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Electronic Tricks & Helpful Hints
Suggestions, Tips & Rules of Thumb for Protoype Breadboards
Last Updated:  Thursday, April 07, 2016 02:27 PM

SOLDERING TECHNIQUES

When soldering multiple Vector pin connections together, use a looping daisy-chaining technique with a single wire. Start the process with one of the components at one end of the chain. Bend the end of the bare wire so a small hook is formed. Place the hook around the Vector pin and use a pair of pliers to crimp the hook around the pin. Then go to the next pin, loop the wire around the pin and go on. If properly positioned, several components can be connected together using such a technique in just a few seconds. At the end of the chain the last wire is tightly looped around the pin and the wire is cut. Before soldering the individual pins or wire connections, make a quick inspection and make sure the wires are not touching other pins or wires. Some wires may have to be crimped slightly to insure a good contact. When all the connections in the chain are done, you can finish soldering all the pins. If the chain needs to be later connected to more components, it may be a good idea to leave one of the end pins unsoldered to remind you that there is still a connection to be made. If just two pins have to be soldered together, use a figure "8" two loop pattern using the initial hook connection on the first pin.

Installing IC sockets in a standard Vector board can be difficult unless a few tricks are used. Use the connection to a nearby component or, in some cases any IC pin to pin connection, as a way to hold the socket down on the board. Prepare the wire hook as discussed above and solder it to the nearby component first. Then, while holding the IC in place with one of your left hand fingers, loop the wire end around the IC pin, cut the wire and solder the wire onto the pin. You will have to either use a device that can hold the solder near the pin/wire junction during the soldering process or develop a technique of using some of your other fingers of your left hand, while still holding the IC socket in place, to position the solder next to the pin. Once the first IC socket solder connection has been made the socket should stay in place for the remaining connections. Other techniques for securing the IC on the board using super-glue or hot-melt glue are not recommended. The glue can seep into the socket to produce a poor connection to the IC.

Reminders:
  • Always leave some extra room on the circuit board if the overall size is not a concern. It is a lot easier to add extra parts later when there is room. Figure about 30% extra space for a given circuit.
  • Always label inputs and outputs that will be connected to external components. Some adhesive backed white label paper is great for making little labels. A little fingernail polish can be used to hold small labels in place.
  • Always leave about 0.3" spacing at the board edges.
 
 
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