How to temporarily fasten pin headers before soldering?

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by JimG, Jun 6, 2010.

  1. JimG

    Thread Starter Member

    Dec 7, 2009
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    I use a lot of pin headers or Molex pin connectors on my PCB's and am constantly struggling to find a good way to temporarily hold them in place, upside down, while soldering.

    I've used SuperGlue with varying amounts of success (mostly less success).

    The problem, of course, is that the pin headers like to fall out when I flip the board over.

    How have others overcome this problem?

    Jim
     
  2. retched

    AAC Fanatic!

    Dec 5, 2009
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    I use a piece of component foam, stick it on the tops of the headers then secure the foam to the PCB with standard tape.
     
  3. JimG

    Thread Starter Member

    Dec 7, 2009
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    No problem with the foam overheating or melting?

    Thanks.

    Jim
     
  4. tracecom

    AAC Fanatic!

    Apr 16, 2010
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    Masking tape (actually drafting tape) but it doesn't work perfectly. I have thought about a drop of hot glue; it would work well but it's some trouble to use.
     
  5. JimG

    Thread Starter Member

    Dec 7, 2009
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    Yeah, I've been thinking about the hot glue approach, too. I've got to find something because burning my fingers on the tips of the pins is getting old.

    Jim
     
  6. Razor Concepts

    Active Member

    Oct 7, 2008
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    Stick the pins in loosely (doesen't matter if crooked), solder one pin to tack it in place. Re-orient the PCB, while holding the pins from the non-tacked end, re-heat the tack and push the pins to get them to be straight. Solder the rest of the pins. (only really works well for 3+ pins in a row)
     
  7. beenthere

    Retired Moderator

    Apr 20, 2004
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    I have a piece of board stock I lay over the MTA headers I use. I can hold the cover over the headers and invert everything so the headers stay in place. Things do wiggle, so I use the above method of tacking one pin. A metal handle of some loose pliers makes the ideal surface to apply pressure with to straighten the headers one at a time (with the PCB upside down, I can press one at a time onto the handle).
     
  8. retched

    AAC Fanatic!

    Dec 5, 2009
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    The first time, the headers will cook little cups into the foam. you gotta be quick.
     
  9. KMoffett

    AAC Fanatic!

    Dec 19, 2007
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  10. JimG

    Thread Starter Member

    Dec 7, 2009
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    That looks like a winner, too. Haven't seen that stuff since the kids were out of grade school! But as I recall it can be used to stick anything to anything else :)

    I've got some boards on the way (soon, hopefully) from BatchPCB. I've got some good new options to try for soldering the pins.

    Thanks to all who responded.

    Jim
     
  11. kingdano

    Member

    Apr 14, 2010
    377
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    i have always used foam at work...or a pair of tweezers...or cardboard...:D...but seeing the bluestik seems like a great idea.

    thanks for the idea
     
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