If you make a lot of prototyping, especially with SMD components like myself you need to make for each design its own pcb. With SMD’s the one layer design usually isn’t feasible and since the component pins doesn’t run trough the board  the double layer approach results in many vias, even for a simple schematic you can have 50 of them.

Off course everybody can order from the factory trough hole plated pcb and they are off the hook, that is the professional solution and for the end product I do the same. But that costs more, there is a lead time and if there is some error on the board or on the schematic, you need redesign and order another one.

I personally use home-made double layer pcb’s for my prototypes, with photo method and some design constraints like track width, spacing,  clearance, the results are quite good.

Double layer pcb home made vias

Yes, that’s nice but it has a lot of vias, and can be painstaking  to make the connections for each via by running  through a thin wire, soldering one end then soldering the other end, cutting down the excess, because for each via you have to handle the wire, the soldering iron, the cutter resulting a great “overhead”. I admit this was my solution and took hours to make each via separately, until somebody showed be a clever trick, but that’s enough talking, here are the pictures:

You need some thin copper wire:

You need some thin copper wire:

First anchor one end of the wire by soldering to one side:

First anchor one end of the wire by soldering to one side:

Run through the vias(like sewing) the wire:

Run through the vias(like sewing) the wire: Run through the vias(like sewing) the wire:

Solder each end:

Solder each end: Solder each end:

Start cutting as close as possible(on each side):

Start cutting as close as possible(on each side):

The result:

The result

Nice, round bumps 🙂

Nice, round bumps :)

And after soldering the TQFP package:

And after soldering the TQFP package:

As you can see, the vias underneath the TQFP doesn’t cause any problem, although more attentions is needed when soldering. Fast and simple, hope you get the spirit and start tinkering.