I decided to start working with hobby electronics, but I'm having a problem finding a local source of solid wires. As far as I know solid wires are often recommended for use with protoboards because inner wires of stranded wire can get jammed inside protoboards wire holding mechanism.

I'm looking for tips on how to modify stranded wires to work with protoboards.

The obvious solution which comes to my mind is to use solder on the exposed part of the wire and make it solid.

Any other ideas?

  • \$\begingroup\$ Are you sure you can't find solid wire? I just use solid CAT5e (Ethernet cabling) because I have tons of it left over from a networking project. \$\endgroup\$ – joeforker Oct 4 '10 at 16:13
  • \$\begingroup\$ @joeforker CAT5e seems like a good idea. When I take into account that there are 8 wires in CAT5e, it turns out to be a bit cheaper than stranded wire. \$\endgroup\$ – AndrejaKo Oct 4 '10 at 17:59
  • \$\begingroup\$ Of course Ethernet cabling comes in both solid and stranded. Typically you put the solid wire in the walls and use the stranded wire to make patch cables. \$\endgroup\$ – joeforker Oct 4 '10 at 18:26
  • \$\begingroup\$ Unfortunately in my area stranded CAT5e cables are a bit rare. \$\endgroup\$ – AndrejaKo Oct 4 '10 at 19:15
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ if you mean "solid cat5e cables are not rare" then good for you. Obviously I take it for granted that I can go down to the hardware store and buy cut lengths or entire boxes of either type of wire... \$\endgroup\$ – joeforker Oct 5 '10 at 14:06

I have always used a dab of solder on stranded wire when needing to use it in a breadboard. It has always worked perfectly for me. Just be careful to make sure that you do not have any excess solder at the end as the wire tends to get stuck in the breadboard if there is anything sticking out that can get caught on it.

I know you asked for local, but here are a few links to items similar to what I have used before:



You can also use these: http://www.mouser.com/ProductDetail/3M/2340-6111TG/?qs=R%252bzptqw7cJImGeX9bGiQLA%3d%3d
They break away into any number you want and are the same spacing as common bread boards.

  • \$\begingroup\$ I almost always just put a bit of solder on the wire to make it a solid wire. \$\endgroup\$ – Kortuk Oct 4 '10 at 16:43

You can also solder pins (from breakaway pin strips) onto the ends.

  • \$\begingroup\$ What's a breakaway pin strip? \$\endgroup\$ – AndrejaKo Oct 4 '10 at 16:02
  • \$\begingroup\$ I did not realize Joby posted while I was typing my answer. An example of breakaway pin strips is shown in the last link I gave. \$\endgroup\$ – Kellenjb Oct 4 '10 at 16:07

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