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Common JST Connectors

Jul. 12, 2022

Common JST Connectors


This article aims to explain when people say "it's a JST connector", specifically related to video game hardware/electronics. We'll go over common models you will encounter on your modding journey, their pin spacing, and identify some products that use them.

 

What is a "JST" Anyway?

JST is actually a company and it stands for Japanese Solderless Technology. They have a huge portfolio of parts, maybe more than you might realize. Many engineers consider them a leader in plugs and connectors due to their vast market reach. They serve popular industries like automotive, home appliances, and industrial equipment. So when people say "it's a JST connector", they are saying something like "it's a Toyota". It identifies the make of the connector or plugs they are referring to but gives no hint at the model. There is no hint if it's a car or a truck, the color options, or its other features.


What Kind of Models Are There?

It's important to note that each series will have an associated plug and receptacle. Each plug will also have a bunch of crimp sockets to choose from that vary in material and gauge. Each receptacle will vary in material as well, in addition to how it's mounted on a PCB. For example, the same series type may be offered in THT (thru-hole technology) or SMT (surface mount technology). Both will share features such as a locking mechanism, how many pins, and the spacing of those pins often referred to as the pitch. These are the common features to watch out for. Other features offered will be things like contact shape, pin rows, and termination type.


JST Connector

 JST Connector

JST NH

The NH series is easy to identify from the common ones you will likely encounter. You can find these as the "joystick output" port for Sanwa's JLF joystick. Specifically, it is located on the TPMA PCB, where the microswitches are soldered to.

 

The most common mounting option for these is right-angled. The locking mechanism for the NH is extremely sturdy, perfect for joystick abuse. The pitch is 2.5mm.

 

JST XH

The XH series is a little harder to identify since it looks like many other connectors. They are very commonly used as a simple way to pass generic signals to and from a PCB. You will likely encounter them on the main control PCB for OEM controllers. They are also used extensively for those Zero Delay Boards.

 

The most common mounting option for these is vertical. The locking mechanism for the XH is adequate but you'll notice that sometimes controller manufacturers like to glue them as a further way to protect from it getting unplugged. The pitch is 2.5mm.

 

JST PH

The PH series is not as common as the other two models but they are used extensively on after-market control boards and their accessories. They are likely as reliable as the JST XH but in a smaller form factor, leaving a designer more room to fit more components on a single PCB.

 

The most common mounting option for these is right-angled. The locking mechanism for the PH is similar to the XH. The pitch is 2.0mm.

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