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Wiring prototyping boards with thin copper wire

Wiring prototyping boards with thin copper wire

Wiring protoboards

This looks like an easy way to hook things up on a protoboard:

Using 0.3 mm insulated copper wire. I solder to the wire tips at approx. 400 degree Celsius first (that burns the insulation) and at 310 degree Celsius finally.

Not to fast though – needs some patience…

A way to wire prototype boards

Check out the Flickr photo page for some notes and suggestions for some other kinds of wire as well.

14 thoughts on “Wiring prototyping boards with thin copper wire

  1. Anonymous says:

    I’ve been using wire wrap wire for point-to-point connections for 20 years.

  2. Josh Kopel says:

    Yeah to bad the industry stopped using it. It was a bit expensive, but really quick and flexible (at least for through-hole sized stuff).

    I still use the wrap wire sometimes and just solder through the insulation.

  3. Anonymous says:

    “I’ve been using wire wrap wire for point-to-point connections for 20 years.”

    Let me clarify: I used wire-wrap wire by wire wrapping on a lot of complicated boards. But I stopped doing that long ago.

    Now I use 30-gauge wire wrap wire for point-to-point soldering. Much like the image above.

    I cut the wire to length, then strip 1/16 or 1/32 of an inch off the ends and solder to the board much like that photo.

    Having 4 to 8 different colors makes it easy to trace the wires for checking or changes. The wire-wrap wire’s insulation is better than the enamel magnet wire.

  4. Simon says:

    I do this too. I think there is special wire you can get for this where the insulation is designed to be burnt off in this way. I can’t for the life of me remember what it is called though (the fumes must affect memory). It also looks to be more of a red colour though than the copper/gold of the wire shown here.

  5. Robin Debreuil says:

    I’ve been experimenting recently with ‘sewing’ the circuit with magnetic wire, and then stripping the holes, soldering, an clipping the places that don’t connect.

    The stripping is the key part here I think. Originally I used a guitar ‘D’ string — it is wound, so just pulling it through the hole with the wires works pretty good. I tried putting it in a dremel, but it is not wound the right way. Next I tried just using thicker braided wire in the dremel and that worked quite well.

    For layout, I find if you put most wires to cut on the bottom, and uncut on the top it is much simpler. Sticking the wire end on a needle (glue, or maybe solder) will obviously help too : ).

    You can also add many wires to single ‘pegs’ which helps with routing. I originally used a male connector pin (that can even be removed and reused after you are done, as it is just for holding things in place). I also found if you solder in the female version of those, and then yank the plastic part off you get a nice ‘Y’ shaped holder that you can add wire too.

    The wire stripping would probably go better with a little high temp probe that you can stick in the holes. Physical stripping is about 95% for me now, so yeah, that 5% is a pain : ).

    What is really needed is a compiler that will take circuit files and make the stitching/clipping pattern : ). Maybe a todo project.

  6. Gareth Branwyn says:

    Glad you blogged his, Brian. I saw this recently, started to blog it, and got distracted.

  7. japroach says:

    Simon: the color may indicate a different temperature rating. But I don’t think it is very consistent.

    One site says:
    Red – 155C
    Gold/brown – 200C

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I'm a tinkerer and finally reached the point where I fix more things than I break. When I'm not tinkering, I'm probably editing a book for Maker Media.

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