Electronic devices nowadays use printed circuit boards, or PCBs, in performing their designated functions. These boards have provided not only users of such devices but also technical personnel with proper advice in relation to troubleshooting. However, concern is still rising as to the safety of using these boards basically because it exposes someone to the dangers of handling certain components (such as the copper traces). This is the reason why, despite the convenience brought by these boards, there are still some who resort to using wire wrapping to connect electric components.
The following are some of the advantages in choosing printed circuit boards over wire wrapping:
1. Ease in repair, troubleshooting and diagnostics
These boards are easier to repair and diagnose than wire-wrapped circuits because the former prevents confusion as to node numbers, color pairs, and the connections that must be together. Also, PCBs aren’t susceptible to wire tangling, which is the reason why repairing wire-wrapped circuits is such a chore. Because of the availability of silkscreen technology which adds labels, codes, numbers, and symbols, checking and subjecting these boards to diagnosis is a lot easier. Also, in checking electric current flow, the labels in these boards will prove to be useful.
2. Immunity of components from movement
Since the interior of electronic devices is very critical to their performance, moving even a single component might render such devices unusable or ineffective. Printed circuit boards essentially eliminate this threat because the components are attached to them through the substrate and are secured by the solder masks. People will have to worry less in dealing with repair because there is less fear in moving or even dislocating one component from its place. For instance, desktop computers during the past years have their components secured only by wires hanging inside the central processing units. Now, these components are already secured in one place because of these boards.
3. Compact parts
Printed circuit boards have parts that are compact, soldered, and laminated. This means that all the parts and components can be seen in only one place. Wire-wrapped connections also provide protection to components, but because of the presence of wires, such components cannot be placed and secured in one location. These boards prevent time from being wasted looking for components because if one wishes to check these, all he has to do is to look at them.
4. More efficient to produce
These boards are more efficient to mass produce because, aside from having much fewer parts and requiring a shorter time to produce, costs for maintenance and production, labor costs, and other miscellaneous expenses are kept at a minimum. Aside from being expensive, manufacturing wire-wrapped units often take hours to complete.
From the enumeration above, it is clear that printed circuit boards give more convenience than wire wrapped units. Nevertheless, despite the comparison of advantages between the use of these boards and wire wrapped units, the choice of what to be use still depends on the device on which it is going to be installed. For instance, tablets cannot have wire wrapped units, simply because of lack of space for wires inside it. On the other hand, bigger devices such as appliances may need wire-wrapped units rather than having a lot of printed screen boards. Thus, deciding whether circuit boards should be picked instead of wire-wrapping is something that should be done with the device’s properties in mind.
Simply put, there’s no clear winner in this PCB versus wire-wrapping bout, especially since each has its own set of pros and cons – things that anyone who’s planning to use either should learn about.
Cable wrap construction can create assemblies that are additional reliable in comparison with published circuits: contacts are usually less prone to are unsuccessful due to vibration as well as real worries around the foundation aboard, in addition to the lack of solder precludes soldering errors such as rust, chilly joint parts in addition to dried out joint parts.