I recently sourced a 'Mini USB Nano V3.0 ATmega328 16M 5V Micro-controller (CH340G) board' which I was assured was compatible with the Arduino structure.
It's in a 30 pin package, and I'm a little unsure how it would handle the heat from soldering directly into a pcb, so I've been looking for a suitable 30 PIN DIP socket with little or no luck (apart from one USA seller who wants $30 per single unit + $49 international shipping !!!)
Does anyone know where I can source a suitable DIP socket ????
Just put too smaller DIP sockets end to end.
I just use two rows of female headers:
You can buy them in any length you like, but I usually just get the 40 pin ones and then cut them down to whatever length I need with some wire cutters. You lose one pin at the cut but that's no big deal. Just make sure you line them up correctly while soldering, otherwise the Nano is hard to insert and remove from the headers. You can insert the nano into the headers before soldering to make sure of the alignment.
I'm a little unsure how it would handle the heat from soldering directly into a pcb
It will handle it just fine as long as you're not absolutely psycho with your soldering. It's much more dangerous to solder components directly than it is to solder boards because you get more distance between the heat and the sensitive components. I do tend to solder in sort of a "criss-cross" pattern so that each area gets a chance to cool down before I apply heat to the pin next to it. I'm sure that's quite unnecessary, even more so when you're soldering the header pins of a Nano to another PCB, rather than soldering the header pin onto the Nano.
The only reason I would go with a socketed Nano is to make it easy to replace the Nano in the unlikely event that it gets damaged, or to make it easy to salvage from a temporary project that I'm going to have no further use for.