Making Vias for through hole components

I’m currently working on getting set up to brew some custom PCBs. I have most of the cheap parts I need, but before I buy anything expensive, I’m wondering how you guys make your vias. On any professional PCBs I’ve seen it seems they use copper rivets.

I’m wondering if anyone has had experience with these, and how they would rate them in terms of quality, ease of use, and how obtainable they are. When I try looking up via or vias on google, I get a lot of junk or things regarding “visas” :stuck_out_tongue:

Some other forums I’ve browsed reccomend using just a pice of wire to connect the pads on either end, but it doesn’t look as clean. If I could do the rivet method simply, I’d probably jump at the chance.

Any advice is quite appreciated.

I’ve used eyelets, also known as tube rivets to do this. It’s what was used in older circuit board technology before plated through holes became the norm. Vector makes them as T15.23 or T123. Here’s their catalog page:

http://www.vectorelect.com/Catpdf/New%20Page%2079.pdf

Keystone Electronics is another supplier of tin plated brass eyelets:

Basically size the pads appropriate to the eyelet dimensions, drill the hole, slip in and solder.

For vias, you can just solder a wire through on both sides. HOLES that need to connect top and bottom AND accept a component lead are another matter, and are a real pain on homebrew boards. I’ve been known to put extra vias immediately next to such pins, so that I can stick a wire through the via (not too hard) and not worry about having to solder both sides of the component pin (sometimes impossible) or using rivets or the equiv. Of course this only works if you’re designing the board yourself, rather than using a published design.

Yeah, having to solder both sides of a component was my biggest concern. I’ve heard when you heat one side, the other side can come loose. Sounds like a nightmare. I think I’ll look into some of the plated rivets. For simple projects, I’ll just try and stick to one side to keep things simple.

You could just carefully design your PCB so that all connections between sides are “straight” and then you can use jumper wires. That’s how I do it and I’m able to keep a lot of my boards “single sided” that way.

To be honest… making a double-sided PCB is the justification I need to give it to a fabrication shop. (My personal attempts at Double Side were bad enough I just won’t try it again)

You could just carefully design your PCB so that all connections between sides are “straight” and then you can use jumper wires.

I use something like this for my double sided boards. Place as much as possible on one side, then the few traces on the other side are all straight lines. Do the standard toner transfer for the complex side, use those itty-bitty otherwise useless drills in the cheap drill set I got to drill through the vias to mark the back side, and connect the dots with an etch resist pen (actually, I like a fine paint pen a lot better than an etch resist pen, and they’re easier to find locally). Etch as usual.

-j

I’ve heard when you heat one side, the other side can come loose.

No, most components have more than one pin so re heating the joint is no issue. Try removing some components to find out how hard it is to dislodge something once it is soldered onto a PCB.