Please provide a Photon with headers, no soldered

I see 2 options in the store.

  1. Photon with headers
  2. Photon without headers.

Personally, I’d like a Photon with headers but not soldered. I think having this option serves even those who don’t want headers as well as those who want headers inverted, that is with the pins sticking up.

So I think, get rid of option #2 above and make it:
Photon with male and female headers not soldered

Same would apply to the Electron.

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Why would you want to mount it with the pins up, what’s the benefit?
And the electron doesn’t make sense without headers, since there are components on both sides, which is why they’re not sold as such.

Why would you want to mount it with the pins up, what’s the benefit?

Once I’m done with any breadboard work, I move them off of the breadboard. At that stage, I prefer to have the pins so I can mount the boards on a flat surface. I do this when I’m able to use 2-3 consecutive pins per function so when I make cables I can frequently just make cable with female sockets to match.

Honestly, even during that stage, I don’t place the Photon in the breadboard, because it takes up too much space, leaving 1 or 2 “sockets” in the board for a pin.

Also, since most folks have male jumpers (because of Arduino boards) it’s more convenient. Vendors like Adafruit provide the male and Female headers for the same reason.

So having these options will be nice, that’s all.

I still do not quite ‘get’ it. So you do your prototyping on a breadboard, and once that’s done, you move it over to ‘stand-alone’? And that’s done with female headers and matching male cables? Correct me if I’m wrong.
If so, then that still sounds rather prototype~ish to me. For a more permanent solution, you’d rather use a protoboard, and solder it. Female headers with cables are rarely ever suited for long term usage.
If you need more space on a breadboard, have you consider adding a second/third one to it? You can then bridge them with a cable and have an extra couple of sockets available.
Have you got an example of where adafruit/sparkfun does this, perhaps that’ll clarify things?

You’re correct. I move from breadboard to “field testing”. I don’t want anything permanent at this stage. Things frequently change at this stage due to reports from the field, or bugs in code or ancillary hardware etc.

If you need more space on a breadboard, have you consider adding a second/third one to it?

Gosh! I never thought of that. Hmm…

You can then bridge them with a cable and have an extra couple of sockets available.

One can do that? Who would’ve thought. :open_mouth:

I’m sorry, but your response elicit my response.

Have you got an example of where adafruit/sparkfun does this, perhaps that’ll clarify things?

Heard of Google? :wink:

I don’t know about Sparkfun doing this, but every Feather board I’ve bought from Adafruit has these options. But honestly, does your accepting/believing my request for an option depend upon some other vendor providing it as well?

Adafruit Feather M0 WiFi - ATSAMD21 + ATWINC1500

If things have to change so often that you’d rather use cables and sockets, you’re still in the breadboard phase, if you ask me. If you get it a bit more semi-permanent where things might change, but are ought to be okay for ~90%, you’re in the perfboard-area. Those things provide plenty of space, and if you solder in some female headers, you can easily remove the photon and/or your other hardware. And once that’s finalised, you can move up to custom PCBs.
That’s my take on the matter, not saying what you should/shouldn’t do.

I’m 21, still learning, I certainly don’t have all the answers. That said, there are kids younger than me on this forum who might know even less. For them, suggestions like the ones I made might be new. The same is true for people older than I am. Obviously, there are people who’ve been doing this longer than I’ve been alive. That’s fine, just trying for come up with ideas in case one hadn’t thought about.

Well, yes. Unfortunately though, it didn’t show me anything for “microcontroller with both male and female headers because I don’t like the stock option of male headers, which can be plugged into a breadboard to offer the functionalities a female header might offer me in the case I miss the space for an additional pin”.
Sarcasm aside, there are countless difference microcontrollers/Dev boards, using different kinds of setups.
The fact that you chose the feather is the exact reason I asked for an example; I wouldn’t have compared the two. The feather doesn’t have female headers so you can jam wires into them (which you obviously can still do). It has those header so you can plug in shields that are made for it on the topside. That something that doesn’t (yet) exist for the Particle products, which would render it kind of pointless to provide the headers as such.
The same is true for an arduino uno. That one has stock female headers because it’s intended to be used for prototyping only. It’s not made to be placed in a ‘real’ product with wires sticking out all over the place. Rather, you prototype on a breadboard, check if the thing works, move it over to a perfboard for ‘field testing’ after which you can make a final PCB perhaps even using the SMD variants.

It’s more about seeing the “but why?”. In the ~2.5 years I’ve been on here, you’re the first who’s asked for this. It thus doesn’t seems like a common request. Hence, I’m trying to make sense of why this should be included by default rather than saying “it’s not really meant 99.99% of people, you might want to just but some female headers and solder them on yourself”. I was hoping that by seeing examples of how others did it, I might be able to see why this would offer additional benefits over using a breadboard (which is made for things like this).

If your still keen on using the wires-to-board option, why not use female cables to the male headers? If you’re soldering in female headers, the board still wouldn’t lay flat since the pins stick out, so that doesn’t really make much of a noticeable difference(?)

Again, I’m just trying to grasp the “why”, since it doesn’t yet make too much sense to me. I don’t have a say in whether or not they’re going to be included anyhow, just interested, that’s all.


so that doesn’t really make much of a noticeable difference(?)

I beg to differ. It makes a huge difference! Just to be clear, the devices I use for prototyping (the actual physical device) is not the one I put out on the field. But your argument about Arduino doesn’t hold good. There are actual products, that ship (inside) with actual Arduino’s as is, inside. Some are industrial products as well. Let’s not dictate how people are support to work and rather, let just give them the option to work the way they’d like, shall we?

“Can do” is not the same as having options. There is a lot one can do. Common practice, is not common sense. All it is, a common practice, it doesn’t make it right or better or the only way to do it. Adafruit have got it right. They provide options.

there are countless difference microcontrollers/Dev boards

Yes, in fact I use a lot of them that have male header pins on the top side and female headers on the bottom side, like the TI MSP 430 and 432 boards. They have shields for them that fit on the bottom.

There are others that have female headers on the top (other than Arduinos) like the Mbed boards. I personally use the ST Micro NUCLEO boards. Both of these cater to Arduino Shields as well and have their own. But guess what, they also have male header pins on the top side.

I think for a 2 cent (literally) option, we’ve spent way too much time. Just an FYI, when folks ask for options, it’s not just to suit them. It’s looking past themselves and thinking of others and catering to customers, so if I’m the first to ask in the 2.5 years you’ve been around, doesn’t mean others haven’t had the need or won’t find the option useful. All it means is, they’ve never asked.

Just to be clear, I’m asking for both types of headers to be provided and Not soldered.


Let’s not dictate how people are support to work and rather, let just give them the option to work the way they’d like, shall we?

The Photon is available without headers for exactly this reason. You are free to purchase any combination of headers/connectors and solder them on as you wish! They are readily available at RS, Farnell etc.

As for using development boards in production products, i would recommend against this (and i speak from experience). Once you go through the process of regulatory certification you are responsible for ensuring the ongoing compliance and integrity of that product. In theory, changing a single component or layout on your board could constitute re-certification (or at least a gap analysis proving compliance without doubt).
For this reason you want to keep as much control over your product as possible. A development board is just that, a board intended for development. There is nothing stopping the likes of Arduino, or Particle from modifying their board to reduce cost, manage obsolescence or simply to make development easier. So its a risk you would need to take into account.


Yes, I’m aware. I have the freedom to do what I choose. That’s not the same as providing me with the convenience and option to have it as part of my purchase. I don’t understand what I’m saying (or how I’m saying it) that is so difficult to comprehend, honestly.

As for using development boards in production products, i would recommend against this

So would I. Earlier, I just stated what I know to be facts. What you and I know, doesn’t change what people are and will continue to do, however.

The Particle folks so far seem like good business people.

If you can create enough momentum, it seems likely they would serve it. There is nothing like a customer mandate to affect action!

E-bickering between forum members may not be the path.



That’s all I’m hoping to do!

Thank you.

so you can edit the title of this thread to “Can I get Community Support for a Photon with un-soldered headers?”

Or, just start a new one… People reading this thread may find it not so clear, with all of the bickering.

I have done that, but unfortunately I am not smart enough to simply ask for that.

The reason is space.
The photon with inverted pins goes beneath a Sparkfun battery shield.

So, yes, please provide an option with male or female headers not soldered.

Purely out of interest, how much space do you save as opposed to plugging the photon in the top, like it was designed?

Maybe stackable headers would do what you need? When you’re done on the breadboard you can snip off the pins.

Hm, that’s not the right question.
The right question would be, what goes on the other side of the board, and my answer is an OLED screen.
I could have used a Photon with soldered pin, and physically it would have been a perfect fit as well.
However logically in that case, underneath the board, the order of pins would be a total mess.

And the project is already beyond breadboarding.

I think it’s mostly this part that got me:

You’re saying they should be included, if I interpret that correctly(?) That’s the part I don’t agree with, since I don’t see the added benefit for most people. You’ll only be able to use one anyhow. While we’re at it, they might as well add “extra long female headers”, the ones with male on the bottom, female on top. You know, just in case someone has an odd use for them… Especially when providing both, they’re basically throwing away money, which is no “2 cents” if I look at the prices Adafruit is asking.
That said… I’m totally for providing those as an additional option that people can add should they be interested. And you’re right that I can’t, nor want, to dictate people how they should be using their board, whether they’re made for it or not. If you want to solder them up using plumbing solder, all the power to you! If it works for you, great. That doesn’t mean it should be included by default though.
Being under the impression that’s what you preferred, I was looking for arguments to back that up, not bring it down.


That got me thinking it was about space. Couldn’t really tell what was going on on the other side of the board :wink:

That is not the question, Particle has sells them, too.

Can we get a Photon without soldered headers, not without the headers.
Otherwise we have to buy them separately, as I did.

Yeah, I replied before I totally understood the question. I’d support offering extra parts and addons in the particle store.

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I tend to agree somewhat with the OP. At present, the Photon is available with or without header pins for $19. Perhaps an extra option would be with male and female headers, unsoldered for an extra $1 or whatever. Or perhaps a “header kit”. It’s nice to be able to get everything you need on that single order instead of having to order stuff separately and worse, from a different supplier. That said, Sparkfun could easily offer that kit as well!