Testing Board Designs with OSH Park #OSHPark #PCBfab

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So I created this little project to have a board that disassembled and could be soldered together to create a solid 10-6 pin ISP converter. Knowing this was a probably not going to work, I sent my design to OSHpark to test the limitations. Pictured above is start to finish of what I wanted and what I received.

In doing this I was able to determine a couple things many of which I’m sure are a no brainer to those experienced individuals. Never the less I hope it proves useful to the less experienced.

  • Carefully consider the size of drill tooling when designing your board. You’ll notice I was trying to get small gaps that were too small.
  • Also with tooling size into consideration, you will not be able to get squared off edges notched into your board. Drill bits are round and will make rounded notches on your board.
  • If you want to do something super fancy like soldering pieces of pcb together using pads at the edges of the board. Make sure the pads are big enough to get a good solid connection with both boards. Also consider the minimum distance from the edge of the board, half your pad could be drilled off.
  • Use silk screens to indicate the orientation of your connector. I found it somewhat difficult to determine how my connectors are oriented because I left this feature out. Especially when I tried using the connector another way.

I still think it was a cool idea, but when I began separating the parts and putting it together I realized it may have been an over engineered product. It would’ve been easier to leave it flat and use angled headers to make the connection.

6 thoughts on “Testing Board Designs with OSH Park #OSHPark #PCBfab”

  1. It’s not clear to me what you were trying to do? Why not just have one connector facing down and one connector facing up, right next to each other on the board?

    1. I mean to put up a rough 3d model of what the end product was suppose to look like. It’s there now.

      I definitely over thought the design. I think I was more concerned about making an interesting design than anything else. Funny thing is when things didn’t work out it was only then that I realized I could’ve simply placed connectors on opposite sides of the board. Live and learn.

  2. You might also consider placing vias across the separation plane and then cutting (not snapping) the board across the vias, then solder the two boards together using the vias as board edge terminals.

    1. That’s not a bad idea. Would you sand the vias down to make the terminals or maybe offset them so they interlock?

      1. Ah I just saw the last picture where it shows what you were going for, I didn’t see that one in the loop the first time around. I thought you were trying to stack the boards on top of each other flat-wise. The idea I was thinking of is more how these bluetooth modules are done http://www.seeedstudio.com/depot/serial-port-bluetooth-module-masterslave-p-572.html they solder right onto pads on a lower PCB, but you can use this method to get the copper on a boards edge.

        1. Ahhh that makes complete sense. I should have added that image when first posting this article. I apologize for the confusion.

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