Populating the PCB

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Once the new clean board has had the acetone washed off, any through-holes need to be drilled.

Use the drill press at maximum speed with the miniature carbide drill bits. WEAR GOGGLES, these bits are notable for shattering. Push the bits through the board slowly - they are going at 1/30 of their intended speed in our press! Typical drill holes are .028 for wire pins, .035 and .042 for normal device pins. Be sure that your drill bit matches your component pin size, if the holes are too small the component will not fit and if the holes are too large you run the risk of drilling through the copper that will allow you to solder the pin to the board.

The board obviously will not have plated through holes the way professionally manufactured boards do. Any connections must be soldered on both sides of a through-hole device, and any vias must have wires run through and soldered.

If you have not soldered before, you can read this article, and/or ask someone for help. Soldering isn't wildly difficult but the process has a few nuances that are important to understand to be successful, namely how to ensure that the soldering joint is properly contacting both the wire and the PCB.