2 Aug 2012


As a fan of sticking small bits of cut-up PCB material to a solid piece of copper laminate ground plane in most of my projects I get through a LOT of bits of copper laminate. Getting lazy in my old age, I've just ordered some MePADS and MeSQUARES from www.qrpme.com in the USA. These are arrays of pads or IC footprints for dead bug or Manhattan style construction that can be snapped out and glued to the main ground plane making a neat layout possible without a real PCB.


aa7ee said...

I'll be interested to see what you think of them Roger. I've used them in half a dozen projects so far and find them very useful.


Kenneth Finnegan said...

I'm curious what you guys use for glue. Crazy glue seems a little too committal, but hot melt glue seems pathetic. I usually try and solder the pads to the ground plane, but that's a thermal mess, and beyond my 50W iron.


Roger G3XBM said...

I use Loctite Super Glue which is a cyanoacrylate I believe. This is available in small bottles from DIY stores for a few pounds and lasts for ages.

aa7ee said...

Kenneth - Like Roger, I use a cyanoacrylate adhesive (super glue) in the gel form. To remove a pad that has been glued in the wrong position, I just slip a sharp blade from a craft knife under the pad and it comes right off. Then I use the same blade to clean the remaining glue off the substrate.

Works like a charm!


Graham said...

I have used a lot of cyanoacrylate adhesives but never for mounting pads for manhattan style building. My concern is the pad coming loose when I solder to them. No one seems to complain about this so my fear may be unfounded but still it persists.

I sometimes use this type of glue to set up a fixture for machining small parts in a metal turning lathe. I will use acetone to soften the glue to remove or part or in particular stubborn part I will "shock" the fixture by using heat - hence my concern about pads becoming unstuck.

So, anyone experience pads becoming unstuck when soldering or unsoldering from them?

cheers, Graham ve3gtc

aa7ee said...

Graham - I used to experience that problem when I made my own manhattan pads. They had copper on both sides which possibly didn't help the adhesion. If I remember correctly, they were about 1/8" diameter.

I have not had that problem with the MeSQUARES and MePADS, as they have a slightly larger area than my homemade pads (about 1/4" square), and only have (tinned) copper on the topside. Even so, I sometimes scratch the bottom surface with a craft-kinfe blade before gluing them down to make sure.

I'd be interested to know what your experiences have been with homemade pads Roger.

Roger G3XBM said...

Have used both single and double sided pieces. Single sided better as they stick better. If they come unstuck it is easy to stick them back again but rarely a problem if the copper underneath is clean.

Kenneth Finnegan said...

Interesting. Thanks for the input, guys.

Richard G8IGS said...

Hi Roger .... How did you get on with the mesqares/mepads?

Richard G8IGS

Roger G3XBM said...

They are superb Richard. Will continue to use these in future. 73s Roger

Al, LY3MN said...

And what about European substitution of pads? Any ideas?

73! Al