Electronics > Manufacturing & Assembly

Home-made PCBs and vias

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Hello tinkerers...

Do you have any suggestion for a better approach to vias than what I do (see below)?

I currently drill a hole, put a wire through, and solder the wire on the top and bottom layer, following the track.

It works reasonably well, but will not allow me to work with tracks under 0.5mm (currently doing 1mm).

Any suggestion?

I have just read about http://fab.cba.mit.edu/classes/863.16/doc/tutorials/PCB_Rivets/ on https://www.eevblog.com/forum/manufacture/cheap-source-for-0-6mm-via-rivets/

Maybe that is a more proper solution.

I use wire, but I don't lap it as you show.  I use 24 awg wire, which is about 0.020" diameter, and a small carbide drill (#72 = 0.025,  #75 = 0.021).  Anything in that range will work.  The wire stays in by friction.  If that's not sufficient, then flatten one end a little, and it will stay.  Solder to the "annular ring" that surrounds pads and vias. 

Since 0.5 mm = 0.020", that method is not suitable for anything smaller.  Drilling much smaller holes and smaller wire is a possibility, but such holes can be hard to drill without a good set-up.

The easiest way for DIY vias... is not to have vias!  Embrace 0 Ohm surface mount resistors for short hops across a trace or two and 0 Ohm through hole resistors for longer hops, soldered top-side.

When it comes to actual vias, I have used rivets (0.8mm, aka eyelets), soldered both sides.  But... it's not cheap and honestly doesn't add much other than being a bit easier to insert (but even then, not that easy) and looking a bit cleaner on top maybe.

Wire sized for the via drill hole and solder is about as good as any.

Of course, it's 2022, you can get factory made boards for cheap and fast from China, with as many vias as you want :-)

Something I've thought of but I'm yet to try: fill the holes with conductive paint.  You'd probably have to paint both sides separately to ensure a good connection.  Likely still much faster overall?

Up to 30 MHz, mix of analog and digital, I can use single sided boards just by adding a few wire links.
This reduces the drilling.
I have some self imposed rules and methods:

Alway use board size 3000 by 2000 (inch).
-This allows use of one vacuuum jig for uv exposure.
-can get 4 boards from a 6 * 4 and 4 transparencies from one sheet
UV exposure is short, 75 second under intense uv lamp - which helps sharpness
Use only 1206 resistors - to allow a track to get through if necessary as sleeman mentioned.

Don't use TSSOP-14 - too difficult to solder (see lower left of photo)
For logic I now prefer the SN74AUP single gates per package in SOT23 5 or 6 pin
(See lower right of photo)

(Excuse the blur,can't get a tripod over that, as it is powered up)


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