Now that I know how the layout is going to run its time to start planning how much copper will be needed for the circuit board. This will likely be the post where I get the most wrong! To be clear this is being written as the project is in process, so we will find out together if I set this up wrong. . . but a few weeks from now probably.
The circuit is set up around the two ICs, an NE602 and an LM386. Planning how these devices will sit on the board and creating enough room for the various components supporting the inputs and outputs will determine the size of copper board needed. The full size 4″x6″ copper board seems like major overkill for this circuit.
I’ve decided to do the K7QO method of using 8 pin DIP sockets. While the socket adds ~$.15 to the build, it guarantees that I won’t smoke the IC with my soldering iron being too hot. I purchased some MePads when building the Regen last year. They went unused as the particular IC I was using was surface mount and didn’t fit. As you can see in the picture above, these fit the sockets just fine. I also intend to use the MeSquares for the other shared connection points. Now that the sockets are on the MePads, its time to lay them on the 4″x6″ sheet and guess how much board I need.
It seems to me that you would probably only need 1/2 of the board. Measuring 3 inches across the top and bottom of the board I drew a straight line with a black sharpie. I carried the line around the back of the board as well.
Cutting the board using the AA7EE method resulted in a slightly crooked cut, but ultimately successful separating of the board.
I also wanted to do the K7QO method of adding stand offs to the board to raise the soldering level up off the table a little. To keep the holes semi symmetric I measured 3/10ths of an inch from each edge of the board and drilled a hole where the lines intersected.
The last step was to scrub the copper with some steel wool and clean it with alcohol. Then put a couple of coats of matte Krylon on the board. This should help protect the copper a little and allow me to build on it over a period of weeks without the copper oxidizing.
The project is well underway, the next step should be actually super gluing pads and beginning to solder circuit blocks.
I’m a relatively new ham. Got my license, joined a club and I’m having fun! I enjoy CW, pedestrian mobile, backpacking, and I dream of building radios at some point. At present I have a wife and daughters so my building time is limited.
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