Sunday, May 20, 2018
Publication Date: 10/1/2008
Archive >  October 2008 Issue >  Special Feature: Components and Distribution > 

Surface Mount and Thru-Hole Jumpers
Various jumper formats are available on tape-and-reel, ready for automatic insertion.

Jumper wires are as important to the circuit designer as the adjustable Crescent wrench is to the mechanic. They come in a variety of shapes and sizes and serve many purposes and have proven over the years to be one of the most reliable and versatile tools a circuit designer can have in his or her tool kit.
Jumper wires are used in virtually all segments of industry, including; military, medical, telecommunications, transportation, energy and commercial to provide failure-proof and cost-effective interconnect solutions that would otherwise not be possible. They serve the same important role today that they did 30 to 40 years ago, allowing the circuit designer the unique ability to quickly change and customize circuit designs by simply adding or deleting a jumper wire.
Jumper wires have become the industry's benchmark for all low impedance zero ohm applications; where hi-reliability performance is critical, they are the only option.
Solid copper jumpers offer distinct advantages in harsh environments where humidity, temperature variation and vibration can cause DIP switches and similar devices to fail. 
Board-to-Board Interfaces
Among some of the different uses for jumper wires, board-to-board interfaces are one of the most common. Jumpers are considerably less expensive than ribbon cable, more versatile, and are fully compatible with automated assembly processes that use robotic or high-speed component insertion equipment.
As an example, one of the industry's most innovative suppliers of dairy equipment, Polytron Corporation of Elkhart, Indiana, uses insulated #22 (AWG) jumper wires supplied by Vestal Electronic Devices to interconnect multi-board circuit assemblies. Depending on the product being manufactured, Polytron uses from seven to 26 jumper wires instead of ribbon cable to interconnect mother/daughter board assemblies prior to wave soldering and singulation from the array. The auto insertable jumpers have simplified assembly processes and generated a significant cost savings.
Ultra-miniature jumpers are used on these lighting controllers.

Emerson Network Power of Binghamton, NY is another jumper user. A leading supplier of power conditioning and surge suppression equipment that uses 18 AWG to 22 AWG pre-formed jumper wires, Emerson cost-effectively customizes its products for the different voltage options that its customers require.
Heavy gauge jumpers serve an important role in Emerson's circuit designs as they do in many other high current applications, but because of their size are often too large to automatically insert. So Vestal offers a custom-designed and built jumper wire. These customized jumpers are available for application-specific pre-formed jumpers ranging from 10 to 28 AWG for manual and robotic assembly processes.
Flat tin-plated solid copper ribbon jumpers.

A global supplier of vehicle safety and lighting systems, Grote Industries LLC of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, uses insulated jumper wires in the manufacture of its LED light engines, directional, braking, dome and other lighting products.
Demands for smaller more complex circuits using environmentally friendly materials have fueled the need for a new generation of jumper wires.
In 2005 Vestal Electronic Devices introduced a new generation of Surface Mount Jumper (SMTJ) that offered many of the same features and benefits provided by its axial and radial counterparts, but are significantly smaller and are RoHS-compliant. The new SMTJs are available in 1206, 2006 and soon to be introduced 0805 and 2010 formats that are fabricated from tin plated solid copper ribbon that has a unique "under beam" pad design to increase circuit packaging density and improve solderability. All SMTJs are available in tape-and-reel format (EIA Std 481) that uses conductive embossed carrier tape and anti-static reels for safe, convenient handling and use with all automated placement systems.
SMTJs are designed and manufactured to serve as single and multiple level jumper wires, fusible links, test points and a cost-effective alternative to wire bonding.
Luminus Devices, located in Billerica Massachusetts, is a supplier of high-performance, solid-state lighting solutions. The company's award-winning PhlatLight® LED products originally used 20 wire bonds. After redesign, the company was able to replace the 20 wire bonds with a single SMTJ-1206 surface mount jumper. This change dramatically increased the company's production yields, reduced production time and ultimately provided substantial labor and cost savings. Luminus gave the SMTJ-1206 a 18-amp rating noting that tests proved it was able to withstand up to 50 amps.
With over 30 years of experience in jumper wire manufacturing and more than 60 different jumper wires in its product line, Vestal is the largest and most respected manufacturer of lead and lead-free jumper wire products and custom wire forms in the electronics industry, earning this distinction through innovation and responsiveness to customer requirements.  ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Contact: Vestal Electronic Devices, 635 Dickson Street, Endicott, NY 13760 607-773-8461 E-mail: 

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