Next challenge: the proto shields

Hi all.

Your advice here has been very much appreciated. So now, one more challenge.

I have bought screw terminal proto shields. So far so good. Next project almost done.

But now I know I will go through several boards and chips and take several weeks trying to connect one sensor, one level changer, and one buzzer on that prototype board. I just cannot make reliable solder bridges - which in any case is a stupid way to do it, if I may say so. I can solder fine, but I have spent 50 years avoiding solder bridges, and making them, let alone reliably, is just not something I can yet manage. Even less if I need ONE 5V or 3.3V or ground connection to go to 5 different places. I just can't do it.

Any other advice? Better ways to do it? The boards I see with screw down terminals have no connected tracks - all just single, unconnected holes. Which to me is incredible. So I must be missing something really simple. What is it?


What do you mean by "solder bridges"?

I save cut off ends of resistors or caps to span short distances and solder over that, so no bridge.

Well, I have read up in the forum and apparently conventional wisdom says you must use solder bridges.

But even when I do what you suggest, totally unacceptable soldering results, like this. (Have I mentioned I hate these proto shields without tracks? :slight_smile: )

I understand that a solder bridge is to connect holes in a perf board using only solder.
I find it annoying and frustrating ...

I use solder plated wire for perf board wiring.
Most of them sold are tin plated, but solder plated is better than it.
The cut up legs from the resistors and diodes etc are also convenient. It is solder plated.
Also, if it just want to connect to the next to, use a 0 ohm SMD resistor (many cases often called a jumper).
The jumper in the photo is 0603 size.


I usually use wire-wrap wire with the insulation removed, 30 gauge solid wire, looks to be pre-tinned, but I'm not sure of the actual coating. Also works well for point-to-point wiring on the perf board when the insulation is left on.
If you can get it, use leaded solder, not the lead-free type.

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+1 For that.

If the solder on the holes looks dull, shine them up . Gentle rub with fine scotchbrite works for me.

I have been building with proto board for decades and learned a long time ago that bridging with just solder just doesn't work. I will always use a piece of wire, even between 2 adjacent holes.

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They are devils. :smiling_imp:

I think the use UEW is also good.
It is look like copper wire but are insulated by a coating.

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I don't like assembling like that. I much prefer using wirewrap sockets and then wirewrapping point to point as needed.

Make a mistake, need to fix something while debugging, so much easier to when you just need to unwrap a wire and move it over a pin or something.

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Yeah, but I will eventually make a PCB with Altium and chinese manufacturer.
I used the perf board for the final product only if really don't have time to make the PCB.
It has been fixed and debugged so I won't change it...

When it's a prototype, I'll use a wire.
But because I don't use it a final product...

Loving all the suggestions!

Here’s where I am so far, with the tools I have at hand now:

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I made/offer a protoshield where the female headers are also brought to the prototype area, maybe for your next project

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Sounds good. :+1:

That board is Exactly what I wish I had. And it seems so obvious!


This is nonsense. You are either so incompetent, you should give up immediately and stick with fahnestock clips screwed into plywood, or you are a barefaced liar. It never takes more than twenty-five years to find out that you can solder with bits of wire.
A bridge is what you make of it.

I’m not sure I should reply to this troll, but for tge benefit of others who find this post later:

Conventional wisdom, as evidenced in this forum and all over the Internet, has it that you need to make solder bridges. Without wire. In other words just connect adjacent points by a blob of solder. That’s what I’m reading everywhere, my friend. And that simply doesn’t work, for me anyway. Hence the question.

Some ideas:







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Perf board with round pads is not designed to be bridged with solder. Period. The internet is full of crap. Don’t believe everything you read or see.

The problem is the shield you purchased. It is the wrong board for your purposes. It is the missing traces from the Arduino connection points to pc pads that you can solder wires to. If you had those pads, you would connect wires from the Arduino pins you need to connect to their respective parts you add to the perf area.

The board style you want to use to interconnect module is the type shown below, if you need field connection terminals, those can be found as well but they need pc pad connections to the Arduino pins.

Since these boards have square pads, if you’re really set on creating traces with solder, you’ve got a better chance of doing it with this pad style. But don’t count on it, use a wire. You could bridge a pad or two but it’s wastes tons of solder, overheats the board and the components. Using solder were a wire is the obvious choice is a fools errand.

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I'm going to wonder if the OP was imagining something like this. :thinking:


To me this looks pretty ridiculous. :crazy_face:

I'm not really trolling but I do think you are being a bit of a smartarse - and your reading is extremely limited. Any comment on this forum, or anywhere else, that says you must make bridges with solder is just idiotic, and in no way conventional wisdom. For starters, I have never, ever, seen a proto shield with pads specifically made to be bridged with solder. That would be one with very close square pads and no holes, and I suspect that any outfit that tried such a dumb move would be out of business in short order. Further, I submit that typical 0.1" doughnut pads on Arduino shields are specifically made NOT to be bridged with solder in order to save you from doing it by accident. This may go some way to explain your problem.

And, specifically contrary to your comment, I imagine a competent operator would always use a bit of resistor leg for an adjacent bridge, even on a board with square pads like in reply #8, as it simply lessens the chance of error.

Finally, and, at the risk of being too unhelpful, I might point out that proto shields are, by definition, devoid of tracks, so this really is something that you need to come to terms with.