When you are tinkering around with your Arduino and a breadboard you might want to make yourself an "Arduino Bracket". Nothing more than header pins and a piece of wire, the "Arduino Bracket" keeps wiring neat and tidy, and lets you easily disconnect your Arduino for use in other projects.
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Step 1: Gather Necessary Supplies and Tools
40-Pin 2.54mm (0.1") Header Pin Strip x2 (Digikey, Newark, Local Electronics Shop)
10cm (4") 22AWG Black Stranded Wire
The header pins I used were 20cm long. These longer pins may be difficult to find, but you should be able to order them from an online supplier. The standard length (~8mm) can be used, however they may make things a bit tight.
- Soldering Iron
- Wire Strippers
- Side Cutters
Step 2: Prepare the Parts
Cut the header pin strips into two, 8-pin strips and one, 17-pin strip. Insert the two 8-pin strips into the digital IO receptacles.
Next, take the 17-Pin strip and wedge it into the two 8-pin strips at a 90-degree angle. Be sure to insert the pins such that there is one disconnect pin between the two receptacles, as shown below.
Step 3: Solder the Joints
Next, carefully solder one pin at each end. Once you are sure that the two sets of header pins are sitting a more-or-less right angle, solder the rest of the pins.
Optional - Remove the unconnected pin between pins seven and eight. I personally find that this makes it easier when counting the pins. The pin can be removed by gripping the long end with a pair of side cutters and briefly heating the short end with a soldering iron. This will melt the plastic base of the header pin strip just enough to pull the pin out.
Be very careful not to get any solder on the Arduino, as a solder bridge may render it useless.
Step 4: Add the Ground Wire
Once you have soldered all of the pins, strip 1cm of the insulation off both ends of the wire, and tin it with the soldering iron. Cut one end of the tinned wire to roughly 2mm in length.
Next, solder the 2mm end of the wire to the GND pin on the bracket.
Again - be very careful not to bridge any of the pins together.
Step 5: Enjoy!
Trim the other end of the ground wire so that it is a convenient length to use on a breadboard. Usually 5-8mm is good.
Double-check to make sure there are no solder bridges between any of the pins, and insert the bracket into a breadboard. Connect the ground wire to the negative rail of the breadboard and experiment away!