One Little Word

Sometimes, as a tinkerer, hacker, electrical hobbyist mad scientist, or just general jack-of-all-trades troublemaker, you will have occasion to put things of an electrical or indeed computer-ish nature inside of other things. Other things, it need hardly be said, whose designers had thoughtlessly failed to plan ahead for your hare-brained scheme, leaving you inadequate room in inadequate locations to do what you want to do.

Or maybe there’s plenty of room, but they just thoughtlessly neglected to design holes in their device which line up with the panel-mounted connectors on your diabolical invention/motherboard/whatever, the filthy scoundrels.

If you’re like me, you’ve probably scoured the web, and catalogs, and sundry other locations, and come to the lamentable conclusion that the world we all have the misfortune to live in would be an indescribably better place if there were, y’know, panel-mount USB and RJ45 jacks. Maybe you’ve experienced that brief euphoria of discovery at finding a “panel-mount” connector, only to learn that it’s meant to be soldered to a PCB panel, not screwed or snapped into a front panel.

I’ve been there. I know your pain. I too have ventured forth into the great and dangerous unknown to beseech the Google oracle with queries. “Art there RJ45 extensions? Art there RJ45 expanders? Art there RJ45… assemblies? RJ45… doohickies?”

And then, one day – one day much, otherwise, quite like any other – I found the promised land, my brethren and sistren and gender-neutral wielders of soldering irons and panel-nippers. I found what I – we – had been looking for:


Welcome to the next level, where projects are always neatly finished. The password is “passthrough”. (Or “passthru”.)

Yep, all those damned panel-mount RJ45 and USB conectors you’ve looked for? They’re called bulkhead passthrough/passthru connectors. A female plug on each end, panel mounting hardware in the middle. Several companies make ’em for darn near every connector known to mankind, and they’re widely available. (They’re not all nearly as ugly as this example, either.)

No more JB Weld, epoxy, hot glue, or duct tape, my friends. No more captive cables dangling like sad and flaccid genitalia from too-large holes. I have seen the future, and the future is… passthrough connectors.

You may thank me later. 🙂

Published in: Geekiness | on April 21st, 2011| Comments Off on One Little Word

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