# Sourcing Wire Wrap accessories

#### rpschultz

Joined Nov 23, 2022
286
Hi,

I'm teaching an intro to Electronics class, high school level, home school, meets once/week. I'd really like them to actually BUILD something by the beginning of May - probably a 555 circuit of some type. Initially I was going to teach them to solder, but I think that is probably too difficult in the short time I have (and possibly dangerous to have 15 solder irons in a small room. So some have suggested wire wrap. I like the idea, but I'm am having a really hard time sourcing materials that don't break the bank.

A cheap 30awg tool can be found on Amazon for $25+, and wire too. But finding sockets seems difficult. Ebay has them but they are crazy expensive. I think digikey has better prices but there are SO many options I can't figure out what's best. (I'm a mechanical engineer, so electronics is just a hobby not an occupation). I think I could have 1 tool for every 2 kids. Wire and protoboard are cheap. But I'd need to source sockets of various shapes/sizes. Hoping for$20-25/kid.

Any help would be appreciated.

#### dl324

Joined Mar 30, 2015
15,511
I think I could have 1 tool for every 2 kids. Wire and protoboard are cheap. But I'd need to source sockets of various shapes/sizes. Hoping for \$20-25/kid.
Wire wrap tools and sockets are going to be expensive because it's an obsolete technology.

What's wrong with solderless breadboards? If you're going to be making "small" circuits that you want to keep assembled, you can buy a bunch of the half boards and teach them to do compact layouts. It'll also be easier to correct wiring problems.

#### ericgibbs

Joined Jan 29, 2010
17,180
hi rp,
I would advise against using wire wrap, it is not usable on many components.
Especially for 'beginners'.
E

#### Lo_volt

Joined Apr 3, 2014
286
This is the way to go for a basics class. It's probably harder to learn wire wrap anyway.

#### rpschultz

Joined Nov 23, 2022
286

#### dl324

Joined Mar 30, 2015
15,511
They all have this kit from Amazon, plus a few other things.
Just teach them to do neat, compact layouts. If you have circuits that you later want to combine, plan for that on their breadboard or buy more breadboards.

Probably can't beat these for about a buck apiece and only one month shipping.

#### MrChips

Joined Oct 2, 2009
28,155
You probably got the concept of using wire-wrap techniques from me.

I think that one of your objectives is for students to build something that is permanent and be able to take home for show and tell. I believe that foam-board construction is a simple and inexpensive way to achieve this while using through-hole components.

I would not eliminate soldering techniques from the course. You can still introduce this with foam-board construction and wire-wrap techniques.

I had a 555-timer demo done on foam-board. When I have some time I will redo this to show as an example.
Here is one I did with TI MSP430 MCU.

Wirewrap sockets can be had for a reasonable price.

14-Pin DIP IC Wire Wrap Socket by Augat with Gold Contacts | eBay

The WSU-30M tool is not cheap.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/394380093036

Search and shop around for alternative solutions.
https://www.ebay.com/itm/284999205181

#### rpschultz

Joined Nov 23, 2022
286
You probably got the concept of using wire-wrap techniques from me.

I think that one of your objectives is for students to build something that is permanent and be able to take home for show and tell. I believe that foam-board construction is a simple and inexpensive way to achieve this while using through-hole components.

View attachment 286487

View attachment 286488
Yes, permanent to take home as a souvenir. And you can't make designs like that on a breadboard. That said, I have realized the complications of this age group... 14-15 year old boys are simply not that responsible. *sigh*. But then again, they need to grow up and become responsible. And a project like this would challenge them, hopefully in the right ways.

My latest idea is to still require a project, 555 or similar simple circuit, but allow them to choose their construction technique. Simplest would be breadboard (neat, low cut, etc). If it works, great, they've learned something and they will still have to do circuit analysis and report on it. But if they want to learn to solder, they would have to do that on their own time, not in class. Still debating on what the right course of action is here.

#### MrChips

Joined Oct 2, 2009
28,155
"not that responsible" - heck no. I taught my daughter at 11 years old how to solder in a production line setting. All the boards she assembled when into remote data loggers that had to operate in caves for periods extending beyond 12 months under harsh conditions.

#### rpschultz

Joined Nov 23, 2022
286
"not that responsible" - heck no. I taught my daughter at 11 years old how to solder in a production line setting. All the boards she assembled when into remote data loggers that had operate in caves for periods extending beyond 12 months under harsh conditions.
Well, that's great and I have no doubt my 14 yr old son will eventually rock a soldering iron. But I have access to these kids 1 hour/week. It's been challenging for them to even BRING THEIR KITS to class, with batteries, a calculator that's NOT their phone, etc.

#### dl324

Joined Mar 30, 2015
15,511
permanent to take home as a souvenir.
I have circuits on solderless breadboards that have been running for years. I planned to make PCB's, but I'm always able to find something more enjoyable to do. I've been reclaiming solderless breadboards from circuits that I breadboarded in the late 70's and moved several times. Every circuit that I powered up still worked. Of course, solderless breadboards from that era were higher quality than most everything I've bought recently.

Have you seen kits for Ben Eater's overpriced kits on Jameco?

#### rpschultz

Joined Nov 23, 2022
286
Yeah, I've been perusing that site. Overpriced yes, but not as bad as SparkFun! They have a lot of instructions available for various kits. This one in particular has 11 circuits that are all very doable and the kids have all the parts in their kits (most likely). There may be other kits that are within their reach too. It's nice that that one shows the actual breadboard layout.

#### dl324

Joined Mar 30, 2015
15,511
I've been perusing that site.
I've been buying things from Jameco since the late 70's. I used to place will call orders to pick up at their store in Belmont, CA when I lived in the Bay Area.

#### Jon Chandler

Joined Jun 12, 2008
522
Using soldering irons is a good life lesson. If the grab the wrong end, it will hurt for a long time. You won't make that mistake twice.

#### MrChips

Joined Oct 2, 2009
28,155
You mean something like this?
Note the use of personal safety equipment!

#### rpschultz

Joined Nov 23, 2022
286
Clearly she's never soldered before.

#### MrChips

Joined Oct 2, 2009
28,155
Clearly she's never soldered before.
And the photographer and personnel at shutterstock!