Connecting parts should be easier

The first thing that striked me with electronics, it's how ridiculously hard it is to connect the parts.

So I have to plug that high voltage soldering stuff, then heat it to such, burn my fingers and the linoleum, to ultimately have a chance to attach those little 1mm connectors. I have to do acrobatics at the same time to keep it everything in place, because it's 1 gram components which'll blew with the wind at the first chance.

Then I have a botched job which as half chance of working, because it is so damned small, you can't even see if it soldered right. I bought that Flash IC, I couldn't pronounce the name, and you couldn't see the pins. This is ridiculous.

Managing such stuff to connect stuff, it seems to me it makes electronics more of a martial sport than it should be. Imagine I could just plug my Flash IC to the microcontroller, and focus on the logic of the circuit.

It seems to me there should be a universal adapter for parts. It's not even about making solder paste or whatnot. A wire is a component, and so it goes also in the universal adapter.

The problem to solve chief most, it is designing a $0.05 thing which can connect anything to anything. For example, it could be printed graphite, with a layer of melting conductor which sets once. You print somehow the circuit, then there would be a layer of stuff which melts at 90°C, so you give a little current in short-circuiting wire, and it melts the part on. I'm a little talking nonsense, but this is just to give an idea of how I see the problem, if others want to tackle.

Conductive stuff is cheap, so it should be cheap and simple to connect anything to anything. It may be fun, but dealing with such acrobatics hinders progress into deeper electronics. I wish it was solved once and for all.

That is all I wanted to say.

Have a nice day (and yes, I did burn my damn linoleum)

There are 2 levels of this:

  • Building new electronics devices from scratch, using surface-mount components etc. Very complex.

  • Connecting Arduino to many different devices to either build some working system, or to prototype and understand more complex components BEFORE making that circuit board.

You might take a look at the offerings HERE:

For Arduino stuff see THIS:

People come up with hair-brained schemes like this to save people from soldering without tying their hands so they can't make anything cool. I've seen a bunch of things like this, usually at a yardsale or the dump's take it or leave it pile. They never work, they always cost too much, limit the scope of your projects - the most successful ones end up costing some newbies their money and enthusiasm, and the only time anyone makes something cool with them, it's in spite of it, not because of it.

The solution is to get better at soldering, and get some breakout boards for the types of packages you're working with. Soldering really isn't that hard if you have a temperature controlled soldering iron, normal 37/63 leaded solder (lead free solder is much harder to use), some gel flux, and a bit of practice. There are videos on it, lots of information all over the internet. It's frustrating when you don't know how to solder, but once you get the hang of it and it's no longer a barrier, just another process that you know how to do, a great many doors open to you.

For SMD parts, the key technique is "drag soldering" - there are videos of it, and it's almost like magic.

I don't even use breadboard now - i just wire things up on a scrap of prototyping board, soldered in place.

Lead-free solder is fine to use, but you must use the right sort, tin/silver/copper, not tin/copper which is
basically just tin and not a eutectic at all (goes all pasty and won't remelt). And you don't get poisoned.

The right temperature iron is the most important thing - it must be hot enough to solder quickly (too cold
will cause heat damage, ironically!), and constant temperature. Keep soldering bits clean of oxide
(switch off when not in use, tin and clean the bit end often when in use)

Practice on scrap circuit boards. The easy/quick technique is hold the solder between the iron and the part so
it melts onto both simultaneously. Always always use rosin-cored.

Hmm, a solderless solution . . . .

Yeah, there should be some kind of like, layout board where you can just plug wires into and they would connect to other wires with a simple channel shaped piece of metal. Maybe make a bunch of them into a grid so everything stays organized. It would have a bunch of small holes in it, so I would call it a solderless pumpernickel board :slight_smile:

But @ycosy wants it in a liquid form. Would that be like beerboard then?

The "universal adapter" is called a Printed Circuit Board. Billions of different components fit onto a PCB. (Not all at once!) With a good circuit board from a professional service like OSHPark and a stencil, you can literally just place all your components on the board, put it in the oven or frypan for 2 minutes and you're done! If you didn't get all the components in exactly the right place, the surface tension magically pulls them back into line for you.

Breakout boards from Sparkfun and Adafruit are useful, although expensive. I've made breakouts for some chips (one for the BTS716G is published in OSHPark's projects area) and they cost a few dollars, including free shipping.

DrAzzy's web store has lots of tempting stuff too. You should check it out to see if he's already solved your problem.

The first thing that striked me with electronics, it's how ridiculously hard it is to connect the parts.

Then you are in the wrong hobby. Electronics is an industry, hobbies just sit on the back of the industry. I should take up,colouring books if I were you.

@MarkT - no one ever got poisoned from using lead solder in a hobby environment. Unless you know otherwise, be interested in any proof you might have.

I shoot a lot of guns and breathe in a lot of vaporized lead. That'd be a bigger concern than electronics.
Unless you're into making watches and licking radium, there's really not much to worry about.
Okay, maybe those nasty chemicals for pcb etching, but, gloves work.

So what is your argument? "Everyone should be happy to poison themselves because I am" ? Sounds
like low quality advice to me. Do you use PPE when shooting to limit exposure? A simple effective

You could get a dupont crimper kit, so the only real soldering you have to do is soldering headers onto things that don’t already come with them attached.

So what is your argument? "Everyone should be happy to poison themselves because I am" ?

No my argument is that there is absolutely no evidence that lead used in solder for electronics can get into your body. There is no risk, the only risk is in your head.

You could get a dupont crimper kit, so the only real soldering you have to do is soldering headers onto things that don't already come with them attached.

Hm, I have never been able to get the time it takes to crimp connectors down to a reasonable length of time, even with the guide - it's still faster for me to cut pre-crimped dupont line and solder the ends onto the wires vs crimping a pin onto it, and I get better yield, and they always fit the housings (my own-crimped ones dont always fit well)