The soldering of THT components (THT = Through Hole Technology) is one of the basics you need to build kits, prototypes and Co. Because many electronic components, in particular ICs, are still available in this “push-through” variant.
Although modern/new components are often only offered as SMD variants, this assembly technology – especially in the DIY area – is indispensable.
What you have to consider when assembling printed circuit boards with THT components and how you proceed is described in the following article.
Hints for our lovely english readers: Basically, many of the articles on Nerdiy.de are translations from the original german articles. Therefore, it may happen here and there that some illustrations are not available in english and that some translations are weird/strange/full of mistakes or generally totaly wrong. So if you find some obvious (or also not obvious) mistakes don't hesitate to leave us a hint about that in the comment section.
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I know the following hints are always a bit annoying and seem unnecessary. But unfortunately, many people who knew it "better" from carelessness lost their eyes, fingers or other things or hurt themselves. In comparison, a loss of data is almost not worth mentioning, but even these can be really annoying. Therefore, please take five minutes to read the safety instructions. Even the coolest project is worth no injury or other annoyance. https://www.nerdiy.de/sicherheitshinweise/
You can find more helpful information on the basics of soldering in the following article:
Electronics – My friend the soldering iron
Electronics – Loosen, clean and remove components
In the following list you will find all the parts you need to implement this article.
In the following list you will find all the tools you need to implement this article.
The general procedure for soldering THT components can be summarized almost as a whole.
- Insert component correctly from above – i.e. the side with the component printing – through the circuit board.
- Secure component. In most cases, a small strip of scotch tape/adhesive tape is sufficient. Sometimes you can also bend the legs through on the bottom to fix the component temporarily in the pcb.
- Turn the board over and (only) solder the first contact to the circuit board.
- Check the correct orientation of the component again. (At this point, an error is quickly corrected.)
If needed: heat the single solder joint again to align the component properly.
- Solder the remaining contacts.
To be added.
In principle, JST sockets are only polarity-proof snap-in connectors. They are available in different pitches and as THT or SMD components. This example shows how a JST connector is installed as a THT component.
In principle, pin headers are the big brother of the JST plugs/sockets. Compared to these, they only have the disadvantage that they are not protected against polarity reversal and that the connectors on the pin headers do not snap into place.
Pin headers are available as both THT and SMD versions.
But soldering the pin headers is just as easy as soldering the JST connector.
Box connectors are again a relative of the pin headers. In principle, these plugs are pin headers surrounded by a kind of “tub”. These are used particularly in connection with flat cable connectors. These can be plugged into the tub connector with reverse polarity protection.
To be added.
Many of the ESP8266 boards are available either as a variant with a pin header (for example on a Wemos D1 Mini) or as an SMD component. In the first case, you can solder the ESP8266 or its pin headers like a normal pin header. The soldering of the second case – i.e. as an SMD component – is described in the article Electronics – soldering SMD components by hand under the paragraph ESP8266 ESP-12.
IC sockets can save IC lives
Especially when soldering ICs in a DIL housing, there is a small but simple tip that can save you a lot of time and effort in the event of an emergency. For every DIL housing type there are matching sockets that can be soldered in place of the IC. The desired IC is then later inserted into this socket.
If a defect occurs on the IC, it can simply be replaced. So you save yourself the soldering and re-soldering. In addition, the probability that you will destroy or damage the IC due to excessive temperatures during the soldering process is virtually zero.
The (low) additional material costs for the IC socket are worthwhile in any case.
The soldering of THT buttons is particularly easy. This is because they snap into place so well when they are plugged into the assembly site that they are already aligned and can be soldered directly.
The soldering of SMD buttons is described in the article Electronics – soldering SMD components by hand under the paragraph SMD buttons.
5mm and 3mm LEDs
To be added.
Close and open the solder jumper
Solder jumpers are a great way to install modifications or adjustable options on the circuit board in advance without giving up the “professional look”.
Various options and settings can then be activated or deactivated by opening or closing this solder jumper.
The solder jumper is closed by placing or removing a solder bridge over its two contacts.
I hope everything worked as described. If not or you have any other questions or suggestions, please let me know in the comments. Also, ideas for new projects are always welcome. 🙂
P.S. Many of these projects - especially the hardware projects - cost a lot of time and money. Of course I do this because I enjoy it, but if you appreciate it that I share these information with you, I would be happy about a small donation to the coffee box. 🙂