Solder or no Solder

It came time to attach an ESP to the newly-arrived PCB for our stepper motor. It was only a prototype run, so we had very few boards and couldn’t afford waiting for more to come. From there the issue arose that if the ESP or the board were flawed, both would be lost since castellations don’t like being unsoldered. It would also be hard (if not impossible) to test and measure specific leads with the ESP in circuit.

That is when I got the idea to solder 16 leads onto our board to hold the ESP in place with only the spring tension in the wires.

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Cutting the wires to size and stripping the insulation ended up being much harder than the actual soldering. Once everything was in place, I simply bent the wires in a little and wedged the ESP in from the bottom at an angle. After coercing a couple of misaligned wires into place with the help of a jeweler’s screwdriver, everything was set. In the end it worked perfectly, no flaws. It reminded me a bit of a sculpture made by Arthur Ganson.

I’m not sure I would suggest someone to do this to a project board since the wires are soldered onto surface mounted pads. This makes it much easier to rip off traces and destroy your board, but in a pinch, in works!

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