Introduction: Convert Straight Headers to Right Angled Headers (in a Pinch)

After seeing the announcement for the arduino contest, I said, hey why not try.

So I kinda cheaped  out and got the barebones arduino kit, with the intent of "making it my way". One of those changes was one of the first things you see on the instructions, insert a higher rated voltage regulator.

And (not mentioned) to make the most of this change you really need some form of a heatsink on the regulator. Even a bad heatsink is better than none, and in order to fit into the tight spacing, one of those really cheap, sheet metal stamped into a U shaped, heatsinks was used.

Dry fitting the parts on the kit's pcb showed a snafu, theres a 3 pin header that selects external power or usb power, and while everything clears, the heatsink makes the header vanish, and its next to impossible to grab the jumper, as it darn near touches the heatsink.

No big deal I will just grab a right angle header, .... what? im ... OUT?!? Okay now what...

Step 1: What You Need

What you need

Straight headers and a need to turn them in to right angle ones
Scrap of protoboard
Needle nose pliers

Step 2: Move the Pins

Hold 1 pin of your header with your pliers, 1 jaw of the pliers on the longest side of the header, and the other jaw on the plastic spacer.

Move each pin so the plastic spacer is at the pin's midpoint.

Step 3: Start Bending

Place one side of the header into the edge of the protoboard, raise up about 1/8th inch (~3mm) and start bending the header down, and towards the outside of the board

Step 4: Finishing Up

Continue pushing down, if possible abit past 90 degrees, as the holes in the protoboard have some play

since these are abit shorter than normal right angle headers I opted to maximize pin lengh and I pushed the plastic spacer until it was up against the bend in the pins

It doesn't take too long, and saves you in a pinch, electrically it works just fine, mechanically it is a tad bit looser since the pins are not as long

Thanks for looking, and please feel free to post questions or comments!