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Topic: Making Shields (Read 1 time) previous topic - next topic


I just tried making my first shield.  I successfully created the headers on protoboard using the following method.


However, my point to point soldering skills are not so great.  Actually making the soldering joints was a challenge, to say the least.  This shield will have at least 38 connections, so that's at least 76 solder joints and a rat's nest of thin-gauge wire.

Does anyone have any tips on point to point soldering?  I'm using 30-gauge solid core wire.  I find that if I wrap the wire around whatever I'm trying to solder to, it works pretty well if I can get the wire to stay in the right place.  However, it's still really a pain.

What are the steps involved in making a PCB?  This would be so much easier when it comes to actually constructing the board.  I have Eagle CAD and I'm getting pretty good at it, but how do I go from CAD drawing to board?  Can I do this myself, or should I have the board made?  What options do I have here?


For making a PCB yourself, you could try a search for "toner transfer".  It's a very well-known method and I've found that it works well!


i've used toner transfer, it works quite well. you can buy pcb etching kits from places like maplin. some include photo sensitive board so you can use transparencies if you dont have a lazer printer. i picked mine up second hand for about £20.    


Im really new to this world of soldering and PCBs but have just started etching my own boards using this dirt cheap and easy technique.

With Eagle its really easy to go from schismatic to board, here is a tutorial that had me doing it in under half an hour of downloading Eagle.

then maybe you can down load the eagle files from here
http://macetech.com/blog/node/69 as they have the Arduino shield all set up so you can make what ever shield you can think off! :)

Toner transfer is a very easy way to make PCB.....just be safe when etching as all etching agents are harsh.


I've been looking into this.  How hard is it to make two-sided boards?  The board I want to make has a lot of traces (which is why it's so hard to wire point to point), and eagle is ending up with a ton of air wires when I try to route it on a single-sided board.


Doing both sides looks easy, but i think it would really be tricky to line up with such small margins for error and is not something i would feel comfortable doing till i have a lot more experience.

It my be worth laying your borad out in Eagle, then typing in "RAT" in the console.

this will rethink how it has the wires placed and reduce air wires.  


I've done the rat's nest tool before routing.  There's just too many traces on a small board.  I'll figure out how many air wires there are remaining, and probably just go with that.  The number of air wires still won't be anything like the number of wires I'd have to solder point to point.


If side 2 isn't too complex, I've got a method I described in this thread.



The point to remember when laying out a two sided board for DIY making is that you will not have plated through holes. Therefore any through hole will have to be soldered on both sides. As has been pointed out alignment is tricky so make any of the top to bottom connections on a larger pad than you would normally use if you were having it made.
Also layout the through connections so as to be not on a component like an IC where you can't solder both sides if it is in a socket.


If you don't want to think about doing a two-sided board, but have too many traces, use eagle to maximize the number of "bottom" connections.  Now make the incomplete one-sided board and solder wires to make the missing connections.



That's an interesting solution, but that's not the problem.  I've already made a shield that docks with the Arduino just fine.  The problem is wiring what's on the shield, which would be too difficult for me to do.  I estimated there are over 75 solder joints and 38 wires going all over the place.  This thread is more about constructing a PCB than interfacing it with the Arduino.

I really like that solution though.  Future versions of the Arduino should have that as a standard feature, though perhaps not done the same way.


Feb 27, 2009, 08:35 pm Last Edit: Feb 27, 2009, 08:39 pm by kimio Reason: 1
I removed my writing at #10.
Because it was not relations of this thread.

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