Author Topic: Protoboard Wire Securing  (Read 1185 times)

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Offline FlyMario

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Protoboard Wire Securing
« on: March 14, 2019, 04:36:21 pm »
So I have been working on a Z80 computer build and using protoboard (and strip board) to build my circuits.  For wires I have been using 30awg wire wrapping wire soldering to connections.

I am wondering if you guys think UV Adhesive would work to hold the wires in a group to tidy them up and keep them out of the way.  I would normally use hot glue but really... I am tired of burnt fingers and spider webs all over.

Any suggestion other than wait for the glue to cool down... or use gloves? :)

Thanks!

Fly Mario
 

Online coppercone2

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Re: Protoboard Wire Securing
« Reply #1 on: March 14, 2019, 04:39:16 pm »
route your wires nicer.

They are not dressed very nicely. Get a tool like a dowel with a notch in it to press the wire down against the PCB while you lay it down and stretch it tight and get a feel for how much you need to strip and bend. It will look alot better if you do just that. Get flush cutters to cut it as its laid flat on a PCB (with a fine nose pitch), then you will get precise layout.

Zip ties and a zip tie gun would work nicely in addition to this. But it looks kinda messy right now, like a person that did not comb their hair. For instance wires between the two labels have a S shaped snake to them, its possible with a tool and slight stretching to make them lay directly between the chips in nice parallel runs.

In my classes with protoboarding there was one professor that would have you possibly re-do that circuit because its messy!
« Last Edit: March 14, 2019, 04:41:41 pm by coppercone2 »
 
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Online coppercone2

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Re: Protoboard Wire Securing
« Reply #2 on: March 14, 2019, 04:45:03 pm »
example of neat layout. I can't find a nice one with higher gauge wire. You also need the right kind of wire, not stuff that is springy (horrific for this kind of work)



With the right wire (usually decent brand single core (multi core is possible too if you play around looking for the right kind) you won't need to really secure it alot. A few zip ties will do but often unnecessary unless your moving it around alot etc.
 

Online coppercone2

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Re: Protoboard Wire Securing
« Reply #3 on: March 14, 2019, 04:49:14 pm »
Another thing you can use is get yourself a pair of flat jaw pliers with a sharp tip, preferably nylon (you might need to make these) so you can hold wire down and pull on it to straiten it out.

And look up "robrenz" user post about forcep modifications. You take a pair of forceps (like the kind used for surgery or the kind sold at a store like dicks sporting goods in the fishing section), file/grind the teeth flat if they have teeth, and take a diamond file or dremel to cut a little rounded groove in them at a slightly smaller diameter then the wire you are using. Use sand paper or finer files and or polish to get them sooth and rounded so you can grip around the wire like a little clamp that is very thin (would reach into there) and grab fully around the wire without damaging the insulation to allow you to bend it into shape while running it inside of a groove).

and or this:

https://www.all-spec.com/Catalog/Hand-Power-Tools/Pliers/Electronics-Pliers/S330AE-49761?gclid=CjwKCAjw96fkBRA2EiwAKZjFTYPp6k71MnLPWtlyfSfWbGPAVHTA99DVuY_wJs6IfupOke74eMMjURoCnU4QAvD_BwE



You might find you need a few different tools to make it look right. It's a bit like building a ship in a bottle.
« Last Edit: March 14, 2019, 04:51:06 pm by coppercone2 »
 

Offline FlyMario

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Re: Protoboard Wire Securing
« Reply #4 on: March 14, 2019, 04:50:36 pm »
Yeah, I see this kind of stuff on Youtube and on google.  It is incredible!  I plan mostly of making circuit boards when done and move everything over. But have a lot of work to do still.  Sometimes I feel like I am going to yank a wire away.
 

Online coppercone2

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Re: Protoboard Wire Securing
« Reply #5 on: March 14, 2019, 04:52:20 pm »
if you do it for a while your solder joints will improve and you will develop more hand eye coordination for this job. most people don't really know how to do it right from the beginning, its like being a ant eater or chimp or building a ship in a bottle. And you need to find comfortable tools, work position, etc. My back used to hurt alot when I started electronics.

Breadboard/solderboard/deadbug is defiantly a fine skill that requires practice. With those kinds of wiring runs you will find that eventually you develop a intuition for how to cut the wire so it lays flat and neat without recutting many times (like pipe bending radius, after a while the pro can eyeball it to the same level as careful measurements with sharpie).

If you lay it down, bend it, cut it, and its off.. don't just jam it back in there. Take it back out carefully and trim it so its right. In your head you will develop the aspect ratios eventually.

Also have a look at electrical boxes done by pro electricians. They often don't use any fasteners or anything, but the wire is perfectly neat.

People refer to this kind of craftsmenship as 'wiring porn'. It's kind of like basket weaving in a way too.
« Last Edit: March 14, 2019, 04:57:45 pm by coppercone2 »
 

Online coppercone2

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Re: Protoboard Wire Securing
« Reply #6 on: March 14, 2019, 04:59:14 pm »
the other thing is too there is a tradeoff between neatness and resistance/impedance. If you are doing something precise (i.e. high current) you might prefer a non-neat solution because then you use less wire, and its not bunched up so its thermal capacity is greater if its in a big messy matrix since it cools better and is shorter so you get more precise results. Thermal, electrical, cost, robustness, mechanical and visual is a big fight between each other.

Like if you have a well insulated cable and a conductor burns out it will take down the entire bus. If its messy crap then it will just burn and not effect other things. So repair might be cheaper (but possibly require more skill to dig into a wire mess and fish something out), since you are not needing to replace many conductors. And more perilous because its hard to follow wire that's in a tumbleweed configuration, so you can misconnect easily and burn something.

oh yea with stiff wire, you can bend it into shape BEFORE you solder one end in, then carefully lower it into position with fine pliers and solder it in. Think about it like making your own lego pieces, not laying a telephone wire in the middle of a battle field.

It makes me think of the movie Stalingrad, where the german soldiers are crawling through debris and bushes with spools of telephone wire on their back to lay a communication system lol
« Last Edit: March 14, 2019, 05:07:26 pm by coppercone2 »
 

Offline FlyMario

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Re: Protoboard Wire Securing
« Reply #7 on: March 14, 2019, 05:36:11 pm »
Thanks, guys.  Honestly, I like digital electronics.  Just not good at all with analog.  The computer will run around 7.2mhz.  Impedance and capacitance is something I keep trying to avoid.  I am just a 53-year-old hobbyist with no training to speak of. Sometimes I look at all the wires and think... I could receive signals from mars with this.  It's probably rough on you skilled folks to have someone like me yolo'ing his way through circuits.  :-DD

 

Online mariush

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Re: Protoboard Wire Securing
« Reply #8 on: March 14, 2019, 05:55:58 pm »
Prototyping boards are so cheap on eBay (here's an example )that you can put a bunch of chips (for example those 3 in your picture at the bottom) on a small chunk of prototyping board with right angle 0.1" pins ("dupont") and then solder that to the main board.

Ribbon cable is also cheap, for example old IDE cables are perfectly good source of 40 or 80 lengths of wire, and you can cut in segments of your desired length.
 

Online Ian.M

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Re: Protoboard Wire Securing
« Reply #9 on: March 14, 2019, 07:02:47 pm »
First tidy it up so you can get the wiring to lay flat and be reasonably routed then lace your wiring with waxed linen thread (or proper lacing cord) and a blunted curved needle into as many looms as it takes to do the job without excessive crosstalk, tied down at strategic points through spare holes of the protoboard.

See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cable_lacing for a quick overview.
 
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Offline rdl

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Re: Protoboard Wire Securing
« Reply #10 on: March 14, 2019, 09:34:36 pm »
Looks okay to me, considering it's a prototype. I've certainly seen much worse.

Quote from:  Pablo Picasso
"When you make a thing, a thing that is new, it is so complicated making it that it is bound to be ugly. But those that make it after you, they don’t have to worry about making it. And they can make it pretty, and so everybody can like it when others make it after you."

 
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Online Gyro

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Re: Protoboard Wire Securing
« Reply #11 on: March 14, 2019, 09:48:43 pm »
A simple loop of wire wrap wire, threaded down two adjacent holes and then knotted on the back is my standard way of securing longer connection runs. It's easily removable and infinitely less hassle than glue!
Chris

"Victor Meldrew, the Crimson Avenger!"
 
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Offline Kean

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Re: Protoboard Wire Securing
« Reply #12 on: March 15, 2019, 12:13:06 pm »
A simple loop of wire wrap wire, threaded down two adjacent holes and then knotted on the back is my standard way of securing longer connection runs. It's easily removable and infinitely less hassle than glue!

Yes, this ^^ is exactly the method I use, and have used for 35 years.

I am a lot neater now by default through all that practice, but sometimes you just need to hold down those long wire runs neatly.
 
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Online KL27x

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Re: Protoboard Wire Securing
« Reply #13 on: March 23, 2019, 10:40:07 pm »
^^ yep, yep. + sometimes wrapping bundles of 30 AWG wires with.... a piece of 30 AWG wire. But hot glue is great for only a few wires. OP get one of those CHEAP glue guns with the temp adjust dial. Yeah, it will take forever to heat up compared to an expensive super glue shooter, but you can leave it on all day without burning the glue or your fingers.

As for tidy, I find it is insane waste of time to cut the wire exactly to the right length. Then you have to flip the board around to solder the other connection, and you have to capture that loose end with tweezers. And then it will want to twist and turn the wrong way. So then you have to fiddle with the end to get it to point the right way, cuz you have no extra wire to manipulate. And then when you solder it, the insulation softens and where you are holding the end with the tweezers, it smooshes and exposes the wire.

I solder the first end, then lay the wire to the other connection, strip it there with one of those open-ended strippers and solder the other end. Only after both ends are soldered do I cut the wire. Nice and tidy. You might have to bend the wire a bit to get the right angles for the second joint, but you're bending it in the middle and you never need to hold the wire with tweezers, just your fingers, because you never need to hold it so close to the joint. For really short connections, reveal a long length of bare wire before you solder the first end, then strip a short section of Kynar and slide it down in place like a piece of macaroni on a string. (With a longer jumper, you have more room to strip it in the middle, plus the longer length of insulation has more room to compress as you push the wire stripper to break the insulation. Hence, why I leave a longer naked end of wire with the short jumpers.)
« Last Edit: March 23, 2019, 11:01:36 pm by KL27x »
 

Offline tkamiya

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Re: Protoboard Wire Securing
« Reply #14 on: May 19, 2019, 11:20:20 pm »
Cotton thread is a nice way to bundle wires and keep them organized.  Not every wiring has to be work of art.  However, keeping it neat will help trace wires and debug when necessary.  I woldn't use glue.  Inevitably, you will want to change one thing or another and glue will make that task much more difficult.
 

Online tggzzz

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Re: Protoboard Wire Securing
« Reply #15 on: May 19, 2019, 11:38:35 pm »
Thanks, guys.  Honestly, I like digital electronics.  Just not good at all with analog.  The computer will run around 7.2mhz.  Impedance and capacitance is something I keep trying to avoid.  I am just a 53-year-old hobbyist with no training to speak of. Sometimes I look at all the wires and think... I could receive signals from mars with this.  It's probably rough on you skilled folks to have someone like me yolo'ing his way through circuits.  :-DD

The 7.2MHz is irrelevant; what matters is the rise/fall time. For an overview of the theory and some measrurements, see https://entertaininghacks.wordpress.com/2018/05/08/digital-signal-integrity-and-bandwidth-signals-risetime-is-important-period-is-irrelevant/

Don't get too hung up about the neatness of signal connections, and your "style" can even have less crosstalk.

Do worry about power distribution. If you haven't got a ground plane, then create a grid with wires. Don't forget decoupling capacitors.
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