How to Easily Connect a Hobby Servo to a Breadboard

servo-breadboard-header-pymcuIf you like to experiment with robots and electronics as I do, you will undoubtedly run into a situation where you wanted to use a hobby servo with a breadboard.  Unfortunately, to many including myself, this has meant removing the universal, or “JR” connector housing and just plugging it into the breadboard.  Tinning the leads (see this video – not mine) after chopping off the connector makes insertion a bit easier, but what about a non-destructive attachment method?

What about a double long-sided header?  All you need for this simple hack is soldering equipment, and at least 6 snap-off headers with .1 inch centers.  You can find these on Amazon, or probably cheaper if you shop around.  Snap off 2 sets of 3 headers and solder the short ends to each other.  One side can be plugged into the servo connector, and the other goes into the breadboard.  Depending on the situation, 90 degree headers might work better, as it would allow your connector to sit parallel to the breadboard.  I haven’t tried the 90 degree method as of yet.

As seen in the above picture, masking tape can help hold these headers when being soldered.  A standard header can work for a servo connection, but holds the servo connector loosely in the breadboard, and should be avoided in my opinion.  The more consistently you can keep your wiring from falling out, the more likely your project is to work!

I used these headers while testing out my pan-tilt servo setup, and eventually used to make my automatic light graffiti device. These headers weren’t used, but you should also check out my “PegLeg” hexapod as it’s one of my earliest projects, and is where I got my site logo from.

Another Option: As pointed out on Reddit (Thx Fred256), you can also buy double-sided headers on Pololu for 1.49 per strip.

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