Point-to-point construction refers to a non-automated method of construction of electronics circuits widely used before the use of printed circuit boards (PCBs) and automated assembly gradually became widespread following their introduction in the 1950s. Circuits using thermionic valves (vacuum tubes) were relatively large, relatively simple (the number of large, hot, expensive devices which needed replacing was minimised), and used large sockets, all of which made the PCB less obviously advantageous than with later complex semiconductor circuits. Point-to-point construction is still used to construct prototype equipment with few or heavy electronic components.
Before point-to-point connection, electrical assemblies used screws or wire nuts to hold wires to an insulating wooden or ceramic board. The resulting devices were prone to fail from corroded contacts, or mechanical loosening of the connections. Early premium marine radios, especially from Marconi, sometimes used welded copper in the bus-bar circuits, but this was expensive.
Point-to-point wiring is not suitable for automation and is carried out manually, making it both more expensive and more susceptible to wiring errors than PCBs, as connections are determined by the person doing assembly rather than by an etched circuit board. For production, rather than prototyping, errors can be minimised by carefully designed operating procedures.
Point-to-point construction uses terminal strips (sometimes called "tag boards") or turret boards. The crucial invention was to apply soldering to electrical assembly. In soldering, an alloy of tin and lead, or later bismuth and tin, is melted and adheres to other, nonmolten metals, such as copper or tinned steel. Solder makes a strong electrical and mechanical connection.
Other articles related to "construction":
... Free-form construction can be used in cases where a PCB would be too big or too much work for a small number of components ... Several methods of construction are used ... While it is messy-looking, free-form construction can be used to make more compact circuits than other methods ...
Famous quotes containing the word construction:
“When the leaders choose to make themselves bidders at an auction of popularity, their talents, in the construction of the state, will be of no service. They will become flatterers instead of legislators; the instruments, not the guides, of the people.”
—Edmund Burke (17291797)