Over at Kickstarter, there’s a new circuit board support system that looks to have a lot of potential. The PCB Rax system claims to be an easy, versatile, and affordable soldering aid that will help with all of your circuit assembly (and possibly disassembly) work.
PCB Rax, at its simplest, is built with 4 legs, 2 threaded crossbars, 2 thumb nuts, and 2 multi-functional rails. The rails have slots and can hold rectangular circuit boards without the need for additional accessories. The rails and legs are made from anodized aircraft-grade aluminum, and everything can be assembled or adjusted tool-free.
Need to hold PCBs that aren’t quite square or rectangular? Attach a couple of extension brackets and you can hold circuit boards of almost any shape. Promo images show the PCB Rax holding rectangular, circular, triangular, and odd-shaped circuit boards.
PCB Rax can hold rectangular circuit boards up to 9-1/2″ x 6-1/4″ in size, and odd-shaped boards up to 9-1/2″ x 5″. If you need greater capacity, you can install longer threaded crossbar rods.
The PCB Rax’s design means you can quickly access the underside of a board by just flipping it over. You could also stand it up for easy vertical access.
Although not available yet, additional accessories are in the works, such as special extension brackets that can fit Loc-Line-style modular hose 3rd hand arms.
Early Bird PCB Rax: $45 (limited to 50 total)
Maker Level: $55
Each PCB Rax comes with the basic frame and (4) extension brackets. The 3rd hands kit is not a part of the reward levels.
These will be made in the USA using USA-sourced aluminum and USA sourcing for a majority of the parts.
Funding Deadline: May 31st, 2015.
Learn More(via Kickstarter)
Kickstarter is a fundraising site where you can make monetary pledges in return for the promise of goods and other “rewards.” When you make a pledge, you’re technically not buying something. If the pledge goal is not met by the designated deadline, you pay nothing, the campaign starters get nothing, and you get nothing. Most successful Kickstarter campaigns deliver the goods and rewards they promise.
Looks like a solid product. The design is simple, and if you’ve ever soldered components to a circuit board, I’m sure you can see the versatility in it. Pair the PCB Rax with pivoting 3rd hands or flexible modular hose clips, and you’d have a killer soldering station.
The 3rd hands kit is in the works, but isn’t currently part of the initial wave of Kickstarter rewards. It might be a stretch goal, meaning it might be something they make available if they reach a certain funding goal.
If we weren’t hoping to move soon, I’d put in a pledge right now. But since I don’t want to risk delivery issues, I’ll have to wait until they start shipping retail units. And I really hope they do. $55 isn’t too much for what the PCB Rax offers, and I’m hoping that the maker further explores the types of add-ons that can be built into extension brackets, such as other types of 3rd hands brackets, adjustable LED lights, and other useful soldering aids.