Using hot glue to stabilize wires on PCB
I just finished soldering some tiny wires to a PCB and want to make sure that they don't shift around. I've gathered that hot glue is a good way to attach them, or possibly tape. However, I'm uncertain about where and how I should use the hot glue: is it okay to just let it drop in blobs onto the circuit board? I'm worried about it sticking to components that might get pulled off if I ever wanted to remove the wires and glue.
For an alternative, what type of tape should I use? I've noticed that a lot of electronics use a particular sort of cloth tape to hold wires in place.
I wouldn't use tape... It has a tendancy of coming off after time to exposure to heat, and leaves a nasty residue when it does. Which side of the PCB? If on the component side you could try some nylon tie-straps to secure the wires. On the etched side hot glue should be okay. If possible I'd go with the nylon straps though. Good luck.
Edited for spelling. Lousy keyboard.
[This message has been edited by Eli (edited 08-01-2000).]
Try it out on a less critical spot first, ive use hot glue on the edge of heatsinks and fans to pcb's to stabilize them...the hot glue is kindof forgiving in that if you need to you can sorta pick the whole blob off with your fingernail if you have to remove it...
Most manufacturers use super glue (cyanoacrylate/CA) or mylar tape to hold ECO wires in place. Just remember to get a super glue "kit" that has the hardener with it (to cure the glue faster otherwise you'll need patience). The mylar tape is great because it sticks real well, but you can also remove it quite easily if you wish. NOTE: If you do use CA glue, don't use it near sockets or connectors...it outgasses and leaves a reaction residue (whitish) in the general application area. Only use small dots -- at places where the wire bends and about every 3" along the wires. Less is better!!
Hot glue works too, but it can be real messy.
Hmm, I didn't think about soldering so that the wires would be on the etched side... Duh! That might have made everything easier. I'm just working this stuff out as I go.
How about nail polish? A nontechie friend suggested it, but I was worried that the "outgassing" would damage components.
Hmm... I never would have even thought of nail polish... I wouldn't recommend it. If you're careful then hot glue would work and is probably the best solution so far, although personally I'd still use the nylon straps. They're cheap, sturdy, and easily removeable.
I have nylon ties, but they seem like overkill for just 4-5 tiny wires (the wire-wrap size). I'm probably not thinking about it right... you mean I should bundle the wires together with the straps? Probably the ties I'm thinking about (about 6 inches long, narrow, self-locking, kind of like the ties for garbage bags) are different from the nylon straps you're suggesting.
The mylar tape sounds good to start with... I'll see if I can get some next time I order other electronic supplies.
You could bundle them together, and secure them all to the same point elsewhere. The nylon straps come in a lot of different sizes. I had the smaller size in mind, which are usually around 3"-4" long and 1/8" wide. I use these all of the time in R/C cars and they're usually the best way to go.
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