HP-21MX bootstrapping?

Chuck Guzis cclist at sydex.com
Sat Feb 23 19:45:50 CST 2008

On 23 Feb 2008 at 18:30, J. David Bryan wrote:

> I'll second that.  With an arbor press and mandrels designed for to receive 
> the connector halves, it goes together easily.  If you have to use Vise-
> Grips, it's quite difficult.  A bench vise with smooth jaw faces is a bit 
> better if you do things slowly and carefully and ensure that the parts and 
> the cable line up correctly as you squeeze them together.  It takes quite a 
> bit of force to punch through 50 conductors simultaneously.

Even a cheapie hand press, such as Jameco 73252 (Hanlong IDC Crimping 
Tool) at $16 will pay for itself in connections not botched.  The 
problem with a Vise-Grip or any sort of pliers is that the jaws move 
in an arc, meaning that one side gets more pressure than the other.  
Unless you're very careful, you can end up bending some of the pins.  

A bench or woodworker's vise with both jaws faced by wood or plastic 
(say, ABS or HDPE) will work in a pinch, particularly if you can 
rabbet a slot in one side to hold the connector.  Most bench vises 
have patterned hard steel jaws which, if not faced with softer 
material, will leave an impression in the connector body and could 
possibly deform the pin holes.  A good size woodworker's clamp might 
also do the trick (I haven't tried it, having a hand press in my 

Leave a little excess cable poking through the connector and flush-
trim with a fresh utility- or X-acto knife for a nice-looking job.

That's the way I do it, anyway.


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