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I suppose you all know jumpers, those little things you put on top of 2 male, 2.54 mm pitch, pins. They serve to connect the 2 pins together (often used to "configure" a prototyping board), for example selecting a voltage or I2C address:

A 2.54 millimeter pin header with a jumper installed across two of its pins.

My question is: what's the opposite called? By opposite, I mean a component having roughly the same shape, that I can put on top of 2 male pins with 2.54mm distance, but that does NOT connect them?

For background: why do I want that?

I'm currently designing a PCB for a caving robot. I have several rows of pins to connect various sensors/actuators, where I would like to use 2.54 mm pitch pins.

In order to avoid risking shorts with all those pins, I would usually just use female pins. The problem is that in caves, there is mud, and if I get some mud in a female pin, it will be nearly impossible to get out again.

So my goal is to protect the pins from accidental shorts.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ If you're dealing with caves and mud and such, you may want to consider using connectors designed for the situation. I've seen specialized connectors that form a whole product series of plugs, receptacles, cable seals, and covers for unused receptacles. \$\endgroup\$
    – nanofarad
    Commented Jan 28, 2022 at 19:33
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    \$\begingroup\$ You can put jumpers rotated 90 degrees (so only one contact is sitting on the pin). But if you want to protect your electronics from mud you better use proper encasing. \$\endgroup\$
    – Eugene Sh.
    Commented Jan 28, 2022 at 19:34
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    \$\begingroup\$ For those connectors you can get them in almost every size practical (even one pin), and they're designed to fit next to each other. Maybe just buy connectors that fit your unused pins, and don't connect anything to them? \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jan 28, 2022 at 19:39
  • \$\begingroup\$ @nanofarad : I'm planning to enclosure it at some point (and probably, I will end up soldering the wires directly to improve reliability). For special connectors for wet environment, I have some doubt if I can find some at 2.54 mm pitch or less (i havn't space enough for anything bigger) \$\endgroup\$
    – Sandro
    Commented Jan 28, 2022 at 19:46
  • \$\begingroup\$ @EugeneSh. : good idea, saddly I don't have enough space to double the number of connectors. But I keep it in mind for future boards with a bit more space. \$\endgroup\$
    – Sandro
    Commented Jan 28, 2022 at 19:48

4 Answers 4

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For those connectors you can get them in almost every size practical (even one pin), and they're designed to fit next to each other. Just buy connectors that fit your unused pins, and don't connect anything to them.

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Use short pieces of flexible plastic tubing, or pieces of insulation stripped from wires.

example

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No standard part for this.

You could get blocks made (rubber molded or 3d printed) like https://www.prusaprinters.org/prints/94960-customizable-pin-header-cover-with-jumper-cut-outs or just regular jumper style https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:4547412, just make sure it's a friction fit.

Otherwise use normal connectors and fill it in with hot glue. You will need to have the metal connector in it because it won't grip without it.

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Compatible connectors are sold online. They appear to be getting the generic name Dupont Connector. They are very inexpensive and come in both mail and femail. The female connectors can have mail, femail, or a mixture of pins. On you tube there is a channel called D.I.Y machines and they have a video explaining how to use these connectors. The link is: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jET1QTP1B7c He shows different tools and how to use them to attach the pins to your wire. You then insert them into the female socket, where a small mechanical catch will catch an indent in the pin and hold it in place. If you have to remove they you can carefully pull back the catch and puush the wire out.

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