Sorry for the lack of proper terminology, but I don't know how to approach even wording a question about this, not to mention search terms.

I've seen a lot of PCB-mount screw terminals that have these sort of slots that let you slide them together, with the one on the right starting out on top, and sliding down. Is the reverse of this available, with the one on the left starting out on top?

I am designing a board with 5.08mm-pitch screw terminals on opposite sides of the board, facing outwards, and I want multiple of these boards to "snap" together using the screw terminals.

Aside from part numbers, can anyone recommend even just some search terms? like what's that mechanism called, etc?

EDIT: I'm realizing I wasn't very clear. One of the terminals needs to have the whole dovetail system reversed, so that one board slides in from above the other board; otherwise I'd have to "twist" the boards together which seems sketchy. Also, I realize this isn't necessarily a good idea, but I want to give it a try unless someone can convince me it's a truly terrible idea.

EDIT: further clarification; I am not using this to make any electrical connections between the boards-- purely mechanical.

I'll post a sketch later

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ I don't have any help for you- but I think it's a bad idea to try to hold boards with those little dovetail joints. They snap apart sometimes just from the force of assembling the blocks. They're really just intended to hold the blocks in alignment until they are wave soldered. \$\endgroup\$ Commented May 26, 2015 at 3:52
  • \$\begingroup\$ these boards are tiny-- like, smaller than a flash drive, and the boards will be held in place by a secondary means; it's just to keep them nicely lined up. "dovetail joints" is helpful as a search term though; I hadn't thought of that! Also, I should probably try to find a better solution. Any ideas for a similar "snap together" system that can firmly mount to a PCB? \$\endgroup\$
    – user371366
    Commented May 26, 2015 at 4:17
  • \$\begingroup\$ @dn3s: I think the better questions are: 1) Why do these boards need to be nicely lined up? 2) Can you make any electrical connections using flexible connectors? 3) Can you make just one board, instead of two, so that no connectors are needed? \$\endgroup\$ Commented May 26, 2015 at 11:12
  • \$\begingroup\$ the idea is that an unlimited number of these boards can be "clicked" together side-by-side, so I can't just merge everything into one board. \$\endgroup\$
    – user371366
    Commented May 26, 2015 at 22:21

1 Answer 1


[ This started out as a comment. ]

It's difficult for me to envision what kind of screw terminals you have in mind. A sketch might help.

Screw terminals are used for connecting wire-to-board, or wire-to-wire. Screw terminals are not normally used for rigidly connecting board-to-board (which is my understanding of "boards 'snap' together").

A rigid board-to-board connection can be made by placing a right-angle male header on the edge of one board and right-angle female header on the edge of another boards.

This picture search may help you familiarize with terminology.

enter image description here


I think, the terms similar to "dovetail [in this context]" are "alignment feature", or "alignment pin", or "alignment boss". Then again, if you want to make a purely mechanical connection, you could make a mounting bracket or a block.

I know one board that specifically uses screw terminals in a way similar to that the O.P. is describing: NI USB-6000 Series Prototyping Accessory. enter image description here

  • \$\begingroup\$ I realize I wasn't clear; I am only wanting to use the dovetail joints between terminal blocks to mechanically connect the boards; not electrically. \$\endgroup\$
    – user371366
    Commented May 26, 2015 at 4:32

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