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PCB as a Component

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Mikebits

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Greetings ETO land. I have a need to build some PCB's (RF Filters), that can be soldered onto another PCB as though it were a component. Much like the VCO part pictured below. So my question is, how does one go about laying out a board like this? What I mean is, I imagine I make the circuit board with the footprint like below, but somehow, there needs to be some breakoff point thus creating little pcb components. So has anyone done something like this and can you provide a little write up how I should proceed. I should mention that the part, has copper going along the side like a plated through hole cut in half, thats the tricky part to me.


vcofootprint.PNG
vcofootprintPCB.PNG
Thanks :)
 

ronsimpson

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I don't know. Have seen then. You should call a PCB house. (it will take more than one to find the right answer)

I would make plated holes in a row. Then "scribe" a line down through them. (a break away line) I have some fear the copper might come off when the boards are broken apart. scribe="V" notch about 1/2 way through.

I think the PCB house will not be happy doing anything near a plated hole.
 

ronsimpson

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Most Helpful Member
I was looking to get a part something like what you are talking about.
They have two options. Copper that goes in or copper on the out part.
(plated homes vs plated edges)
upload_2016-8-3_6-58-34.png
 

throbscottle

Well-Known Member
This might help:
http://www.instructables.com/id/Inexpensive-method-of-industrial-level-quality-PCB/ read the comments to find the work around for US readers, and further down the comments for more techniques
and this
and this
- fascinating but I bet it costs a bomb

If your doing lots then the fab house is the way to go...

Through plating is really the Holy Grail of home PCB making now, isn't it?

Of course you could make the main board have little pegs sticking up :/
 
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throbscottle

Well-Known Member
If you were to do it manually, and you cut the pieces apart with a saw, you could make oval holes to accommodate the blade width. Oval holes? Oh, wait...
 

Mosaic

Well-Known Member
Why not just have thru holes for leads, then bend them and do it like an SMT after? I convert Relays or even DIPS to SMT like that.
 

ronsimpson

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I looked at a GPS receiver that is made like Mike wants. I think they have lots of copper on all layers to help hold the VIA together. Then they just rout through the holes. (leaving 1/2 of the hole)
 

throbscottle

Well-Known Member
I wonder if you could do it by glueing on copper foil with epoxy? Form the shape to the board edge, glue round the edges of the board, stick the pieces on, solder the copper edges down to the board copper. Ok if you're only doing a small number I would imagine. I think I would stop at 4!
 

Mickster

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I believe what you require are "Castellated vias" or simply "Castellations".
If you are having the boards made by a PCB fab house, one suggestion on EDAboard was to lay the vias across the board outline and they will be cut in half when the board outline is cut..
 

JonSea

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Elecrow will be happy to do this for you. I think the info is in an FAQ about their PCB service. There's no extra charge for non-related holes and a small up charge for plated holes.

Temperature boards up to 50mm x 50mm are ten bucks for the lot, ten boards up to 100mm x 100mm are about $15 total.
 

Mikebits

Well-Known Member
Thanks for all the reply's. Having the proper terminology helps when searching Google, so once I learned the term castellation I was able to find a good deal of info on the subject.
From what I read, the usual method for creating plated half holes is with a router but as shown in image below, damage to the copper walls can occur. The workaround is to change the way the routing is done, but this requires changes to the setup and is slower, so this requirement must be specified and discussed with PCB vendor.
http://www.leiton.de/en-sondertechnologie-briefmarkenkontur.html



Done properly a nice looking board on board design can be made.

Thanks
 

JonSea

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Note that it's a $16 up charge for 10 boards, not each, for plating.

Screenshot_2016-08-09-09-52-35.jpg
 
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