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Recently I found myself needing to stack two small circuit boards on top of each other for a modulation project. The problem is that the areas I want to connect together on the two boards have no components or traces on them, and traditional pin-style stack ups (even machine headers) leave an unwanted gap between boards.

How can I stack the boards flush with on another and have a minimal gap between them?

I have seen This Question which shows an approach to stack boards permanently flush together, but I need a solution that is removable.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ No pads or solder mask either? Do you want it removeable? What is the wavelength? \$\endgroup\$ Jul 2, 2019 at 16:51
  • \$\begingroup\$ @sunny No, nothing but flat PCB space (minus the connector of course). \$\endgroup\$
    – Hackstaar
    Jul 2, 2019 at 20:53
  • \$\begingroup\$ WHat about the other questions.? You need to design both mechanical and electrical interface for stickness without damage to contacts. Didn't U answer your own question? \$\endgroup\$ Jul 2, 2019 at 21:33
  • \$\begingroup\$ @sunny Yes I was trying to share my discovery with the community. I also found that Escutcheon pins are a great replacement for pin headers if you don't want any protrusions. \$\endgroup\$
    – Hackstaar
    Jul 2, 2019 at 22:01
  • \$\begingroup\$ So is this microwave? or did you consider press fit flush Swiss pin sockets used in "some" IC sockets. WOW they are gold plated Roofing nails \$\endgroup\$ Jul 2, 2019 at 22:12

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What you need is a new Sycamore contact. They allow you to plug boards together with minimal spacing in between. This is especially useful when making add-ons for a basic board which can be replaced and upgraded.

I would advise you to put a via through the edge of the contact pads (if possible) to prevent the connector ripping off the board in high-stress applications. You will be surprised how long they last!

Sycamore

There are several variations for different pin sizes and top/bottom entry:

Part #s

Here is a video: Sycamore Contact

This will require compatible male pins on your second board. For my application, female pin headers with long male legs will work, but there may come a time when you wish to attach boards without any noticeable protrusions on either board. SMD male pins that I have found so far are not adequate because they leave a gap between boards. Feel free to comment useful part #s below.

Edit: I found that Escutcheon pins are a great alternative to pin headers for a protrusion-free connection to the Sycamore contact:

Gold Plated Pins

The pins are gold-plated for a longer contact life. Add a thin strip of spongy adhesive between the boards and you're good to go!

Spongy Adhesive

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    \$\begingroup\$ This reads a lot like an advertisement for this product. Are you affiliated with the company? \$\endgroup\$
    – asdfex
    Dec 2, 2019 at 9:09
  • \$\begingroup\$ @ asdfex No, I have no affiliation, but I have used their sycamore contacts before and had a great experience. \$\endgroup\$
    – Hackstaar
    Dec 2, 2019 at 15:41

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