I have 2 male headers like this on 2 different boards:

enter image description here

I need to connect 2 such male headers together. One way to do this would be to use something like individual female to female jumper wires. However, I am operating at a frequency of about 32-48 Mhz and don't want such long traces. I wanted something like a female connector on both sides, but I looked through all the types shown here and I still can't find any. Could someone give me any ideas as to what kind of connector I need to use? I dont want to make a PCB just for this.

  • \$\begingroup\$ It would be nice to know how far apart the connectors need to be and their physical orientation re. the boards. Also, it wouldn't hurt to know what kinds of voltages and currents you're talking about. \$\endgroup\$
    – EM Fields
    Commented Jul 15, 2015 at 17:45
  • \$\begingroup\$ 3.3V, the connectors are standard 2.54mm male headers. Two rows on each PCB. I need the 2 pcbs to be stacked on one another. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jul 15, 2015 at 17:49
  • \$\begingroup\$ The electrical length for a quarter wave of 48 MHz is 1.5 meters and you're putting it through a header anyway, so what are you worried about? \$\endgroup\$
    – Samuel
    Commented Jul 15, 2015 at 17:54
  • \$\begingroup\$ Right now I am connecting them through the female to female jumper . However the quality of the signal is not that great. Before doing anything further and trying to debug if its a software issue I would like to have a robust harware solution so I wont always be wondering if its the hardware or the software to blame. So are you saying that sending about 32-48Mhz through a female female jumper which is less than 1.5m should definitely not cause any problem? \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jul 15, 2015 at 18:01
  • \$\begingroup\$ Why wouldn't a standard ribbon cable work? IDC female headers will fit 0.1inch dual-row male header pins. \$\endgroup\$
    – MarkU
    Commented Jul 16, 2015 at 1:51

3 Answers 3


I would use two female headers like this...

2X20 40Pin Double Row Female Straight Header enter image description here

soldered back to back to make a female-female joiner. If you overlap the contacts they only add 15mm to the overall length (compared to a normal male/female header combination) which should not be significant at 32-48MHz.

If any of your signals still have excessive ringing or ground bounce then you could try inserting small value resistors (10~50Ω) in series between the connectors.

  • \$\begingroup\$ It doesnt look easy to solder the 2 back to back. The pins are extremely small and they wont connect \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jul 16, 2015 at 1:44
  • \$\begingroup\$ It worked for me, but I admit it was a bit tricky with my spade tip soldering iron. Then I tried inserting a narrow strip of doubled-sided matrix board between the rows (so the pins are are on either side of the board with one connector's pins on top of the other) and it was much easier. Photo:- bhabbott.net.nz/photos/joiner.jpg. Matrix board:- icstation.com/… \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jul 16, 2015 at 5:44
  • \$\begingroup\$ The first 4 pins are hard. Then they are alligned and it is a routine... \$\endgroup\$
    – Tedi
    Commented Dec 28, 2016 at 17:45

Ribbon-type IDC connectors are available as a self-assembly kit from any vendor, just choose the number of connections for both the ribbon width and connector width...

enter image description here

These do require a fair amount of clamping force to snap the connector ends into the ribbon so if you have to make many of these I'd advise you to have some custom-made by a cable assembly manufacturer. This is so common that it should be quite cheap even for small runs.

Cable length, width, keying directions, pin pitch, and number of rows are all customisable.


I'd use a male header on one board and a matching receptacle on the other, something like this:

enter image description here

  • \$\begingroup\$ The 2 boards already have male connectors which I dont want to remove. How would I add a matching female to female receptacle when I cant find any of them online? \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jul 16, 2015 at 1:46

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