lifetime of header pins

Will the header pins on an Arduino Uno last 5-10 years in a permanent install? The project will be indoors, climate controlled, dry, and no vibration. 99% of the time the only power drain on it will be a 16x2 LCD display. I will be using a custom shield on the header pins.

Maybe. After a while the metal in the headers and whatever pins you put in could form some funky byproducts if they are dissimilar. People who own ISA plug-in cards for PC's often had to remove and re-seat the cards. This simply served to clean off the contacts from the products that would form. Sometimes a regular pencil eraser was necessary to clean off the gunk.

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The Gadget Shield: accelerometer, RGB LED, IR transmit/receive, speaker, microphone, light sensor, potentiometer, pushbuttons

You should look into the possibility of using a clone board that does not come fully assembled. Then you could leave off the headers and solder wires directly to the pc board. If you do not need USB/serial communications back to a PC you could probably find one without that interface as well. You would program the chip on your Arduino (as long as it's not one of the surface mount variety) and then move it to the clone board. You would probably want to leave off the IC socket and solder the chip to the board.

Don

What if I use gold plated pins like these. Shouldn't they hold up well in the Uno? I'm not wanting to use an alternative, if something like this work.
http://cgi.ebay.com/Machined-Pin-Header-male-40-round-gold-machine-pins-/180643929981?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item2a0f379f7d

SouthernAtHeart:
What if I use gold plated pins like these. Shouldn't they hold up well in the Uno? I'm not wanting to use an alternative, if something like this work.
http://cgi.ebay.com/Machined-Pin-Header-male-40-round-gold-machine-pins-/180643929981?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item2a0f379f7d

Your wishing to gild the lilly so to speak? :smiley:

Gold is good but it should also mate with gold, not the tin-plated contacts that's on the Uno connector. Have a look at item #7 here:

http://www.tycoelectronics.com/documentation/whitepapers/pdf/sncomrep.pdf

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The Rugged Motor Driver: two H-bridges, more power than an L298, fully protected

So, I might do better using standard pins from Sparkfun. The pin do make a good sliding contact, so I'm good on #8.
For #3, the lubrication: I have some of this anti-oxidizing lube you use in panel boxes with AL wiring, that might be a good thing to smear a little in the Uno headers?

People who own ISA plug-in cards for PC's often had to remove and re-seat the cards. This simply served to clean off the contacts from the products that would form. Sometimes a regular pencil eraser was necessary to clean off the gunk.

Remember the 'extended memory' cards, the ones that got your PC from 640K up to 1Meg or more of memory? The dozens of memory chips in those boards tended to work their way loose with the heat cycles and they had to be reseated in their sockets periodically.

Don

floresta:

People who own ISA plug-in cards for PC's often had to remove and re-seat the cards. This simply served to clean off the contacts from the products that would form. Sometimes a regular pencil eraser was necessary to clean off the gunk.

Remember the 'extended memory' cards, the ones that got your PC from 640K up to 1Meg or more of memory? The dozens of memory chips in those boards tended to work their way loose with the heat cycles and they had to be reseated in their sockets periodically.

Don

Same thing would happen in old 8-bit machines; my main experience was with the TRS-80 Color Computer 2 - the DIP memory in those would suffer that issue, plus you had corrosion causing issues with the cartridge slot on the side (which had other issues as well); on the Tandy Color Computer 3, certain 512K upgrade kits would have similar issues, because they used these long header pins that would mate to some headers on the motherboard, and heat would cause issues there, too (the linear power supply on-board the CoCo didn't help matters).

:slight_smile:

Any push connection is liable to failure, as is any other component. It is a statistical thing and hard to qualify, there are data bases like Bell Core iconectiv - Wikipedia that provide standard reliabilities for each component. But these are not guarantees as to how long anything will last, just a probability. If you have a large number of devices you can get an accurate number of how many will fail, but not which individual units will fail.

If reliability is paramount then replace sockets and plugs with soldered joints.

Will the header pins on an Arduino Uno last 5-10 years in a permanent install?

Probably, assuming a properly mating socket connector. Keep in mind that this same kind of connector is used in all sorts of professional equipment (many of the cables inside your PC, for example) (Of course, as many people have mentioned, such equipment DOES fail, sometimes in ways that can be fixed by re-seating the connectors. We recently had a flurry of messages about routers that had an uptime of more than 10 years. But they were considered unusual...)