Fan shim design/manufacturing problem

I have three of these shims all bought at different times over the last couple of years and connected to different Pis but all of them suffer from the same problem that has been reported by others on this forum.

Intermittent connectivity causes the fan to either run continuously at full speed or not run at all.

As the attached photo shows, the holes on the “solderless” connector are far too large to make reliable contact even if the header pins are forced apart as much as the base allows.

I could solder the shim in place but that would make replacement difficult and could cause spacing problems if I fit anything else onto the expansion header.

Given that this product has been out for a while now and frequently sells out completely I’m surprised that the problem persists.

Has anyone come up with a reliable workaround that leaves the expansion header usable and doesn’t involve permanently soldering the board into place?

I have one that I just plugged a female header in on top of, that is reliably working.
I have a couple of other ones that I just soldered to a female header and plugged that into the Pi. On those I changed the way I mount the fan, under the bracket instead of on top. That lowers it and gets it closer to the Pi to make up for the header raising everything.

I would like to see a version with the slim SMT header soldered on top. Have holes so the GPIO pins can go through the circuit board into the female SMT header.

It is a design flaw. There are special press fit headers for dry insertion into a PCB but you need a press to insert them and tight hole tolerance on the PCB. Using a standard header into normal tolerance holes just won’t be reliable.

This is my solution. I put a piece of insulated wire between the pin rows to splay them slightly.

I also screw the fan down onto a 3D printed spacer so the vibration doesn’t cause contact problems.

I had some extra bits of male header kicking around. I pulled the pins out just leaving the black base part. Cut that to length and pressed it down over the pins on the Pi, on top of the fan shim. It made a nice sturdy connection, and I can remove it , with a little work, latter on if need be.

Great ideas - thanks.

Both secure the contacts whilst still allowing for future removal and the use of hats.

Yes better than my quick bodge assuming the correct spacing is enough to make a good contact. I am putting some pressure outwards.