(Topic ID: 207902)

Need to understand how to reseat wires into connector

By DavidLee

1 year ago

Topic Stats

  • 25 posts
  • 10 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 1 year ago by DavidLee
  • Topic is favorited by 3 Pinsiders


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#1 1 year ago

Hi everyone. I have an opto problem on my Judge Dredd, which has the OSB-7 opto boards from Great Lakes Modular.


I mistakenly thought there was a bad connection in the connector for the wires to the board, and hosed it up by pulling the wire out and trying to reseat it. Can someone tell me how to reseat wires into this connector, or how to purchase a replacement connector, or the special tool or technique I may need? A photo of the connector is attached.

This is my first forum post to Pinside.... let's see how this goes!

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#2 1 year ago


( I shove them in with a screwdriver )

Welcome to Pinside !

LTG : )

#3 1 year ago

I don't have one of those, but I'm certain you'll have an answer soon.

This place is filled with many knowledgeable and helpful folk.


#4 1 year ago

I have one of those IDC punch tools. They are really expensive for what they are. A mini flat head screwdriver served me well for 17 years.

#5 1 year ago
Quoted from Rondogg:

have one of those IDC punch tools. They are really expensive for what they are. A mini flat head screwdriver served me well for 17 years

I bought one of those punch tools but a small screwdriver works better for me. One thing you need to be concerned about is damaging the wire sheating with a screwdriver. Make sure you don't tear the sheating to bad or the wire will move around a bit in the connector.

#6 1 year ago

Wow... thanks for all of the quick responses and great help! Using a screwdriver is what I have been trying, but I can't seem to get a good connection. Hopefully I didn't damage the metal tabs that are supposed to cut and displace the insulation. I found a tool that looks like it will do the trick, called a "Punch Down Tool, Multifunction Krone Type IDC/Network Wire Cat5 & Telephone Impact Terminal Insertion Tool".

Here's the link to it on Amazon: amazon.com link »

I bought it and will give it a try and report back here.

In case I DID damage the connector, does anyone know where I can buy a replacement? I can take other pictures if that is helpful. Here's what I know... it is .100 inch, 8 pin, and I've seen the terms "locking ramp" that seems to describe the click mechanism, and "crimp and stuff" (although I don't think that is the same as the IDC method).

Here's something that looks similar on pinball life, although the pitch, etc. are wrong:

#7 1 year ago

Here's a top-view picture from the Great Lakes Modular website:


osb7_03a (resized).jpg

#8 1 year ago

IDC - Insulation Displacement Connector - means that when you jam the wire in, it forces the tabs to cut the insulation and make contact with the wire.
Crimp and stuff (Molex) - means you crimp a terminal onto the end of the wire and then stuff it into the housing

They do the same thing slightly different ways. Both will fit onto the same headers.
You are right that you need to match the size though.
You might need this one, if you damaged the tabs on yours. https://www.pinballlife.com/index.php?p=product&id=4152

#9 1 year ago

Thanks rca1 ... you confirmed what didn't 'feel' right regarding 'crimp and stuff' vs. IDC connections. Also, thanks for the link pinside. I need 10 pins, and the one that I found was from a company called Great Plains Electronics. This seems to have the 'locking ramp' edge so hopefully it would click securly in place on the board.


My plan is to try to reseat the wire using the tool I ordered from Amazon. If that doesn't work, then I'm thinking I should replace my IDC connector with something non-IDC and more reliable.

Does anyone have suggestions for the best connector for this? So, it would be 10 pins, .100 inch, and would have that 'locking ramp' so that it would click-insert to the board?

#10 1 year ago

Don't trust that Great Plains Electronics character! I heard he's kinda shady!

#11 1 year ago
Quoted from DavidLee:

I bought it and will give it a try and report back here.

Not all IDC connectors are the same, this tool will not work for pinball machines. You need a .156 IDC connector punch down tool.

Like this.

Or this. https://www.shapeways.com/product/XXT77BYJU/idc-156f-wire-inserter-pinball-tool?optionId=56007855

I own the one from Shapeways, being made of stainless it will last a life time for me.

#12 1 year ago

The connector with locking ramp is used in combination with a header with the friction locks. However you can use that connector on a traditional header too.

#13 1 year ago

Thanks for the additional input, grumpy and completist .

Regarding the punchdown tool, I am thrown by needing a .156 tool for use on a .100 connector. Is this right? Thinking about it, the wires are smaller then the power wires in the machine, but are probably bigger than those in a cat5 cable (like the tool I found describes).

Also, regarding the locks on the header on the board, I took some photos of the existing header and connector, but it seems like I would need to have the 'friction locks' (?) on the header so that the connector won't shake itself off.

Here's more photos for more details.

Thanks again for the help!!!

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#14 1 year ago

This sure looks like a .156 connector. Have you measured it? If it is indeed a .100 connector you will need a .100 punch tool like this. http://www.marcospecialties.com/pinball-parts/77-IDC-A100

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#15 1 year ago

The method I used to determine .100 inch vs. .156 inch was comparing it to two other connectors -- one known to be .100 inch, and one known to be .156 inch. The pin spacing ("pitch") is definitely .100 inch. The photos are highly zoomed, so they look bigger in the photos then they do when handling them. I'm still wondering about the size of the wires though... and I haven't even begun to read up on that. I already ordered the tool from Amazon, so when it gets here I'll look at the connector and tool together.

#17 1 year ago

That looks like the one! I need 10 pins, and this one has 12 pins. Would this one work? How can I confirm??


EDIT: I see this is a .156 inch... and I can't find a 10 pin, .100 inch version.

#18 1 year ago
Quoted from DavidLee:

and this one has 12 pins. Would this one work?

Cut 2 off.

Work fine.

LTG : )

#19 1 year ago

Thanks ltg! I'll keep this thread posted with updates, results, learnings, etc.

#20 1 year ago

The selection for .100 connectors isn't as good so you get bigger ones then you need and cut them down with a utility knife.
Since your from Minnesota you can use Digikey too. https://www.digikey.com/product-detail/en/te-connectivity-amp-connectors/4-644540-0/A31074-ND/698328

#21 1 year ago

Cool! Thanks grumpy Looks like there's a few options for me, and I was worried I was going to be out of luck!

#22 1 year ago

If you were closer I would give you a connector and let you use my punch tool.

#23 1 year ago

I really have to upgrade the punch to one end with 0.156 and other to 0.100

#24 1 year ago
Quoted from swinks:

I really have to upgrade the punch to one end with 0.156 and other to 0.100

I will buy the first one.

1 week later
#25 1 year ago

Hi all. I am struggling with what is likely a related issue, but I think I did get the specific wire seated pretty good. I stupidly had the punch down tool I ordered shipped to an old address. But, what I did was use some scissors and cut a wooden toothpick in half. The cut end (not the sharp end) was blunt and about the right wide for the .156 inch wire. I pushed down on all sides of the insulation-cutting part of the connector and it worked well.

Still having lots of grief with connections though. I posted a new topic on that here:

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