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VIA' in home pcb work

Discussion in 'CAD' started by samiam, Feb 21, 2007.

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  1. samiam

    samiam Guest

    for a while now I have been doing double sided layouts and single sided
    boards - with the component traces tracked with jumper wire.

    I am now trying to do a TRUE double sided board and I wondered how you
    folks handled vias?

    I am thinking I should follow the same approach except that I would run
    the wire through the hold and simply solder both ends?. Actually I bend
    the wire and solder it to the trace at both ends.

    Messy but it seems to hold for now.
    Vias for signal traces are about 16mil in diameter. I drill the hole
    with a 17.7mil drill bit. I am thinking I should look for "thicker"
    jumper wire (instead of the 26awg) to stuff through the hole such that
    it holds and I can snip off both ends and solder it cleanly without
    having the bend it unto the trace

    Any of my gibberish making sense? Maybe Ill post a link to a picture later
  2. Chuck Harris

    Chuck Harris Guest

    I sometimes use a PCB milling machine to manufacture low volume, quick
    turn around prototypes. When I need to make double sided boards, I try
    and keep as many of the traces as possible on the bottom of the board,
    and use eyelets, soldered on both sides of the board, to make the top
    side interconnections. Vector and Keystone sell the eyelets, and tools
    to swage them into the board.

    Usually, I just send my artwork out and have the boards made. The quick
    turn around PCB market is extremely hungry and competitive.

  3. samiam

    samiam Guest

    Usually, I just send my artwork out and have the boards made. The quick
    Thanks Chuck.
    Can you recommend some manufacturers? Alas it would rob me of the job of
    both designing and building (1 out of 2 is enough?).

    I heard of a PCB house in Romania. Ideally Id like to start with
    reasonable PCB houses in the good old USA, if the difference between
    prices doesnt exceed $20 ;)

    Thanks again
  4. Chuck Harris

    Chuck Harris Guest


    Ideally Id like to start with
    It will.

    Olimex, in Bulgaria, makes crude, but good enough double sided, plated
    through, boards with silkscreen, and solder mask for $33 for a 6"x9"
    board. It costs about $10 to ship them home. They will put as many
    boards as you can fit on that panel, and depanelize them for free.

  5. Lionel

    Lionel Guest

    That's what lots of people do, yes.
  6. JeffM

    JeffM Guest

    As Chuck said, handing this off to a fab house
    should be considered. The relative economics
    are debated in these groups on a regular basis.*-quality+futurlec
    If you use an autorouter, learn about keepout.

    If you still feel compelled to DIY:
  7. Paul Burke

    Paul Burke Guest

    That's the way we used to do it before we counted the time we took into
    the cost of the PCB. Still useful for hobby purposes, but if you have
    the cash and better things to do with your time, the cheap prototype
    houses (e.g. PCB Pool or Newbury Electronics in the UK) are the way to
    go. Between about 1985 and 2000, we swallowed hard and got a batch made,
    then if it wasn't TOO bad, added the little wiggly wires to make it work
    before sending it out.

    Paul Burke
  8. A long time ago, prior to discover that it's easy and no so expensive to
    order PTH boards on the net, I used to etch my double-side PCBs at home too.
    For the vias I used the following method that could be helpful to others :

    - drill the holes with the smaller diameter you can
    - put the pcb on a rigid foam, like the antistatic foam used to store DIL
    chips. This is the trick...
    - using a small unisolated wire (like wrapping-style wire), put the wire in
    each via hole of the pcb, plug it in the foam, and cut it 5mm above the PCB.
    That way the wire is kept in place... Do it for all vias and leave the small
    wires vertical
    - Then solder each via on this side (but don't cut the wires...)
    - Then remove the PCB from the foam, reverse it and plus it back on the
    foam. That way the wires are now kept in place by the foam, soldered face
    down, this will help in the next phase...
    - then solder the vias on the second face, as quickly as possible in older
    to limit the flowing of the solder on the bottom face
    - Then remove the foam and cut all via wires on both faces.

    Quite long to explain (especially for a non-english native like me) but
    quite efficient.

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