Introduction: Extending Power Pins for Multiple Connectors

This instructable describes how to make a simple connector for extending a 2 pin header so that multiple connectors may be plugged in.

I made this specifically for my 3D Printer, running RAMPS control electronics, but it is general enough that it could be used with many other types of electronics projects.

I wanted to plug in many things to my RAMPS board: a cooling fan for my hotend, another cooling fan for the electronics, and inductive probe that requires 12V, and some LED lighting, but the board only has a single 2-pin 12V header! That's why I decided to build this.

Step 1: Parts

Below are the parts used to make this power connector

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Step 2: Clip

Determine how many pins you want to use from your double row header. Keep in mind one pair of pins will be needed for the power input. I wanted to power 4 things so I clipped of 5 pairs of pins.

You will need some thin solid copper wire, pre-tinned. If you have any small resistors or capacitors you can clip the leads from them. (If you do much electronics tinkering it can be useful to keep your clippings for times such as this). Alternatively it is possible to buy pre-tinned solid wire on a roll which is essentially what these leads are. I clipped my leads from a small 1/8W resistor.

The leads will need to be slightly longer than the header pins since we will wrap the ends to secure it for soldering.

Step 3: Wrap

We will be connecting all the pins in each row together to make this power bus. Placing a wire along the outside edge will help the solder flow along each row, without crossing over to the opposite row.

Bend a small hook on one end of a lead for wrapping around a pin. Tweezer nose pliers are great for this.

Place this hooked end around a corner pin with the length of the wire to the outside. Keep in mind we are making this connection on the shorter side of the header pins.

Bend the free end around the other end pin for that row, and wrap it around snugly.

Do this for both sides, and clip any excess

Step 4: Solder and Shrink

Solder along each row, make sure there is good connection between each pin and the wrapped wire lead. The solder should form smooth fillets around the pins and the wire lead, don't glob on too much.

Now place 1/2" heat shrink over the connector and apply the heat gun. The heat shrink will cover up the ends and help protect from accidental short-circuits.

Connect the power source to your new connector using 2 female to female jumper wires. Then plug in all your accessories that need powering, paying attention to polarity.

Pictured is the connector in use on my 3D Printer, extending power to 4 accessories.