Posted on Saturday, 26th May 2012 by Auw Jimmy
Perhaps you still remember the first article about designing the PCB? Now finally, the PCB has been done.
The result is quite awesome, as the specs also set at premium grade. This 2.5 mm thick red PCB has 2 oz Copper and TG170 grade. All solder pads are through-hole type, double layer with Immersion Gold finish. Tracks are on the bottom side. With this specs, I believe it will become a quite overkill solution for anyone who expects ultimate performance without compromise.
The idea actually comes from the situation where I find it’s quite difficult to solder a 9-pin Teflon socket directly. The spacing are too tight between those pins. So I feel very insecure when assembling my preamp. I’m always afraid some of my wires could touch each other then produce a short.
Beside that, usually we forget to solder the pins for longer time than it should (due to some reason like the wire is not joined well or one of the pin is shorted with other pin, etc). The heat (when becomes overheated) definitely will change some metal structure on the pin (not a good idea for the insulator also, although real Teflon is quite durable with such over temperature condition). Definitely heat is not a good friend for us (that’s why we know such Cryogenic treatment). With this PCB, the soldering becomes an easy job to be done (you will know how desperate to solder those wires to the tube socket’s pin rather than to the PCB’s hole). We can avoid the risk of overheating by using this PCB. And off course, esthetically wise, this kind of PCB looks gorgeous
It’s ok if you are using $10 socket which you can always replace them anytime without feeling guilty to your wife (ups!). But how about $70 Yamamoto or a ‘slightly’ cheaper, Luciano socket?
After looking around, I find a solution from Yamamoto which I like the tube socket very much. Yamamoto has extension PCB which will enlarge the spacing between the pins. But it seems the spacing is not enough for a ‘greedy’ guy like me. So forgive me Shigeki (Yamamoto), I have to make my own this time. But surely for the socket, Yamamoto is my reference idol.
So here we come with custom made PCB specifically for this purpose.
Below you can see the final result. Left side is the bottom view, while right side is the top view. Note the tracing is on the bottom side. Two extra holes on the side will allow us to screw this PCB to another PCB or chassis.
Through hole and 2 oz Copper. Finished with Immersion Gold. The extension hole diameter is 2.5 mm, while the hole for the tube socket is 2 mm. Definitely it’s compatible for most (if not all) Teflon tube socket, either PCB or Chassis mount type. Probably it’s not compatible with Ceramic type which is usually has larger diameter.
Thickness testing. Measured at 2.51 mm. This is very thick PCB as mostly we only see commercial PCB in 1 or 1.6 mm – which is considered thick enough. But there is no standard for ‘enough’, right? So here we go with 2.5 mm. The reason for me is, I want a strong base to hold my tube socket. With a thicker PCB, definitely we can reduce vibration and give a stronger construction to hold the socket (especially when mounted to the top chassis). It shouldn’t bend even in a quite extreme placement.
With 2.5 mm hole, I can put up to almost 10 AWG solid wire to connect the signal from/to this PCB. Or for sure, you can put two 18 AWG wires and avoid extra strip board. Life becomes so easy. Not mentioning that you can solder them on the bottom or top side at your convenient.
Example the usage with Yamamoto 9-pin tube socket. Beautiful combination!
Photo below shows 4 PCBs stacked with Yamamoto. Simply only for example how thick the PCB is. Four stacked equals to 1 cm, but surely you only need 1 pc for each tube socket and it’s more than enough to provide a solid base.
Well, off course you can always use cheaper Teflon socket combined with this PCB. But I assume you will use this PCB, then you probably will go for Yamamoto or at least, Luciano. No reason to use cheaper socket as this PCB probably will not be a cheap solution. Like I have mentioned before, you can always replace cheap socket without feeling guilty to your wife, but surely not for Yamamoto or Luciano.
Some Teflon socket has larger diameter pins. So they can’t be inserted completely like Yamamoto type. But you still can solder them anyway to the PCB without any problem.
I will give a try with my Yamamoto socket soon! Yummy!
Btw, they are on sale now!