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I intend to use an IMS PCB, that is a PCB with aluminium substrate. It will be a single layer PCB (because of the cost, and heat), so only the top layer.

I need to connect approx. 20 wires to the top of this PCB, which are from another PCB, but I need them to come from the bottom face of the IMS PCB. One solution is drilling holes and soldering them, like this:

enter image description here

But I would need a better looking solution... Do you have an idea? :)

Thanks.

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    \$\begingroup\$ I think you ought to start considering formally accepting good answers on the ten questions you’ve already raised. It’s the done thing in these parts. Call it “payment” for services rendered. \$\endgroup\$
    – Andy aka
    Feb 14 '20 at 15:57
  • \$\begingroup\$ If you solder wires this way look at a means of providing strain relief. One method is to use two smaller holes and loop the wire through them. Usually the wire is on the same side as the solder point so the wire goes down-A up-B solder. In this case you can use eg up-A, down-B up-A solder. \$\endgroup\$
    – Russell McMahon
    Feb 15 '20 at 7:11
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There is a product from Molex that might be designed specifically four your use case.

It is called: Bottom-Entry Lite-Trap SMT Wire-to-Board Connector

And it looks like that:

enter image description here

There will still be machining to do on the PCB, in order to allow the connector housing through, but the result will be solder-free and super clean looking, I think.

But for 20 connections it will set you back 14$ per PCB just in connectors, wether it is worth it or not I will let you be the judge of that.

https://www.japanese.molex.com/molex/products/part-detail/pcb_receptacles/1042660110

https://www.digikey.com/product-detail/en/molex/1042660110/WM12961CT-ND/5980647

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You could use almost any kind of through-hole soldered connector mounted on the bottom with pins upwards, soldered on the top.

Such as any one of the hundreds of kinds: enter image description here Image from Duckduckgo

If you really want to solder it, consider an IDC ribbon cable header, which crimps onto the cable and presents pins to the PCB (from underneath) which you solder (on top surface). Personally I like things which unplug and would consider a right-angle pin header and ribbon cable.

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Mmmpf. Somehow I missed that you want to make a single layer board. The following runs into a double sided board. Sorry. I'll leave it here in case somebody else finds it useful.


Design your single layer board and use a single pin connector at each point in the schematic where you need to connect a wire. When you place it in the layout, use a through hole single pin connector

That'll place a footprint that has a solder pad you can connect to, and the PCB fabricator will drill a hole in the pad for you.

On an IMS board, the fabricator will drill the hole oversized in the aluminum before it is laminated together with the fiberglass and copper layers. The holes in the aluminum are filled with a non-conductive material (epoxy or other filler.) After lamination and etching, the holes for the through hole parts will be drilled and plated as on any other PCB.

Here's an example of what I mean from Leiton.de:

enter image description here

The orange is copper, the gray is aluminum. The yellow is insulation.

With that stackup, you can insert your wires from the bottom and solder them on top.


I found several fabricators that will do an IMS board that way.

The insulated through hole thing seems to be standard on Multi cb aluminum core two layer PCBs. Unfortunately, they don't provide online estimates. I didn't spend a lot of time trying to find quotes - I have no idea if that stackup is insanely expensive or what.

You might search for fabricators that do double layer aluminum core PCBs with plated through holes (PTH.) That's what Multi CB offers.

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