I finally completed my $50 robot circuit last night (with possibly the messiest backplane soldering job in the history of robotics), and everything seems to be working fine. However, I'm pretty unhappy with how the connections to the programmer header ended up. The problem is that the thin wire I tried to use initially overheats pretty much instantly when I apply the iron to it, and the sheath melts off before I can get it secured in place. So I had to settle for thicker wire (20 gauge stranded, which seems to be able to sink enough heat for me to do the job without the wire falling off its sheath), with the effect that I actually have no idea how on earth the header isn't shorting (it isn't--I tested it with a multimeter *and* the MC programs successfully, runs servos, etc.) But I'd like to redo the programmer header wiring later on so that it doesn't suck (sooner or later one of these cables is going to get pushed the wrong way and short everything).
Any tips on successfully soldering thin sheathed wires? Should I reduce the heat on the iron? (I've been using 750F for the entire circuit, which worked well until I got to these thin wires). Use a different wire? Try to clip a heatsink of some sort onto the wire?