Temporary Soldering Workaround

Introduction: Temporary Soldering Workaround

About: I've always had the mind of an engineer, and my interest in electronics was reignited when I got an Arduino for Christmas and later when I participated in a FIRST Robotics Competition with my high-school.

I got a kit that came with a lot of cool components, but had no way of using some of them without a soldering kit. As necessity is the mother of invention (or lack of tools is the mother of improvisation), I discovered a (temporary) workaround, using only a spool of solid 22-gauge wire, a wire stripper, needle-nosed pliers, and the right combination of boredom and free time.

Step 1: Gather Materials

To reiterate:
Wire (whatever fits the 'thing' you're connecting)
Wire Strippers
Needle-nosed Pliers

Step 2: Cut Wires

I find it preferable to have some length to work with. Cut however many pieces of wire you need, whatever length you need. They were too short/uneven to work with my first try, so I had to start over.

Step 3: Strip

Remove enough on one end to fit through what you're connecting. For this LCD panel, I only had to take off about 3 millimeters. I was connecting the other end to a breadboard, so I stripped off about 3/4 of a centimeter. (At least that's about all I needed to strip)

Step 4: Connect

Insert the wire, bend it into the hole, use the pliers to pinch the wire in place.
Repeat as needed.

Step 5: Utilize!

I used this on a LCD display with an arduino. I'd say it works!



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    16 Discussions

    Obviously you didn't intend this as a permanent alternative. Something like this is fine for a quick test run during a project construction. Who wants to solder when they know they will be taking it apart 5 minutes later, right? Thanks for sharing it.

    Okay, I was just doing this because I wanted to know how the piece worked, but I don't have a soldering tool YET. I don't plan on using this in a project, I was just playing around with a breadboard and arduino. I'm starting to see how little I actually know about electronics, but at least I'm learning. :P

    good detailed instructable, but as a licensed repair electrician and EE student I cannot condone this, if your going to do a job/project, then get the right tools to do the job correctly the first time, this is not safe for the components and could cause a short very easily, or at worst case start a fire as it arcs to something. a "bent wire" is not a alternative solution, if you had to money to buy the board,wires, and display then you can afford the $10 25-watt soldering iron kit.

    3 replies

    For a safer bond, maybe some rubber cement would help? It would insulate the bent wires and keep them from moving. It would still be semi-permanent and an alternative to soldering.

    There's nothing wrong with a $10 soldering iron, it's nothing more than a heating element, unless you're soldering tiny SMD components, it's just fine.

    Your title does not match the instructable. This is not a "Soldering Alternative". This is not a connection alternative. I have been soldering and connecting wires for 33 years. This is not something that should be promoted by anyone. These type of connections can be dangerous.

    If you have to resort to this, at least tape down the wires in the holes. When one loose wire spins around in the hole and shorts out with another, you could burn out something. Some sensors are pretty expensive and you have a hard enough time trying to get them to work without a mysteriously loose connection.

    1 reply

    Sorry, tape won't do it either, just not secure enough. either solder them, or find a card edge connector and use that.

    Header pins work well if your component has plated-through holes. Your method will work OK until you move the board a few times. :)

    I plan on soldering it eventually, but I don't have the tools for it yet. :P

    In my years of trying to cheat and get around the right way of doing things, this was one way I tried. I learned quickly this method appears to work, until a wire loosens up. Which it will. And then you'll be losing your braincells trying to figure out where the break is in the circuit. In the end, soldering them in place or using headers is going to save you time and sanity. A solder sucker is cheap enough to justify even heating the iron.

    i have that same kit you should buy pin headers i tried this method about 2 weeks ago and it was painstakingly hard

    1 reply

    I actually have some, but they don't really work unless you solder them. I was able to do this within a half-hour or so, and didn't have anything better to do anyway.