1
\$\begingroup\$

I have some DWM1000's that I need to use for a project. One will be connected to a raspberry pi 3 B+ as the tag and 1-4 others will be connected to arduino's as the anchors. I am having trouble though with soldering wires to these chips. I want to use these breadboard wires I have and just remove the plastic covers on one end. I already took off the connectors on one chip, making it useless. Is there a better way to go about this? My background is in computer science so I'm a total noob with soldering stuff like this. Pic provided. Thank you.

enter image description here

\$\endgroup\$
8
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Your current method has the risk of breaking the pads from the PCB as they form a long lever. The long metal 'connector should be removed. Then remove a tiny bit of insulation and solder the wire to the pad. Try NOT to let the solder 'enter' the wire. \$\endgroup\$
    – Oldfart
    Feb 5 '19 at 20:50
  • \$\begingroup\$ Should I apply solder to the wire before making the connection, or the iron, or both? \$\endgroup\$ Feb 5 '19 at 20:51
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Apply solder to the PCB pad AND the wire separately. Then bring them together and you will find you need to hold the solder iron on them only for a very short time. \$\endgroup\$
    – Oldfart
    Feb 5 '19 at 20:53
  • \$\begingroup\$ In the future, please crop your photos so you only show the relevant part of the image. \$\endgroup\$ Feb 5 '19 at 21:14
  • \$\begingroup\$ i would make a cradle with pin header that mate to the chip, looks like you need tighter spacing than normal, but they are available. \$\endgroup\$
    – dandavis
    Feb 5 '19 at 22:02
4
\$\begingroup\$

Use a breakout board, soldering wires to something like this is very unlikely to be worth the risk, time, and debugging overhead. Particularly if you have more than one to put together.

If creating your own is not an option (it's something that could be put together in an afternoon, but it does imply a learning curve), you can generally find breakout boards for most widely used components. This is one I found with a quick Google search:

Breakout board

\$\endgroup\$
1
\$\begingroup\$

You should really make a carrier board for these.

If for a prototype you want to solder directly to them use something very flexible like 30 gauge silicone wire (The adafruit stuff directly or via digikey has nicely thin insulation, and won't melt when you solder right against it) and do something to anchor the wires against strain before the pads, for example affix the whole thing to some kind of carrier plate that the wire bundle attaches to first.

A piece of generic perfboard works well, and you can sew the wires through the holes for anchoring. If your perfboard has some copper either mount the module on the non copper side or use something in between as an insulator.

Another crude possibility would be a junk mail credit card mockup, which you could poke wire holes in, though that may be somewhat static friendly (and hence component-unfriendly) as a material. At the moment I have a BLE module stuck on the credit-card-sized carrier of a promotional mobile/IoT data SIM handout; I hadn't though about it when I did that (it was just handy) but in retrospect that particular plastic card is itself technically an IC package (for the SIM) so perhaps not a bad choice at all.

\$\endgroup\$
0
0
\$\begingroup\$

I've had to work with something like this before. If you have no other options in terms of the board you are using to solder the components on, i recommend soldering paste. You will need soldering paste, heat gun, and a tooth pick or home made stencil.

Soldering paste application allows more control over area of coverage vs the traditional solder wire you are using. Also it has enough viscosity hold things in place

you can see an example of application here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4OYakUQmgd0

\$\endgroup\$
10
  • \$\begingroup\$ Paste makes sense if mounting the module on a carrier board as intended, but for directly connecting wires in the way the asker is trying it will not offer any substantial advantage over wire solder, and is potentially going to be worse \$\endgroup\$ Feb 6 '19 at 0:27
  • \$\begingroup\$ it will offer advantage in a sense that the person does not have to solder each one by one. You put the paste down, stick the wires, and heat it. Additionally solder paste as more control in application in small surfaces. you can potentially burn off the pads if soldering iron is held to the surface too long. \$\endgroup\$
    – Melvin
    Feb 6 '19 at 0:28
  • \$\begingroup\$ ...and watch the wires come off again. Which is why connecting discrete wires is a job for an iron. You will not burn the pads if the iron is the proper temperature and mechanical stress is not being improperly applied. \$\endgroup\$ Feb 6 '19 at 0:29
  • \$\begingroup\$ as stated, soldering iron contact can potentially burn off the pads. Specially in the scenario where the user is not experienced \$\endgroup\$
    – Melvin
    Feb 6 '19 at 0:31
  • \$\begingroup\$ for a board of that size, soldering paste and stencil is used. A short between two pads will not be easy to get rid of if a lump of solder wire is around it, without damaging the pad or surrounding connections. \$\endgroup\$
    – Melvin
    Feb 6 '19 at 0:33
0
\$\begingroup\$

As others have mentioned, using a carrier board is the easiest and most reliable option. However, you may not have the luxury of waiting for them to arrive.

What I have done in the past is to use a machine-pin IC socket as a carrier. You have 24 pins on your device, so a 24-pin skinny DIP machine-pin IC socket should work well for you. The PC board is simply mounted vertically on the IC socket.

Start by grabbing some stranded wire with many fine strands. Strip the insulation from the wire and separate the strands. You will use those fine strands to be your conductors.

Solder one strand of thin bare wire to each pad. Take your time and get nice solder joints. The bottom pads should alternate between front and back, as should the wires on the side pads. Plan where each of the wires will eventually wind up and choose the direction (front or back) accordingly.

Hold the circuit board vertically in place over the DIP socket and plan where each of the wires will go. The wires closes to the bottom of the circuit board go to pins closest to the center of the socket, moving towards the outside of the socket as you get higher on the board. Alternate the wires to each side of the socket so as to minimize any chance of wires touching each other.

Now lay a small bead / blob of hot-melt glue in the center section of the DIP socket and press the bottom of the PC board into the glue. Move the wires coming off the bottom of the board so they line up with the tops of the pins in the IC socket.

After the glue has cooled and set, simply solder the wires to the socket pins.

Make a map of which pins on the circuit board go to which pins on the IC socket.

The advantage of this technique is that it is non-destructive. You can snap the circuit board away from the IC socket when you receive your carrier boards. The hot-melt adhesive is easily removed, as are the thin bare wires. You can then mount the board onto the carrier.

\$\endgroup\$

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.