Fitting hammer headers

Our hammer headers allow you to fit a male or female header to your Pi Zero or pHAT with absolutely no soldering required. Nifty! Here, you'll learn how to fit them using our jig that comes with the kit.

It's important to hammer on a sturdy, stable, well-supported surface like a worktop or a solid wood table (although not your expensive dining table!)

The jig comes in three pieces, and has two nylon bolts. Snap apart the acrylic pieces, and peel off the protective film (althought this isn't absolutely necessary).

Note that newer versions of the hammer header kit come with black metal bolts and nuts. The only difference is that the nuts go on top of your Pi Zero / W or pHAT to hold it securely to the baseplate while you hammer the header in.

Male headers (for Pi Zero)

Push the nylon bolts through the larger plastic piece with the long rectangular hole cut in it for the GPIO pins. It doesn't matter which way up this piece is.

Next, put the other rectangular acrylic piece below it, so that the heads of the nylon bolts fit neatly into the two holes. This piece prevents the pins from being pushed too far through.

Now, push your Pi Zero PCB, right way up, onto the jig.

If you have a kit with metal nuts and bolts, then screw the nuts onto the bolts now, to hold the PCB securely to the baseplate.

Place the hammer header on top of the pin holes on your Pi Zero, making sure that the longer ends of the pins (without the retaining nubbins) are pointing upwards.

Now, place the last acrylic piece on top of the pins and push it down until it touches them.

Using a hammer, gently tap back and forth on the top acrylic piece to push the pins through. Pushing one end of the header all the way it can cause the other pins to bend when you hammer them in. It's worth taking your time over this part.

Female headers (for pHATs)

If you're fitting a female header to a pHAT, simply turn the pHAT over and rotate it through 180 degrees, as in the diagram below.

Again, if you have a kit with metal nuts and bolts, then screw the nuts onto the bolts now, to hold the PCB securely to the baseplate.

It should be much easier to fit the female header, and you can use a little more force as you're hammering onto the plastic of the header.

Shopping basket

Need something for this project? You can use the links below to add products to your Pimoroni Shop basket for easy checkout.

GPIO Hammer Header (Solderless)
Male + Female + Installation Jig £6.60
GPIO Hammer Header (Solderless)
Male £2.10
GPIO Hammer Header (Solderless)
Female £3.00
Raspberry Pi Zero
Raspberry Pi Zero W
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Sandy Macdonald
Formerly, Sandy worked at the University of York, in the biology department, analysing data and telling people that they should have used more replicates. Now a fully-fledged crew member at Pimoroni - head of digital content - working on learning materials and digital chunterings. Find him on Twitter and most everywhere else, as sandyjmacdonald.