IDC-to-box header adaptor
Those of you who have ever worked with flat cables will know that IDC (insulation displacement connectors) are simple to use and give reliable connections. IDC is available as sockets and plugs and used extensively to connect flat cables to double-row box headers or pin headers on computer cards that sport just about any type of interface to the outside world (a good example is the multi-purpose Z80 card described in Ref. 1). The present adaptor cards (there are six of them contained on the PCB – Ref. 924049 -shown here) are, for instance, perfect for ‘changing’ from IDC to eject-header style connectors (as illustrated by the photographs) when a flat cable runs from a board to a connector on the rear panel of the enclosure. Also, in many cases, an adaptor board fitted with an eject-style header will be cheaper and more flexible When it comes to connecting and disconnecting flat cables) than a press-on (IDC style) sub-D socket or plug.
The spots on the component overlay indicate the position of the holes that have to be drilled when smaller types of eject headers are used. Straight headers with 10. 14. 16. 18 or 20 pins may be fitted.
If you fit two box headers on an adaptor board. you can use it to couple flat cables terminated into IDC sockets. In that way, you can make IDC .extension cables, which are particularly useful when a PCB with lots of flat cable connections is removed from an enclosure for repair or inspection.
1. “Multi-purpose Z80 card”, Elektor Electronics, May and June 1992.
An insulation-displacement contact (IDC), also known as insulation-piercing contact (IPC), is an electrical connector designed to be connected to the conductor(s) of an insulated cable by a connection process that forces a selectively sharpened blade or blades through the insulation, bypassing the need to strip the conductors of insulation before connecting. When properly made, the connector blade cold-welds to the conductor, making a theoretically reliable gas-tight connection.