Circuit Construction Methods
I'm upgrading the status from "Under Construction" to "Gradually Expanding".
If you have experiences, tips, and opinions based in reality concerning
any of these or other construction methods, please feel free to share them
Eyelet & Tagboard
This is what most of us are used to looking at, as lots of commercial amps
have used this over the years. It is not the same as
point to point
- See Below for examples of point to
point wiring. Eyelet & Tagboard consists of
metal solder cups, called eyelets, pressed into a carrier board.
- Easy repair
- Modifications relatively easy (provided you don't need to add eyelets.)
- Fibreboard may become conductive.
- Components oriented lengthwise with respect to the board may experience
cracked solder joints with flexure.
Point to Point
Point to point wiring uses the leads of the components to connect circuit
nodes wherever possible. As you can see in the example below, it is possible
to pack an incredible amount of circuitry into a small volume, since you have
three dimensions to work in. The second example shows (if you look carefully)
the use of terminal strips to provide secure anchor points when you need
to bring components together at a point not mechanically fixed to chassis
in some fashion. (I.e., attached to a tube socket, or a chassis mounted pot,
- Circuit density can be higher than other types.
- Can be difficult to modify or repair. (See photo #1.)
- Heat can be a problem, especially with components connected directly to
I've found layout to be just as tricky as any other method, if not more so.
Also, I strongly suggest anchoring connections which don't already go to chassis
- Economical for mass production.
- Excellent repeatability.
- Modification is often difficult.
- Vibration and board flexure may crack solder joints or traces.
Volumes have been written about PCB design and construction, especially DIY
stuff, so I'll leave the explanations to others. Two good starting points
are Himpe's FAQ, and the UNLV Prototyping document, found below.
PCB Design Tools
pcb v1.3 - An X11 based program for Printed Circuit layout. (Source only)
Easytrax - A DOS based PCB Layout program.
Components are placed on the
perfboard, and connections are made with component leads on the underside.
This is the method I've used up to the present.
- Modifications involve removing the circuit board.
I don't have any pictures yet, but I have dabbled with the Mini-Clips
a few times now. No one else has volunteered any experiences or
comments, so I guess that makes me the expert by default. (A position I'll
be more than happy to relinquish.)
- Can make modifications without having to remove the board.
- Slightly slower than perfboard.
The clips come in two sizes that I'm aware of, and the .042" hole size
is what I've been using. I believe there is a tool made for pressing these
into the perf board without closing the clip (or cutting your fingers), but
I've just used fingers to date. The clip pokes through the board just enough
to make a decent solder connection on the other side, should you need to -
but that defeats one of the advantages this method has over the more normal
perf board construction. (Being able to get at all of your circuit connections
without removing the board.
$Revision: 1.3 $
$Date: 1997/02/08 08:23:54 $