Arduino Header Pin Looseness Silver Epoxy?

Discussion in 'Embedded Systems and Microcontrollers' started by steward, Oct 8, 2017.

  1. steward

    Thread Starter Active Member

    Jan 21, 2011
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    Has anyone tinkered with conductive silver epoxy with headers on an Arduino Mega board? These from JST in the female headers seem to fit fairly snug: https://www.digikey.com/product-detail/en/jst-sales-america-inc/B6B-XH-A(LF)(SN)/455-2271-ND/1000381 We have the proper crimper & other tools to work with the top component that locks into the linked bottom JST so we are just asking if anyone has similar first hand pin coating experience with the various brands of conductive silver epoxy. All pertinent terminal components will be brand new & clean so the conductive epoxy should adher properly it seems.

    I know this is possibly a more expensive approach than some of you that are extra good at soldering would do ... but could this be a viable alternative in a limited way ... but with good long term results. Even though the bottom JST socket fits fairly snug ... I am thinking that a tiny amount of the conductive silver epoxy would make the JST base permanently in & get rid of possible loose connections. I am thinking better than "press fit terminals" for reliability?
     
  2. steward

    Thread Starter Active Member

    Jan 21, 2011
    53
    0
    There are pieces of equipment that we have where the manufacturer's board (its terminals) allows us to directly plug in the upper part of the JST which has worked out for several years without any issues in a tough environment. As long as we use the recommended JST crimping tool & wire size for that specific JST component. Here is a link to the upper part:

    https://www.digikey.com/product-detail/en/jst-sales-america-inc/XHP-10/455-2210-ND/1651008
     
  3. JohnInTX

    Moderator

    Jun 26, 2012
    3,637
    1,871
    Why wouldn't you just solder the through-hole pins of the connector to the plated holes on the PCB? I've used a lot of XH without any problems with soldering headers to PCBs. If you are using the real JST crimpers, you should have no problems. I wouldn't tinker with the epoxy etc.

    Just my .02
     
  4. philba

    Active Member

    Aug 17, 2017
    959
    302
    Is the reason you are trying do this because you aren't confident of your soldering skill? It's not at all hard to learn. There are tons of you-tube videos on it. For even the casual hobbyist, it is a key skill and worth talking the time to learn.

    The problems I see with conductive epoxy is current carrying ability and being precise with the amount you apply. All it takes is one blob and you have shorted pins with no hope of fixing it. With solder, you can remove a bridge in about the time it took to make it.

    I'd also be concerned about long term viability as epoxy doesn't stand up to flexing at all and plugging/unplugging will cause some amount of stress on the connection.
     
  5. steward

    Thread Starter Active Member

    Jan 21, 2011
    53
    0
    John & others,

    Thanks for the responses ... more considerations ... I would like to mitigate the oversight of buying quantity too quickly on the boards that will be used in more than just a test environment.

    I already bought over 30 Redboards from SparkFun & they are SMT boards with their own receiving headers. So that is a factor too. Once the top JST XH are on there should be no pulling off or on so it looks like I just have to make sure that I put the minimum amount of epoxy ... I wonder if the conductive epoxy is thin enough so it does not migrate within the original SMT soldering on the UNO clone Redboard. Here is the RedBoard link: https://www.sparkfun.com/products/13975

    The program that will be used will not use any some overly sensitive analog readings ... so that might work in my favor ... in case the epoxy has slightly more resistance than regular solder.
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2017
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