Electrical jumpers and pins - application areas
A jumper is an element commonly used in electronics. Jumper is nothing more than a miniature metal female connectors together. From the point of view of an electrical circuit, they constitute a short circuit. The most common and standardized type of jumper is a two-pin jumper with a pitch (pin spacing) of 2.54 mm, in which the metal pins are covered with plastic on the outside to ensure insulation of the jumper from the surrounding electronic components. Anyone who has ever assembled a desktop computer at least once during its first start-up has selected the appropriate configuration, e.g. on the motherboard or in the hard drive connected to it using jumpers. Placing a jumper on the electrical pins, that is closing the electrical circuit, activates some of its functionalities, such as determining the processor clock frequency or supply voltage value. Often jumpers are used to reset the configuration of an electronic circuit restoring it to factory settings where, for example, the use of a button instead could cause this process inadvertently and unintentionally by the user.
Jumper vs plug and play
Trends in consumer electronics, especially in the area of computers and their accessories, are developing towards the use of solutions that have been with us for a long time: plug and play. Software-based auto-configuration of devices makes it easier for the user to operate them. On the other hand, however, many professionals still use jumpers and electrical pins due to the greater resistance of hardware-type configuration than software. In software, an unpredicted error can occur, while a jumper gives a clear choice in configuration, and in addition you do not need a keyboard or display to change it.
Although the jumper is a very simple electronic component, its versatile use in electronic circuits has resulted in jumpers appearing on the market in different colour versions, which makes it easier to identify them or to divide their functions in a given electronic circuit. There are also jumpers with extended casing which makes it easier to use them, e.g. without the use of forceps or tweezers.