I dove into a project and got about 75% through it before realizing I have no idea what I'm doing. The simple version is I need to design a small pcb with the following I/O:
- 3 logic level control signal inputs (whatever gauge, probably 22),
- 12V source (maybe. I could connect it directly to the 12V output wire) (18awg, up to 6A)
- ground (18awg, up to 6A)
- 12V output (14awg, up to 6A)
- 3 signal outputs (14awg, up to 2A each)
So what is the best way to connect each of these to the board? Something disconnectable would be ideal, soldering 14awg directly to a board just seems like a bad idea.
terminal blocks if you want to screw in wires and don't want connectors
or rectangular connectors if you're never going to change the wires (buy mating pairs of board and wire connectors)
Dropping by with a progress update. This is what I ended up with. IO1 and IO2 are AKZ500/2wp because that's what I could get ahold of quickly, and IN is just headers. Board's 1.4" square, the larger traces are 40mil and the thinner are 10mil. Any feedback would be welcome, I still don't really know what I'm doing lol
there's absolutely nothing wrong with soldering external wiring to a PCB. it's the simplest, most reliable connection you can have. connectors will always end up failing due to metal fatigue, oxidation, stress, etc.
the only reason you see so many connectors in place today is coz of automated testing, which doesn't apply to small runs.
Having something disconnectable makes my life easier as well, I'm probably going to be moving a lot in the next few years (I already know I'm moving 3 times this year) and this is a lighting project so those screw connectors are attached to fairly long runs of wire
Got them printed, they rounded down the bit size for the IO1 and IO2 holes and the pins don't fit -_- Can I just make them bigger with a file or a drill press or something, or do I need to print new boards?
if you try to enlarge the hole, you'll destroy the feedthru, which may or may not be a problem. a better idea may be to grind the pins so they fit, using a file or small grinding wheel on a dremel.
Pretty much got everything working today, I'd post pictures but my solder joints look terrible. I'll post one of the prettier ones when I do the other 4 tomorrow. Huge thanks to everyone who helped!