Connecting and tidying up prototype to make it more durable

Following the excellent advice from this forum and the Core Electronics youtube channel, plus coding help from ChatGPT got my prototype for my research project involving horses working.

Now I need to make a bit more robust, tidy and hopefully horse proof.

So now looking for advice re how to securely join the wires from the sensors to the pi (currently connected via a breadboard with breakout cobbler) as well as securely join the connections between male and female leadout wires. Ideally with a minimum of soldering because my soldering is pretty bad (as can be seen from the attached photo of the set-up.) And also, ideally with some info about any products I might need to get and/or methods/techniques I need to implement.

Basically, now I know it all works I’d like to make the connections permanent or at least a lot less fragile than current prototype.
Thanks in advance.



Hi Cath

I am afraid if you are going to get anywhere with getting rid of temporary breadboards etc soldering is going to play some part. So get some practise and proficiency if you can spare a bit of time. It will be time well spent.
Some sort of circuit diagram of the whole thing would help.
That flat I assume 40 wire cable connecting the RPi to that blue gizmo would be a good place to start. Will that blue thing plug directly into the RPi?? Is that blue thing a breakout device of some sort??
Cheers Bob

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Thanks Bob.

I will be doing some practice soldering to make enlarge the things that’s attached to the sensor with the green alligator clip. The one that is in the pic is a proof of concept. The final version will be much larger.
The blue thing attached to the pi via the ribbon cable doesn’t attach directly to the pi as has male pins. I have a piicodev adapter for the pi that could take the two piicodev sensors (a capacitive touch sensor and a piezo buzzer, but if I use that, not sure how to wire in the servo motor to the pi as well. Will try to draw a circuit diagram to provide more clarity. Thanks again

Hi Bob,

Looks to be one of these, so yes a breakout by another name.

Hi Cath,

Glad to hear your prototype is working well.
As Bob has already covered the go-to-solution for connecting anything electronic on a permanent basis is soldering, it’s a great skill to have but does take some time to develop.
If you wanted to try and make a soldered version of your prototype the easiest leap will probably be to use our Makerverse protoboards like I’ve linked below. They have the same size holes and spacing as a breadboard, so everything you already have should fit perfectly, but allow you to make soldered connections far easier and with more reliability. Other protoboards may have slightly different sizing and spacing on the holes.

One solderless option that does get use a bit in industrial applications is to use screw terminals to hold your wire connections. A screw terminal HAT instead of the T-cobbler would allow you to remove some of the press-fit prototyping wires in favour of hookup wires.

The last option that springs to mind would be to make your own custom cables with a set of crimpers but that is a more expensive option when you need to buy a specialty tool and several sets of connectors.

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Hi Trent
Just to clarify. Is that Makerverse board the same as the other one ie; with connecting tracks on both sides. If so it is worth mentioning as it could be a trap for the unwary. If any tracks have to be cut it has to happen on both sides.

Also I am interested in the terminal block breakout. What type of terminal blocks are fitted. Do they have wire protectors in them or rising clamp types. Or just a bare screw down onto any wire that is inserted. If the latter I think ferrules should be recommended. It is a bit hard to see clearly on the pis
Cheers Bob

Hi Bob,

As the Makerverse line is open source, and you’ve invested time into learning KiCAD, you can actually have a poke around and find out yourself whether there are traces on the F.Cu and B.Cu layers:

In this case, the traces are on the back, if you have the Makerverse logo towards you:

Hi James
Thanks for that.

That makes life a bit easier. Having traces on both sides is not an insurmountable problem as long as you know abut it. Just have to be careful to cut the same track on both sides.

Now what about the terminal block question. Should be able to see what type they are.
Cheers Bob