DIY Tutorial: Make Your Own Contact Boards

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Ouchyfoot's picture
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DIY Tutorial: Make Your Own Contact Boards

Need a contact board of a certain size or custom fit? Hate stripping the components off a perfectly good driver you could use in another application.

Make your own.

I decided to post this little tutorial in case anyone may have the need. The board I am making is designed for my mods particular needs, but you can configure yours anyway you want for your own intentions. 

Double sided copper clad circuit board. Great stuff and comes in handy for lots of things. It's not expensive and can be used for other things. In my books, anything that is easy to shape and is solderable is a useful tool. There's tons of it available on Aliexpress.

Start off with double sided copper clad circuit board.

Mark the shape and size you want.

Cut it out. I use a hacksaw. It's just some kind of glass fiber, so it's easy to cut. After the square is cut, I lop off the corners with a dremel.

Shape it. A Dremel sanding drum does the job in seconds, or use a file.

There. Nice and round, and a perfect fit for my light.

Now, you can decide what your needs are from here. You could scribe some lines and remove copper to separate positive from ground, or like I'm going to do, make a hole so the spring can be attached directly to the drivers stock board. I run the sanding drum around the edge to make a little DMZ between the + and —.

I made it so the front is exactly the same as the back. The ground ring on the driver will sit on the contact boards ground ring.


Take note: some of these circuit boards(like mine)come with an invisible nonconductive protective coating. It may be gum Arabic or something. You just need to rinse it under water to remove it. Do that now.

The copper cladding on the front and back are not connected, so that's the next job. You can use pieces of wire, or notch the edges and use some copper braid. Neatness doesn't really count here.

I have lots of copper head pins, so that's what I'll use for mine.

On this one I drilled holes for six 20 gauge pins. It's probably overkill.


Before I insert them I coat the ends of the shafts with flux, hold a hot soldering iron tip against the pin and give it some solder. I like to get it good and hot so the solder moves down the pin hole. It's not connected to anything, so get it as hot as you want.

Then snip off the pins.

Now Ive got connectivity from front to back.

Its looking very nautical.

Okay. The driver will sit right here.

I like to flood all around the edge of the driver board with liquid flux, hit it with some heat from a fat iron tip and let that solder flow around and between the boards, making a solid ground to ground connection.

You could drop this flashlight from the roof of a building, and this driver isn't going separate from the contact board.

Here's the battery side. I still have to add the spring. I'll get around to it.

And here is where it going to live. Home sweet home


Get some copper clad circuit board. It's fun!

Edited by: Ouchyfoot on 04/28/2014 - 13:22
RMM's picture
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Nice work!  

Mountain Electronics : batteries, Noctigon, and much more! What's new? 

Helios-'s picture
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Those copper head pins look nice.

Counterfeit 18650s, 2,<a href=“http://

g22dru's picture
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Thanks for the DYI Ouchfoot!

….just one more….

MRsDNF's picture
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Thanks Ouchyfoot.


djozz quotes, "it came with chinese lettering that is chinese to me".

                      "My man mousehole needs one too"

old4570 said "I'm not an expert , so don't suffer from any such technical restrictions".

Old-Lumens. Highly admired and cherished member of Budget Light Forum. 11.5.2011 - 20.12.16. RIP.


M4D M4X's picture
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Thanks for showing!

i do not work in "reviews, deals and codes" for the time being
maybe M4D M4X will return one day, but until then:


bushwhacked's picture
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Cool trick to make smaller drivers fit in large pills.

Thanks for sharing (just a redirect for now)

djozz's picture
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Nice trick! 

Mr Floppy
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I’ve been doing the same thing only with single sided circuit boards. Same principle but thicker and have to line up the holes.

Funny thing, I cut them out the same way as you, i.e clamped to the handrail outside. Gotta get a proper work bench one day.

18sixfifty's picture
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Good stuff!

Is that a J-19 I see there?

I’m a junky, I mod lights so I can sell lights so I can buy more light to mod so I can sell lights to buy more lights to mod.

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Ouchyfoot's picture
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18sixfifty wrote:
Good stuff!

Is that a J-19 I see there?

Yes it is. I’ve got the emitters in and just need to put it all together. I’m just waiting for the crappy weather to go away so I can focus. I ordered three unprotected 32650s for it. I might wait til they arrive.