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I'm looking for a smart way to connect two PCB's in a cheap manner. I would prefer not to use any external components for the connection (if possible).

The PCB's are rather small (20 x 20 mm).

Do you have any idea?

Best Regards, Andreas

Illustration of PCB-to-PCB connection scenario

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closed as unclear what you're asking by Chris Stratton, PeterJ, Fizz, Daniel Grillo, Dave Tweed Oct 20 '15 at 13:24

Please clarify your specific problem or add additional details to highlight exactly what you need. As it's currently written, it’s hard to tell exactly what you're asking. See the How to Ask page for help clarifying this question. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Permanent joint, or disconnectable? Rigid, or flexible, or don't care? \$\endgroup\$ – Nick Alexeev Oct 15 '15 at 17:13
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    \$\begingroup\$ This is routinely done with a piece of solid-core ribbon cable. However, for quantities more than a few, stripping of ribbon cable requires a special tool. \$\endgroup\$ – venny Oct 15 '15 at 17:19
  • \$\begingroup\$ @venny that is a good option, if you need a permanent connection and don't mind a flexible joint, a ribbon cable is an excellent option. \$\endgroup\$ – DerStrom8 Oct 15 '15 at 18:03
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If you need a permanent joint, and you need this to be mass-produced, but you care about space (no room for a connector) or cost (connector is too expensive), you could use hot bar soldering.

The idea is that a flat cable (usually a special kind of flex pcb) is pressed down by the hot bar so that it makes all the connections at once.

Example: https://electronics.stackexchange.com/a/3098/26394

If you can overlap the boards (ie: they don't absolutely have to connect edge to edge like puzzle pieces, but the edges can overlap like shingles), you could use z-axis adhesive.

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What do you consider "External"? Usually this type of connection is called "Card-edge", and it uses a special socket mounted on one of the boards, and the other board has pads located just perfectly on the edge of the PCB. The most common use I have seen is PCI-e connectors in computers. The cards have pads on them and the motherboard has the connectors.

enter image description here

That's really your best option. I wouldn't try connecting bare PCBs together, there would be a lot of stress on the joint and you might rip up pads.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Okay, why the downvote? \$\endgroup\$ – DerStrom8 Mar 20 '16 at 12:07
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You can use a DB-25 plug and a DB-25 socket.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/D-subminiature

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It looks as though you're designing a jigsaw like electronics kit. In that case try (1) right-angled pin-headers - pins on one side and sockets on the other both lying parallel to the PCBs. They may take up too much PCB area though, given the 20 x 20 mm dimensions.

Any standard edge connector will get in the way of the interlocking bumps on the PCBs.

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