I'm trying to make a cable for a 4 wire interface to a stepper. The intention is to have a short cable attached to the stepper, a male piece on the PCB board, and a bridging cable that can be replaced for different lengths.

I was thinking of connecting the stepper cables to a female piece, then making a cable with female and male on each end. Then the PCB board will have a male piece.

So far, I've only noticed these headers fit the description. So I was wondering, is it normal to use these kinds of headers to solder wire, and make a cable for PCBs with 0.1 in. pitch? then connect the other side with one of its mating parts?

  • \$\begingroup\$ MTA does not have male versions of the wire plugs, or female versions of board headers. It's meant for the wire to have female plugs on both ends, to connect boards together that all have male headers on them. You seem to need both a board to wire connection and a wire to wire connection. MTA seems unsuited to this. I have used MTE for this purpose before, but there are lots of other options out there as well. \$\endgroup\$
    – I. Wolfe
    Commented Apr 15, 2015 at 16:09
  • \$\begingroup\$ @echad Is this for a one-off, or for production? \$\endgroup\$ Commented Apr 15, 2015 at 17:04
  • \$\begingroup\$ one-off, just wanted to see if there was a "Why bother do it this way, when you can .." before I go with my original thought \$\endgroup\$
    – Iancovici
    Commented Apr 15, 2015 at 17:37

1 Answer 1


Yes, that's an entirely common way to connect two boards.

However, realize that the MTA-100 connectors are rated for 5 A per contact. If you don't need that much current, you can find a more compact solution. Or you could maybe not so much space but use something like an 8-position IDC ribbon cable connector to give you a quicker (lower cost) cable assembly process.

  • \$\begingroup\$ MTA only has male in pcb mount version, it is not meant for wire disconnects. I wouldn't call it common to solder wires to a male MTA header (I have done so for prototyping but for a final design it's not great). Would be better to use something like a MTE that comes with male/female in both wire and board mount versions. \$\endgroup\$
    – I. Wolfe
    Commented Apr 15, 2015 at 16:05
  • \$\begingroup\$ @I.Wolfe, Sorry, I missed the part where OP wants the cable to have male on one end and female on the other. OP: You'll want to have female on both ends of the cable if you use MTA-100. \$\endgroup\$
    – The Photon
    Commented Apr 15, 2015 at 16:18

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