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I am working on a project on Perfboard which involves controlling a motor that draws about 10A, and I am using 18AWG stranded wire to connect the MOSFET on board to the battery and motor which are off board.

Protoboard

The problem is that the wires are too large to fit in the holes, and if I cut some of the strands short so that the wire fits in the hole, the other strands work their way out of the insulation and are in danger touch nearby components. What I'm doing now is laying the wire flat across a few holes and soldering it surface mount, which seems to work better, but I'm worried about pulling the copper right off the board. The oval shapes on the boards above also seem to be useful for this purpose as there's more copper to attach to.

What's the best way to solder power wires to a piece of protoboard? How do you handle strain relief?

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Insert and solder pins, tin the wire ends, and wrap it round the pins a couple of time before soldering. For strain relief, put the wires against the board and secure them with pieces of solid wire inserted in a couple of adjacent holes and twisted a few times on the other side, to keep the stranded wires in position.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Picture please? \$\endgroup\$ – feetwet Apr 2 '16 at 19:21
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Use wires which will fit in the holes and short enough of them together (solder them together in parallel) to carry the current you need, then strain relief them by bundling them into cables and then using short pieces of wire to twist-tie them together through pairs of unused holes.

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Drill out holes for a big terminal strip- don't attach the wires directly to the perf board.

Use thick solid wire for the power connections to the MOSFET .. And keep them short.

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    \$\begingroup\$ OK, I was going to suggest, using multiple holes. Keep all the wires, put a few in each hole and connect 'em together. \$\endgroup\$ – George Herold Aug 7 '14 at 1:55
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You can crimp a pin or blade to the end of the wire, then solder that to the copper side of the board (or do the same operations in the opposite order). The pin is easy to solder to the surface, and the crimp gives a non-brittle connection to the wire.

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