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Re: Via-Mag (concept SMD prototype assembly)

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  • Richard
    Concept example pics are now here: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Homebrew_PCBs/photos/album/2086759579/pic/list Assembly update method: After drilling the
    Message 1 of 11 , Jun 1, 2010
      Concept example pics are now here:
      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Homebrew_PCBs/photos/album/2086759579/pic/list

      Assembly update method:

      After drilling the micro-vias, I have found that just a standard sewing needle works great to imprint the inward "dimple" to roll in smooth the copper to protect the mag wire from chaffing.






      --- In Homebrew_PCBs@yahoogroups.com, "Richard" <richard.liberatoscioli@...> wrote:
      >
      > In my quest for the "quintessential" SMD prototyping method for the "Homebrewer" to easily fabricate complex, micro-sized, multi-chip electronic circuitry of today ….. this concept assembly suggests an extremely fast and high quality solution.
      >
      > GENERAL FEATURES:
      >
      > This process targets the small sized and mobile ultra-low powered MCU and RF designs.
      >
      > Easily replicate the recommended highly engineered manufactures PCB reference designs for this components layout.
      >
      > PCB interconnections to extremely fine pitch 64 pin QFN and discrete micro-sized 0402 resistors/capacitors/inductors is quick and easy.
      >
      > Affords both high and low current wiring requirements with "self-stripping" and "solderable" solid copper magnet wire (traces).
      >
      > Provides a full board solid copper bottom layer for high speed MCU and RF designs requiring very low ground impedance including RF coplanar transmission lines.
      >
      > Any size conventional PCB SMD densities with multiple board layer designs are easily equaled with just one standard, single sided, FR4 board.
      >
      > There is absolutely no "etching or printing" of conductive traces in this process.
      >
      > All IC pins and discretes terminating to ground (VDD-) is always less than 1/16 inch to the copper ground plane below (providing a very fast ground).
      >
      > Bottom side of special ICs requiring a "ground bonding plate" is easily addressed.
      >
      > With components in hand and CAD work done, even highly dense and complex PCBs can be completed and working in one day.
      >
      >
      > MINIMUM FABRICATION EQUIPMENT REQUIRED:
      >
      > Simple CD tray PCB printer adapter or other modified PCB printer.
      > http://www.fullspectrumengineering.com/pcbinkjet.html
      > http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Inkjet_PCB_Construction/photos/album/1664\
      > 97487/pic/list
      >
      > Dremel high speed drill and drill press stand
      > Powerful "hands-free" magnifier glass.
      > Micro-point soldering pencil.
      > Micro-needle syringe solder paste dispenser.
      > Micro-syringe epoxy adhesive dispenser.
      > SMD "pick and place" aids (ie: fine tweezers or vacuum pic).
      > Exacto knife.
      >
      >
      > ASSEMBLY PROCCES:
      >
      > In your favorite PCB CAD software you "drag and drop" place your descrete SMDs (RCL) in what I refer to as independent "Hybrid SMD Assemblies". A very simple example of this would be, lets say on pin 22 of your IC, is first connected a resister, then this resistor is series connected to a capacitor, from this capacitor, series connected to another resistor and this resistor is then connected to ground (VDD-). In CAD, you join all three SMD package outlines with NO interconnections between them (the SMDs are top surface layer "butt end" connected (and later top soldered) by their own contacts. At both unconnected ends of this RCR series'ed combination, you designate a via to bottom layer (the via should be right next to the end SMD component, but not obscured by its foot print. Placement of the SMDs in this fashion forms a newly created "Hybrid Assembly" This method results in a 50% reduction in SMD component spacing and 50 to 80% reduction in bottom layer conductive wiring. The ground end of this hybrid is established by soldering magnet wire from its contact to the copper ground plane immediately below it through its via. The other end of this hybrid (high side) is connected down through its via then back up through the via on pin 22 of the IC. This "hybrid assembly process" is repeated throughout the entire circuitry.
      >
      > Basically, when you have finished your cad work, you print your component layout screen onto the bare (no copper) top layer of your FR4. Mount all SMDs with an epoxy "Micro-dot" adhesive under all your smds. Then let the entire board cure.
      >
      > Drill out all via holes (via hole size representing the wire gauge of the magnet wire)
      > With a drill press mounted "micro-cone shaped tip" (drill remains un-powered) slightly impress a inward rounding over "dimple" to the copper hole edge (protects magnet wire from chaffing). All routing wires remain close to PCB in point to point and point to multi-point fashion. The finished top layer terminal connections (being as short as the components they connect to) are almost invisible to the naked eye.
      >
      > The Via-Mag process affords its very easy fabrication of interconnections due to the vias being placed immediately where the connections are to terminate. Micro-manipulation of the wire ends "locks" the ends perfectly in place for quick and easy "hands-free" soldering even on the smallest micro-sized SMDs.
      >
      >
      > This concept wiring example can be viewed at:
      >
      > http://lowermerioncivic.blogsite.org:5080/openmeetings
      > Log on as: Guest Password: Guest
      > Enter conference room: VIA-MAG PCB Assembly
      > Note: The board shown was used for concept creation only, because of its many existing vias able to illustrate just the two magnet wiring examples.
      >
      > Or in the "VIA-MAG" photo folders section here
      > (currently an empty folder… until an upload problem is resolved)
      >
    • Richard
      Another concept example pic here:
      Message 2 of 11 , Jun 6, 2010
        Another concept example pic here:

        http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Homebrew_PCBs/photos/album/2086759579/pic/1033860548/view?picmode=&mode=tn&order=ordinal&start=1&count=20&dir=asc

        --- In Homebrew_PCBs@yahoogroups.com, "Richard" <richard.liberatoscioli@...> wrote:
        >
        >
        > Concept example pics are now here:
        > http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Homebrew_PCBs/photos/album/2086759579/pic/list
        >
        > Assembly update method:
        >
        > After drilling the micro-vias, I have found that just a standard sewing needle works great to imprint the inward "dimple" to roll in smooth the copper to protect the mag wire from chaffing.
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        > --- In Homebrew_PCBs@yahoogroups.com, "Richard" <richard.liberatoscioli@> wrote:
        > >
        > > In my quest for the "quintessential" SMD prototyping method for the "Homebrewer" to easily fabricate complex, micro-sized, multi-chip electronic circuitry of today ….. this concept assembly suggests an extremely fast and high quality solution.
        > >
        > > GENERAL FEATURES:
        > >
        > > This process targets the small sized and mobile ultra-low powered MCU and RF designs.
        > >
        > > Easily replicate the recommended highly engineered manufactures PCB reference designs for this components layout.
        > >
        > > PCB interconnections to extremely fine pitch 64 pin QFN and discrete micro-sized 0402 resistors/capacitors/inductors is quick and easy.
        > >
        > > Affords both high and low current wiring requirements with "self-stripping" and "solderable" solid copper magnet wire (traces).
        > >
        > > Provides a full board solid copper bottom layer for high speed MCU and RF designs requiring very low ground impedance including RF coplanar transmission lines.
        > >
        > > Any size conventional PCB SMD densities with multiple board layer designs are easily equaled with just one standard, single sided, FR4 board.
        > >
        > > There is absolutely no "etching or printing" of conductive traces in this process.
        > >
        > > All IC pins and discretes terminating to ground (VDD-) is always less than 1/16 inch to the copper ground plane below (providing a very fast ground).
        > >
        > > Bottom side of special ICs requiring a "ground bonding plate" is easily addressed.
        > >
        > > With components in hand and CAD work done, even highly dense and complex PCBs can be completed and working in one day.
        > >
        > >
        > > MINIMUM FABRICATION EQUIPMENT REQUIRED:
        > >
        > > Simple CD tray PCB printer adapter or other modified PCB printer.
        > > http://www.fullspectrumengineering.com/pcbinkjet.html
        > > http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Inkjet_PCB_Construction/photos/album/1664\
        > > 97487/pic/list
        > >
        > > Dremel high speed drill and drill press stand
        > > Powerful "hands-free" magnifier glass.
        > > Micro-point soldering pencil.
        > > Micro-needle syringe solder paste dispenser.
        > > Micro-syringe epoxy adhesive dispenser.
        > > SMD "pick and place" aids (ie: fine tweezers or vacuum pic).
        > > Exacto knife.
        > >
        > >
        > > ASSEMBLY PROCCES:
        > >
        > > In your favorite PCB CAD software you "drag and drop" place your descrete SMDs (RCL) in what I refer to as independent "Hybrid SMD Assemblies". A very simple example of this would be, lets say on pin 22 of your IC, is first connected a resister, then this resistor is series connected to a capacitor, from this capacitor, series connected to another resistor and this resistor is then connected to ground (VDD-). In CAD, you join all three SMD package outlines with NO interconnections between them (the SMDs are top surface layer "butt end" connected (and later top soldered) by their own contacts. At both unconnected ends of this RCR series'ed combination, you designate a via to bottom layer (the via should be right next to the end SMD component, but not obscured by its foot print. Placement of the SMDs in this fashion forms a newly created "Hybrid Assembly" This method results in a 50% reduction in SMD component spacing and 50 to 80% reduction in bottom layer conductive wiring. The ground end of this hybrid is established by soldering magnet wire from its contact to the copper ground plane immediately below it through its via. The other end of this hybrid (high side) is connected down through its via then back up through the via on pin 22 of the IC. This "hybrid assembly process" is repeated throughout the entire circuitry.
        > >
        > > Basically, when you have finished your cad work, you print your component layout screen onto the bare (no copper) top layer of your FR4. Mount all SMDs with an epoxy "Micro-dot" adhesive under all your smds. Then let the entire board cure.
        > >
        > > Drill out all via holes (via hole size representing the wire gauge of the magnet wire)
        > > With a drill press mounted "micro-cone shaped tip" (drill remains un-powered) slightly impress a inward rounding over "dimple" to the copper hole edge (protects magnet wire from chaffing). All routing wires remain close to PCB in point to point and point to multi-point fashion. The finished top layer terminal connections (being as short as the components they connect to) are almost invisible to the naked eye.
        > >
        > > The Via-Mag process affords its very easy fabrication of interconnections due to the vias being placed immediately where the connections are to terminate. Micro-manipulation of the wire ends "locks" the ends perfectly in place for quick and easy "hands-free" soldering even on the smallest micro-sized SMDs.
        > >
        > >
        > > This concept wiring example can be viewed at:
        > >
        > > http://lowermerioncivic.blogsite.org:5080/openmeetings
        > > Log on as: Guest Password: Guest
        > > Enter conference room: VIA-MAG PCB Assembly
        > > Note: The board shown was used for concept creation only, because of its many existing vias able to illustrate just the two magnet wiring examples.
        > >
        > > Or in the "VIA-MAG" photo folders section here
        > > (currently an empty folder… until an upload problem is resolved)
        > >
        >
      • cunningfellow
        ... Looks like Mr ELM-Chans work is it? I was always amazed by his point to point stuff and thought how much easier it would be to just do a PCB.
        Message 3 of 11 , Jun 6, 2010
          > Richard wrote:
          >
          > Another concept example pic here:
          >
          > <SNIP URL>

          Looks like Mr ELM-Chans work is it?

          I was always amazed by his point to
          point stuff and thought how much
          easier it would be to just do a PCB.
        • Richard
          ......and thought how much easier it would be to just do a PCB . - cunningfellow I would have agreed with you several years back, but today, in the realm of
          Message 4 of 11 , Jun 7, 2010
            "......and thought how much easier it would be to just do a PCB". -
            cunningfellow


            I would have agreed with you several years back, but today, in the realm of the "homebrewer" to fabricate the latest and greatest micro sized and complex circuitry with its extreme demands (trace size and multi-layers) for interconnections of the SMDs, trying to emulate PCBs that today are created on multi-million dollar machines is simply not worth the effort.

            In "cheating the devil" with our inexpensive modified "home grade" printers has come to an end for multi-layer demands.

            It is my contention that the demands of the SMD technology of today exceeds the reasonable and practical fabrication capabilities of most the "homebrewers".

            I think you would agree that majority of "homebrewed" projects today are built on a core of "smart" and "networked" technologies (ie:MCUs,WIFI,ZigBee,etc) all in one package.

            Is anyone actually building a "power supply" or "MP3 player" you can buy at Radio Shack for $60. ???? I think not, the things we "homebrewers" are designing are novel and clever assemblies utilizing the awesome capabilities of latest ICs.

            In my current "homebrewed" project(invisible fence)a UHF GEN2 reader interrogates passive tags in the ground(boundary definition), processed by an MCU and is bi-directionally linked back to my PC via WIFI for e-mail notifacation and parameter adjustments... all of this on just two very small boards embedded into the dog's collar.

            The two major challenges being the fabrication of the complex "circuit board" and the code design of the controlling "software" in the MCU.

            The "Via-Mag" method suggests full compliance to the intense physical and electronic demands of such devices in reasonably "simple" terms for the "homebrewer". With parts in hand, even this complex circuitry
            can be up and running in a day.

            I thing I would be 5 generations out before you've seen your first "PCB" assembly.




            --- In Homebrew_PCBs@yahoogroups.com, "cunningfellow" <andrewm1973@...> wrote:
            >
            >
            >
            > > Richard wrote:
            > >
            > > Another concept example pic here:
            > >
            > > <SNIP URL>
            >
            > Looks like Mr ELM-Chans work is it?
            >
            > I was always amazed by his point to
            > point stuff and thought how much
            > easier it would be to just do a PCB.
            >
          • James
            ... People have been saying this since the dawn of SMT, but hobbyists have still managed. I avoided SMT for a long time, but recently have found that I can
            Message 5 of 11 , Jun 7, 2010
              >
              > It is my contention that the demands of the SMD technology of today exceeds the reasonable and practical fabrication capabilities of most the "homebrewers".
              >
              > I think you would agree that majority of "homebrewed" projects today are built on a core of "smart" and "networked" technologies (ie:MCUs,WIFI,ZigBee,etc) all in one package.
              >



              People have been saying this since the dawn of SMT, but hobbyists have still managed. I avoided SMT for a long time, but recently have found that I can etch boards for SOIC parts myself very easily and have tuned my technique to the point that I can do SSOP packages without too much difficulty. Personally I am enjoying the challenge, and have been excited about electronics more so than I have been in years due to the many possibilities to play with cool parts that I couldn't use previously.



              > Is anyone actually building a "power supply" or "MP3 player" you can buy at Radio Shack for $60. ???? I think not, the things we "homebrewers" are designing are novel and clever assemblies utilizing the awesome capabilities of latest ICs.
              >


              I can't speak for others, but I have been in the process of building a bench supply with dual 0-50V 5A outputs. I based it on an old construction article but have made a few tweaks to the design and hand-wound my own custom 700VA 60Hz toroid transformer. Big, heavy, inefficient linear PSU, but sometimes that's just the ticket. There is a satisfaction to engineering and building my own quality equipment that isn't there with a cheapo Chinese knockoff.

              I've also been building clocks for years using Nixie tubes, VFD displays, incandescent, and other vintage displays. I use microcontrollers in them but nothing exotic, up until recently it was all through-hole. Sure I could go buy a $10 LED clock but where would be the fun in that?

              Another fairly recent construction was a capacitive discharge spot welder for assembling battery packs. No 5 million pin "smart" ICs in there, just an old fashioned brute force linear power supply, a big meaty SCR and a bit over a Farad worth of capacitors. You can buy one of those, but they start at more than 10x what I spent building mine.

              I haven't built an MP3 player yet but that is on the list just for fun. I'm also working on several power supply, energy measurement, and motion control related projects. Much of the resulting hardware I could buy cheaply enough but I would miss out on the education.

              I do wonder if future generations will have the same interest in engineering as I do, when so much can be purchased so cheaply but there are still some of us out there who build things more because we can than any rational reason.
            • James
              ... His creations are truly a work of art. It definitely looks easier to etch a PCB than to hand wire as he has, but I have to say the end result he gets is
              Message 6 of 11 , Jun 7, 2010
                > >
                > > Looks like Mr ELM-Chans work is it?
                > >
                > > I was always amazed by his point to
                > > point stuff and thought how much
                > > easier it would be to just do a PCB.
                > >
                >


                His creations are truly a work of art. It definitely looks easier to etch a PCB than to hand wire as he has, but I have to say the end result he gets is impressive. Not only is his construction nicely done, he's come up with some very clever designs too.
              • lists
                In article , ... I find myself inclined to agree with you. I became interested in electronics as a hobby in about 1965/6. It was fun
                Message 7 of 11 , Jun 7, 2010
                  In article <hujq31+aq69@...>,
                  James <jamesrsweet@...> wrote:
                  > I do wonder if future generations will have the same interest in
                  > engineering as I do, when so much can be purchased so cheaply but there
                  > are still some of us out there who build things more because we can than
                  > any rational reason.

                  I find myself inclined to agree with you. I became interested in
                  electronics as a hobby in about 1965/6. It was fun in those days and my
                  first project was an audio amplifier, 10W out of a pair of EL84s. Took a
                  while to complete because things like output transformers, in particular,
                  were expensive. First attempt was a failure because I used a lot of
                  components I salvaged out of old TVs and I had no test equipment of any
                  kind to fault find. Scrap it, save up some more pocket money till I could
                  buy all new components and - success!

                  I have recently been involved in a project to scan some early copies of
                  "Wireless World". The oldest dated from 1944 and I've just completed 1957.

                  I think they were, perhaps, the golden years. Kits to build TVs, radios,
                  tape recorders, vast amounts of government surplus stuff you could buy and
                  hack about. PCBs seem to have come on the scene about the mid-50s, along
                  with transistors, and prior to that everything was built wire and
                  tag-strip - very labour intensive in the factories, so you could save
                  yourself a fair bit by DIY.

                  Many TVs seem to have been constructed round old radar (often no more than
                  5" diam) CRTs and in the "Wireless world" TV receiver you wound all your
                  own coils, including the deflection coils.

                  --
                  Midlands Midsummer Mug show, for all things RISC OS, July 10th 2010.
                  Stuart Winsor
                • Andrew Villeneuve
                  Though I don t suspect many of the present of future generations are going to be building DIY CRT TV receivers, I do think there s a growing passion for
                  Message 8 of 11 , Jun 8, 2010
                    Though I don't suspect many of the present of future generations are going
                    to be building DIY CRT TV receivers, I do think there's a growing passion
                    for homebrew engineering - a backlash against the vacuum of homebrew culture
                    that's persisted most of my lifetime (I'm 29).

                    MCUs are becoming cheaper, more powerful and more accessible to enterprising
                    tinkerers, Internet sites like hackaday, makezine, and sparkfun are helping
                    to bring ideas to the mainstream, and remarkably sophisticated components
                    can be salvaged from modern electronic "junk".

                    Google will show you clever young engineers attaching graphic LCD modules
                    and SD memory cards to their Linksys wireless routers, making DIY digital
                    photo frames out of old PlayStation parts, and streaming their RSS feeds to
                    vintage teletype machines.

                    Homebrew engineering is out there, it's just changed shape a bit.

                    -Andrew

                    On Mon, Jun 7, 2010 at 6:49 PM, lists <Stuartlists@...>wrote:

                    >
                    >
                    > In article <hujq31+aq69@... <hujq31%2Baq69%40eGroups.com>>,
                    >
                    > James <jamesrsweet@... <jamesrsweet%40gmail.com>> wrote:
                    > > I do wonder if future generations will have the same interest in
                    > > engineering as I do, when so much can be purchased so cheaply but there
                    > > are still some of us out there who build things more because we can than
                    > > any rational reason.
                    >
                    > I find myself inclined to agree with you. I became interested in
                    > electronics as a hobby in about 1965/6. It was fun in those days and my
                    > first project was an audio amplifier, 10W out of a pair of EL84s. Took a
                    > while to complete because things like output transformers, in particular,
                    > were expensive. First attempt was a failure because I used a lot of
                    > components I salvaged out of old TVs and I had no test equipment of any
                    > kind to fault find. Scrap it, save up some more pocket money till I could
                    > buy all new components and - success!
                    >
                    > I have recently been involved in a project to scan some early copies of
                    > "Wireless World". The oldest dated from 1944 and I've just completed 1957.
                    >
                    > I think they were, perhaps, the golden years. Kits to build TVs, radios,
                    > tape recorders, vast amounts of government surplus stuff you could buy and
                    > hack about. PCBs seem to have come on the scene about the mid-50s, along
                    > with transistors, and prior to that everything was built wire and
                    > tag-strip - very labour intensive in the factories, so you could save
                    > yourself a fair bit by DIY.
                    >
                    > Many TVs seem to have been constructed round old radar (often no more than
                    > 5" diam) CRTs and in the "Wireless world" TV receiver you wound all your
                    > own coils, including the deflection coils.
                    >
                    >


                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  • James
                    ... I m in about the same generation as you, so I missed the golden age but in a sense there is a new one, as you say, some really amazingly sophisticated
                    Message 9 of 11 , Jun 8, 2010
                      --- In Homebrew_PCBs@yahoogroups.com, Andrew Villeneuve <andrewmv@...> wrote:
                      >
                      > Though I don't suspect many of the present of future generations are going
                      > to be building DIY CRT TV receivers, I do think there's a growing passion
                      > for homebrew engineering - a backlash against the vacuum of homebrew culture
                      > that's persisted most of my lifetime (I'm 29).
                      >
                      > MCUs are becoming cheaper, more powerful and more accessible to enterprising
                      > tinkerers, Internet sites like hackaday, makezine, and sparkfun are helping
                      > to bring ideas to the mainstream, and remarkably sophisticated components
                      > can be salvaged from modern electronic "junk".
                      >
                      > Google will show you clever young engineers attaching graphic LCD modules
                      > and SD memory cards to their Linksys wireless routers, making DIY digital
                      > photo frames out of old PlayStation parts, and streaming their RSS feeds to
                      > vintage teletype machines.
                      >
                      > Homebrew engineering is out there, it's just changed shape a bit.
                      >
                      > -Andrew
                      >
                      >


                      I'm in about the same generation as you, so I missed the "golden age" but in a sense there is a new one, as you say, some really amazingly sophisticated bits can be harvested from modern junk.

                      There's another area I forgot to mention where there is still a lot of DIY engineering, and that is audio. I've built several pre and power amplifiers and a lot of others are doing the same. All mine have been solid state but I've been wanting to build a tube amp at some point just because I've never had the opportunity to build anything with vacuum tubes.
                    • Dylan Smith
                      ... Indeed, I agree - and perhaps the golden age still hasn t actually arrived :-) I think homebrew electronics has become *far* more accessable since the
                      Message 10 of 11 , Jun 8, 2010
                        El 08/06/10 13:57, Andrew Villeneuve escribió:
                        > Homebrew engineering is out there, it's just changed shape a bit.
                        >
                        Indeed, I agree - and perhaps the golden age still hasn't actually
                        arrived :-)

                        I think homebrew electronics has become *far* more accessable since the
                        information is easier to get, the components are cheaper and easier to
                        find, and you can take on far more ambitious projects. 10 years ago if
                        you told me I'd have recently made a device with a 4 layer PCB and SMD,
                        I'd have laughed. But I've done it.

                        With cheap laser printers we can now do our own PCBs down to 8/8 design
                        rules with care, and I've done it for 0.4mm pin pitch LQFP devices.

                        I've also heard that amateur radio (something I've not been involved in
                        at all) is enjoying a resurgence too.
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