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While I have seen and tried many methods of soldering header pins, this is the most basic, yet best way to solder them. Feel free to adapt, modify, or add to this method in any way. :)

Materials required:

  • Header pins
  • Breadboard (Tip: Do not use this a bread cutting board. Don't ask.)
  • Tinned soldering iron
  • Solder
  • Flux Pen (Optional, or use regular flux)
  • Helping hands/magnifying glass (Optional)
  • Patience (Not optional)

That's it, be prepared to have your mind blown in a very simplistic way.

Step 1: Set Up and Flux

Carefully dump the contents of what you want to solder onto a soft surface. Picking out the header pin from the pile, place them into the breadboard apart the width of your PCB. For my Arduino nano it was 3 slots, plus the middle gap. The next step is to flux the pins and the board, while this is completely optional I would recommend it.

Step 2: Solder

This is fairly self explanatory, but place the soldering iron on one side of the pin, and the solder on the other. once the pin has warmed up for a second or two, the solder will melt and wick around the pin and the board. If this is not happening there are several possible causes:

  • Tip not tinned properly
  • Tip is baked (A soldering iron should not be left on for long periods, a replacement is required)
  • The iron is not getting hot enough
  • Solder is not meant for electrical.

Step 3: Soldering the Pins on Reverse

This step is a bit tricky, but once one or two pins are soldered it becomes much easier. Not it will be different for every board, but you have to make sure your board is flat and lined up with the pins. Arduino nano boards have mini usb on the top, so when soldering the back you have to make sure it does not interfere. To do so pull the pins slightly out from the breadboard until the gap is bridged. See the photos for better explanation.

Step 4: Good Job!

Good job! You just soldered your first (Maybe) set of header pins. Will I have done this more than a few times, I am no where near a professional, in fact I am somewhat of an amateur. So If I can do it, so can you. It takes around 5 minutes, so go for it!

If you read this whole thing you deserve a gold star :)

<p>You could not wipe the board with alcohol?</p>
You could, but I don't think it would do the same as flux...
<p>Flux does make soldering easier in a lot of cases, but the chemicals can ruin a board over time as well. It's easy to remove with alcohol using an old toothbrush and kitchen paper.</p>
<p>Interesting.</p>
<p>Exactly how I was soldering mines from day one I've started using arduinos )</p><p>Good to see one has shared it. Have my vote! ))</p>
Thanks! :)
<p>Great Idea! I have soldered a number of these headers and am always concerned that either the header will not remain flat against the board or that it will be crooked. So, I solder 1 pin and then inspect for alignment before proceeding. Your method would be a lot faster and more accurate the first time. I would be concerned about putting heat on the breadboard through the pin, but, the small breadboards are &quot;dirt cheap&quot; on Ebay so you could just dedicate one for header pin soldering.</p>
Exactly. Keep in mind they have strips of metal connecting them, not just the place for one pin. So more dissipation of heat. I did my boards in under 5 minutes, and I am not that good.
<p>Cool tips, thank you.</p>
<p>You're welcome! :)</p>

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Bio: I love inventing, making, 3d printing, and guns. I build websites, so if you need one message me about it :D
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