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I have created the following PCB design:

PCB layout

On the right is a USB port, on the left are a number of pads for connecting a round multi-core cable. There will be between 3 and 10 connections, depending on what is being connected. The cable will most likely be soldered directly to the PCB, although a connector could be used. The large number of pads is to allow for different configurations, only 7 to 12 will be used at any one time.

The board is limited to 50x50mm for cost reasons.

My plan is to use a low cost "sandwich" enclosure, basically two acrylic laser cut parts, a top and a bottom, with screws and spacers to hold the PCB in the middle. The case can be larger than the PCB if required.

How can I add effective but cheap strain relief to this design? I was considering extending the case by 10mm to the left, and adding a couple of holes to thread a cable tie though. Alternately I could thread more screws through and bend the cable around them, but that would require more space. Perhaps some kind of slot in the bottom and top case parts would allow a rubber strain relief grommet to be fitted.

This is a hobby project, doesn't need to be commercial grade.

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  • $\begingroup$ What type of connector are you planning on using for the multi-core cable. Look like this is a through hole connector. The connector you choose can act as strain - relief. I suggest you include detail on the mating mult-core connector. $\endgroup$ – Mahendra Gunawardena Feb 7 '17 at 3:00
  • $\begingroup$ Some people just zip tie the cable tightly to one of the spacers. $\endgroup$ – Eric S Apr 8 '17 at 18:43
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I would suggest using a right angle shrouded IDC Male connector. You will have to modify the PCB layout. Based on my understanding of your question you can seat the connector between PCB board the acrylic part. Here is an example of a shrouded IDC connector.

Shrouded IDC Connector enter image description here enter image description here

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  • $\begingroup$ Interesting idea. Previously I have used D type connectors for a similar purpose. I should clarify that the cable being connected is round so attaching connectors to it is quite labour intensive. $\endgroup$ – user9912 Feb 7 '17 at 9:22
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    $\begingroup$ So are planing of soldiering the the cable to the PCB board. Pleas add details to your question. $\endgroup$ – Mahendra Gunawardena Feb 7 '17 at 11:47

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