Can I use electrical tape instead of soldering?

I know that soldering is a critical skill in electronics, and a rite of passage. But in the interest of prototyping, would you say electrical tape works okay?

For things that are low current and not too much jostling.

use prototype boards

If you really enjoy wasting tons of time chasing down bad connections, by all means use an insecure method of connection.


It's the right to go along a passage - seems simple enough to me :wink:

…and turn rite at the junction.

Have you considered using a breadboard ?

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At some point you probably will have to solder...

The "standard" method is to use a breadboard.

If you are twisting two wires together wire nuts are better than tape. Electricians use these in electrical boxes (house wiring) so they are very reliable (as long as you don't pull on the wires).

For components with long-enough legs you can sometimes use a screw-terminal block. (This type of terminal block can be cut-down if you need fewer connections in a permanent application.)

(That particular kind can be cut down if you need fewer connections in a permanent assembly.)

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You might use these Lever connectors

The like shows a really good quality UL approved part. For what you are doing a lower cost Chinese version will save some $.

An eight year old girl was recently adviced here to go ahead and learn how to use the “hot metal glue” her Mom was worrying about so

Man up and get a kit of soldering tools, watch a few youtubes and then practice practice practice on something inconsequential.

No one was born knowing how to solder, everyone gets burnt learning and no one who has done regrets attaining a level of competence.


So to summarise the answers so far: No! :roll_eyes:

Oh, I do want to learn sooner. I wish I had 25 hours in a day.

I agree learning to solder is important if you are going to continue working with electronics. Some people pick it up naturally others struggle.

But if you are not ready to plunge into the soldering approach......

For prototyping the lever locks or the solderless breadboards are fine while you are starting out. I've used the lever locks for 120V bench testing and found them to be reliable but a bit clunky for a lot of connections.

I dislike the solderless boards but admit to using them. They introduce issues because while most connections are OK, poor connections and high resistance connections are quite common and make troubleshooting difficult.

Also know there are different levels of soldering.

  1. Soldering a component lead to a board
  2. Soldering two or three wires twisted together.

The second one is very easy, and then you can use electrical tape to protect them from touching something they shouldn't.

Many folks like yourself start off shying away from soldering. Often the frustration with poor connections (especially if you project has currents in excess of 50 ma ). Many succumb to the need to solder simply because the poor connections issues exceed the reluctance to learn how to solder.

I have not found them to be common at all in my own breadboard prototypes, but have seen others having these problems. In each case, the breadboards had been abused in some way, such as by forcing inappropriately large wires or component pins into them, or simply because the breadboards were the worst quality imaginable!

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Only if you use string instead of wire.
Electrical tape is an "insulator" solder is a "conductor".

In all honesty, you're probably over-thinking it; you don't need to pass a NASA high-reliability hand soldering course like my Air Force instructor did to get effective connections for hobby-grade projects.

Buy a soldering iron with a fine tip - plug it in - wait 10 minutes - strip off a few mm of insulation - put a small dab of fine solder on the tip - bring the tip with the solder on it up to what you want to join - make contact with it - apply some more solder until it flows into the joint - blow on it a few times (uttering "F F F F F as fingers holding the wire too close to the end heat up) - and "job done".

Having just said all that ... until you've tested your circuit then a breadboard is probably the way to go; they can be prone to bad connections but for the most part they get the job done. Personally I find assorted jump leads work well with them; these ones are somewhat infamous/notorious but generally get the job done:

Sometimes you can also get away with using something like this too:

(or something equivalent if using an Uno)

Hope this helps.

Can you use electrical tape instead of solder?

Well the answer depends on if you want it to work or not.
So you can use it, but it won’t work.

Stands back and waits for someone to post a picture of an example, because nothing pleases an engineer more than being able to prove someone is wrong.

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Can I solder jumper cables to pins? I'm thinking of soldering with ELEGOO cables after the basic breadboard test passes.

After you have gone past the bread board stage, solder everything up on strip board.

That's what I did for one project; it's easy enough to pop the plastic connector housing off then a piece of cake to solder the connector to the pin ... but:

(a) it's pretty crude

(b) you really need to pop some heatshrink over it when you're done

(c) it makes it far more difficult to ever get it off if you need to (don't ask me how I know this ...)

Also be aware of a "gotcha" with those wires; apparantly many of them are aluminimum - not copper - so although you can solder the connectors just fine you probably won't have any luck trying to solder the wire itself. That was my experience anyway.

Strip boards are the way to go - something like this:

Does that help?

That will depend on the brand. A proportion of the Chinese rubbish jumper cables use some sort of recycled aluminium wire which cannot be soldered. :astonished: