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Some PCBA's have pads along the edge, where I believe some kind of headers could be soldered (or may be not), but don't have the pads drilled. I guess manufacturers save a little cost on drilling, and is not a problem when these are breakout boards used in production settings. To turn them into something that is breadboard friendly, apart from drilling holes, is there any alternative option -- s.a. a novel way of soldering pins ?

PS> Aversion to drilling is that these are FR4 boards, and I do not have drill-press or access to one.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Why not add a picture? You maybe talking about board edge connectors (think of boards that go into your PC) \$\endgroup\$ – placeholder Oct 18 '12 at 15:36
  • \$\begingroup\$ Edge connectors? en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:44EdgeConnector.jpg \$\endgroup\$ – starblue Oct 18 '12 at 19:49
  • \$\begingroup\$ @rawbrawb, good idea. Unfortunately, I don't have a camera handy, and didn't find a good image to post so far. \$\endgroup\$ – icarus74 Oct 19 '12 at 6:46
  • \$\begingroup\$ starblue, not really. @ThePhoton 's answer below is close to what I need, although in my case the pads are not the small test-pads, but a full array of header pads (single row). Handsoldering a strip connector is the expected usage style (I believe), but I'd like to mount it on a breadboard to experiment. \$\endgroup\$ – icarus74 Oct 19 '12 at 6:48
  • \$\begingroup\$ Round or rectangular? What's the spacing between pads? \$\endgroup\$ – The Photon Oct 19 '12 at 15:43
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No holes drilled makes me think SMT.

Are these what you're looking for?

enter image description here

http://www.digikey.com/product-detail/en/0015916102/WM3699TR-ND/2421395

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Absolutely. Although, in my case the PCBA has a single row (like berg-strip) of these pads, and the design of the header seems to suggest mechanical robustness based on 2 rows. Are you aware of a single row header as well ? Searching on Digikey didn't yield a SMT variant. \$\endgroup\$ – icarus74 Oct 19 '12 at 6:42
  • \$\begingroup\$ Actually, found a good reference and another potential solution here, although soldering seems to be a bit of a task. forum.sparkfun.com/viewtopic.php?f=20&t=33498 \$\endgroup\$ – icarus74 Oct 19 '12 at 6:50
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    \$\begingroup\$ single row versions of this header i have seen look like this: media.digikey.com/photos/Sullins%20Photos/… This is a top view of the part. the legs to solder to alternate back and forth on which way they point. this probably doesnt help you if they are all in a line on your PCB, though. \$\endgroup\$ – dext0rb Oct 19 '12 at 6:59
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If the pads in question are simply small circles with solder mask removed from over them, they're probably test points for use with a pogo-pin test fixture.

enter image description here

In general, you shouldn't drill through them unless this is a one or two-layer board, or you for some other reason know there's no copper connected to other nets on any of the inner layers beneath these pads.

(Image shamelessly stolen from Dictionary of Terms for Electronic Engineering)

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Quite close, but not exactly. In my case, I am sure that these are not test pads, but a linear row of pads on which "some kind of header pins" could be soldered. \$\endgroup\$ – icarus74 Oct 19 '12 at 6:49
  • \$\begingroup\$ If you can post a picture in your question, we'd have a much better chance of giving you a useful answer. \$\endgroup\$ – The Photon Oct 19 '12 at 15:41

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