Clearance on ground plane for 2-layer PCB?

Just about done with designing my first PCB. It's a 2-layer board.

It's going to have several through-hole parts that I will be hand-soldering.

My question is about clearance on the bottom layer between the ground plane and my through-hole components. Currently my clearance is set to 10 mil.

I'm worried that when hand soldering I could inadvertently connect one of these through-hole components to the ground plane if my soldering is a little sloppy. [I know first solution is to solder cleanly! I've been practicing!]

But wondering if a greater than 10 mil clearance is advisable?

That is what solder mask is for.

Paul

DOH - of course. (Yes, I'm not pouring bare copper on the bottom layer... )

Okay, thanks!!

steve20016:
My question is about clearance on the bottom layer between the ground plane and my through-hole components. Currently my clearance is set to 10 mil.

As a rule of thumb I will always stick to the defaults of the PCB design software, unless I have a very good reason to change this (like widening copper traces for high currents). Chances are that the people writing that software know better than you what a sensible value is here :slight_smile:

Clearance is more of an issue with higher voltage, for low voltage circuits for Arduino the default in many of the eda are fine. If you would like to read more about this please check the link.

https://www.smps.us/pcbtracespacing.html

For current the important parameters are: width, length, weight (oz of copper) and impedance or resistance.

Also flux will help prevent stray solder trails, it gives the solder good surface tension. Avoid using too much
solder, there are many online guides to what a solder joint should look like, basically there should be concave
surfaces, not convex.