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How to Attach Wires to a Circuit Board Without Soldering

When an electronic device stops working, it is often the result of a problem involving excess current that destroys the components and can damage the printed circuit board to which they are attached. So, here we will learn how to attach wires to a circuit board without soldering.

The conductive traces on a circuit board are thin copper vias that can easily melt under excessive current conditions. Fortunately, it is possible to repair broken or fused traces when they occur.

Finalize the cause of the damage and replace the defective component. If the root of the problem is not resolved, the board will be damaged in a new location, or worse, additional components could fail.

So, it is important to get it fixed as early as possible. If you have wires and thinking of joining without using soldering, it is possible. Here in the following, we have given the best method. 

How to Attach Wires to a Circuit Board Without Soldering?

No electronic device lasts forever. Like any object or product, it has a life cycle that depends on various factors, including the quality of the materials that make it up.

One of the devices’ essential pieces is the electronic boards; these have as the main task to transport energy to different parts of the electronic devices. Moreover,  cell phones, computers, industrial robots, air conditioners, and washing machines.

In this article, you will learn how to attach wires to a circuit board without soldering.

Classification of Electronic Faults

Malfunctions or failures that occur in electronic boards can be identified based on their nature, the passage of time, or the technology used in the damaged equipment. Let’s take a look at each one.

Electronic board failures due to their nature:

Electrical Faults

Deterioration in the electronic device connections. They are usually presented in components such as resistors, capacitors, diodes, transistors, among others.

Mechanical Failures

Damage is caused by any mechanical nature component such as transmission belts, gears, pulleys, etc.

Electro Mechanical Faults

They originate in any of the electromechanical components of electrical equipment, for example, motors, switches, or electromagnets.

Read more: How to Fix a Broken Wire Without Soldering

Let us learn how to attach wires to a circuit board without soldering:

Method – 1

Locate the Crack or Fracture

First, make sure that the crack or fracture does not go completely through the board. To do this, observe the card in front of a light and determine the point where the crack begins and ends.

Once you locate it, make a hole with a drill and a 2 to 3 mm diameter bit, this will prevent the fracture from continuing to advance and damage other parts of the circuit.

Looking at the board in front of the light will allow you to detect cracks that are not noticeable to the naked eye but which may be a latent problem. The next step will be to glue the crack; for this, use a glue or cyanoacrylate base.

This process is very useful for gluing to the plates.

PCB Repair

Once the plate crack is repaired, you must fix the copper tracks or veins that are damaged. Therefore, it is best to connect the two points or terminals closest to the crack.

In this way, you can join them with a piece of wire or cable and weld them at each point’s ends. When the tracks of the circuit are very thin, and the interconnection points are too far apart.

You must use cables or sheathed connection wires, which are placed on the track that we dotted following the trajectory and the contour. It will decrease the possibility of meddling with other circuits, and your repair will be more orderly.

When several tracks are damaged, and very close, it is advisable to use covered wires of different colors. This will avoid confusion when connecting, testing, and future repairs, reducing the possibility of further damage.

Once you repair all the affected cracks and tracks, you will need to review all your work before connecting or turning on the equipment. By means of a multimeter, you will be able to know the electrical quantities accurately.

As well as, you need to give continuity to the repaired tracks and detect possible short circuits between the nearby tracks. The electronic boards and cards must be in good condition for our electronic devices to have a long life.

This will save us time and money. It is also important to remember that electronic repair is a very profitable trade since all electronic devices need maintenance and repair.

Read more: Difference Between Soldering and Welding

Method – 2

Using electric tape is also one of the easiest solutions to attach wires. This option is strong and only requires minimum effort and supplies. You will only need an electrical tape roll and two wires which ends have twisted together. 

Now, arrange the twisted wire parts on an electrical tape’s strip. Wrap it across the wires firmly 5 to 6 times. Ensure to cover up all the wires. Now, give your joining to a tug and ensure it is strong.

How to Fix a Circuit Board?

Here in the following section, we will learn the entire process of how to attach wires to a circuit board without soldering.

Failures in the electronic board from their manifestation in time:

Fixed Faults: Damage that manifests itself while the equipment is connected.

Intermittent Faults: Disadvantages that occur intermittently, that is, in random periods of time.

Scrape off Deposits

With the razor blade’s edge, scrape off deposits of carbon black and any molten material that forms when the burned trace open. The joint must be cleaned and free of debris, where you intend to butt the damaged trace.

The ends of the tracks on either side of the gap formed by the damage should be scraped to expose one to two millimeters of clean, shiny copper.

Heat the Cleaned Debris

Using the soldering iron, heat the cleaned debris on both sides of the gap and apply some fresh solder to make a clean, shiny coating on the ends of the tracks.

Prepare a Wire Splice

Using the bare wire, prepare a wire splice appropriately to fit between the ends of the tracks to fill the gap between them. Make sure the wire overlaps the exposed ends of the traces.

The wider the original trace, the more strands of wire must be used to approximate the same cross-sectional area as the initial trace. You can be liberal about how to do this, as it is not critical, but use common sense and make the repair look aesthetically pleasing.

A typical approach is to use a single piece of wire and zigzag back and forth a few times between the ends of the traces. Solder the wire in place by heating each side of the repair in turn, applying solder to join the wire to the ends of the two traces.

Electronic Board Failures Based on the Technology Used

Analog Faults: Equipment malfunctions that occur through analog technology.

Digital Failures: Disadvantages in the pieces that work with digital technology.

Mixed Faults: Errors that occur in equipment with analog and digital components, so both systems are combined.

Tips and Warnings

Alternatively, a flat braid woven of fine copper wire called a “solder braid”, can be used in place of the wire. Although not more electrically superior than using normal wire, this will make a caring job much more enjoyable.

Always remember to disconnect power (including batteries) before working on any electronic device. Neglecting to isolate the cause of the damage and blindly repairing the board could cause more damage. 

The repaired trace can generally carry a lot more current than the original, which could lead to additional damage if the circuit is reactivated without determining why the trace was damaged in the first place. 

Lastly, microwave frequency circuits often use the trace circuit board themselves as components called “inductors”, in which case the size and geometry of the trace are critical.

In such cases, it may not be possible to repair a trace without altering the operation of the circuit.

Conclusion

We have already seen that electronic boards or cards are used to support and connect different electronic components. These parts typically comprise more than 99% of electronic equipment, and when damaged by bumps or drops, they can rarely be replaced.

In this scenario, the best key is to change the entire board or chassis. However, it is not a practical alternative as it can have a very high cost.

In most cases, an electrical technician will be able to repair the board by skillfully soldering through some cable or thin wire that allows him to bridge or replace the conductive tracks, also known as paths or veins.

This task should be done with some care to ensure that the repair is durable and does not create problems later.

Read more: Best Soldering Iron for Stained Glass

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