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This is a bit different from the usual question about connector footprints here because instead of asking about how to create a footprint for a given part, my question is how to find a connector matching an existing footprint?

A board for a wearable device that I'm working with and trying to adapt to new purposes includes a footprint for an unpopulated connector that has some signals I need to access (JTAG, for instance). I could try soldering on sixteen tiny wires, but it's small (the connector pitch is 0.4mm) and a far neater solution would be to identify and solder on a connector I could use.

connector footprint

The board uses a number of Hirose FPC connectors, and this is somewhat similar to the BM10 series of connectors but the dimension don't quite seem to match. Also, I have no real guarantee that this particular footprint was laid out for a Hirose connector.

My Questions

  1. What's a candidate surface mount connector for this particular footprint?
  2. More generally, what's a clever way to go from footprint to connector for tiny mezzanine or board-to-FPC connectors like this?
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  • \$\begingroup\$ I would look at the major connector manufacturers--the majority of connectors out there seem to be made by either TE, Molex, Hirose, or Amphenol, and many of those make ones compatible with their competitors'. If you measure the pin pitch and start looking, it should be possible to find something that will work, even if it's not the exact part the footprint was designed for. \$\endgroup\$
    – Hearth
    Commented Nov 10, 2022 at 19:53
  • \$\begingroup\$ A different solution might be to fab a pcb (like a diy DFN) that adapts this connector land to something more useful. \$\endgroup\$
    – Bryan
    Commented Nov 10, 2022 at 21:07

2 Answers 2

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Bit of a circular answer but if you search for 16 pin mezzanine connectors with 0.4mm pitch, you'll see quite a few options (finding a version of the same connector in e.g. a wire-to-board version isn't likely to turn up anything at that pitch). From there, it's a matter of wading through datasheets to find the one that matches your existing footprint. But if connecting to 0.4mm pads wasn't an option before, this leaves you with only half of the answer; you'll need to get a breakout board to hold the mating connector and expand those itty bitty contacts into something you can comfortably connect to. With the footprint from the manufacturer, it should be a trivial exercise to come up with a basic PCB design and only a few dollars to get it manufactured.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ I've been wading through datasheets but haven't found a match and was hoping for some clever ideas that would speed up the process. Most of the connectors seem to have rows spaced closer together than my footprint. \$\endgroup\$
    – Edward
    Commented Nov 10, 2022 at 21:12
  • \$\begingroup\$ I would order a couple anyway, the drawings don't always match the footprints but they will generally mate well enough in practice. In reference to your actual questions, 1) answers on this site cannot recommend specific parts or components and 2) this answer is probably the best way I can think of to accomplish this. \$\endgroup\$
    – InBedded16
    Commented Nov 10, 2022 at 22:10
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clever way to go from footprint to connector for tiny mezzanine

Look it up either in my Indenticonn or in Digikey.

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