Construction Tips

Circuit : Andy Collinson
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Mounting PCB's and Veroboards
An easy and quick way to fasten veroboards or PCB's to a cabinet or case is to use woodscrews and screwcups. Do not over tighten as this can crack the board. (See below).

Fasten veroboard using screws Wiring
When more than one wire is present in your circuit, the wires soon become bulky. To prevent excessive movement cable straps, bread ties and string can all be put to good use, to keep the cable 'looms' neat and tidy,see below. Fixing with cable ties

If your project has a front panel or cover that is removable then stranded wire is recommended. Solid wire is prone to break with frequent movement, stranded cable is more flexible and has greater resistance to breakages if the circuit is subject to movement.

Soldering components requires an extra pair of hands, you may find a small plastic vice helpful to hold the board steady while you concentrate on soldering. Using a hobby vice to hold circuit board

Soldered joints should be bright and shiny, trim component leads short and flush to the board after soldering.

Close up inspection of soldered joint on veroboard

The distance between tracks on a veroboard is only 0.1 inch. You may find a magnifying glass helpful to check for shorts between tracks, or test with a multi-meter on the ohms range. I have wrote a complete article on how to produce a veroboard layout from a schematic, click this link.

Order of Components
When building a circuit either on PCB or veroboard layout, some components are more sensitive to heat from your soldering iron. It is therefore better to insert components starting, with wire links, IC sockets and any connectors first. Then follow with passive components, resistors, capacitors, inductors. Finally insert and solder diodes, semiconductors and IC's. If you have used an IC socket then insert the IC last, observe handling precautions as some components can be damaged by static discharge. An anti-static mat or wristband connected to a safety earth can prevent static discharge from destroying components. After soldering it is advisable to use a flux residue removing spray, or wipe the board with isopropol alcohol to remove any resin deposits on the board.
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