Make dual pin header footprints into breadboard friendly DIP

[John] wrote in with a solution to a prototyping issue that has vexed us for quite some time. Above you can see the DIP friendly solution for dual-row pin headers which he came up with. With just a bit of easy soldering he now has a breadboard friendly device for prototyping.

He starts by soldering a dual row pin header on the board, then clips off all of the legs on the outside row. The row of legs that remain are then inserted into one side of the trench on his breadboard. The other side of the trench has a single row pin header, and he solders them to the outer row on the breakout board using another single pin header aligned horizontally. This isn’t a 100% convenient solution, as it’s still pretty hard to get your jumper wires in the breadboard on the side covered by the breakout board. But if you plan in advance you can place your wires first, then plug in the development board.

Here [John] is working with TI’s eZ430-RF2500 board. We’d like to go back and remove the dual pin socket we soldered on our eZ430-F2013, replacing it with this style of pins.

28 thoughts on “Make dual pin header footprints into breadboard friendly DIP

  1. Hah, simple, but it works. I like how he uses the breadboard itself to hold things in place while soldering – guarantees it will fit nicely when you’re done.

    1. Not just a good fit, it also heatsinks the parts too! I do all of my header soldering that way and it saves a great deal of pain.

      1. Heatsinking while soldering is a bad idea! it helps cool down the parts, so you have to apply heat longer, which is bad.

        An easy example is thermals on a PCB: they are there so it’s possible to solder to the pad, and do so without damaging whatever component you’re soldering.

    2. Unfortunately the heat re-tempers the spring contacts inside the breadboard so they can no longer maintain the tension needed for reliable operation. It’s not a good idea.

      1. You could always use a non-functional breadboard. No, it might not hold the board, but gravity comes in handy for that.

        As an aside, I have thought of hard-wiring a group of breadboard pins to a breakout board of some type. That way I could have a little more room on the breadboard for prototyping. I haven’t actually done it, but I also don’t do enough hacking to make it worth the effort.

  2. Seems like you could do the same thing with angled headers so that the board would stand vertically, centered over the gutter. Then you would have better access to the row of breakouts the board covers in this configuration.

    1. I was thinking the same thing. I have right angle breakaways in the drawer right above me.

      I have also caused breadboard contacts to lose their temper from overheating. I’d recommend using a heat sink clip on each contact where it goes into the breadboard and keeping one’s iron set to no more than about 650°F.

  3. Points for using what you have in your parts bin I guess, but I’d be inclined to do something tidier.

    A simple adapter pcb, with two single rows of pins on the bottom to straddle the gutter, and a double row socket on top between them.

    The actual board you are plugging in could either have just a double row straight header if it’s not so wide, or a double row right angle male header, so that it can be plugged in vertically.

  4. Wait… the board completely blocks all of the holes on one side of the board, right? So he’s only using one row of the breakout pins, no? I guess he can get wires to lay flat underneath the board, but other components is a challenge.

  5. I like the breadboard too. It looks somewhat different than those normally found from shop. All-white, mounting holes with dual-line power plane, and smooth edges.

    Anybody know where to get the same breadboard?

  6. what i do is get an old ide or floppy ribbon cable, cut it in half and then solder each wire to a pin on a set of male headers. you can also pot the solder connections in hot glue or epoxy if you want something that will last. of course if you dont need all the pins you can also dremel through the connector to make it smaller, tough you usually have to epoxy the cable housing so it stays together.

  7. the only way I would change this is angle the first row of pins to be bent 90 degrees and then solder those exact extension pins but longer ones and then bend those the correct spacing to fit like a dip but you would then have a vertical board which is a much better way to have it with easier access to the breadboard

  8. Again, great execution, but wouldn’t it be better to somehow make a socket? I guess a standard ZIF socket could clamp down on your pins while offering breadboard compatability. When you’re done just take it out of the socket and the “extra pins” are gone :)

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