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PICList Thread
'stacking pc boards'
1995\04\27@083929 by Coats Jack

----- Begin Included Message -----

From: spam_OUTmlkTakeThisOuTspamASU.EDU
Subject:      stacking pc boards
PIC gurus,

       I am constructing a PIC design which will consist of three pc
boards stacked directly on top of each other.  I need signal interconnect
between the boards (in the center of the boards, not on the edges).
Design requirements space the boards 0.328 inches apart for the final
interconnect.  During prototyping and troubleshooting I want to extend the
space between the boards so that I can use ZIF sockets for the PICs (on the
center board as you may have guessed).
Thanks in advance,

Martin Kirk
----- End Included Message -----

Martin, you might consider using a short ribon cable, with DIP headers, or
some other arrangement on the ends.  This does not give you the mechanical
mounting, but it would allow removal and extension appropriately.  If you
can afford the board space, then you could use other spacer
technology (nylon bolts and spacers, etc.)

Just a thought...

1995\04\28@144349 by Robert Ellefson

I am using a custom elastomeric connector from Elastomeric Technologies
to stack PC boards.  There are a number of different vendors of
elastomeric connectors, but most of them do custom designs for each
application. I believe AMP has a line of standard products that might
fit the bill, but I don't know anything about buying them in small
quantities.  You might get away with a few samples, depending on how
many you need.

In any case, using elastomeric connectors is wonderfuly simple.  Put
identical land pads on top and bottom of the boards, and then clamp
them together with bolts or some other mechanism.  Alignment of
multiple independant connectors on each board is greatly simplified, as
the nature of elastomeric connectors allows much greater leeway than
pin and socket connectors.

For those unfamiliar, elastomeric connectors have alternating stripes
of conductive and nonconductive materials, with these stripes being at
a much tighter pitch than the land pads they need to connect.  This
allows for significant misalignment of the connector to board, although
the board-to-board alignment must be held fairly well, relative to the
pad size.  This is a big advantage over the use of surface mount
connectors if you have multiple connectors between boards, as it can be
difficult to hold these connectors in the land pads at tolerance during
reflow.  Using alignment pins on the connectors is complicated by the
fact that you're stacking multiple boards, so you need to share holes
in many cases, and then each pin can only stick halfway through the
board.  Not to say that you couldn't come up with a good solution using
SMT connectors, but for my application, elastomeric connectors were a
great alternative.

Good luck,

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