Installing a signal tower can be tricky. Proper installations are needed in order to ensure the device works properly. Other than wiring, making mounting holes is one one the most important steps in installing a signal tower. Mounting holes are used in order to attach the signal tower inside enclosures or other flat surfaces. Mounting holes are usually not hard to be made as you need to only ensure that it is at the corners of the PCB. However, these are some basic tips in using mounting holes. Moreover in using mounting holes for signal towers, it is best to assure that the surface is flat and sturdy. It is also recommended to use a sealant if the installation surface is unavoidably irregular.
Basic Tips in Using Mounting Holes
1. Pick a Suitable Fastener
If you are using a pre existing enclosure, then the fastener might already be chosen for you. But if it is not, then choosing a suitable fastener will be the most important step for you. This is because the fastener will determine the size of the hole that you are going to make.
There are various types of fasteners. The four basic types of fasteners are the head styles, washer types, drive types, and nut types. The commonly used fastener for mounting holes is the head styles. Head styles fasteners have a lot of variations such as flat, oval, round, button, truss, and hex designs. It is also advisable to avoid using any angled bottom fastener and use a flat bottom fastener instead. An angled bottom fastener might cause stress facturing on the PCB.
2. Making Sure of The Clearance around The Fastener’s Head
Other than the size of the fastener, you will also need to estimate the clearance space around the area of the mounting hole for the head of the fastener. This is important because if there is not enough clearance, the mounting hole will crack and split open. Resulting in the mounting holes unable to hold your product in. You will also need to make sure that the other components on your PCB are not too close with your fastener and mounting holes. This is to ensure easy access for tools while you’re handling the mounting holes.
3. Fix or Avoid Board Flex and Cracking Ceramic Capacitors
If a fastener is mounted in a PCB and tightened, it will trigger a slight amount of flex of the board as the fastener can compress the FR4 into a standoff. This small amount of flex is sufficient to cause microfractures in the solder paste and ceramic condensers inside. Of this purpose, it is advisable to hold ceramic condensers and other fragile components (ferrite beads) away from the edges of the boards and mounting holes. When you need to position a ceramic condenser near a mounting hole, you can find one with adjustable termination caps to help alleviate any problems.
4. Closing Your Enclosure
The easiest way to ground your enclosure is to leave copper exposed around the mounting hole. By doing this, the copper can be contacted by the fastener and then the chassis will be connected to the PCB. This is way faster than using a separate wire.