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I am looking for a connector type that can mate two 4-conductor, 1.27mm pitch ribbon cables together. Preferably IDC style, but at this point I'm willing to try anything that isn't too ugly. They can be male-female arrangements or non-gendered self-mating arrangements (or something else I haven't thought of).

Everything I can find so far are wire-to-board solutions where one or the other of the mating connectors are board-mount types. I need both male and female to be IDC-terminated so that I can connect cable to cable (both cables will be hard-soldered to circuit boards at one end).

In larger conductor sizes these things are ubiquitous so I made an incorrect assumption when I designed the boards that I'd be able to find a connector solution and I am really struggling with this. I sized the holes on the slave board to fit the ribbon cable directly (soldered into holes), so none of the board-mount connectors will fit.

Does anyone know of a part that might work, or some other kind of solution?

For additional clarity, here is a drawing of my problem:

(I2C Master PCB) X ----- 0 ----- 0 ----- 0 (and so on)
(I2C Slave PCB)  X ----- 0

X = hard-soldered connection
0 = inline connector (free-hanging, attached to ribbon cable)
- = ribbon cable

So the idea is that i want to be able to connect (or disconnect) any number of slave devices from the ribbon-cable bus. But I am having trouble finding appropriate connectors that will cleanly mate to 4-conductor, 1.27mm ribbon cable. Anyone have any ideas? Thanks!

Update In the end I have just designed a small adapter PCB that lets me connect a 4-wire ribbon cable to a standard shrouded pin header.

I appreciate all of the suggestions. In the event, none of them could really work due to the odd nature of the application and the small number of them being made (i.e. no custom stuff). The slave devices are only 14mm x 22mm, so we couldn't put a connector on the board without doubling the size, hence the 4-wire ribbon cable. Thanks again

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Yeah, go to a cable manufacturer and have one built, custom cables are expensive if your not buying in quantity \$\endgroup\$ – Voltage Spike Sep 30 at 18:49
  • \$\begingroup\$ I was worried it might come to that, if there truly is nothing I'll probably just make an adapter PCB to fit one of the board-mount connectors, with holes to accomodate the ribbon cable. Kinda goofy I guess but it would work \$\endgroup\$ – io_silver Sep 30 at 18:51
  • \$\begingroup\$ You can also go the flat flex route, you'll spend about 10-20$ a cable in qty's of 100 \$\endgroup\$ – Voltage Spike Sep 30 at 18:52
  • \$\begingroup\$ @io_silver why not simply a board with pin headers for two IDC connectors? \$\endgroup\$ – Marcus Müller Sep 30 at 19:09
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Jasen I don't think those connectors will mate; the 2178712-4 has an offset between the rows of pins and the 71600-104LF does not. \$\endgroup\$ – Hearth Sep 30 at 20:47

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