What wire AWG to use for protoboads?

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by Wendy, Jun 15, 2018.

  1. Wendy

    Thread Starter Moderator

    Mar 24, 2008
    21,626
    2,987
    Protoboard 63 columns png.png

    This kind of board I call protoboard. What is the recommended AWG to use with it? I usually use 24 AWG solid, I've been seeing 22AWG solid on sale, While you can use 24 AWG solid I don't think it is good for the board. Discuss?
     
  2. dl324

    AAC Fanatic!

    Mar 30, 2015
    8,259
    1,989
    I've found that #22 works best and #24 is just a little too skinny.

    I mainly use #24 now because wire has gotten too expensive for me (used to be $3/100', now it's $8) and I have thousands of feet of bulk CAT5 cable. I find that the insulation slides on the wire too easily and the wires pull out of the solderless breadboard a bit too easily.

    Anything larger than #22 is, well, just too large.
     
  3. Wendy

    Thread Starter Moderator

    Mar 24, 2008
    21,626
    2,987
    22AWG historically has been a bear to insert for me, which leads me to speculate it is too big, One thing nice about a forum like this, stupid questions are allowed, even from a moderator. I would rather ask than go off half cocked.
     
    ArakelTheDragon likes this.
  4. SLK001

    Senior Member

    Nov 29, 2011
    1,306
    510
    I've been using 22ga for 40 years.
     
  5. cmartinez

    AAC Fanatic!

    Jan 17, 2007
    5,921
    7,454
    I actually use #24 tinned copper wire in all my projects. It works well in protoboard too.
     
  6. Wendy

    Thread Starter Moderator

    Mar 24, 2008
    21,626
    2,987
    Me too, and I agree.
     
  7. ebp

    Well-Known Member

    Feb 8, 2018
    2,332
    811
    22 AWG used to be the standard about a hundred years ago. 24 AWG generally works reliably (which is a good thing, because many ceramic cap leads aren't even that big). How the end of the wire is cut has an influence on insertion force. It it is cut with cutters that leave a wedge shape, the orientation of the wedge makes a big difference.

    I suspect that back in the days when ProtoBoard was a registered trademark and there were only about two competitors on the market, quality might have been better.

    As an aside, do not run vast currents through the power distribution strips. One of my clients did this to one of my genuine ProtoBoards. The poor thing played fuse at each and every "gap" between the groups on the strip. I wouldn't have believed that possible. It was a 2 kW battery charger capable of delivering 80 A continuously and going to batteries that wouldn't complain if you asked them for a thousand amps.
     
  8. wayneh

    Expert

    Sep 9, 2010
    16,099
    6,209
    I prefer 22. Smaller leads, such as on decoupling caps, usually connect just fine but are “wobbly”. They don’t hold the item in place mechanically.

    When I have an issue with 22 not wanting to go in, it’s usually because of a fat spot or a curve where the wire was cut. A clean end goes right in.
     
  9. MrChips

    Moderator

    Oct 2, 2009
    18,457
    5,851
    The vote is 22AWG and/or 24AWG, nothing smaller or larger.
    If 24AWG is easier to insert then go with that. I never have to pay for wire. I collect scraps after the telephone-line installer has left the building.

    Just remember that breadboards are for breadboarding. The circuit will be taken apart once you've finished debugging and testing.
     
    shortbus likes this.
  10. cmartinez

    AAC Fanatic!

    Jan 17, 2007
    5,921
    7,454
    Call me a heretic ... but I never breadboard (well, maybe only when I want to prove the iteraction between two or three components, but that only happens once in a dozen blue moons, or so)

    I always sim in LTSpice (if I can) and then design directly on AutoCAD and etch a PCB. Then I patch it if necessary, and retest it several times. Normally the second time around everything works how it should.
     
  11. MaxHeadRoom

    Expert

    Jul 18, 2013
    17,904
    5,476
    I have always used/stripped 22g 6 conductor telephone cable for breadboarding.
    Max.
     
    dendad likes this.
  12. ebp

    Well-Known Member

    Feb 8, 2018
    2,332
    811
    I have breadboarded some bits at pieces. A lot of the things I've designed didn't lend themselves to any sort of breadboarding technique, so PCBs were almost always my next step after paper. Affordable simulation came too late for most of what I did. Now I just wonder what I should do with a vast accumulation of parts that I'll never use. I wish I could send parts by email.
     
  13. dl324

    AAC Fanatic!

    Mar 30, 2015
    8,259
    1,989
    What do you have and where are you located? I'll pay priority shipping in the US for things I might be able to use...
     
  14. Sensacell

    Moderator

    Jun 19, 2012
    2,305
    736
    I do a lot of SMD prototype work, things get really small.

    I use tinned bare #24 AWG wire and #30 AWG wire wrap wire.
    A spool of micro Teflon tubing is the bomb, it's just the right size to slip over the bare #24 wire.

    Teflon doesn't melt, so you can relax a bit more when soldering, the results look really clean as well.
    It's much easier to slip a piece of Teflon over a wire than it is to cut and strip a piece of hookup wire.
    No sniffing burning insulation either.

    Wire wrap is great when you have lots of closely spaced pins to solder to.
     
    Bernard and cmartinez like this.
  15. MaxHeadRoom

    Expert

    Jul 18, 2013
    17,904
    5,476
    I have also used these, at a $1.50 for 40 they come in handy.
    Max.
    upload_2018-6-17_9-47-41.png
     
    Sinus23 and Wendy like this.
  16. Wendy

    Thread Starter Moderator

    Mar 24, 2008
    21,626
    2,987
    Yep I can see they would. Thanks for the idea.
     
  17. dl324

    AAC Fanatic!

    Mar 30, 2015
    8,259
    1,989
    Those jumpers are one of the things I'll buy from AliExpress. They come in two lengths and 3 polarities (M-M, M-F, F-F); 40 of each for under $2 as I recall. And free shipping.
     
  18. Wendy

    Thread Starter Moderator

    Mar 24, 2008
    21,626
    2,987
    Part Number? for a very lazy girl?
     
  19. dl324

    AAC Fanatic!

    Mar 30, 2015
    8,259
    1,989
    https://www.aliexpress.com/item/fre...951.html?spm=a2g0s.9042311.0.0.27424c4dzUtoGZ

    The price has gone up to $2.99 from the $2.53 I paid for my last order. You can search for product from other sellers that might save you a few cents.

    Jameco seems to sell the same part for a lot more. The M-M jumper is $4.95/40; which is why I buy from China...
    https://www.jameco.com/z/ZW-MM-20-B...ale-to-Male-Colored-Jumper-Wires_2260738.html
     
  20. MaxHeadRoom

    Expert

    Jul 18, 2013
    17,904
    5,476
    Here
    Also Ebay has many sources for the same, search breadboard jumpers.
    Max.
     
Loading...