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Header Pins On Avionics, How Reliable?

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Yukon@K-9 Rocket Tech

Just a teen who likes building rockets
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In your experience, how reliable were header pins on your rocket avionics? How did they perform compared to other types of connectors in the long term?
 

FredA

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The weak[er] point of most designs.
I often remove the headers and solder leads directly to the PCB.
Some vendors will sell boards without the headers -- love those accommodating types ;-)
 

heada

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Headers for use on the bench to do things like code/firmware updates are perfectly fine. Headers for flight controls that must be connected during flight, I much prefer some kind of connector (i.e. Molex, JST, etc.) with positive retention. Headers for jumpers to making config selections are ok but not ideal.
 

Voyager1

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I would only use latching header connectors for onboard wiring with cable ties to secure wiring to the boards, and the wiring between connected boards.
 

cerving

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Most header sockets only have two points of contact, so a movement in the other plane can make them come loose. I wouldn't use one in flight. Soldering to the board is best; screw terminals with solid pins soldered to the wires are good too, just make sure the screws are tightened before every flight. And regardless, your wires should be zip-tied or otherwise immobilized.
 
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