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I have a snap-in style through-hole pins on a header. They snap into my board firmly and stay securely. Do I have to solder these connectors? Are through-hole style connectors ever rated for use without solder?

More:

I know I could get away without soldering the connections, I am wondering if they are designed to be put into service without soldering?

For reference, I am using a 12 pin header (1-2178713-2) from TE. Here is a link to the data sheet.

http://www.te.com/commerce/DocumentDelivery/DDEController?Action=srchrtrv&DocNm=2178713&DocType=Customer+Drawing&DocLang=English

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Only press fit are rated. \$\endgroup\$ – Tony Stewart Sunnyskyguy EE75 Mar 12 '17 at 21:52
  • \$\begingroup\$ Very few connectors are designed for that, so if they are not and you are intending to leave them, you should probably solder them. That said, I'll often use ordinary 100-mil or 2mm single row headers without solder for a programming jig - on my firmware development units I solder them, but on the rest I'll often just hold the connector with sideways finger pressure for the 10 seconds or so it takes to load the program. That's especially true if I expect spring fingers rather than headers to be used in production. \$\endgroup\$ – Chris Stratton Mar 12 '17 at 21:59
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    \$\begingroup\$ @ChrisStratton I have a five pin footprint with the holes very slightly offset. Keeps the header row in place with no pressure. \$\endgroup\$ – David Mar 12 '17 at 22:50
  • \$\begingroup\$ @TonyStewart.EEsince'75, Thanks for giving me the name of the connections that are solderless connections. \$\endgroup\$ – Austin Downey Mar 13 '17 at 3:58
  • \$\begingroup\$ I've seen several SEW Eurodrives which use press-fit connectors in an industrial application. I don't have any data on reliability, but they are certainly not soldering them. \$\endgroup\$ – rdtsc Oct 7 '19 at 16:26
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If you look at the more detailed data from TE it seems that these do require soldering. Micro Match Connectors.

There are connecters that do not require soldering - usually called "press-fit" however these are not that type.

Curiously the data sheet does not provide any soldering information, although it does describe the "solder contact holes".

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Oddly, the same series seems to have a press-fit version, at least as listed by Digikey. Maybe it's a misprint as the data sheets are almost the same, but I don't see any comments on press-fit connections. te.com/commerce/DocumentDelivery/… \$\endgroup\$ – Austin Downey Mar 13 '17 at 4:07
  • \$\begingroup\$ I noticed it does have a very tight tolerance on the holes for the pins - maybe it is press-fit, but some of the pictures seem to show solder fillets! \$\endgroup\$ – Kevin White Mar 13 '17 at 4:43
  • \$\begingroup\$ often snug fit is just to prevent floating in the alpha wave solder to reduce number of kapton tape strips \$\endgroup\$ – Tony Stewart Sunnyskyguy EE75 Mar 13 '17 at 5:22
  • \$\begingroup\$ It appears there is the Micro Match Connectors and the Micro Match Value Line Connectors. While TE does not state it I see a few vendors list the nonvalue line connectors as a press fit. However, I have the value line connectors. However, this is a little off topic of my question. It appears that I will need to solder these connections. Better safe than sorry. \$\endgroup\$ – Austin Downey Mar 13 '17 at 7:50

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