Any tips for small PC board mounting?

Discussion in 'Homebrew and Kit Projects' started by KB1KIX, Aug 19, 2008.

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  1. KB1KIX

    KB1KIX Ham Member QRZ Page

    OK, it's 03:30 in the morning, I'm on vacation, and I get out of bed to clean up my bench...... man, something is wrong with me.

    Thinking about a few projects on the bench.......

    Anyway, as I'm cleaning here (and listening to soldersmoke) I came across a project I'd like to use in some of my QRP rigs - a Hendricks keyer. Neat little board, built and ready to go.

    However, the thing is so tiny, no holes and such for standoffs.

    Any good ideas on how to mount it clean in a case/project?

    My bench is a mess, but I try to make my projects look clean as I do a bunch of buildathons throughout the year and many people see some of the projects before they build one (don't wanna scare them off with some ugly construction now..... ).

    Come to think of it, even ugly construction has a beauty all it's own....

    Anyway, thanx in advance for any tips,

  2. NN4RH

    NN4RH Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Hot glue gun?
  3. KC4UMO

    KC4UMO Ham Member QRZ Page

    If it is small but going to be mounted in an enclosure along with other boards you may could make a few stiff wire standoff's soldered to the board ground. I have done a few that way.
  4. AB1GA

    AB1GA Guest

    Don't be so afraid of making a commitment.
    1-hour epoxy.

  5. KV6O

    KV6O Ham Member QRZ Page

    You're right.... something is wrong with you! Go back to bed! :D

  6. WA9SVD

    WA9SVD Ham Member QRZ Page

    That makes it difficult to reuse a project later. There are horizontally slotted nylon standoffs that will slip on the board edge withour drilling holes. Otherwise, you can usually use nylon (think insulated!) screws and nuts to mount the board by it's edge.

    Some people (including some manufacturers) use foam tape (such as for mounting pictures or posters) although that may deteriorate over time.
  7. K7JEM

    K7JEM Ham Member QRZ Page

    Is this the kit you have?


    I have mounted little boards like this by cleaning the ground plane circuit board, then mounting it vertically and soldering it directly to another circuit board, or a solderable metal cover or shield.

    Simply scratch clean below the word "mute" and "paddle" and solder tin these spots. Place it perpendicular to a metal or open circuit board area, then tack solder the spots. Repeat the process on the opposite side of the board. You now have several "solder bridges" holding the small board in place.

  8. WA7KKP

    WA7KKP Ham Member QRZ Page

    Double-sticky tape

    Look for the double-sided sticky tape with the foam core . . .

    I've used it for years mounting Com-Spec CTCSS boards in radios.

    Gary WA7KKP
  9. N2RJ

    N2RJ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Looks to me like this was designed to be panel mounted, by the 3.5mm jack.
  10. AB1GA

    AB1GA Guest

    If you use enough 1-hour epoxy to completely cover the item, you'll forget it's there after a while, and you won't have to worry about how to reuse it later.

  11. WA9SVD

    WA9SVD Ham Member QRZ Page

    That might be more expensive than replacing the project itself. I prefer to rely on the rule of "use and re-use" (and "re-re-use.") My version of experimentation. YMMV.:D
  12. KB1KIX

    KB1KIX Ham Member QRZ Page


    Took a nap after my midnight bench cleaning (things are coming along).

    The picture is of the particular keyer I was talking about.

    I was also thinking in general.

    I usually use the steel standoffs (plus, they make the project look nice and clean).

    The nylon standoffs I've seen aren't slotted. I need to find some of them, that sounds like a fantastic idea. Would be nice if they did something similar with steel, could come in handy.

    I've used the sticky tape with the same keyer (I have a few of these and N0XAS keyers). The tape, did come off after time. I think heat was generated when I take a qrp rig outdoors and heat in the metal tin.

    I'm definitely going to look for the nylon standoffs, I think I'm going to mount this puppy with my SP-1.......

    Thanx again (now I have to also get some more hot glue),

  13. KB1KIX

    KB1KIX Ham Member QRZ Page

    OK, I was pondering this and came up with the following...

    1. I can Dremel a "notch" in some brass standoffs with a cutting wheel and install a board that way (amongst many of the answers here)

    2. RJ's had simplicity, but didn't hold on it's own very well when I plugged in the key when I tested (but was "almost" there).

    Then, I realized, that for some dumbass reason, the rubber bumpers I use on many of my small projects come in sets of 9. The odd one is kinda useless. Kinda like buying hotdogs by the dozen, and rolls coming in packs of 10, but I digress.

    The spare bumper gave it a little wedge and it seems to be holding OK.

    I'll add a little hot glue when I get more glue sticks.




    The QRP rig on the top is the ever so simple SP-1 (built last year at Dayton, just got around to actually mounting it on something instead of carrying it around when I show it at a club demo).

    All I need to do now is wire the rest of it in it's new home and I'm done (well, and put the rock back on that I forgot to install when I took the pictures).

    If anyone is wondering, those are just cheapie picture frames that I used to install the boards.

    Thanx again for all the tips!

  14. K9YLI

    K9YLI Ham Member QRZ Page

    find someone who is a diabetic.
    My wife was. Have them keep a bunch of the orange needle covers.
    Stiff plastic,, cut the end off and you have a nice standoff that a 6/32 screw fits in .

    I have cheese boxes full of them. also the caps on the plunger end work
    as fatter insulators for 1/4-20 screws.

    usually some where to drill a small hole in the board.
    the other ideas here are good too. work with what you got.
  15. KL7AJ

    KL7AJ Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    That would be my choice too. It's also very shockproof. And waterproof if you want it to be. I have lots of tiny boards encapsulated by glue. Makes it a bit hard to repair at times...but that's surprisingly rare.

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