Monthly Archives: November 2014

MUPPET PCB Board Construction

Chuck Adams K7QO has created a new technique for constructing printed circuit boards he calls Muppet construction.. “MUPPET Construction” is named for Manhattan-Ugly-Professional-Placement-Experimental-Technique for construction of electronic circuits. This is a technique for making PCB boards without the need to drill holes in the board. It combines the techniques used in manhattan construction, and a software layout program like ExpressPCB. Check out chapter 5 in the K7QO Lab Notebook for more information on Muppet construction. Chuck K7QO has now added videos to his K7QO Youtube Channel for a tutorial on MUPPET PCB construction.

CPO using the 555 Timer IC

555 Timer CPO

Using ExpressPCB, lay down traces for the IC pins (.060″), interconnecting lines (.030″) and SMT squares (.100″) for soldering points. For squares to be used as a ground, right click on it, select “Top layer pad select” and then click on “Thermal pad to ground plane”.

ExpressPCB board layout

Once the board layout is complete, click on the “ground plane” button, click on the left top corner, then click on top right corner, then bottom right corner, then top left corner again, finish it offf by right clicking. To change the default clearance values for traces and pads, go to Layout, then Board properties and change the values to .030″.

ExpressPCB board complete

Click on File and print the layout to a PDF file. This will create a PDF file with the board layout just created with black representing the part of the board not to be etched and the white parts are etched. Before the layout is to be printed and applied to the printed circuit board, it is necessary to flip the board left to right.

board print

To flip the image, in Paint, go to the Image option and flip horizontal option. Chuck Adams K7QO then prints this image off, trims the white border off the image and cuts a board to this size. He then uses a laminator to adhere the toner from the paper onto the PC board. After that, the board is etched and made ready for use. Check out his videos on his Youtube Channel for a demo of his process.

board flipped


SET 2014

SET 2014 took place on Oct. 4th. We set up in the back of the fire station on Wellington St. in St. Thomas. Several messages were passed back and forth as we tried to simulate an emergency setup.

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