Solder Bridges

Yesterday I posted about multiplexing 7 segment displays, but it’s actually been weeks since I got that circuit working. After 2 weeks of travel and a busy weekend, I finally got some time on Wednesday night to start moving the circuit from the breadboard to a more permanent home. I stocked up on a variety of different sized circuit boards, but unlike a breadboard each hole on these is independent. It was time to learn how to make solder bridges. After fumbling through about 10 bridges I started to get the hang of it. They won’t win any beauty contests, but they’re functional, which is what matters.

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In round 2 last night I tried a couple of tricks. The first method is using a small wire or the discarded end of a lead (this happened to come from trimming off the ends of a resistor) to bridge pads together.

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These will be connected to ground.

Another trick is to bend over the ends of leads to create a bridge. In the left and right columns you can see this type of bridge used. The middle column shows bent leads I’ll use when I connect more wires.

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Both methods worked a lot better than trying to use mountains of solder to jump the connection pads.

By the way, I find soldering (no matter what it’s for) to be extremely relaxing. Maybe it’s something to do with the order of the entire process; physically connecting things to make a circuit work. I typically do it late at night with some music and a cold beer.

I’m glad I decided to upgrade my soldering iron, by getting a Hakko FX888D. It works much better than the entry-level iron I’ve been using.

3 Replies to “Solder Bridges”

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