pHAT header soldering the lazy way

here are some pics of the pHATs soldered the lazy way. By lazy, I mean that only some of the pins were soldered. For simplicity (or added strength), sometimes I included some pins unnecessary for functionality.

a basic rule of thumb, if you’re not sure what is needed, is to solder 6 pins (2x3) at both ends, then check for any additional pins needed for operation. It’s sometimes possible to tell what pins are in use by examining the circuit board (on both sides!), and if you’d like you can have a mini-game of guessing before you check on the pinout site!

why do this? well, besides saving time (and solder!) it will also help you concentrate on fewer pins to get right. It may also help you visualise at a glance what boards may be compatible when used in tandem (with some degree of accuracy)… whatever the reason, if nothing else, you’ll learn a few things in the process!

for the Explorer pHAT, I recommend using an ‘extra tall’ header as shown, and solder all of the pins (i.e more than is shown), as this is a Pi add-on that lends itself to additional GPIO control.

Have fun!

But is that really a “lazy” way?

Surely, if different pHATs might need different pin combinations soldered, then checking the docs for each pHAT will take as much time (if not more) than simply soldering all pins.

It takes me about 1 minute to solder all 40 pins on a header like that (probably less if I get the flow right). ;)


Sure… it’s not like you’re likely to learn anything in the process, right? ;-)

on a more serious note, if anything many beginners struggle getting things right first time… by providing them with a limited number of points relevant for operation, they can more readily troubleshoot hardware issues related to their soldering job (on the pHAT and/or Pi Zero).

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Beside the advantages of lazyness and seeing what pins are actually used, i had another problem, that i soldered one row of pins with a bit of distance, so the header is a bit skewed. If you only solder a few pins, it’s easier to avoid this kind of problems.

On the other hand, it’s easier to destroy it when removing the hat from the pi.

yes, I had that happen. I tend to solder 6 pins on each side to have sufficient support and never had an issue since.

I also tend to use 26-way headers these days too, less resistance when removing and pins off the right side are rarely needed (pHAT DAC and Explorer thus far).