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I am getting started with project 01 on the Arduino starter kit. I'm facing an issue when wiring parts with long ends e.g. led & resistor. To make the simple circuit with led, resistor & switch work, I have to hold down the resistor & led, and then press the button. The parts don't connect well to the wires underneath the breadboard.

I want ask if someone could suggest how to better deal with such parts. On searching, I found people cut their parts short, but are there other approaches ? Thanks.

  • In the good old days, 1/4 watt resistors had nice firm leads that may have been actually steel with plating (you could pick them up with a magnet!) and worked pretty well on halfway decent breadboards. It seems today though that it's hard to buy resistors with anything but very thin soft leads, and meanwhile there are a lot of rather bad breadboards on the market. Mainstream suppliers increasingly don't even carry "everyday" through hole resistors. – Chris Stratton Jan 9 '17 at 22:46
  • You could try folding the ends over (effectively doubling the width) if the wires are thin. – Nick Gammon Jan 9 '17 at 22:57
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Cutting them short is proven solution, but there is sometimes still problem with legs too thin to fit good.

Other, even more reliable, is to solder them to pinheader https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:16_Pin_Header.jpg (just break away 2 or 3 pins depending on how many legs you need). Works even for SMD resistors and diodes https://divnoblog.files.wordpress.com/2015/10/005-odpor_1.jpg

Also you can use small piece of universal stripboard https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stripboard / perfboard https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Perfboard, to solder anything on that and solder the pinheader under it. Works perfectly for switches etc.

(of course you can buy "modules" from any suplier, where is the part, maybe accompanied by one or two resistors or such, but the price is higher, than is you do it manually at home and there is not such wide range, as is in normal analog/digital parts, which you can solder to fit your needs)

The problem with https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Breadboard is, that usually the holes are good just for the pinheader-sized legs (a lot of IC have the right dimensions too), while nearly any pasive/simple parts are much thinner and do not fit reliably. But for some fast playing with and non-critical application it is usually usable enough.

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