This project uses JST-PH2 connectors to make wiring assembly more efficient. Pre-made JST-PH2 extension wires will work, but custom wires can use silicone cover stranded wires for stronger and more flexible connections. This silicone covered ribbon cable is used to create connections for the button and switch. Sets of two wires can be pulled/peeled apart from the ribbon and used to create our connections. Groups of wires are great for maintaining organized connections.
We'll need three sets of JST-PH2 connections (female/male) to wire all of the components. Each connection will need to be long enough to reach, but short enough to reside within the enclosure.
- 74mm (2.9in) – Suggested Wire Lengths for Button and Switch
Adafruit carries a few pre-made 2-pin JST PH2 cables. These are great for connecting the button and switch to the Adafruit Feather.
I really enjoy using silicone cover stranded wire for these projects. Combine them with JST-PH2 connectors and you get really strong and flexible wires.
Before making wired connections, we'll use a wire stripper to remove insulation from the tips of the wires, exposing the strands of wire. The wire gauge should match the gauge on the wire strippers.
To prevent the wires from fraying (and to make soldering easier) we'll add a bit of solder to the exposed tips. Use third helping hands to assist in holding the wires in place while soldering.
Wiring JST Connectors
Bare female JST connectors are soldered directly to the wires. These are normally attached via crimping. When soldering wires to them, tinning the connectors will make it easier to attach the wires. Tweezers can assist in better handling of the wire while soldering.
The bare metal female terminals are press fitted into the plastic connector. The orientation must be correct in order for the terminals to properly lock into place. A small protrusion on the outside of the terminal is fitted through a tab in the connector – This will prevent the terminal from slipping out.
Wiring Male JST Connectors
Male JST connectors are pre-assembled and wires can be directly soldered to the terminals.
Apply Heat Shrink Tubing
Pieces of heat shrink tubing are added to each wire before making wired connections. This will insulate the bare exposed metal and prevent shorts. Be cautious not to apply heat to the tubing or it will shrink.
Prep Male JST Connector
The plastic housing of the male JST connector is prone to melt when tinning the terminals with solder. A workaround is to plug it into a female JST connector. This will keep the metal terminals in place. Apply a bit of solder to the terminals.
Solder Wires to JST
The wires are soldered directly to the terminals. The heat shrink tubing is then slipped over the exposed metal and heated to shrink and tighten around the connection.
Male/Female JST Wires
Polarity only matters to the LED connection. The switch and button don't require specific polarity. Just be aware of which set of JST cables will be used for connecting the LED in the push button (if using the LED rugged metal push button). This first set of JST connectors can be used with either button, switch or LED. In the next pages, we'll wire up these components and create more sets of JST cables.