \$\endgroup\$ – Chris Stratton Oct 15 '14 at 2:47
  • \$\begingroup\$ Through-hole jacks may fit your boards. You may have to file down the pins a little if they are to wide to fit in the holes. You also have the option to use crimp end connectors, or solder headers onto ribbon cable to connect to the prototyping area and use an off site project box to mount the jacks themselves. That way it is reusable for further prototyping efforts. \$\endgroup\$ – Enemy Of the State Machine Oct 15 '14 at 2:54
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    \$\begingroup\$ I'm unaware of solderless panel-mount 1/4" photo or DIN connectors, but for your application, can you solder 24 AWG solid jumper wire to the connectors and connect the opposite end to your breadboard? \$\endgroup\$ – JYelton Oct 15 '14 at 3:04
  • \$\begingroup\$ Either as @JYelton suggests or if you're going to be using those connectors a lot band/drill up a little bracket and attach solid jumper wires to the panel-mount connectors. That will keep everything nice and (well, relatively) solid. \$\endgroup\$ – Spehro Pefhany Oct 15 '14 at 3:15
  • \$\begingroup\$ Yep - the idea is that the connectors will be held steady next to the breadboard. Right now, I have solid leads from the connectors stuck into the breadboard. But, the cables pull on the connectors, and yank the wires out of the breadboard. Exposed L-brackets for the connectors might be a good solution, though panel mounted would be neater. \$\endgroup\$ – Joe Beuckman Oct 15 '14 at 15:25
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They're not quite panel-mount, but 3M sells breadboard tie-point blocks.

3m Tie-Point Blocks

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  • \$\begingroup\$ I have some of these. I was thinking of making a few little perfboards to mount these and then mounting the perfboards to the panel. I wish these were themselves panel-mount. It would be a pain to cut rectangular holes and then drill mounting holes for the perfboard next to them. \$\endgroup\$ – Joe Beuckman Oct 15 '14 at 15:22
  • \$\begingroup\$ Do they have EagleCAD part files for these? \$\endgroup\$ – Joe Beuckman Oct 15 '14 at 15:27
  • \$\begingroup\$ I'm not sure. The 3M... "pamphlet" has full dimensional drawings though. \$\endgroup\$ – Ignacio Vazquez-Abrams Oct 15 '14 at 15:31
  • \$\begingroup\$ Perhaps you can mount these on the outside and only drill holes for the "mounting posts on the plastic body" and the solder tail? You might need to use something to insulate the innerds from the chassis, but for low voltage that could even be some sort of plasticized panel label. \$\endgroup\$ – Chris Stratton Oct 15 '14 at 15:47
  • \$\begingroup\$ I could even just drill holes for the solder tabs and hot glue these on. The little tabs and wires through a hole in metal would be pretty fiddly / maybe just encase the whole assembly in hot glue. \$\endgroup\$ – Joe Beuckman Oct 15 '14 at 16:01
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I use machine-pin SIP rows. These are just like machine-pin IC sockets, except that they come as single rows of pins.

You can mount these to your panel in a variety of ways:

1) drill holes (accurately) and center the pins in the open holes before gluing the strip of pins to the panel.

2) mount to PC board (or veroboard) which is then mounted to the panel.

3) use machine-pin IC sockets. You can either drill holes or machine slots for the pins and then mount the connector using the center plastic ribs that hold the two rows of pins together.

Machine-pin sockets are darned reliable - much more so than the breadboard that you are using them with. However, they work well only with a narrow range of wire sizes. I find that 24 AWG works perfectly with them.

I'm old-school and my breadboard jumper wires are cut up lengths of 24 AWG solid telephone wire from 25-pair telco cables. Cut-up CAT-5 cable works well also - you get 8 distinct color combinations (but only 5 colors). The 25-pair cable I use gives me 50 distinct color combinations using all 10 standard colors.

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