resistors with spaghetti legs

Just got a fairly basic Arduino kit and started learning with it. Loving it so far...except in one respect: Trying to insert resistor leads into the breadboard is driving me nuts.

The resistors that came with the kit have very thin, flimsy leads that would rather bend themselves into squiggles than go into a breadboard hole. It's gotten so frustrating that I've started putting a female-male jumper wire on each end of a resistor and then plugging those jumpers into the breadboard. This works better, but of course it makes the project a hairy mess and introduces more connections to troubleshoot when something doesn't work.

I saw a post online that suggested the solution was to get 1/2 watt resistors instead of 1/4 watt, because the 1/2 watt resistors would have stouter leads. Is that a reliable way to find resistors that will be easier to install in a breadboard? Or is it possible to buy 1/2 watt resistors and still end up with thin, spaghetti-legged leads?

Are there any other reliable ways to find resistors with thicker leads?

Thanks.

1/4W resistors are normally fine with breadboards. Are you sure they are 1/4W and not 1/8W or 1/10W?

If you cut off the end of the wires with side cutters they end up with a chisel shape at the cut end. If you orient that correctly with the spring contacts in the breadboard they go in more easily.

Here are 1/2W, 1/4W and 1/8W (or maybe 1/10W). Even with the smallest, no problem inserting them into the breadboard.

Long nose pliers can give you a positive contact if all else fails.

AJLElectronics:
Long nose pliers can give you a positive contact if all else fails.

Or tweezers. Or hemostats.

I think I know what you mean. I ordered a bunch of 1/4W and they all have incredibly thin leads. Try to keep the leads no longer than what it takes to reach the nearest hole, and then bridge it with wire jumpers if you can.

Since you have some male breadboard jumpers try putting the male jumper in the breadboard hole before you insert the resistor. Some breadboard socket need to be used a couple of time before they loosen up.

BTW it took a lot of restraint on my part not to compare this situation to an more organic situation.

John

aarg:
Try to keep the leads no longer than what it takes to reach the nearest hole...

No. You still need another 1/4" to go into the hole.

But another resistors. I got similar hard to use thin leg resistors with my starter set. All other resistors I bought have standard (?) thickness of leads. But keep those with thin legs - they are easier to work with when soldering, they can be very easily shaped to the right position.

I don't know if this problem exists in other places too, but I live in a third world country and the shops here usually buy their inventory from cheap Chinese suppliers. Because of that sometimes you get resistors with super thin and flimsy legs.
Breadboards are also very different. Some have very loose holes some have very stiff holes.

My guess is you are having one of those stiff breadboards with thin legged resistors.
You can try loosening up the breadboard holes by sticking a needle into all holes. Doing this over and over again should loosen it up a little bit.

Loose holes aren't good but I prefer them to soldering something to every resistor.

Alternatively you can try buying resistors from an actual shop where you can test the legs yourself.

The quality of the breadboard comes into this too . I’ve a couple of cheap ones from eBay and it can be almost impossible to get wires into some of the holes .

Combination of cheap chinese resistors and poor breadboard? I've found K&H breadboards to be good, and
some have 6 contacts per strip rather than the usual 5, which is very handy.

If you have calipers or micrometer you can measure the resistor lead thickness. 0.6mm is standard for
1/3 watt (0207), and 0.5mm for 1/8 watt (0204). I've seen chinese 1/3rd watt resistors with 0.4mm leads, which means
they can't dissipate 1/3W in reality as there's too little metal in the leads to conduct it away.

Here's a site with some clear dimensional drawings, though they call 1/3rd watt "1/4th watt" as they
are still living back in the old days of carbon film resistors. Metal film have higher operating temperatures
so they are often rated at 1/3rd or 0.4 watt at the 0207 size.

MarkT:
I've found K&H breadboards to be good, and some have 6 contacts per strip rather than the usual 5, which is very handy.

+1. Check out my picture from post #3.

PaulRB:
+1. Check out my picture from post #3.

Yes that's one of the good breadboards!

Incidentally talking about tweezers as someone was, this is a good idea, and insulated tweezers are
a great idea when working with breadboards in case you forgot to power it off, I recommend ceramic
tipped tweezers, they are very strong, don't conduct electricity or heat, and handle high temperatures,
so they are brilliant when soldering too. Plastic tweezers aren't as good at gripping but are a second
choice (except for the soldering when they are a wrong choice!).

The rough plastic tweezers that come in common medical dressing packs are pretty much useless for gripping anything!

However disposable instruments are now frequently used for minor surgery instead of having to certify "in-house" sterilising, so if you can arrange to intercept the used (and suitably washed) instruments, the tweezers and suture holders are particularly useful (though the tweezers are often too coarse for the job). :grinning:

Why haven't you posted a photo of these 'squiggly' resistors ?
I assume you don't have calipers to measure the OD ?

Thanks for the replies and advice, everybody. I've resorted to needle-nose pliers a few times, and I'm going to try that trick of clipping the leads with a side cutter.

Meanwhile, I think the breadboard that came with this kit may have been a big contributing factor. I just got a Sunfounder holder for an UNO/MEGA (and/or a Raspberry Pi) and a breadboard, and it came with a breadboard that's given me no serious trouble so far with these resistors. That's only one of the reasons I wish I'd gotten one of these holders sooner.

JohnRob:
BTW it took a lot of restraint on my part not to compare this situation to an more organic situation.

I wasn't going to say anything. :smiley:

Does it start with 's' and end with 't' ?