How to Use Double Sided Prototype PCB
There are a few important steps you should know when you are trying to make a double-sided prototype PCB. First, you need to identify the components on the PCB. Some PCBs have copper strips at the bottom that serve as connections between components. You can use a drill bit to break these strips away, thereby making isolated strips of copper.
Transferring components from a breadboard to a stripboard
Transferring components from a breadboard to stripboard is a useful way to move a working circuit to a more permanent and accessible prototype board. Stripboards have horizontal copper tracks that mimic the breadboard rails. You can purchase pre-packaged retail stripboards, chip holders, header pins, and other component parts from electronics wholesalers.
Firstly, you need to prepare your stripboard. This can be done with a dedicated spot-cutter, a 4mm drill bit, or a strong stanley knife. The goal is to create two sets of parallel copper rails. To ensure that the stripboards have the same pins, do not connect chip sockets to two rows of the stripboard.
Once you’ve drilled holes in the Stripboard, you need to transfer the components to them. Most components will fit onto a Stripboard with holes on 0.1-inch centers. The holes are compatible with DIP integrated circuits and connectors. However, it is important to note that some components may not fit on a stripboard with a hole pattern that matches the board’s layout.
Identifying test points on a PCB
Test points are tiny exposed copper areas on a double sided prototype PCB that serve as points of access for the test probe. They are typically located on the bottom of the board, though more complex boards may have test points on both sides. Test points must be evenly distributed on the board to ensure that they are not shorted and will not damage the circuit during testing. Moreover, test points must be identified with meaningful labels or references to facilitate their identification.
Identifying test points on a double-sided prototype PCB is crucial to the successful testing of the circuit. Test points are areas where test signals are injected to determine if the circuit is functioning correctly. The test signal output is measured by a probe to determine whether the signal is low or high. Depending on the result, the proper changes can be made to improve the circuit.
While creating a prototype PCB, it is critical to identify test points before soldering. The process of assembling a double-sided prototype PCB can be automated or manual. The former requires human labor, while the latter requires machines. Through-hole packaging requires more space than surface-mounting, which can cause space and cost issues on smaller boards.
Soldering paste doesn’t work for PTH components
The soldering of Plated-Thru-Hole (PTH) components on circuit boards depends on a number of factors, including a high enough temperature and a well-accepting molten solder. Another factor is the condition of the copper itself, which can be heavily oxidized, and should be cleaned up with fine sandpaper. Proper soldering techniques are also necessary.
Solder paste is a mix of metal solder powder and a flux. The paste contains the proper amount of solder for the type of component and its melting point. The correct amount and place of solder paste is essential to ensure the proper bond. If solder paste doesn’t work properly, it can lead to a poor connection.
The paste can cause oxidation if it does not melt at the appropriate temperature. You can use a soldering paste syringe to apply the solder. Make sure you keep the paste in a Ziplock bag as air can cause it to dry.