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Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Very Useful: Copper Tape with Conductive Adhesive

This copper tape is really useful, especially when doing "free style" homebrew.  At first I didn't even realize the adhesive is conductive.  This tape is great for creating a common ground among several printed circuit boards, especially when you are using a wood board as the base.  You can solder to it very easily.  You could even use it (with a wood or plastic base) in lieu of a copper clad board. Lots of possible applications for homebrewers. This stuff deserves a place on the workbench shelf right next to the Gorilla Tape and the Crazy Glue.   I'm using it in my Single Transistor Rig project. 

You can get it from Amazon -- there are many varieties and vendors.  This one is similar to the one I am using.  

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01I1XNY1E?aaxitk=I9X2Na8Gu23M3nrhlpSzYw&pd_rd_i=B01I1XNY1E&pf_rd_p=44fc3e0f-4b9e-4ed8-b33b-363a7257163d&hsa_cr_id=3252618550401&sb-ci-n=asinImage&sb-ci-v=https%3A%2F%2Fm.media-amazon.com%2Fimages%2FI%2F71sJrx27%2B-L.jpg&sb-ci-a=B01I1XNY1E

4 comments:

  1. Been using the stuff for years - mostly as shielding, but I have been known to build "dead bug" circuits on it using an old cereal/cracker box as the substrate to make "flexible" circuits. (Sorry, I don't have pictures...)

    I've used it to reconstruct the "fingers" on an edge connector where they tore off after several decades - and I even used it once where a circuit board had gotten wet and the traces were "dissolved", to reconstruct a ground plane.

    FWIW, copper foil is one of the better things to fill a void where a soft-ish material is needed: I've used a small sliver of it to keep the knobs on my old Yaesu HT (it was actually used by the factory) and other push-on knobs of old radios I was restoring - and small pieces of it as a shim to tighten the handlebars of my brother's motorcycle!

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  2. Also been using it for decades.Something I do is make high quality RF breadboards out of a piece of perf-board, the style with plated-through holes. I cut a piece of paper about 1/4" smaller than the board all around and stick it to the bottom of the board with a dab of paper cement or similar. Then I run some copper tape over the bottom of the board and wrap it around to the top about 1/4". If necessary, I run 2 widths of tape and tack-solder the seams. Now, when installing a component on the top side that needs ground, I just push the lead through the paper insulator and copper tape, bend it over, and solder it. Leads that need a top-side connection only are just inserted without pushing through and soldered on top. If I need a 'trace', I use a piece of #30 Kynar wire-wrap wire.
    Using this technique, I've made high-quality prototype circuits that work well into the UHF range.

    Joe
    W3JDR

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  3. Another technique I use is to make small 5-sided shield boxes for circuit areas like oscillators, etc. I cut out the shield profile from manilla folder cardboard "in the flat" and score the bend lines lightly with a utility knife. This gives nice crisp bends. I bend the box into shape and secure the sides in place using small pieces of Scotch tape. Then I cover the whole box with copper tape, folding around the bottom and into the inside.

    Joe
    W3JDR

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  4. I used the 1/2" size with 3/4" wide plastic pipe hanger strap to make a small transmitting loop. The plastic strap is unfortunately too soft, so it won't hold its shape, but when supported it works quite well.

    I'm hoping to embed some as an interior layer in a more rigid loop of layered wood veneer. The stuff I have is 1" wide, for countertop edges. It is pre-backed with a thin layer of hot glue. With my hot air station I can heat it enough to soften the glue, then layer another strip to make it stronger and more rigid. Then gentle heating allows it to be curved, and it will hold the curve. I figure 3 or 4 layers, with a layer of the foil tape sandwiched inside, would make a good, rigid loop. A coupling loop could be made the same way, or with a strip of aluminum. I'm thinking making it the same way, but with fewer layers because the curve has to be tighter for the small loop.

    Gwen
    NG3P

    ReplyDelete

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