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DIYstompboxes.com  |  DIY Stompboxes  |  Building your own stompbox  |  PCCB (printed cardboard circuit board) 0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic. « previous next »
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Author Topic: PCCB (printed cardboard circuit board)  (Read 2525 times)
343 Salty Beans
Posts: 443



PCCB (printed cardboard circuit board)
« on: October 03, 2006, 01:30:00 PM »

So I took a lesson from commonsound.org:

http://www.commonsound.com/kits/doku.php?id=commonsound:making_the_board

I've been antsy to start a project and my PCBs are still on their way from tonepad, so I started a moosapotamus Bass Paralooper.

http://www.moosapotamus.net/THINGS/paraloop.htm

 It's a strangely shaped circuit board...kinda long...but I digress. I decided to try my hand at point-to-point.



It's a really simple process...I recommend doing it all in one sitting. Otherwise, you lose track of where you were and you have to spend about 10 minutes flipping the board around and trying figure out where all those extra leads go  icon_mad. Once I started soldering, it probably took me about an hour and a half to finish it.

I printed out the PCB, and then printed out a second copy in reverse. I tried using the PCB layout on the top of the board, but it was too small and too pixellated to read. Printing out the PCB traces only was just easier to see and do.

I glued two pieces of cereal-box cardboard together, then put the top PCB (unmirrored) on and glued it. Then I put two thumbtacks through lead holes on opposite ends of the board. I lined up the mirrored version on the back with the two thumbtacks, then glued it on. As you may (or may not...I scanned the board cuz I don't have a digital camera  icon_redface) be able to see, I still didn't get it perfect, but it was suitable enough to see what I was doing.

Here's the (very blurry) front of the board:



Key to the whole thing is being SUPER-ORGANIZED. I printed out a parts list (R1 = value, C1 = value, etc.), and the PCB layout. On the PCB layout, I colored in a part once it was on the board, and went over the trace in pink sharpie once two leads were soldered together for a 'trace'. Once both leads of the part were soldered and cut, I crossed it out on the parts list. It keeps you from screwing up to bad, though I made a few screwups anyways  Roll Eyes

A note on this project: if you DO do this (or make an ACTUAL pcb), C6 is going to get in the way of the IC or IC socket. I would either use paint/photoshop/whatever software to expand the layout by a centimeter or so in that spot, or just make the leads longer and have the cap stick up a little. It was a giant pain in the rear to get that IC socket in for me.

Conclusion: If you don't want to spend the $ on etching supplies, or your college won't let you have chemicals like that in your dorm room  Grin, then I say go with this method. Smaller than vero and perf, not too messy, didn't take too long, and I'm gonna go clip on some jacks and a battery to see if it works  icon_biggrin. Cheerio!


343SB
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joelap
Posts: 428


Joe - Connecticut, USA


Re: PCCB (printed cardboard circuit board)
« Reply #1 on: October 03, 2006, 02:25:59 PM »

Wow, that's cool-looking.  I'm sure for people with the resources to make their own boards its probably useless and tedious, but for people like myself who havent made a circuit board yet and would like to try piecing together my own layouts in a board-like fashion instead of perf, its a pretty cool idea.
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- witty sig -
Moonface
Posts: 127


Re: PCCB (printed cardboard circuit board)
« Reply #2 on: October 03, 2006, 02:26:56 PM »

VERY nice!!  Shocked Shocked Shocked Shocked HUGE + to you!
Now I can mass-produce FF ckts for dirt cheap, thanks!  Cheesy
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343 Salty Beans
Posts: 443



Re: PCCB (printed cardboard circuit board)
« Reply #3 on: October 03, 2006, 03:17:32 PM »

VERY nice!!  Shocked Shocked Shocked Shocked HUGE + to you!
Now I can mass-produce FF ckts for dirt cheap, thanks!  Cheesy

Thanks, but if people ever open up the FF you made them and see cardboard and printer paper, I don't think they'll be terribly please with the build quality  Grin I kid, I kid.
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$uperpuma
Posts: 1065


Nate Garcia


WWW
Re: PCCB (printed cardboard circuit board)
« Reply #4 on: October 03, 2006, 03:36:45 PM »

i thought I recognized that circuit Smiley (just built one)  to take it up one notch, Dann recommends using masonite in place of cardboard.
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Breadboards are as invaluable as underwear - and also need changed... -R.G.
bancika
Posts: 1950


Branislav S.


WWW
Re: PCCB (printed cardboard circuit board)
« Reply #5 on: October 03, 2006, 04:34:04 PM »

it would be nice to put some piece of plastic or somthing similar between, just to make it more stiff...anyway, great idea Smiley
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RickL
Posts: 632

Rick L (what a shock)


Re: PCCB (printed cardboard circuit board)
« Reply #6 on: October 03, 2006, 06:34:09 PM »

I've been building using that method now for years and it works great. I use Formica (countertop laminate) as a substrate. You can get samples at just about any hardware/building materials store for free that are big enough for a lot of the simpler projects and a 2 foot by 4 foot piece will only cost you a couple of dollars and give you enough material for dozens of projects.

I've built projects as complex as the Craig Anderton Quadrafuzz and many of the Boscorelli circuits using this method with a very high rate of success. I'm surprised it's not promoted more.

Rick
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moosapotamus
Posts: 1591


New Hampshire USA


WWW
Re: PCCB (printed cardboard circuit board)
« Reply #7 on: October 03, 2006, 07:22:00 PM »

Nice, beans! Cool

I've done the cardboard thing, too. I've also used the same technique with perfboard, the kind that's just holes on 0.1" centers, no copper pads or traces. Works great and is very sturdy. I just hold the piece of perfboard up to a lightbulb with my printout of the copper/solder side on top, line it up with the light shining through the holes in the perfboard and glue it down, then flip it over and do the same with the printout of the component side. It's pretty easy to get the top and bottom PCB images to line up that way. Poking out only the holes you need is easy using a pushpin, mechanical pencil tip, component leads, whatever... Cool

~ Charlie
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moosapotamus.net
"I tend to like anything that I think sounds good."
markm
Posts: 3953


Mark M.


Re: PCCB (printed cardboard circuit board)
« Reply #8 on: October 03, 2006, 07:32:23 PM »

Some really great ideas and interesting too!
Thank you  icon_smile
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Paul Perry (Frostwave)
Posts: 7470

Paul P.


Re: PCCB (printed cardboard circuit board)
« Reply #9 on: October 03, 2006, 07:58:55 PM »

...I use Formica (countertop laminate) as a substrate. ..I've built projects as complex as the Craig Anderton Quadrafuzz and many of the Boscorelli circuits using this method with a very high rate of success. I'm surprised it's not promoted more.

If you can do a Boscorelli, you can do anything!! hell of a lot of parts in those!
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coffyrock
Posts: 113



WWW
Re: PCCB (printed cardboard circuit board)
« Reply #10 on: October 03, 2006, 09:12:21 PM »

what a cool idea!
but, are there any drawbacks to using a plastic middle with paper PCB on top?
Anything to accidently short out/conduct etc... icon_question

I think this would help me grasp the layout part of building a lot better and lead to some much neater builds later on.
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Built so far: ROG Ruby, matching pair of LPB2s, Mr. Clean, Easy Drive,
Next up: Bazz Fuss, ROG Grace Overdrive, Smashdrive.
343 Salty Beans
Posts: 443



Re: PCCB (printed cardboard circuit board)
« Reply #11 on: October 03, 2006, 09:57:04 PM »

what a cool idea!
but, are there any drawbacks to using a plastic middle with paper PCB on top?
Anything to accidently short out/conduct etc... icon_question

I think this would help me grasp the layout part of building a lot better and lead to some much neater builds later on.

Nope...nothing really to short out. I used a magnifying glass to go over the back to make sure there were no shorts and that the solder joints were firm.

well, a plastic core would require a drill bit...so I used cardboard just fine. It didn't bend too bad, because I poked the holes out with a thumbtack on some soft wood. Kept the cardboard straight but got the holes done.

Right now I'm in the middle of putting on the wires, and it's HELL to get copper-strand wire through those things. I've learned to despise solid-core though...it takes some enlarging of the holes with a thumbtack, poking through both ways.

Thanks for the great project, Charlie.  Smiley

This is probably the neatest build I've done, except when I rewired my first build. I really recommend this method. Once again, not something I would sell...it would really upset those mojo-tone people to find out their circuit is made of cardboard. Of course, SOLID CARDBOARD CORE might be the new mojo trend  Roll Eyes...
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