Hacked Gadgets Forum

January 23, 2012

Fine Pitch Connector converted to 0.1 Inch to allow Breadboard use

at 4:40 pm. Filed under DIY Hacks, Educational


There are lots of surface mount parts out there that aren’t available in DIP format. Normal DIP format chips and various other parts have pins that are configured with a 0.1 inch spacing. Breadboards make prototyping a circuit fast and easy since there is no soldering involved, it is literally plug and play. If the connections need to be changed all you do is pull the wiring out and position it where you would like it.

But what happens when your part is not in a 0.1 inch format? There are lots of pin converters from companies like Spark Fun that allow you to solder surface mount parts to them and they have the popular 0.1 inch pins so that you can now simply plug it into your breadboard.

But what happens when you have a very strange high pitch connector that you would like to connect to your bread board? Per Jensen from Zapro shows us his solution here, he had a bunch of LCDs with a fine pitch ribbon cable that he wanted to use with his projects. Some very fine wire, a soldering iron with a pointy tip and nerves of steel is all that is needed to bridge between the flex cable and the breadboard pluggable pins. Since this fine wire could break with just the slightest movement, the most important thing to do is isolate the new fragile connections. Per uses some hot glue to stabilize the entire convertor so that it can be handled without the worry of the wires breaking, only issue here is you better be sure that you have it wired up exactly as you want it because unlike solder hot glue is hard to reverse. 



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5 Responses to “Fine Pitch Connector converted to 0.1 Inch to allow Breadboard use”

  1. Steve Hoefer Says:

    Nerves of steel is right! And a steady hand.

    One of my favorite tips I’ve ever learned is that rubbing alcohol works great to remove hot glue. It doesn’t dissolve it, but it does break the bond between it and what it’s glued to. Apply a few drops, wait a bit, and pull on the glue. (Though in a rat’s nest like that I wouldn’t pull too hard.)

  2. Eric Says:

    I find it easier to just etch a piece of copper clad for what I need but admittedly this is a great solution for people who don’t keep that stuff handy. In a pinch, a sharpie can draw out the connection paths but I’ll usually draw it out in Eagle real quick and print it. A whole lot easier to do with my fat, beat up fingers too 🙂

  3. Alan Parekh Says:

    Hey Steve,

    That’s good to know. I have usually took a heat gun or a soldering iron tip to the hot glue to melt it out of the way when I have needed to remove some of it but some IPA would be much easier!

  4. Sean Says:

    Hey Folks, Microchip offers this board for customers designing with new LCD displays. Several pitches to 0.1″ header pins. You can buy 3 boards for $20.


  5. Alan Parekh Says:

    Thanks for the link Sean. That board looks handy.

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