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soldering extensions onto a potentiometer

Discussion in 'Electronic Basics' started by Adam Funk, Mar 30, 2012.

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  1. Adam Funk

    Adam Funk Guest

    I have a potentiometer that I unsoldered from an old circuit board
    (from a junked appliance) & I'd like to play with it in circuits on my
    breadboard. The potentiometer has leads bent at 90°, with holes at
    the top, & looks close to this picture:

    The leads are spaced almost exactly 1.5 times the spacing of the holes
    in my breadboard, so I can't quite wedge it into them. I'm thinking
    of soldering a piece of hook-up wire to each lead, but I'm not sure
    how to make a mechanically sound connection, especially to the middle
    one, before soldering. Suggestions?
  2. It won't matter one bit.

    It's for breadboarding, if/when the wire eventually breaks off (and wire
    thin enough to fit breadboards is likely to break when stressed before the
    joint breaks, you just resolder a new wire to the pot. It's not like it
    will be in a box where access is difficult.

    But "mechanically sound" is from the old days of tubes. Not only was the
    wire thick (and thus putting stress on the solder connection) but the
    components were big too, meaning the joint had to support the extra
    weight. Some of it was overkill too, wrap the wire through the hole on
    the tube socket a time or two, then solder.

    SInce semiconductors took over, wire is thinner (since generally it isn't
    carrying much current or voltage) and components are lighter. IN some
    circumstances, like something used in a car or carried around a lot, it
    probably makes sense to worry somewhat about being "mechanically sound".
    But for the average home made piece of equipment solder is good enough, as
    long as it's a good solder joint.

  3. Sjouke Burry

    Sjouke Burry Guest

  4. Adam Funk

    Adam Funk Guest

    That works! I was thinking inside the box.
  5. Adam Funk

    Adam Funk Guest

    And it sits reasonably firmly in the breadboard so it's easy to turn
    the knob. Thanks again!
  6. Adam Funk

    Adam Funk Guest

    Fair point.

    I suppose that's true, but I was taught (not in the golden age of
    valves, though) that it was important to make a mechanically sound
    joint first, & it's hard to get out of that thinking even in the face
    of convincing arguments.

    Anyway, the idea about turning & re-bending the pins worked
    brilliantly. :)
  7. Guest

    It wasn't useful then, either. A proper solder joint is stronger than the
    component lead. The only thing it accomplished was to make sure the component
    didn't move while the solder was fluid, causing a cold joint.
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