XH plug savers on the STC U8W & U8 programmer

STC produce the U8W & U8 programmers for a range of their chips.


The thing has a JST 7way XH socket provided for an ISP connection to a target board. It is accessed through a cutout in the acrylic housing, but the cutout is no bigger than the shoulder on an XH plug and one cannot get tools in beside it to pry the plug out without pulling on the wires.

The good thing is that there is an inexpensive “XH plug saver” sold to the RC market, it provides a means of getting a convenient grip on the plug without pulling on the wires.

First step is to mill out the case opening to accommodate the XH plug saver.

Next, add the XH plug saver to the XH plug, and it all works.

Above, the ISP cable with XH plug saver plugged into the U8W through the widened case opening.

The plug saver for a 7way plug is sold to the RC market as a “6S XH plug saver”. They are available on eBay for a few dollars for a pack of 10.


The U8 has an obstructing collar around the connector. Above, the end of the clear housing has been sanded flush to the XH connector so that the cable end with the plug saver mates properly. This also makes it easier to remove ordinary XH plugs as there is room to get a screwdriver in to level the plug out rather than pulling on the wires.