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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


Always try to install the Vector pins so they face each other with the rounded side facing away from the inside. A Vector pin insertion tool will speed up the process. When properly oriented, the pins can be positioned within 0.1 inch of each other in a side-by-side or back-to-back orientation. A general rule of thumb is that two Vector pins will take up about 0.1 inch more space than the component would otherwise need, if it were soldered into a printed circuit board. Most 1/4 watt resistors should use a 0.5" spacing with the two Vector pins facing each other. If the 1/4 watt resistors are mounted vertically, plan for 0.2 inch spacing between pin centers. Once the pins have been installed, the components can be soldered in place. It may be easier to first decide where the components are to be placed on the circuit board, then install the Vector pins for a group of components before soldering the components into the pins. Cut the resistor leads so the leads just barely poke out the end sides of the pins. The exposed lead ends will make removing the component easier. If several parts are to be connected, say to a transistor, then try to mount those parts near the transistor. If a resistor is to be connected to pin 1 of an IC, then mount that part close to pin 1. Such positioning allows short bare wires to be used to make most of the connections. It may also be easier to save all the major power and ground connections until last while concentrating on the other point to point connections.
Mount typical TO-92 transistors in a "OOO" pattern with 0.1 inch between pins. Try to install the vector pins so little component lead shaping is needed. Capacitors that would normally need 0.2" lead spacing can be installed into Vector pins without bending the leads, if the pins are installed with 0.3 inch pin center spacing. During soldering, fill one pin with solder first then insert one component lead into the pin while the solder is still liquid. Then, after the first lead is secure, the second can be soldered. Resistors can usually be first cut to length then placed into the "V" part of the pins and soldered.
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