Installing Project and connections

Hi,

I have created (my first ever) Arduino project using a breadboard, a few sensors, and an LED strip. All seems to be working well on the bench. I, now, would like to put this project to actual use (LED etc for a staircase).

How to you guys go about connecting all the wires etc when you leave your test/breadboard phase? Do you simply solder the wires together or do you use any connectors? I have around 5-6 ground wires, same number of power wires, and of course individual data pins.

I do have arduino style pins (male/female) but I am not sure if they are good enough connections for long-term use. I would also like to be able to remove the Arduino Uno easily if needed rather than having to re-solder the wires every time.

Thank you for any recommendations.

I would still make a full size model with temporary connections. When it comes to sensors and long wire lengths, you may need to tweak parts and code to accommodate the effects.

Then once it actually is working, solder connections that likely won't need disconnecting. I like screw terminals for connecting bare wire. The point of a development board like the Arduino is technically to make an end product just using the ATMega328 alone on a pcb with just the needed pins broken out, so keeping the dev board in the end product is like using hardwiring a multimeter to a circuit. Not a problem, though, lots of people buy a smaller version like the Nano from the Uno. I move a lot of simple projects such as yours to an ATTiny85 using a dip socket on soldered perf board cut to size.

The header sockets and using jumper wires are not for long term use, they'll work until they don't. Seems a waste if it's your only Arduino that you can't keep learning/devving with it if it's sitting by your stairs.

You can buy circuit board with a pattern of holes and traces the same as, or similar to, a breadboard:

INTP:
I would still make a full size model with temporary connections. When it comes to sensors and long wire lengths, you may need to tweak parts and code to accommodate the effects.

Then once it actually is working, solder connections that likely won’t need disconnecting. I like screw terminals for connecting bare wire.
The point of a development board like the Arduino is technically to make an end product just using the ATMega328 alone on a pcb with just the needed pins broken out, so keeping the dev board in the end product is like using hardwiring a multimeter to a circuit.
Not a problem, though, lots of people buy a smaller version like the Nano from the Uno. I move a lot of simple projects such as yours to an ATTiny85 using a dip socket on soldered perf board cut to size.

The header sockets and using jumper wires are not for long term use, they’ll work until they don’t. Seems a waste if it’s your only Arduino that you can’t keep learning/devving with it if it’s sitting by your stairs.

Thank you very much for your reply. Honestly, since this is my first project, a lot of the terms you used were way above my head. However, I am willing to research and learn. :slight_smile:

Since I have never worked with programmable boards before, I chose Arduino Uno primarily because it seemed easy to work with, had plenty of pins and USB connection. Can I simply swap it with Arduino Nano (http://amzn.eu/673bnoY) or will I need to change the code? My project requires 4 data pins (1 for LEDs, 1 for LDR, and 2 for PIRs).

Lastly, you mentioned that long wires may require additional/modification to components. Would you be able to elaborate on this a bit? One of my PIRs and the LDR Sensor will each be around 3m away from the Adruino board. Both of these sensors are on their own board (with potentiometers etc). Everything will be powered by single 8a 5v power supply.

(I like the idea of screw terminals, Thanks.)

Thanks again.

You shouldn't need to change anything with your code to use a Nano.

Long wires act as antennas and can mess with data. But since you're using sensor modules, they may have already taken care of that concern. Don't worry about it until you have to.

johnwasser: You can buy circuit board with a pattern of holes and traces the same as, or similar to, a breadboard:

Thank you John. I will look for these. Much appreciated.

INTP: You shouldn't need to change anything with your code to use a Nano.

Long wires act as antennas and can mess with data. But since you're using sensor modules, they may have already taken care of that concern. Don't worry about it until you have to.

Perfect. Thank you.

If you want the Nano to be removable you can get female headers (like those black plastic things you connect the wires to on the Uno) and solder them to your circuit board.

Generally it's better to use connectors for wires that go from your circuit board to other components not on the board, as is likely with your LED strip and maybe the sensors too. The screw terminals work well for that or you can use "Dupont" or IDC style connectors but you need to buy a tool for either one. Those connectors are less work to plug/unplug and make it less likely for you to lose track of which wire goes where than the screw terminals. The "Dupont" connectors are kind of tricky to learn. The IDC style is very fast and easy but is more suitable for when you have 6 or more wires to connect because 2x3 is the smallest connector I've seen for them.