Completed the new baseboard PCB design

It all finally seems to be coming together, I’ve finally received a bill from Border force for the parcel of IN7s which has been paid and they’re scheduled for delivery on Monday. The new baseboard PCBs which are 1/8th of the board each are done, after 3 redesigns (mostly to make sure everything fitted, the second design coil formers were 0.5mm out) and will be in production from tomorrow.


These are now 100% through hole with no surface mount components and are much easier to build compared to the original. 8 of these are needed and should take around 2 hours each to assemble.


‘Fancy’ version for a future glass topped board.


This Post Has 26 Comments

  1. Nice! very neat looking design.
    Can’t wait to start building too πŸ™‚
    Might go and fire up the soldering iron in anticipation hehe

    1. Have an idea for a slight redesign that will make them a little faster to machine but I’ll have to build a larger vac bed for the router first – then they’ll be 4x4x4 boards instead of 2x4x8 πŸ˜‰ .

  2. I take it that you meant that the chessboard is now all through-hole, and that the chess pieces are still SMD right? SMD has always been a pain.

    Are the PCBs gonna be tan or black? You are showing pictures of both. I would prefer black.

    I might have to put a new tip on and get out a new sponge. Have iron, will solder. (And burn myself…)

    1. Afraid so, there isn’t really enough room in the pieces to squeeze in wired parts so they’re still SMDs. I have a limited quantity of black laminate but will make a few boards available as an option with brass fittings in case you decide you want to use a transparent top.

      1. So we can only have black PCBs if we order a transparent top? Since I will be having the regular top I wouldn’t be able to see the ugly tan so it should be fine.

        4x4x4 should make it more rigid than 2x4x8 right? If it doesn’t cause much of a delay it should be fine to do that. I just want my kit already so I can get to work putting it together.

        1. Sorry I meant in case you want to make your own transparent top in future, I’ll still be supplying the same engraved top. Using the black laminate boards will just give you a choice.

          1. Ah, so I should order black PCBs just in case I want to make a glass top in the future. Put me down for the black PCBs then.

    2. Buck Up. SMD is actually fun even if a little sweat does drop. When you are done – You know that you did something more than the normal 4 year old. ;->

      1. I just ordered an SMD tweezers to make it easier. But what does your 4 year old comment mean?

        1. I cheat – put a dab of solder on the PCB where one leg of the part will go, pick the part up with the soldering iron and drop it in then use a screwdriver/tweezers/finger to hold it until the solder sets. You have to be quick though.

  3. Hey Tony!

    Really excellent work! It’s been a real joy to follow your progress! I’ve been considering designs for a glass top (another of my many hobbies!) and seeing this has pretty much “sealed the deal” in that regard. I’m thinking I’ll use clear glass and etch the board pattern chemically. I’m working up a couple patterns to dress it up a bit but probably will wait to see what will work best to highlight the visible components. Is there anythingo you need other than my request for the “fancy” version of the PCB? Also, any feelings on the use of a “stained glass” top? I have concerns that the lead and foil may interfere with the coupling between the board and piece coils.


    1. A stained glass top – the easiest way would be to cheat and use glass paint and fake ‘lead’. If you have the patience to make the real thing it could be done if you can leave a small gap, even just 0.5mm, in the lead round each piece so it doesn’t form a complete loop or find a way of insulating the ends. Just experiment, you won’t overload the coils to the point where it’ll cause any damage.

  4. any idea on total cost of the kit as yet? When do we put in our claim for the fancy board?

  5. Hi Tony,

    Put me down for black laminate too please.


  6. Please put me down for the fancy board too along with the gold thumb screws. Thanks

    1. Done πŸ™‚

  7. Actually, Blass thumb screws will be quite acceptable. He He!

  8. OOps! meant Brass thumb screws.

  9. Yeah, if there’s enough Black, put me down too.
    I’m in two minds as a very big part of the appeal of the project is the old nixie/phenol look and a glass top might spoil that… but then again it might be cool so I’d hate to miss out if I said nothing πŸ™‚

  10. I believe I was the first to comment that I want black, so I am nearly guaranteed.

    How is the kit timeline looking?

    1. I’ve made a note of everyone who has asked for the black PCB, there’s enough for 12-15 so you’re all OK for now πŸ™‚ I’ve also found a supplier of coloured laminates so just waiting for a price and if it’s not silly then anyone who wants black PCBs can have them.

      1. Thanx πŸ™‚

      2. β€˜Fancy’ PCBs for everybody! The black PCBs and gold nuts really make it look professionally done. This will be a functional artpiece that will stay with me forever.

        1. +1

  11. Wow amazing excellent piece of work.I really like your creative work and hope to see more near in future keep it up!!

    1. Is it spam if you’re selling something I am interested in? ;).

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