How to make breadboard headers work in a project

Hey guys.

This is probably the most noobish question ever, but here goes…

So I’ve got some breadboard headers soldered onto one of these. How can I take it and mount it into a project? More specifically, how can I make connections to the LCD without using a breadboard? Do I need a PCB, or can I use something else?

Thanks guys!

Where do you want to connect it to? There are many connectors in the world that might solve this..

You need a display shield to secure the display on your arduino.

The following are my designs, just to be clear:

robtillaart: Where do you want to connect it to? There are many connectors in the world that might solve this..

I just want it to be alone - screwed into a metal (or plastic) frame using the four screwholes, and then connected to the Arduino somehow (partly using some form of wire, I imagine). For this reason, I don't think a shield would be feasible.

Thanks again guys!

The LCD header pins will plug right into the IDC (Insulation Displacement Connector) on an old parallel hard drive cable.

Don

florestas suggestion sounds good.

alternatly you could also:

  • attach cables to female pinheaders and use them to plug into your male pinheaders

or you could desolder your male pinheaders and:

i am not quite sure why you dont want to use a breadboard - if you already have male pinheaders it seems like the easyest way to do it.

Anyway, hope my suggestion helped. Theres an infinite amount of ways to do it, youll figure something out...

p.

floresta: The LCD header pins will plug right into the IDC (Insulation Displacement Connector) on an old parallel hard drive cable.

Don

That's absolutely brilliant. Thank you so much!

fkeel: florestas suggestion sounds good.

alternatly you could also:

  • attach cables to female pinheaders and use them to plug into your male pinheaders

or you could desolder your male pinheaders and:

i am not quite sure why you dont want to use a breadboard - if you already have male pinheaders it seems like the easyest way to do it.

Anyway, hope my suggestion helped. Theres an infinite amount of ways to do it, youll figure something out...

p.

The reason I don't use a breadboard is that...well, it won't fit in the final project, and it would be hard to mount it. Also, I thought that breadboards were just for prototyping anyway.

Now guys, I have an even more noobish question. What do you recommend to use for desoldering? I bought some desoldering braid from RadioShack...it doesn't work as far as I can tell. (Or maybe it's just crap, I don't know.) Does a solder sucker work well? If so, which model do you recommend?

You see, I tried to solder wires directly onto the headers. Bad idea. I got the wires off, but there is some solder left that won't come off. The RadioShack braid hasn't helped.

Thanks a ton guys!

I have never used the radioshack wick, but I just read somewhere, that it does not work very well (the radioshack variant)... for rough desoldering I like those small vacume pumps they sell with beginner soldering kits.

edit: but but... dont desloder your pinheaders. just use floresta's method :-)

I got the wires off, but there is some solder left that won't come off. The RadioShack braid hasn't helped.

Hold the connector or pc board in your hand, heat the solder, and then pound the heel of your hand on the table. It hurts, but it works.

Don

floresta:

I got the wires off, but there is some solder left that won't come off. The RadioShack braid hasn't helped.

Hold the connector or pc board in your hand, heat the solder, and then pound the heel of your hand on the table. It hurts, but it works.

Don

:grin: :grin: :grin:

I'd do this too sometimes. Here is my trick of the trade. Take the radioshack desoldering wick, take your small screw driver, drive it tip of driver into the wick to make a small puncture hole. Then press the hole against a pin to be desoldered. Then heat the wick around the hole and you will get most of the solder out. I've done this quite some times and each time it worked nicely. Next, if you feel you've removed all the solder from a pin but it won't budge, just slightly rock it a bit so the last bit of solder is broken. Some people also opt to destroy the plastic holding the pins together, divide and conquer. You may also use the radioshack desoldering iron to remove solder by larger amount. You could also use solder sucker or desoldering tool but I never got hold of a good unit so I can't say too much but a good one may work nicely. If you have a higher-power (de)soldering iron like 30W or more, keep the part in your third hand, try to desolder and when everything melts, quickly use a pair of pliers to pull out the hot pin.

Edit: just turned this into a blog post with some pictures and more details:

http://liudr.wordpress.com/2011/06/25/desoldering-tricks/

OK about IDE cables, use left one NOT the right one:

Blog post:

http://liudr.wordpress.com/2011/06/25/ide-harddrive-cables/

Some people also opt to destroy the plastic holding the pins together, divide and conquer.

He is not trying to remove the pins from the pc board, he is trying to remove solder from the other end of the pins so he can insert the previously soldered ends into the IDC connector.

OK about IDE cables, use left one NOT the right one:

Why?

Don

You can read the blog post or if you don’t care to, just read this long wiki article instead:

So I guess the one on the right isn't working. (Sorry about the time and date, I haven't finished the clock setting part of the program.)

Don

It was lucky you that you used the odd row of pins with only one ground pin. That pin is probably on one of your low 4 data bits. If you prefer being ignorant and you accidentally used the other row, you could burn up some valuable parts. This picture is a plan for some hardware I was making. Ignore the numbers and 5V 3.3V. All blue colored pins are internally connected to ground plane so if you plug the display to this even row, you will be connecting many of your lcd connections together. If someone just starting arduino asks me to suggest a cable, I’d stay away from it although it could work. I didn’t say the 80-wire won’t work, I said not to use it. If you cared to read my blog, a picture on it indicated that I made it work. You could just read the reference I provided and understand why I don’t suggest the 80-wire but I guess that’s not you. I hope you’re going to pass down the right info to the next inquirer. It’d be a waste of my time otherwise. :0

561px-ATA_Plug_annotated.png

On a side note:

floresta:

OK about IDE cables, use left one NOT the right one:[/quote] Why?[/color] [/quote] Answer: You might short your circuit, as some cables are interconnected.

but anyway...

I looked at your blog and I read the Wikipedia reference before I connected my LCDs but I didn’t spot the key difference between the cables in either. What stood out the most to me was the statement in the Wikipedia article that said “Though the number of wires doubled, the number of connector pins and the pinout remain the same as 40-conductor cables, and the external appearance of the connectors is identical.”

A short while later it says “Internally the connectors are different; the connectors for the 80-wire cable connect a larger number of ground wires to a smaller number of ground pins, while the connectors for the 40-wire cable connect ground wires to ground pins one-for-one.” It does not say anywhere that in the 80-wire cable ALL of the ground wires are connected together which, in my opinion makes the pinout different. This is where the cables really differ and in my estimation the pinout is NOT the same.

Your blog does a better job where it says “Here is why: newer IDE cables (aka 40-connection 80-wire ribbon cables) are made so that many of the connections are all connected together to ground”. But that can still be misinterpreted since the cable could have many of the added ground wires all connected together to one of the original ground pins, another bunch of many of the added ground wires all connected together to another of the original ground pins, etc., without having all of the original ground wires connected together. This is the way I interpreted things because it would truly make the pinout the same as the 40-wire cable.

In this reference http://www.allpinouts.org/index.php/Ultra_ATA_66/100_IDE it plainly says “pins 2,19,22,24,26,30,40,41-80 are connected together” which verifies your reasoning (and in my opinion makes the pinout different).

Don

OK, that "identical" look between the two versions could fool you and certainly did me about a year ago but after some serious problems with my very first try on an LCD I pulled out my multimeter and measured. Those pins "2,19,22,24,26,30, and 40" to are indeed all tied together, plus two pins are N/C too! The newer 80 wire ribbon cables are older 40 ribbon cables are 30AWG (thin wires) and 28AWG (thicker wires). A closer look will be enough to tell, although only if someone has one type at hand then they'll have to read (hint: keyword 30AWG on cable) or count (hint:superfine permanent marker comes handy).

The media are no different, plain cables. But the connectors are very different if you pry them open. The oldie 40-wire version has two rows of sharp cutters ( I don't have a name for the part that cuts through insulation and makes metal-to-metal contact). Top row is odd pins and bottom row is even pins (or the other way around if you hold protrusions on the connector downward. All those are individually connected to their female pins. If you open a connector on a newer 80-wire version, there are three rows of sharp cutters. Besides the top row (odd pins) and bottom row (even pins), the middle row is all interconnected one piece of metal. It cuts every other wires, plus those positions corresponding to pins 2,19,22,24,26,30, and 40 on the female connector. The "41-80" wires are meant to be every other wire on the ribbon cable and are also grounded for higher speed communication. They don't make to the connector's other side, only the first 40 do (minus 1 behind a mechanical key).

When I was designing my phi-connect shield for prototyping breadboard, I studied these two types of cables over and over with online materials and checked every ground pin with my multimeter and I decided to go with 40-wire cables for simplicity. Thicker wires and simple connection scheme against benefit of every other wire being grounded but complex connection scheme I made my choice. I think I did my homework.

OK, that "identical" look between the two versions could fool you and certainly did me about a year ago but after some serious problems with my very first try on an LCD I pulled out my multimeter and measured.

I too was bit by this when building my 5x5x5 led cube. Bottom line, those 40 pin/80 conductor cable assemblies are pretty useless for most arduino projects. Stick with the older PIN/40 conductor cable assemblies and you lose a lot less sleep. ;)