I am building a couple of data acquisition fixtures. I'm locating the USB daq hardware and a breadboard inside an enclosure with panel mount sockets for the external connections. Nice and clean, nothing fancy.

I had originally planned on using through hole screw terminal blocks in the breadboard to make the connections between the panel mount connectors and the data acquisition hardware.

enter image description here

There are some voltage dividers and other small circuits that I planned to implement on the breadboard. So the idea is:

  1. I would go from enclosure mounted connectors (e.g. 2mm pin female socket)
  2. Solder wire to the connector and connect the other end to the breadboard
  3. Implement basic circuitry in breadboard
  4. connect wires from breadboard to DAQ (DAQ hardware has screw terminal blocks for connections)

I've run into a snag where the 3.8mm leads on the terminal block aren't long enough to properly seat in the breadboard. Now I'm trying to decide how I can easily workaround this with another design, here is what I've thought of:

  1. Basic headers and plugs (the crimp on type that take a ribbon cable, usually)

enter image description here

  1. Header and solder wires to the header pins
  2. Wire wrap to something (never done it)

I'd like to avoid purchasing special tools to crimp specialized molex tpye connectors. I'm looking for a solution that will let me easily "hook up" my panel connections to my breadboard and disconnect them when I need to make changes or service something.

I'm asking the community here if you have any tricks or other suggestions?


closed as too broad by Chris Stratton, Elliot Alderson, Voltage Spike, mkeith, Finbarr Jan 1 at 11:30

Please edit the question to limit it to a specific problem with enough detail to identify an adequate answer. Avoid asking multiple distinct questions at once. See the How to Ask page for help clarifying this question. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Breadboards aren't meant for permanent or even semi-permanent fixtures. Use a PCB, even a generic prototyping model should be fine. \$\endgroup\$ – Ignacio Vazquez-Abrams Dec 15 '16 at 6:29
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    \$\begingroup\$ I would not argue that. Other than posing a problem for me with my desired screw terminal block, is there a technical reason why I shouldn't use a breadboard? I'm a newb of newbs, I have experimentation and learning in my future with this fixture but at the same time I need to get something together that is working. The breadboard is attractive for it's ability to support rapid change. So I'm not trying to debate, but sincerely asking if there are reasons why it's a bad idea. \$\endgroup\$ – Steve K Dec 15 '16 at 6:36
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    \$\begingroup\$ Loose contacts, bad contacts can easily develop over the time causing erratic or failure of the design. That's why breadboard not suitable for even the semi permanent fixtures. \$\endgroup\$ – soosai steven Dec 15 '16 at 6:46
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    \$\begingroup\$ If you're making a very small circuit very neatly with carefully trimmed component legs and installing the breadboard and all interfacing wiring rigidly in alignment AND it's installed in a warm, dry environment for short term use, you might be able to get away with it. Breadboard connections are not electrically or mechanically reliable over time. The slightest tug on the wiring into that screw connector is liable to pull the pins out of contact. The whole connector might even fall out if it's not a tight fit. \$\endgroup\$ – vofa Dec 15 '16 at 6:55
  • \$\begingroup\$ As others have said, this is a bad idea due to the breadboard. As far as your question goes, you can use jumper wires to connect between your header and whatever. They have male/male, male/female and female/female. Wire wrap is reliable also. It is still used for test fixtures and such. You can still buy wire-wrap tools. It is just hard to debug if you miswire something in a complex circuit. \$\endgroup\$ – mkeith Dec 31 '18 at 17:50

I will listen to the wisdom in the comments and NOT plan on using the breadboard in production, small as it may be. I will use a breadboard for experimentation but will use a PCB in the actual enclosure.

I'm not sure if Answering my own question is the right way to handle this, but I wanted to wrap it up and share my change of heart. If there is a better way to handle a basically invalid question, please share.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Answering your own question is fine. Mostly because you are the 'problem owner' and know the question best. While the question is running, sometimes for days it's not unlikely that you'll do your own research and come closer to an answer. \$\endgroup\$ – JWRM22 Dec 15 '16 at 7:13
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    \$\begingroup\$ The two reasons not to use a breadboard are a) low pressure contacts, which can corrode with airborne moisture and contaminant gases over months/years and b) the very ease of changing them means you might be tempted to move things in an undocumented way, if you drop it on the floor, heavy components might fall out. The breadboard style maps very nicely onto stripboard-style boards. I always go to stripboard once I've proved the design, often soldering stiff wires to stripboard modules so they will plug into a breadboard for further experimentation. \$\endgroup\$ – Neil_UK Dec 15 '16 at 8:52
  • \$\begingroup\$ You aren't "Neil_UK" who is a friend of John Wells of The Field Lab, are you?? \$\endgroup\$ – Steve K Dec 17 '16 at 6:14

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