soldering header pins to single sided home made pc board
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soldering header pins to single sided home made pc board

by petespaco on Tue Jun 19, 2012 10:25 am

I know this issue must have been covered many times, but I can't find it using "search". Sorry.

Anyway, I am making and using small single sided boards to mount chips and parts. If I mount the compoents onto the non-plated side of the board and solder them to the plated side (the "bottom"), then I need to mount header pins up FROM the bottom and solder them in place. Trouble is, the plastic carrier for the header pins is in the way for soldering.

This isn't a problem with "kit" breakout boards that I have bought from Adafruit because those boards have plated through holes and, I guess, are double sided.

What are the best solutions to date?

I have been soldering the components with the plated side UP, so I can easily attach header pins, but this isn't very neat and components get the way if the parts count is very high.

If I get no responses, here's what I wil do next:
-Plan to mount components to the blank side of the board, pushing leads through to the bottom, which is the plated side.
-Stick the header pins through FROM the plated side.
-Super glue the two outer pins of the header in place from the top (unplated side)
-Slide the plasitc carrier down far enough to solder those two glued-in outer pins
---The other pins should stay in place in the carrier, therefore moving away from the board
-Slide the other pins back into place, while holding the carrier away from the board
-Solder the remaining pins
-Slide the carrier back into place.
-Maybe super glue stuff in place for support

Pete Stanaitis
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Re: soldering header pins to single sided home made pc board

by adafruit_support_bill on Tue Jun 19, 2012 10:43 am

The header pins can be re-positioned in the plastic carrier. If you push them from the top side until they are flush with the carrier, then you will have a header that can be pushed through the top of the board and soldered on the bottom.
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Re: soldering header pins to single sided home made pc board

by lyndon on Tue Jun 19, 2012 1:59 pm

I don't understand the problem. I've soldered thousands of single sided, non-PTH boards and never had a problem placing and soldering headers from the component side of the board.

Are you using an unusual type of header?
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Re: soldering header pins to single sided home made pc board

by petespaco on Tue Jun 19, 2012 4:58 pm

I am dealing with male header pins, not "headers" (like the female headers on an arduino). I want my header PINS to stick Downwards (out the bottom of the board) so I can plug the boards into solderless breadboards.
The solution just given will satisfy my needs IF there is enough male pin sticking through to make a solid connection on the board. Not too hard to test. Just haven't gone out there and tried one yet.

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Re: soldering header pins to single sided home made pc board

by pburgess on Tue Jun 19, 2012 5:51 pm

Another thing you can do is use either SMD row headers or, in a pinch, regular 90 degree headers and treat them the same way (soldering the bent side of the pins directly to pads on the board). This also saves a bit of drilling. On the downside, it's relying on the solder joints for the mechanical hold, there's no strain relief through the board. Probably fine for limited insertion/removal, but I wouldn't count on it for launching into space or anything. :)
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