Absolutely not; anyone got any better ideas?

Hi Pix
Like those. He is right about the “crap” clips available.
Cheers Bob

The teeth on those jaws are pretty aggressive though; I ground them about halfway down on one set.

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Hi Kimmo
OK. So you think they could damage a board if you used them?
Cheers Bob
Sorry I addressed the last reply to the wrong person. I didn’t notice the change in contributor.

What about a bit of heatshrink on the end to minimise any potential damage with the metal tips.


I rate this idea. Or even some thin vinyl tubing!

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This thread is the type of resourcefulness that I love to see, keep up the good work


This is exactly what I’ve done with my helping hands. Makes me feel far more comfortable using them.

The eternal problem is getting springy arms to end up in exactly the right position. Those Adam Savage ones look interesting!

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Hi Pix,

Soldering: practise, practise and more practise.

I think Bob would agree with me on this.


I heard years ago that IDC cabling was a NASA invention used for prototyping. Maybe not.

Hi Gerard

Yes I have been preaching that.

Could be. Been around a long time. I know we used these when we built the Opera House consoles.
Lots of things came out of NASA, Araldite being a common substance. Selleys Silicon Rubber for sticking to glass like fish tanks etc actually came about as a result of an Opera House problem.
Cheers Bob

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Hi Pix

Well here it is
Sorry for the delay but we have had a bit of recent drama here with the hospitalisation of my young brother. He is still there.

So getting back to your soldering job. I will use the bottom pic with the one connector. When there is a need to refer to individual pins I will call the top one pin 1 and progress to the bottom as pin 8.


You have cut all the wires the same length. The strip pin pitch is 2.54mm and the wire pitch is 1.27mm They are obviously not going to line up. You could get away with this by using every second wire but that could get a bit messy and leaves the way open for mistakes.

You have stripped far too much insulation off the wire. Our Bible said “there shall be no more than 1/16 inch (about 1.6mm) of bare wire between the solder joint and the insulation”. To achieve this you strip back a little less than required as the insulation will shrink back a bit when soldering. The exact amount depends on several factors and is realised with experience.

Disregarding the amount of insulation stripped the best of the joints is pin 5.

Some of the other pins don’t seem to be “Whetted” properly. Pin 4 does not seem to have the wire attached properly. Pins 7 and 8 don’t look attached very well at all and pin 7 wire is almost shorting to pin 8.

The solution

Firstly you are using this header strip in a manner that it is not designed for. These strips are meant to be soldered into a board to provide an external connection point or system. If you look at pin 1 you will see the act of soldering will loosen the pin in the plastic support and allow it to pull back. Unfortunately using this strip in this manner this is unavoidable and you will have to be careful when inserting these pins to make sure that they have not pushed back out of position.

Separate the wires back about 25mm.

Insert the strip into something to hold the pins in place

I know it is against good practise but there is a case here for tinning the wire and pin before soldering in place with just a tiny amount of solder on the iron unless you have a means to hold the wire in place reliably. The fingers will get pretty hot but put up with it until the joint cools or you will get a dry joint. When tinning use the minimum amount of solder you can.

Start with pins 4 and 5. Cut about 10- 15mm off the length and strip. Attach these 2 wires.

The rest will get progressively longer as you go towards the ends.

Should look something like this. This effort could be a bit better but the light was failing and I had trouble seeing what I was doing but it is good enough to get the general idea.

I am NOT an advocate of using these pins in breadboards and I usually use a jumper with smaller pins or solder a flexible wire to a small piece of 0.71mm or 22 AWG tinned copper for breadboard insertion.

Or lately I have been doing this.

Crimping the stranded and 22 AWG wire into a bootlace ferrule. If you are worried about the bare part of the ferrule shorting to anything do this. I used 4mm 4:1 ratio heat shrink. You need 4:1 to go over the plastic part of the ferrule (or remove the plastic bit but I find it useful when removing from breadboard) and shrink down on the ferrule and wire.

Cheers Bob


Thanks so much for taking the time.

Really great thoughts.

Ah ok! That’s not much. I’ll try that.

Haha, I had suspected this.
But there are some great soldering tips and strategies for next time I attempt something unorthodox like this. Pre-tinning the wires might have been smart on this occasion.

“Whetted” is not a term I’ve come across. I googled it and I gather it’s to do with pushing enough heat into the solder to thoroughly melt and adhere to the board or wire.
Since this thread I’ve switched from a 0.6mm conical tip to a 1.6 screwdriver. I’m still getting used to it but hopefully it helps get faster heavy heat into the join.

This is amazing!!! :heart_eyes:
Way to show how it’s done!

Pix :heavy_heart_exclamation:

Hi Pix

Yes this would help. 0.6 conical is just a bit small for those pins I think.
By the way what flavour of soldering iron are you using.
Cheers Bob
Also you would need a approx 350ºC for 60/40 solder and something like 400ºC for lead free.

I’m rocking a Weller WE1010 with 60/40 leaded solder. I usually have it set to 375.
I’m actually not sure why people chose certain temperatures over others.
I’m hoping, when I have improved, to move to unleaded solder as soon as possible.

Hi Pix
Good to see that you did not skimp on that one. Always good to get quality right from the start. Avoids disappointment later. You should have no trouble there.

For 60/40 solder and those pins 350ºC is plenty. 60/40 melts at a bit over 200º but you need some headroom for the heat sinking effect of the component bits. 375 should be nice and quick if you are comfortable with that but reduce this if you see any signs of burning or oxidisation.
Cheers Bob
PS. For the amount of soldering the average hobbyist does there is not much wrong with 60/40 solder. Lead free caters for the worker that sits at a bench and wields a soldering iron for 8hrs per day. Even with fume extractors (Mandatory in the workplace) this can be pretty toxic.

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Definitely can’t blame my tools. :stuck_out_tongue:
I’ll just have to practice.
Thanks again bob.
Pix :heavy_heart_exclamation:

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Hi Pix
Well the saying is you learn something every day. Well that is true as of yesterday.

I did a search on “whetting in soldering”. The first thing that happened was Google corrected my spelling to “wetting” (no “h”). I have been using the spelling “whetting” for more than 75 years in this context but it appears I have been wrong all this time. Of course the word meaning could have changed in this time (English is a “live” language) and I just did not catch up.

Anyway, do the search with “wetting in soldering” and some very useful results will pop up. In particular this one

The article also explains why the soldering iron should not be TOO HOT.
It will answer a lot of your questions better than I can and you should read.
Cheers Bob

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