Creating your own PCBs can be annoying – especially when trying to make them compact and contain many parts. Routing can be very difficult. Luckily, we can make our own double-sided PCBs just as easily. However, the problem now is finding a way to create vias and plated through holes at home safely, efficiently, effectively, quickly, easily and cheaply. Large chemical through-plating machines are out of the question. There must be an easier way to do it.
I came across a webpage a while back which had a few ideas for tackling this issue: http://www.electricstuff.co.uk/pcbs.html
There are several ways to overcome the vias/plated through-hole problem:
- Easy, quick, cheap, works for most ICs and components. The IC holders can be a bit tricky though, as well as certain capacitors and funny components.
- Connects one side of the board to the other – like a plated through hole.
- For vias, a smaller hole can be placed and a wire can be soldered through it on both sides of the PCB. This is slow and annoying.
Linking pins and rivets:
- These linking pins (http://www.harwin.com/search/T1559-01?ProductSearch=True) seem to be very interesting and provide a quick and easy solution for vias.
- For through-holes, the following system can be used: http://www.megauk.com/through_hole_rivets.php. The machine is expensive and is not necessary. According to the first article mentioned on this post, the rivets can be placed easily with tweezers alone. They seem to be relatively inexpensive (cost 20 pounds for package of 1000 rivets).