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This might be a really daft question but...

My breadboard accepts 0.6-0.8 wire sizes. I have a load (about 50) SMD chips soldered to breakout boards, the boards have 1mm holes for pins, same as standard stripboard. I want to test all of these chips on a breadboard circuit- but the solder pins are 1mm and don't fit into the breadboard! Any such thing as a pin that is 1mm at one end, but thinner at the other? What would such a pin be called? Is my breadboard just abnormal? Any better ideas on how to test all these breakout boards?

Bonus points if the parts/pins are sourcable in the UK too!

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If I understand right you have some breakout boards with 1mm holes, and are wanting to find a suitable header to solder on in order to plug them into your breadboard and use them in a circuit.

If the above is correct (correct me if not) then simply use standard unshrouded 2.54mm pitch headers, the fact that the holes in the breakout board are 1mm won't matter for soldering purposes.

If it's a test jig you want, then the pogo pins (and proper PCB) are probably the way to go.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ w00t, thank you! I was thinking that the difference in the size of the pins would be a problem, but I've got some header pins and tried it, and it takes barely any solder to fill the gap! And 'header pins' was the word I was looking for, all I could think of/find was 'solder pins'- which are the 1mm ones that don't fit! \$\endgroup\$ – Charli Nov 25 '11 at 14:30
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The pins shown below are known, not totally surprisingly, as test pins.
Also pogo pins and no doubt many other names.

You can mount a collection of suitably sized ones on a test jig and press it against the board to test. (For vast production volumes these may be used in a latch in place test unit but you can often hold them in place by handdepending on what testing is required.

They are spring loaded so will take up differences in tolerance. They slide into sockets of their own - you solder the socket in place and can then exchange the testpins as required.

Test pin from here - many more at this link.

enter image description here

These are from here

enter image description here

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Test pins/pogo pins are great, but they're fairly expensive, and I don't think that's quite the right match for the OPs purposes. \$\endgroup\$ – Jason S Nov 24 '11 at 18:26
  • \$\begingroup\$ I had no idea these existed, they are rather cool, but I am looking for permanent attachments to breakout boards (they're lots of brekaout board with different chips on) to use in a prototyping environment- header pins are the answer! \$\endgroup\$ – Charli Nov 25 '11 at 14:31
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In my experience most breadboards will accept 1mm (square) pins, but after that I don't trust them to make good contact with smaller diameter component pins. And for breakoutboards with >8 pins it gets very difficult to remove the breakout from the breadboard when it has 1mm pins. Hence I prefer the pins shown below. (And I sell 'm in my webshop. But I guess every component seller will have these.) On one side the pins are a little bit sharp and the base of the pin is conical, on the other side the base is flat. The flat side goes towards the (breakout) PCB.

enter image description here

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Forget the solderless breadboard and mount some suitable sockets on stripboard. Or, design a PCB and get one made. They are available very cheaply from some suppliers.

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The standard size for pins in header strips is 0.64mm square, so those would fit your breadboard (assuming your 0.6-0.8 are actually in mm).

There are higher quality screw machine terminal strips with round pins, which tend to have a smaller diameter, about 0.5mm. IMHO they are nicer for this purpose, but they are harder to find and more expensive.

Actually 0.6 to 0.8mm seems quite big for a breadboard, as most electronic parts have thinner leads.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Header pins were the answer, thank you! Might try the round pins next time I order some components though, they do look nice. \$\endgroup\$ – Charli Nov 25 '11 at 14:33

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