Plated Through-hole Hacks

There are three ways to hack your way into plated through holes:

  1. Solder the component lead on both sides: For example, DIPs and through-hole resistors can be soldered on both sides of the board and make “conductive vias”. WARNING! You can’t always do this. For example, most 0.1” headers have plastic on the top layer, and you can’t solder under that. So be careful if you’re counting on this.

  2. LPKF has a “conductive rivet” set. You literally use a center punch to drive a copper rivet into your board. There are 4 sizes to choose from, and [[here’s more information Using-LPKF’s-Easycontac-Rivet-System]].
  3. The Nystrom method. Named after our own Pat Nystrom, the Nystrom Method is produces vias which are small (down to 25 mil pad), more conductive than plated vias, flush with the board surface, and very cheap. Essentially, you crush a slightly-too-long 28 gauge wire in a 14 mil (.35mm) drill hole and it ends up touching both sides of the board. [[More information nystrom-vias]].