When making circuits for electric components, printed circuit boards are usually the first option. Wire wrapping is another method for constructing electronic circuits.This method uses insulated wires to connect electronic components.Another method is a manual procedure of constructing electronic circuits called point-to-point construction.
The Different Uses Of Printed Circuit Boards Are As Follows:
The wire wrap method was very popular for large-scale manufacturing during the sixties and the early seventies. This uses an insulated board with mounted electronic components. These components are interconnected with an insulated wire that runs between its terminals. The connections are wrapped around a component lead or a socket pin. The insulated wire that’s used can either be made manually or by machine. When the wire is made it can be modified manually later on.
Compared to printed circuit boards, wire wraps are more reliable – albeit only in certain aspects.The connections in a wire wrap assembly are not that susceptible to vibration or physical stresses on the base. This method eliminates the possibility of having any soldering faults such as cold or dry joints and corrosion because this has no solders. The connections are more firm and have lower electrical resistance because the wires are cold-welded to the terminal posts at the corners of the board.
Nowadays however, the use of this method has been limited for prototypes and electronics with digital circuits and few electrical components. Because of the surface-mount technology, this has become less useful. Breadboards have become a good substitute for prototypes. Same as a wire wrapped board; a breadboard also has no solders. Because the cost of PCB is decreasing, wire wraps are barely used by circuit manufacturers.
Point-to-point construction is the manual creation of electrical circuits. This was widely used before printed circuit boards existed and automated circuit assembly was done. This method gradually spread when it was introduced during the nineteen fifties.
Before point-to-point construction, electrical circuits were made using screws. Wire nuts were used for terminating electrical connections. These circuits were placed in wooden or ceramic boards and were prone to failures because of corroded contacts or loose mechanical connections. The introduction of point-to-point construction paved the way for more reliable and durable circuits.
In this method, terminal strips are used that have several copper loops to enable insulation of electricity from each strip. This also enables the circuit to operate more effectively. The strip is stamped with tin-plated copper terminals that have a hole through where the ends of a wire can be pushed. This is then fitted with an insulating strip which is usually made of a cheap heat-resistant material. The material used is either synthetic-resin bond paper or bakelite plastic reinforced with cotton. Soldering connections are made instead of wire nuts. This made the connections stronger and eliminated the failure caused by corrosion of wire nuts.
Even though this method made circuits better, when compared to printed circuit boards, this cannot be automated. It requires manual assembly of its components. A large workforce is needed and since the connections are determined manually, this is prone to wiring errors. This also makes it a very expensive method for making circuits.
The arrival of printed circuit boards made this method nearly obsolete. However, when an electronic device has a simple circuit, using a PCB is not advisable. It will have components that will be much cheaper when assembled using point-to-point construction. Using a PCB will just make it more costly. Hobbyists still use point-to-point construction on certain electronic devices with simple circuits such as guitar amplifiers and stereo systems. There are some devices that use a vacuum tube where point-to-point construction method is still used.
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