Standoffs (I am an idiot, idiot idiot)

Thread Starter


Joined Apr 18, 2010
So the other day, I was wiring up a proto-board, and needed something strong I could use as a stand off on the edge of the board. To hand, I had some single in-line pin headers, and thought they would do, so I cut them into lengths of two pins, and soldered two to the board against each other on the non-copper side of the board, through the board. Then I attached another 3 pairs to get the required height.

Couple of hours later, after testing the board around once an hour from the soldering (not the fastest or neatest solderer), I turned the board over, and started another test.
Darn thing stopped working.
Turned it over, and de-soldered the last hours work, and tested, it worked.
Re-soldered half of it slowly, checking every joint. Tested, it worked. Turned it over, and started soldering the other side. Tested again, stopped working. de-soldered more, still not working. De-soldered more, still not working.

Anyway. After pulling my hair out, undoing a lot of work, thinking that the RF transceiver I have been working with must have gotten fried (needed to de-solder the pin holder to replace with wires), I go to bed. Next morning, looking at it, it works when the board is one way up and not the other....
some idiot has soldered a two pin header to the board as a standoff, and it happens to be across an oscillator crystal... so that when the board is the correct way up in the air, the metal in the pins rest on the track, when resting on a bench, the pins don't touch the metal.

ARRRGGGHH I am an idiot.

Anyway, what do you lot use as standoffs for projects? What I am looking for are insulators (doh), able to take the pressure of a chip being inserted against them, and they must be able to be attached and unattached to protoboard (i.e. perferably go through the pin holes).