To solder or not to solder (headers)

Small size is one of the reasons I bought these wixels for my project, but I have a dilemma. The development phase will be surely be easier if I solder in the supplied headers, so i can plug the whole thing into an experimenter board. But if I keep those headers in, it will also add too much height to the size of the end project, which has to be very thin. Obviously trying to de-solder the header pins once soldered in will be risky. Does anyone have any suggestions? Of course it would be best to buy a few more and keep two WITH headers for development. But maybe there are .001 spaced headers available with slightly thicker pins that would fit the wixel a little tighter, so that the plate through holes would make sufficient contact to make soldering unnecessary?


If you have some “minigrabber”-type test clips, they work pretty well for making connections to the through-holes. Otherwise, maybe you could consider soldering some right angle headers so they stick out to the sides of the Wixel. I don’t know of any available headers that would work well without soldering.

- Kevin

Well thanks. I MAY have a solution of sorts, an ugly one but it seems to work. As I have plenty of extra headers to play with, so I took some pieces and put a light coating of solder on all the pins. The solder is soft enough to flex a little, and makes a slightly more snug fit, though a few pins had too much at first, and it took a while to get it “just right”.

I would suggest to Pololu, however, that maybe on the next batch they consider specifying a slightly tighter drill hole for these pins. I do that all the time with PC boards I cut, mostly to make a header stay in place more easily while I solder it. For something like wixel that is intended for development and experimentation, doing so would offer the bonus of easier temporary header connections.

PeterPan, i think that i know exactly what you want:

If not, sorry for my misunderstanding. :smiley:
Good luck!

Eureka! juliannojungle !!! tanks! That’s just right!

You’re welcome!
Pololu should come with something like this on the shop, it helps a lot on prototyping (don’t you think, Kevin?)… :wink:

Thanks for the suggestion; we’ll keep it in mind. From the comments on the SparkFun page, though, it sounds like those press-fit headers don’t seem to work very well. Do you have experience using them? We’d be interested to hear how well they worked for you if you have used or plan to use them.

- Kevin

I found them not to be as useful as hoped, and said so on the sparkforum, but I guess i forgot to do it here. There is just no way to force these headers through the holes on the wixel without applying more pressure then anyone would want to.

Now if you give each header end a gentle squeeze with a plier, then it will fit. But of course its easy to over do that, and end up with a “too loose” header again.

Or buy another Wixel that you can solder the headers to while developing… the nice thing with Wixels is they aren’t super expensive :slight_smile: