Transistor Sockets?

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leegold2
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Post by leegold2 »

Hi,
I bought a PCB for an overdrive. When I have the PCB fully loaded I want to be able to swamp out different transistors to see which ones measure and sound best. The transistors will be in TO-92 format. Does anyone make a solderless socket I can initially attach to the PCB to use to swap transistors? Then I'd remove the socket and solder the best ones in.
Thanks
Lee G.

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mauman
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Post by mauman »

Hello Lee, and welcome to the forum.

StompBoxParts has sockets, both for TO-5 (metal can) transistors and for TO-92 (in-line) packages. https://stompboxparts.com/sockets/

Both types are also available at Mouser.com, https://www.mouser.com/c/?q=917-93-103-41-005000 for TO-5 and https://www.mouser.com/ProductDetail/575-31543164 for TO-92, just snap off three and you're good.

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leegold2
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Post by leegold2 »

Excellent, thanks!

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Frank_NH
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Post by Frank_NH »

As for "solderless", I think you'll have to solder the socket to the board, try out your transistors, then desolder the socket and install your chosen parts. Personally, I prefer not using sockets for transistors as they don't seem to hold the legs very well for long term use. For ICs, on the other had, I always use sockets.

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Lani
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Post by Lani »

I agree with Frank... When I first started I used sockets, and after a couple of months of using the pedals they would start to fail/come loose.
So yes they are helpful but become a problem down the line. Also as Frank said sockets for IC's are a much tighter fit and I've had no problems with IC's coming loose. Way around the transistor problem is use the sockets as you would before but when you find the right part you should just solder one of the legs in the socket and that seems to do the trick. Or you can use hot glue/silicone to hold them in place.
IMG_20230225_092211~2.jpg

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CheapPedalCollector
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Post by CheapPedalCollector »

Machine pin sockets suck. It's hard to find leaf ones anymore though.

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Post by Frank_NH »

Are there sockets which permit you to solder the transistor in place once you’ve chosen the proper part? You can do it with the plastic ones but it usually melts the plastic a bit.

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mauman
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Post by mauman »

On the single row strips, you can remove the plastic insulator from around the metal socket, sometimes it falls off anyway. Soldering a component leg into a bare socket is easy.

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Lani
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Post by Lani »

CheapPedalCollector wrote: Yesterday, 12:03 Machine pin sockets suck. It's hard to find leaf ones anymore though.
I've never seen a leaf transistor socket. What if you just cut a DIP-6 leaf socket in half to get two three pin leaf sockets for tranny's.... :hmmm:
But you're right... Usually I can get 7 or 8 swaps before they just don't hold anymore.
I remember when I was building Tonepads small stone with something like 16 transistors in it and they were all in sockets .... What a nightmare that was!! After that debacle I only use sockets for transistors if it's crucial to get the right part, then once I find it I just solder the middle leg right in the socket or do what I did in the above picture and put a little dab of silicone to hold er down.
If your melting sockets while trying to solder them to the PCB or even trying to solder transistors in the socket then your iron is either A) too hot or B) not wetted/clean enough to transfer the heat efficiently. Flux is your friend here ....

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Post by CheapPedalCollector »

Yeah I found out they were junk back in the 90s, really bad experiences with them. They used to make 3 pin leaf ones, I've been having issues finding 6 pin optocoupler sockets lately which I use and just cut them in half. Goes for chip sockets too, the machine pin ones are just not good at all.

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