19 August 2015

Improving PCB enclosure building

I was recently inspired by the fantastic website of K7QO to try to do something to improve my PCB enclosure building, both from an efficiency perspective as well as from a neatness point of view.

I built a fixture in accordance with Chuck's directions on building enclosures and it turned out very well. Last night I was able to test solder together two sides using a piece of 24AWG insulated wire to ensure that the angle was 90 degrees once the solder dried (see pics below). I used a 30W Weller iron.  I found that the technique worked better by having the vertical piece of PCB mating directly with the bottom of the fixture and in front of the 24AWG wire.
Enclosure Fixture as per K7QO. The walls are a bit high. A lot of time was spent ensuring that the corner consisted of all 90 degree angles.

Much as I would love to own a shear I found that I could accurately cut PCB's to exact size using my table saw. More on that later when I get to build a prototype enclosure as the next step.

Thanks to Chuck for sharing his extensive knowledge with us.

A piece of insulated 24AWG wire is used to compensate for the solder shrinkage

Clamps are  used to hold the pieces in place

The 'shrinkage compensating angle' can be clearly seen

Completed prototype effort. In fact the thinner black wire resulted in a better right angle finish 

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