Are You Allowed to Use Breadboards in Competition

Specifically thinking of material like this: https://www.uline.com/Product/AdvSearchResult?keywords=static%20foam

I have a stash of it at home salvaged from electronics shipping, should be easy to find.

Solid wire should solder just as well as stranded wire. Solid wire is made from the same materials and using the same processes as stranded wire. If it is not soldering correctly, it is due to dirt or oxidation getting on it, a weak iron and/or an iron with a dirty or oxidized tip.

Solid wire is much more prone to breaking from being flexed or bent repeatedly. Thus, it should only be used in applications where it does not experience continued flexing or vibration during installation or use such as in the walls of your house.

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I was thinking because it had fewer contact points, soldering would not work as well. In my experience that is how it has worked, but TBH, I am not incredibly adept at soldering. However, now that you mention it, any time a connection has broken on me, it has always been just above the solder joint.

Soldering takes a lot of practice to get good. Some of my coworkers (electrical engineers and technicians) are not very good after years of experience.

That is indicative of the wire breaking due to being flexed too much. Often, this would happen just where the solder ends because the solder blob prevents flexing, forcing the flexing to occur just next to the solder. It is also likely that a solid wire will break just outside where a connector clamps around the conductor.

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While solid wire is not a recommend solution for moving mechanisms, you can use it with sufficient wire management away from any joints. Pre tinning (or using pre-tinned wire) the wire with solder will help quite a bit with soldering to other parts. I have found that the greatest failure has come from using improper stripping tools that nick the wire and make it more susceptible to breakage.

I see many teams have success stripping wires using a tool like this one:

That will work on any wire on the robot except for the battery wires.

Tools like the one linked below can be used successfully, but require more skill to avoid the wire nicking (or cutting strands) that Al talks about above.