practical breadboard wiring: headers, fine wire on devices, stripping wire, etc.

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I'm finding that the wire that comes on loose components (voltmeters, whatever), as well as breadboard wires and the various wires are a finer gauge than breadboards expect.  Particularly, the gauge is too small to push into breadboards without bending.

In a similar vein, the wires are too small for any wire stripper I can find--I'm guessing they're 30 or maybe 28 gauge, so they just slide through the presets.

 

I've found these: https://www.aliexpress.com/item/Male-Jumper-Connectors-Pins-1-2-4-5-6-8-10-way-2-54mm-Breadboard-Plugs/32828568027.html?spm=a2g0s.13010208.99999999.265.26a83c00lYNknH but I'm not clear that they can clamp onto the fine wires. 

 

Does anyone have a good solution?

 

 

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Klein Tools makes several wire strippers, one of which strips

20-30 gauge solid or 22-32 gauge stranded wire.  The model

number is 11057.

 

--Mike

 

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dochawk wrote:
Particularly, the gauge is too small to push into breadboards without bending.

You could try a screw terminal breakout like: https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/4-way...

 

I have a bunch of 0.1" pitch screw terminals that work well with fine gauge wire. The terminals' legs are, unfortunately, too short to be inserted into breadboards. However, you could solder them into veroboard, and solder some header pins into the veroboard to make your own screw terminal breakout. Or, if you can find them, put some long leg female headers between the screw terminal and the breadboard.

 

- S

 

Last Edited: Mon. Dec 10, 2018 - 08:41 AM
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dochawk wrote:

...I'm not clear that they can clamp onto the fine wires. 

 

They probably will but you can also solder them, after crimping, to ensure a reliable connection.

#1 This forum helps those that help themselves

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#4 "If you think you need floating point to solve the problem then you don't understand the problem. If you really do need floating point then you have a problem you do not understand." - Heater's ex-boss

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Knipex makes some strippers that can safely strip even fine wire (down to 0.03 mm2). I have the smaller of these which largely, automatically adjusts to the wire size. I write largely, because it has a dial for limiting the cutting depth which, if set much too deeply, will break delicate wires.

 

- John

Last Edited: Mon. Dec 10, 2018 - 09:21 AM
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The connectors you are referring to are generally called "Dupont" wires / connectors.

http://www.aliexpress.com/wholesale?SearchText=dupont+connector

 

To attach wires to those connectors you need a special crimpingp plier:

http://www.aliexpress.com/wholesale?SearchText=dupont+crimping+plier

 

There are also a bunch of different breadboard manufacurers and there is quite some quality difference between them.

It could be that your breadboards are of a particular bad quality.

 

For breadboards I often use solid wire with a core diameter of 0.7mm.

These wires are probably a bit thicker than what other use, but they work well for me.

 

For a wire stripper, I have one made by "Amp" off a modell similar to the Knipex mentioned in #5.

I also have a wire stripper of the "scissors" model TU-2021

http://www.aliexpress.com/wholesale?SearchText=TU-2021

It works reasonably well for me, but I use them mostly for thicker wires.

They do have the tendency to snap of a few of the strands of multi strand wires.

I heard of someone blunting the cutting edges of such a wire stripper a bit, and this lessens the tendency to cut into the copper, while still sharp enough to cut through the isolation.

This model of plier is also made by different brands and in different qualities.

The pliers in which the mating surfaces are ground flat and shiny are probably of better quality than the plier I have with the painted black surface.

 

I do not like the screw terminal blocks mentioned in #3.

The thin metal strip between your wire and the screw deforms a lot which makes it finicky to put in a wire the 2nd time.

These are also connected with a thin pin to the PCB and If you screw the screw a bit too tight they also have the tendency to break just above the PCB.

 

Just recently I discovered the WAGO model 222 and 221.

These can be used to make quick and reliable temporary connections between all kind of wires, but they need bare ends of 10mm.

 

Also recently I bougth some assortment boxes with wiring with silicone insulation.

These come in a lot of thicknesses, but all have quite thin strands.

The silicone insulation is also less strong than the PVC insulation normally used and these wires can be stripped with your finger nails.

It seems that if you buy the thinnest ferrules made and you crimp them on this silicone oated wire these are still thin enough to put directly into a breadboard.

I bought a 700 pieces ferrule kit with pliers, and such kits do not have the thinnest ferrules, but if crimped wellwithout wire in them I can still barely fit it into a breadboard.

http://www.aliexpress.com/wholesale?SearchText=700pcs+ferrule+kit

This will need a bit more experimenting.

Doing magic with a USD 7 Logic Analyser: https://www.avrfreaks.net/comment/2421756#comment-2421756

Bunch of old projects with AVR's: http://www.hoevendesign.com

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Once you strip the wires you still have to get them into the breadboard holes...

These days I find that I usually insert the wires with a pair of tweezers (pick-ups, non-toothed), or a small hemostat, instead of my fingers.

It is much easier this way with tightly packed breadboards, and I can insert the wire "vertically" with the force pushing the wire into the socket better than I can with my fingers.

 

That doesn't fix the problem of the wires being too small for the breadboard to give one a good connection.

 

If the wires are stranded, then one can solder ("tin") the wires, which makes it much easier to insert them into a breadboard.

 

Another option is to solder an extension wire onto the pigtail wires coming of the device / component of interest.

 

I use to just solder a small piece of "telephone" wire on as an extension, now however I sometimes use one of the wires shown below.

 

They are breadboard jumper wires, and one can either cut a longer wire in half, or just trash the connector on one end and solder the wire to the device as an extension that is easy to plug into breadboards.

 

The package below is from Banggood Electronics.

 

For small components like a Pot or push button switch that wont fit nicely into a breadboard, I made a few little PCB's that can hold them, and have 0.1" pad spacing for a "header" row of pins.

The PCB's were "extras" added in the margin of a larger PCB layout / project, essentially freebies.

 

The breadboard shown is not a great example, but it shows a small PCB with a PCB type push button switch now mounted on a small PCB with DIP type header pins.

(This PCB was actually for a 2x5 ribbon cable header to DIP, but it got put into service for the PB Switch...)

 

JC

 

 

 

 

 

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I do all my breadboarding with perfboard and 24 gauge telephone wire.  It is solid wire of .020" diameter and comes in cables of about 50 wires.  I just cut off a piece of the cable about a foot long and then pull out the wires I want.  They are of different colors with stripes, which is useful for looking at the board after some time.  I use brown for Vcc and blue for ground, orange and white for Tx and Rx.  I like the solid wire because I can strip off a few mm and push it in the perfboard hole next to a chip pin coming through from the other side to hold it in place for soldering, or form a little loop with a tweezers to go around a pin.  BTW, you cant go wrong with a good pair of tweezers that are big enough at the end to wrap a wire around and pinch it around a pin.  A friend who works for the phone company gave me a one foot piece of cable with 1000 conductors inside.  It is about 2 inches in diameter.  I dont have the heart to pull wires out of it because it looks so cool, plus I have about 30 feet of the 50 conductor cable that will last me a lifetime.  It's great wire for breadboarding.  It will also stick in the plastic breadboards like the one above.

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MarkThomas wrote:
They are of different colors with stripes,

Blue Orange Green Brown Slate, White Red Black Yellow Violet  .... if my memory still serves me,  I had to memorize that for my first job out of engineering school!

The first being the stripe around the latter, then each 25 pair would be wrapped with a colored ribbon from the first group, so 50 pair had a blue wrap, and an Orange wrap, and so on.

 

Jim

 

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Jim,

Yup.  That's it.  Mine has the blue wrap.  It's good stuff.  Stranded wire is too hard to work with with perfboard.

 

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Oops.  How do you delete an errant comment?

Last Edited: Mon. Dec 10, 2018 - 08:04 PM
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I also like the wires mentioned by DocJC in #7 The molten on black plastic handle makes them easy to insert.

I also ten to work in layers on breadboards.

The first half of the wires is done with solid wires and are near thesurface of the breadboard.

These are all the power connections and other wires I am sure I do not have to change for a project.

 

The second layer of wires is made with wires like mentioned in #7.

 

A note about resistors.

The old fashioned through hole resistors come new with very long wires.

Some people pull them out of the paper strips and then insert them into breadboards.

This is a very bad idea.

The gooey glue sticks to the end of the wires and gets inserted into the breadboard together with the wires, and part of the glue never gets out of the breadboard again and it makes for unreliable electrical connections on the BB. The wires are too long anyway. Cutting the length of the wires in half is about right for comfortable work on a breadboard.

 

I also make adapter PCB's for insertion in breadboards.

I have a picture of those on my old website, which real badly needs an update, soo many projects done in between...

Breadboard components example

 

 

The blue elco on the left and the crystal are first soldered, and then I applied 2 component epoxy to make it stronger.

The pins are from 0.1" headers, which are quite strong.

Also, mating breadboards with a bit of soldering.

I alsways liked the art of the picture below, though I did not make it.

It needs a bit of work, but such an AVR can be used for many breadboard projects before the flash wears out or the magic smoke escapes.

 

I do tend to solder some decoupling caps directly onto the AVR. Short connections for decoupling are good, but also because if stuff moves on a breadboard, you can get very short intermittennt open connections. Microcontrollers do not like it if you interrupt their power supply for a few micro seconds.

Doing magic with a USD 7 Logic Analyser: https://www.avrfreaks.net/comment/2421756#comment-2421756

Bunch of old projects with AVR's: http://www.hoevendesign.com

Last Edited: Mon. Dec 10, 2018 - 08:37 PM
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I still use the old (1970s-on) wire-wrap tool and about eight colors of 30 AWG gauge wire.   I use an inexpensive adjustable red-plastic-grips wire-stripping tool that is set to strip the plastic covering off the 30 gauge wire without nicking the internal central copper strand.  I'm a big fan of the standardized 0.025" (0.625mm) square copper header pins spaced at 0.1".   They fit into the white breadboard holes and the in-line headers.

 

I realize that the wire-wrap tool is quite expensive at @$29 US, but it has a good deal of precision machining.  And if you don't lose it (or have someone borrow it), it will last forever.  I've had mine for about 30 years.  When the 30 AWG wire is wrapped around a header pin, the corners of the pin cut into the sides of the wire.  This prevents corrosion and oxide buildup that causes open circuits.  I have wire-wrap prototypes that are 30 years old and are still working.  I often have no use for them anymore, but they work.

 

If you use the 30AWG wire-wrap method to connect up prototypes, buy the wire in packages that have 50 feet (@15 meters) of about six to eight colors included in a set.  Reserve black for ground and red for Vcc (+5 or +3.3V).   I then always use white for reset, green for SCL, blue for SDA, yellow for MOSI, orange for MISO, purple for SCK, and brown for push-switches.   This makes it easier to troubleshoot a point-to-point wired prototype board.

 

I also mount a 8-pin (sometimes 10 pin) header to the 0.1" Via holes on the side of an Arduino Nano.   This creates a standard connector that has Gnd, Vcc, reset, SCL, SDA, ADC6, ADC7, and one PCINT or digital I/O pin.  By putting the opposite 'gender' connector on the prototype PCB, I can daisy-chain custom-made plug-in boards that plug/unplug into the Nano.   Here is a diagram:

 

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Paulvdh wrote:
A note about resistors.

The old fashioned through hole resistors come new with very long wires.

Some people pull them out of the paper strips and then insert them into breadboards.

This is a very bad idea.

The gooey glue sticks to the end of the wires and gets inserted into the breadboard together with the wires, and part of the glue never gets out of the breadboard again and it makes for unreliable electrical connections on the BB. The wires are too long anyway. Cutting the length of the wires in half is about right for comfortable work on a breadboard.

I clip the resistors right at the gooey tape.  I like the long leads.  I can sometimes do a whole board using the passive leads, with maybe one or two pieces of wire.  Why waste it.

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MarkThomas wrote:
Why waste it.
Because those those long leads force you to put the ends widely apart on the breadboard. The long un isolated resistor wires also very easily form shorts between them when there are a lot on a breadboard. But it is also dependendent on personal style and the sort of circuits you build on your breadboards. If you try to build a circuit with 10 transistors in TO-92 and 30 resistors and leave all those wires long, you get a big mess. With digital ciruits where you sometimes want a row of pullup or LED resistors closely spaced then keeping the wires at the same length so the ceramic parts of the resistors touch each other will prevent the wires from getting shorted.

 

I also recently bought 2 kits with roles of silicone insulated wire. The torn of silicone tubes of stripped wire seem to be quite handy to use to isolate some wires. I might even consider to start saving these pieces for this instead of throwing them away.

Doing magic with a USD 7 Logic Analyser: https://www.avrfreaks.net/comment/2421756#comment-2421756

Bunch of old projects with AVR's: http://www.hoevendesign.com

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a one foot piece of cable with 1000 conductors inside. 

Oh man!  I am soooo envious!

 

I've never seen that cabling before!  How cool!

 

I have a 4 or 5 foot piece of telephone wire with ~ 25 conductors, and it will likely last me the rest of my career!

 

BTW, I saw the syringe for the solder paste in the photo as well.

I also use the same set up.

 

JC

 

 

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Some people pull them out of the paper strips and then insert them into breadboards.

This is a very bad idea.

But I like my resistor like I like my women... with long legs!

 

I'll be here all week folks, don't forget to tip the waitresses...

 

JC

 

 

Last Edited: Tue. Dec 11, 2018 - 12:21 AM
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I like my resistor like I like my women

More than 1?? surprise Does Mrs Doc know this?

John Samperi

Ampertronics Pty. Ltd.

www.ampertronics.com.au

* Electronic Design * Custom Products * Contract Assembly

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Good work Doc (er on the breadboard, maybe the waitress)

 

The old fashioned through hole resistors come new with very long wires.

Some people pull them out of the paper strips and then insert them into breadboards.

I avoid the goo too, by purchasing resistors that are loose, not on paper strips.  They go in my resistor drawers, nice & neat, without dealing with folding, mashing strips, etc.  Do a search for "bulk" or "loose"  to find 'em.

When in the dark remember-the future looks brighter than ever.   I look forward to being able to predict the future!

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If I make a prototype on a pad-per-hole board, I like using

the resistor wires to make 'traces' with, and twist together

or wrap it around where there are connections.  Here's a

recent project:

 

Power Supply Top

 

Power Supply Bottom

 

Converts +9V to +/- 6V.

 

--Mike

 

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avrcandies wrote:
I avoid the goo too, by purchasing resistors that are loose, not on paper strips.  They go in my resistor drawers, nice & neat, without dealing with folding, mashing strips, etc.  Do a search for "bulk" or "loose"  to find 'em.
Mwa, if your resistor assortment comes with the paper strips, and you want them in some drawers, then take a bucket and some scissors.

Hold one of the strips with resistors in the bucket and simply cut the wires of all the resistors to the length you want with a regular scissors. Use a measuring stick if you want them all the same, or cut them trapezoidal if you want different lengths for easy breadboarding.

 

Doing magic with a USD 7 Logic Analyser: https://www.avrfreaks.net/comment/2421756#comment-2421756

Bunch of old projects with AVR's: http://www.hoevendesign.com

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DocJC wrote:
Oh man!  I am soooo envious!   I've never seen that cabling before!  How cool!

 

Hey Doc, it is cool isn't it?  That's why I dont have the heart to start pulling wires out of it, especially since I have so much of the 50 conductor type.  

 

Just think about the guy who has to strip a long section of the cladding off the outside and hook all those wires up to a patch panel, or whatever.  If Jim is right and there are 10 colors for the solid color and 10 for the stripe then there must be at most 90 different colored wires, as the stripe cant be the same color as the solid portion, which means that big cable has a bunch of wires that look the same, making hooking them up even more challenging, especially if it is being done 40 feet up in the air on a pole or in a bucket.  What a nightmare.

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I have one of these if anyone wants to buy it. cheeky