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Thread: PCB mounting suggestions

  1. #1
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    Default PCB mounting suggestions

    For a retro computer implementation, I picked up one of these STM32F429 boards:



    From a technical standpoint, it's pretty decent. Lots of 5V tolerant I/O 180 MHz MCU. RTC with optional battery backup and 8MB of SRAM.

    My big problem is mounting the thing. Note that there are no mounting holes, nor anywhere to drill them, so you have to rely on the headers to hold the board in place. Okay, not so bad--I've got a bunch of dual-row female headers that will be perfect. But look at the 20-pin programming connector! If I insert the board into matching female headers, the programming connector is inaccessible! I'd have to remove the board, program it and then re-insert for testing. Why the designers didn't specify a right-angle connector is beyond my understanding.

    For comparison, consider this STM32F407 board;



    Near-perfect design--uses a mini-USB connector instead of a wimpy micro one. 4 mounting holes, everything on the top of the PCB, right down to the coin cell holder for the RTC.

    So, other than replacing the programming connector on the first one, does anyone have any suggestions for being able to mount the thing programming connector "up"?

  2. #2
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    What I collect: 68K/Early PPC Mac, DOS/Win 3.1 era machines, Amiga/ST, C64/128
    Nubus/ISA/VLB/MCA/EISA cards of all types
    Boxed apps and games for the above systems
    Analog video capture cards/software and complete systems

  3. #3
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    Doesn't fix the problem. As I said, I've got dual-row female PCB headers, but that leaves the issue of the programming header as well as the pushbuttons and LEDs now being on the underside.

  4. #4
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    Desolder the headers and flip them to the underside of the board? Or just use double sided tape, the 3m outdoor tape would be my choice.

    IBM 5160 - 360k, 1.44Mb Floppies, NEC V20, 8087-3, 45MB MFM Hard Drive, Vega 7 Graphics, IBM 5154 Monitor running MS-DOS 5.00
    IBM PCJr Model 48360 640kb RAM, NEC V20,, jrIDE Side Cart, 360kb Floppy drives running MS-DOS 5.00
    Evergreen Am5x86-133 64Mb Ram, 8gb HDD, SB16 in a modified ATX case running IBM PC-DOS 7.10

  5. #5
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    I'm considering gluing a couple "ears" with mounting holes to the headers. Of course, the pin silk screen is on the bottom side...

    I'll keep you posted on what I decide.

  6. #6
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    How about this: https://www.adafruit.com/product/1116

    Edge mount standoffs.

    IBM 5160 - 360k, 1.44Mb Floppies, NEC V20, 8087-3, 45MB MFM Hard Drive, Vega 7 Graphics, IBM 5154 Monitor running MS-DOS 5.00
    IBM PCJr Model 48360 640kb RAM, NEC V20,, jrIDE Side Cart, 360kb Floppy drives running MS-DOS 5.00
    Evergreen Am5x86-133 64Mb Ram, 8gb HDD, SB16 in a modified ATX case running IBM PC-DOS 7.10

  7. #7
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    What I've done in the past: Drill mounting holes in the PCB. Obtain standoffs and screws from Ace hardware. (the aisle with the slide out cases of nuts & bolts).
    Surely not everyone was Kung-fu fighting

  8. #8
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    So your only concern is the 20 pin connector? I'd plug a 20 pin IDC and ribbon cable into it and relocate it.

  9. #9
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    No--with the board upside-down, you can't get to the buttons or see the LED either.

  10. #10
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    Light conducting plastic and a plastic crowbar.

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