Streams mechanical construction economics


#1

I have a question about Streams, purely out of academic curiosity. Looking at the eagle files, the mode/metering LEDs are on a small separate PCB which sits above the main one. All the components on the main PCB are on the front of the board. It looks to me as though if some of the components and routing were moved to the back of the board, the second board could have been avoided completely.

I would have assumed that, especially with the additional parts involved, getting an entire extra PCB manufactured, including adding an additional step to the final assembly process, would be significantly more expensive than having a few SMD components on the other side of the board. Is that true? Or was the decision more to do with wanting to avoid components on the back of the PCB at all costs?


#2

This. The tooling to protect the components on the back during wave-soldering is expensive and hard to get right.


#3

Got it, it’s actually pretty obvious when I think about how wave soldering works! I’m used to building DIY boards where assembly, debugging and rework is much easier when the SMD components are on the back.

I suppose that means that the power connectors are manually soldered? And, given this…

…that milling a pocket to accommodate the DC/DC converter is cheaper than getting it manually soldered on the back side?


#4

…that milling a pocket to accommodate the DC/DC converter is cheaper than getting it manually soldered on the back side?

Unnecessary bulges on the back of modules are ugly.


#5

Are the rest of the panel also milled, or is it punched?


#6

laser cut.