In the process of salvaging components from circuit boards a lot of perfectly good resistors with short leads are obtained.

 

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In this Shop Tips I am going to demonstrate my process for turning some of these resistors into excellent plug in assemblies for use when bread boarding. If you have ever added leads onto a resistor to use on a bread board you are aware of the difficulty holding the resistor and leads in just the right position and spacing to get the desired effect. Begin by cutting a couple lengths of 22 GA solid wire. It is important that 22 GA wire is used as this is the best size to fit into bread boards, giving an excellent connection, and not stretching the pin fingers.

 

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After stripping off the insulation I straighten the wires by placing one end of the wire in a vise and putting the other end of the wire in a drill chuck. The wire is then pulled taut and the drill is activated to spin the wire. The spinning of the wire removes all the bends and kinks. I usually spin a half meter of wire about 5 revolutions. The wire is then removed from the vise and drill. I have decided for this batch of bread board resistors that I want 1/2 inch spacing on the leads. I have chosen 2 small pieces of tenth inch prototype board that will be used as guides. As you can see in this next photo the prototype board has been threaded by the wires which is then stretched between two vises.

 

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The spacing of 1/2 inch was chosen as it easily accommodates the size of a quarter watt resistor and is still short enough to fit into most circuit designs on the bread board. The next step is to start soldering those short lead resistors across the two parallel wires which make it look to me like a ladder. The separation of the resistors in this case will be about 3/8ths of an inch. Here is what the process looks like as we begin it and after we have completed the ladder.

 

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After soldering all the resistors to the parallel wires we go down the line and trim all the extra leads that extend to the sides. Finally the individual resistors are separated from the ladder as shown below.

 

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Now the resistors are ready to be used on the bread board project. It has been noted that resistors prepared this way are much more stable and make better contact than raw resistors that are just looped from one point to another. The use of the 22 GA wire also corrects situations where the actual resistor lead is too small in diameter or too large for proper use. Another problem that has been noted with looped resistors is the tendency for them to tip and cross short with other components. Here is a board with some of the resistors that were just made, laid out in a pattern for demonstrations purposes.

 

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Your ideas, comments, and techniques are always welcome. My  "Shop Tips" title is also available and everyone is welcome to use it, if you have techniques that you use in your shops to make the creative process work more smoothly and you wish to share. I will be out of town the next several days and depending on the availability of an internet connection I may not be able to immediately respond to your comments but I will answer any questions as soon as possible.

 

John

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