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Author Topic: Holes too small on my PCB - now what?  (Read 920 times)
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Hi,

I proudly just received my 1st self-designed PCB, but alas, some holes are too small. I had 6x 3.5mm stereo jacks on the PCB (they have 5 pins each) but did not notice that the pins are larger than the typical resistor or IC - no matter how hard I push I can't get all 5 pins in (and have already broke 2 components in trying!).

Is there a cheap tool I could use to make the holes just that bit larger? I have 30 holes to work on so hopefully something that won't take an hour her hole!

thanks,

XBerg
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hi, is your board double-sided?? If you were to solder only the solder-side of your board, would you have all connections?

If you don't NEED the plated-through holes for circuit connectivity, just drill the holes out with a just-big-enough drill??

Other remote possibility: a long tapered pin or "awl" MIGHT be able to deform the holes/board just enough?

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Can you clip or crush the pins into a narrower shape?
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You now know why datasheets provide all the dimension data as well as electrical data (!)
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Clock-makers broaches are ideal for making small holes just a little larger.  Because you work (twist) them by hand there is minimal fear of things getting "out-of-hand" so to speak --- excuse the pun.
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Thank you all for the friendly replies - much appreciated.

Yes - it's a double sided PCB. I'm try with a small tool to make them bigger - not much risk as the place where I ordered sent me 10 PCB and I only need 1, so great to experiment.

Terry - is through-hole plating that important for connectivity, as opposed to just the copper ring around the hole?

thanks,

XBerg
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Quote
Terry - is through-hole plating that important for connectivity, as opposed to just the copper ring around the hole?

could be a problem if you cannot solder the top side, due to being covered by a component and it is used in a connection path.
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You may be able to overcome losing the through-hole connection by drilling the hole oversize and slipping in a piece of tinned copper wire.  Bend the ends so's it makes contact with the circuit runs and solder into place before fitting the component.
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If you do need the through-hole connections, then after drilling them out you may be able to solder the component leads on both sides of the board, if there is room to get at them on the top side. I have seen this done on autopilot circuit boards made in the 1970s before plated-through holes became common.
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