Picture of How to Assemble a Printed Circuit Board (PCB)
PCB circa 19533x2.jpg

How to assemble a PCB by hand intro: Printed circuit boards or PCBs are at the heart of modern electronic equipment. Without them many of the electronics we use would be impossible to build. Computers, cell phones, TVs, Blu-ray players and such would not exist. The first PCBs, actually called printed wire boards were made by hand using Masonite or other such product. Prior to PCBs, electronic devices such as televisions and radios were wired by hand. Imagine something as complicated as a television being completely hand wired (Fig. 1). Modern PCBs arrived in the 1950s. They were made from phenolic materials and were single-sided (Fig 2). Modern PCBs are made from several different materials such as fiberglass and its variants, Teflon, and woven glass polyester. However, this is not a complete list. New materials are being invented all the time. Printed circuit boards can be one layer or many layers depending on the complexity of the device being made. Single-sided circuit boards use through-hole components whereas multi-layered boards are likely to use surface mounted components. Multi-layered PCBs using surface mounted devices can be populated much more densely. This is imperative for modern electronic devices (Fig 3). Most hobbyists are likely to use a single or two-sided PCB and through-hole components for ease of assembly. Thanks to improving PCB fabrication processes together with healthy competition, printed circuit boards are affordable for most hobbyists and companies seeking prototype boards alike. One board shop that I have had the best experience with so far is Custom Circuit Boards. Try dropping them a line if you are need of more sophisticated boards that you can fabricate yourself. OK, back to the tutorial on how to hand assemble a Printed Circuit Board.

bwetman1 year ago

Very nice work....
Really like it..

nkiegrea (author)  bwetman1 year ago

Thank you sir! Glad you liked it!

OSH Park makes EXCELLENT and inexpensive boards, in fact here is a link to many open source "projects" that I have found and are sharing


floxin3 years ago
After a while the soldering iron tip gets black (like covered in soot) and the nicely shaped needle point tip gets dull. I normally file the whole tip with a metal file (or use sandpaper) till a shiny copper surface is exposed. Is there anything wrong with that?
nkiegrea (author)  floxin2 years ago
I don't see any immediate problem, except that you could decrease the life expectancy for either tool.
floxin3 years ago
Congrtultions for listing the dental probe under "tools" It has been an extremely useful tool in my work. My friendly dentist gave me a few used ones. It seems that dentists discard/replace them after some time anyway. Note that the friendly dentist went one step further. Before giving the probes to me he put them in the sterilizer (risk of infection or worse if by accident I pinch myself). If you cannot get that sort of attention, dump the probes in a a little tray with Clorox, wait a few minutes and then rinse under the tap (stainless and Clorox are not good friends).
nkiegrea (author)  floxin2 years ago
It works out nicely that you have a friendly dentist to provide you with some free dental probes. :-)

Good tip for the dipping them in Clorox.