What Is a Pin Header

Electrical connectors are devices that serve to join together conductors to establish circuits. To serve the vast array of electronics featuring different operating characteristics and requirements, a plethora of connector types have been developed over the years. The pin header is a specific type of connector that is typically used on PCBs, enabling the means of connecting accessories and other boards. As a widely used connector type that serves many printed circuit boards of electronics, understanding the functionality of the device and its design can be beneficial when searching for connectors.

Working of Pin Header

Like many electrical connector types, the pin header features a male and female component that are specifically designed to mate with one another. The male pin header component consists of a plastic base that has one or more rows of metal pins protruding outwards. As a fairly simplistic connector, male pin headers are quite cheap. The female socket, on the other hand, features inserts that accommodate the pins of the male header so that a robust connection may be established and retained. Pin headers are often referred to as Berg connectors by many, those of which are a branded connector developed by Berg Electronics. Despite this, general pin headers are manufactured by multiple companies.

When procuring pin headers, they most commonly come in the form of through-hole devices, allowing for the electrical connector to be inserted into the drilled holes of printed circuit boards before soldering. Nevertheless, some pin headers are surface-mount devices, permitting them to be directly mounted to the face of the printed circuit board. When the pin header comes in the form of a surface-mount device, the pins on the soldering side are bent to a 90 degree angle so that they may be attached to the PCB pad.

Pin headers are typically defined based on the amount of pins that are present in a row and how many rows of pins there are. As such, a pin with two rows of 8 pins would be considered an 8x2 pin header. Pin headers can further be categorized or defined by the pitch that exists between connections. Pitch refers to the spacing between each connection, the standard for such components being a pitch of 2.54 mm. Despite this, there are also other common pin header pitches coming in sizes such as 1.00 mm, 1.27 mm, 2.00 mm, 2.54 mm, 3.96 mm, and 5.08 mm.

The box header, or shrouded header, is a special subclass of pin header. Generally, such components are notable for the rectangular housing that is used to contain the pin header. While a female pin header attaches to a male connector with its housing, the box header housing is designed to prevent reverse connector insertion with the use of a notch. Box headers are often used alongside insulation-displacement connectors for ribbon cable connector components.

As a fairly simplistic connector type, pin headers are quite useful for printed circuit board assembly when accessories or additional PCBs are to be attached. Aerospace Store is a trusted distributor of aircraft parts and electronic equipment, serving as your sourcing solution for top quality jumpers, ribbon cable connector components, Berg connectors, and more. We invite you to peruse our vast inventory and offerings at your leisure, and you may request quotes for your comparisons at any time through the submission of an Instant RFQ form as provided on our website. With industry experts always available for customers 24/7x365, you may receive a personalized response to your quote request in just 15 minutes or less. Give us a call or email today to begin the purchasing process and see why customers steadily rely on Aerospace Store for all their operational needs.


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