Contact for connecting to PCB header through-holes
February 3, 2016 8:28 AM   Subscribe

I'm looking for a way to connect to standard 0.1" pitch PCB headers directly on the PCB without soldering in the header pins. Is there any kind of spring or barb-type contact designed specifically for this purpose?

The only solution I can think of are the standard spring-loaded "grabber" clips, but those are a pain unless the header is close to the board edge, and it's difficult to connect several clips in close proximity to each other. I'm looking for a contact that can be inserted directly into the through-holes and stay there reliably for benchtop testing purposes. It's okay if the contact itself needs to be soldered to a wire.

(Basically, I need someone to buy a part that has the header pattern on the PCB but without the pins soldered in. That someone may not have access to a soldering setup. For logistical reasons, I cannot buy the part myself and solder in the header pins, but I can make a cable with some kind of contact or clip that can interface directly with the PCB, and send it to the someone.)
posted by Behemoth to Technology (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Best answer: "Solderless Headers" may be what you're looking for, though they're out of stock everywhere I checked in about 20 seconds of googling.
posted by brennen at 9:28 AM on February 3, 2016 [2 favorites]

Pogo pin header?
posted by mpark at 9:41 AM on February 3, 2016

You could try staggering the holes so that the headers are held in place by their own friction.
posted by teraflop at 10:23 AM on February 3, 2016

Adafruit has them. They're called "pogo pins".
posted by neckro23 at 2:43 PM on February 3, 2016

Nth-ing pogo pins.
posted by silentbicycle at 7:10 PM on February 3, 2016

Response by poster: Please note the "stay there reliably" part of the question. Pogo pins will not stay anywhere without a fixture, which I cannot build for this project.
posted by Behemoth at 5:06 AM on February 4, 2016

There's conductive glue. There're many brands; I like these two. And I just read about a new nano glue, Mesoglue .

You might put a micro-grabber clip thru the hole and grab an "X" or ball of wire. Bend the X so it's a wireframe pyramid, with the tip going in thru the hole.

When I've had only bare wire, or male jumper wires, I've used toothpicks to force the wire against the edge of the hole.

Yeah, I've lost many hours of my life to cruddy connections, and often thought there's gotta be a better way. Maybe springs that'll corkscrew on to the hole (in assorted sizes, of course).
posted by cyclicker at 7:26 AM on February 5, 2016

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