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To ensure a more stable connection to the arduino board, would it be possible to directly solder the wires to the pins below the board? Is there any risk of interference between the pins?

It may be an obvious question, but I wouldn't like to ruin an Arduino board :)

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Depends on your soldering skill. If you want to do a lot of this, you might look into getting compatible boards without the headers installed - or making up a custom board with the precise circuitry you need fully integrated. –  Chris Stratton Nov 15 '12 at 21:22

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

Yes, it's a standard through-hole header. You'll want to melt the existing solder to insert your wire. As long as you don't short two pins together it won't cause any problems.

That being said, I can't think of a situation where this should be necessary. Given that you're thinking about this in the first place, I'm going to hazard a guess that you're using a spool of wire and sticking the stripped end into the header. What you really want is some jumper wires with a connector that will fit snugly into the existing header.

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Or, for a solder based solution, an Arduino proto shield. –  Nick Johnson Nov 15 '12 at 14:55

You can certainly solder wires directly under the Arduino, to the pins of the Arduino connectors, and if your soldering does not result in any short there should be no problems after doing so.

However, to understand your stability requirement better: How do you currently connect to the Arduino, such that you are facing stability issues?

Using a breakaway single-row pin header strip, with your wires soldered to the pins should provide a robust enough connection, if you do not want to use a shield or some such. If you use a strip with enough pins to cover the entire row of sockets at each edge of the Arduino, that ought to give you solid mechanical stability. You just solder your wires to the specific pins you need to use, leaving the rest of the pins in the strip unused.

I use pin headers like this one for similar purposes, that way my wires are angled away from the Arduino board and do not obscure any part of it.

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