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seanvn 23rd November 2012 06:54 AM

Paper and Glue SMD circuit construction
Some of you might be interested in my Paper and Glue SMD circuit construction technique (if I dare call it a technique):
Paper and Glue SMD Circuit Construction
I personally find it a useful alternative to having to make a PCB every time I want to do something with SMD components.

xrk971 27th November 2012 01:56 AM

Very clever tip! :) I have never built dead bug style circuits with SMD before but may try it now. This will work for larger standard components too I think?

owenhamburg 15th January 2013 09:42 PM

That's a very clever idea :)

I cant help wondering if we can take this further?

Sadly the author states that chips might not work this way. I'm not sure why? Most of the interesting new chips are SMD, so I would be curious if I can do more with less external fabricators for prototyping. This looks like a slow but effective technique.

Adding to this I have found cardboard with PVA wood glue and a skin of aluminium foil to be useful for prototype boxes and surprisingly strong.

xrk971 13th February 2013 09:37 PM

I build lot of speaker enclosures out of paper faced foam core board with great success. I am thinking of applying SMD components to foam core boards as substrates ( as it is stiff and keeps shape nicely and lets you make a box with the main board. I am about to start a new class-D amp project using the TPA3118D2 chip from TI which is only available as a 32 pin SMD. Aluminum glued to opposite side makes nice ground plane to reduce noise pickup.

My question is this: if I glue components to a stiff foam core board and then solder them, why remove from the paper board? Just leave them glued to board as nice mechanical substrate?

marce 14th February 2013 04:52 PM

If you are doing a class D design you would be better with a double sided PCB and a ground plane. This is what the auther was reffering to whan certain circuits or chips wont work this way. Digital real does require a ground plane to work correctly, especially with todays devices that have quite fast rise times.

kevinkr 14th February 2013 05:28 PM

:up: Fast modern digital devices require good ground planes and proper supply decoupling.. Note that you can use the dead bug approach on single or double sided pcb material if you need to quickly prototype something. Scrub the copper with scotchbrite or similar before starting in order to get good solder joints to the plane. A dremel with a small grinding bit offers even more possibilities.

xrk971 14th February 2013 09:49 PM

Thanks for the feedback about digital circuits needing good ground planes. The digital aspects of the circuit reside within the confines of the IC and the output leads to the first choke filter. Maybe I can glue a foil ground plane underneath those sections? The rest is just audio frequencies. I want to glue it to foam core board as a matter of tradition for fun because the speakers are also made of foam core. I want to have an "all foam core audio system." :)

The circuit I am trying to build will resemble this (somewhat simplified to remove all the options with jumpers).

marce 15th February 2013 09:49 AM

Here is a good explanation of why ground planes are good, not just for digital, low level analogue benefits from them to.

sofaspud 15th February 2013 10:05 AM

Bob Pease was an advocate of those deadbug prototypes. You can read more about it in his Troubleshooting Analog Circuits book.
I think the aluminum-backed foam board might work if the stuff is not too thick, so the parts and interconnections can be kept close to the ground plane. I don't see a reason why the paper needs to be removed.

xrk971 20th March 2013 06:37 PM

I just wanted to give an update that I used the inspiration from this technique for my class D amp build with dead bug method. I glued it on foam core board with a foil ground plane, I did not remove from paper but just left it as substrate for a foam core amplifier.

Anyhow, the method works really well. The amps sounds great!

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