Welcome to Livingnote's PCB Lab!

 

 

I discovered the online audio build community, and in particular GroupDIY back in 2007 and it quickly became a super addictive playground for me, fueled by the tremendous excitement of the people there and a passion since being a kid to build my own "little machines" that I could plug together and play with. Studio electronics is basically made for all that, and so I started this PCB lab for Design, Prototyping and High-Quality Audio.

To me, compromise in mechanical stability was never an option, and particularly not when you are putting all your love in it, and all these amazing components all night long. If you're precision matching capacitors and other parts to get circuits to really ring, you want the thing to never, ever go out of kilter, and if it does, you want to be able to fix it as easily as possible. With all this stuff in mind I developed kindofa build philosophy around stability and repairability.

 

 

 

I started out making all my PCBs from scratch, and it was fun. Particularly what was cool was that I could select my own quality for PCB material and really practice with it. A good etch lab puts you squarely in the driver's seat of your design process, but apparently not everyone thinks chemicals plus living room are a good idea. So I opened the workshop to the public and created a PCB offering tailored to the needs of making audio devices mechanically awesome - finest MIL-Spec epoxy laminated with copper from a noteworthy refinery in Northern Germany, bare or with immersion tin, to fuse with the solder of your choice.

 

 

 

The vias I use are solid mechanical rivets that are individually milled in and staked by hand. Especially in DIY, through plating can become an issue when you are doing a lot of rework, and even on professional boards with high grade vias you can easily burn stuff out with your soldering iron replacing components. With rivets, what you get is a lasts-forever through-hole, and while you do have to pre-solder a bit to ensure great contact, it'll hold through any kind of testing and repair you throw at it. Also, the chemical through plating process is one that is super critical and cost intensive, and not something you can do sporadically, and so I opted to stay with this more classical, old-world steampunk style.

 

What that leaves you with is a board from which you can build units that are practically indestructible, road worthy, and capable of being repaired long into the future.

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