Adafruit has this wonderful product: http://www.adafruit.com/products/85

enter image description here

What are these actually called? I've looked all over the place in Mouser and DigiKey and can't find them (now, granted, it's impossible to find anything in DigiKey since they discontinued their printed catalog, but I'm digressing...)

They are great for putting other things that are on breakout boards on a tightly-packed breadboard and still be able to attach probes.

Also, sometimes, the board you are trying to attach is this:TaylorEdge Smartnixie board

As you can see, there is a dip switch blocking the 8-pin header. This is fine for its final resting place (on a board with a socket), but putting it on a breadboard is a bit of a pain. I have quite a few of those, so even though the aforementioned adafruit part is pretty cheap and I could get a bunch, I'd rather know what the real part is called so I can get the sizes I need.

PS: In case you are wondering, and you like old-style nixie tubes, that's http://www.tayloredge.com/storefront/SmartNixie/DataSheets/Datasheet_SmartNixie.pdf.)

5 Answers 5


A Digikey.com search for samtec SSQ includes numerous longtail stackable headers (as well as some shorttail, or non-stackable). However, looking at Digikey's prices suggests to me that adafruit.com's price is a bargain unless you are purchasing thousands of pieces.

Also see an arduino.cc thread on this topic.

  • This one has la posta, search for samtec SSQ and you'll get the stackable pins in all sizes.
    – user171780
    Sep 28, 2021 at 20:34

They're actually called "Wire-Wrap Headers" and they pre-date the Arduino probably by at least 50 years or so.

They used to be used to create circuits between chips and components by wrapping wire around the pins and routing it to other connectors:

enter image description here

They have since been adopted as stackable headers on boards like the Arduino shields.

Being such old technology not many people make them any more, though thanks to their popularity on things like the Arduino they are starting to appear more and more from normal electronics supply companies.

  • Thanks. I'm old enough to know about WW headers, but the pins on these are not thick enough to be usable for WW, and the receptacle part is also too high. I've looked for WW headers on mouser and digikey, and none match these. What I can find are the nice, machined (round, that is) receptacles that are meant for plugging in ICs. I have lots of those from days past, but they are too narrow to accept other headers.
    – JayEye
    May 18, 2015 at 17:59

If you are already ordering from Digi-Key, they do carry the same set of stackable headers from Adafruit. It's just a bit hidden in an accessories family. Otherwise it looks like Samtec is the only company Digikey carries that makes this style of connector. Some dual-row long tail headers can be found using the term stackthrough, but this is mostly used in conjunction with PC104 connectors.


You can find stackable headers on eBay (ie. 141063314400 , 191576393028 , 271841707614). Futurlec also sell them pretty cheap - about half-way down the page.


That DIP switch is also connected to the 4 address pins so you could cut the switch off, plug it into a proto board and then set the address by selectively grounding those pins.

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