PCB Card Guides and Retainers Information

Card guides are attached to backplane motherboards to allow the insertion or mounting of computer cards. Card guides and card cages are designed to hold computer cards and motherboards securely in place and allow for easy removal of old cards and addition of new cards. These guides help eliminate flexing and bending of boards and can also be designed to conduct and dissipate heat.

Card guides can come configured with multiple slots to allow for the addition of several cards into the backplanes of servers. Some card guides are also specially designed to eliminate hot spots caused by the operation of multiple cards. Card guides can also be designed to improve air flow distribution by using air deflectors built in to the card guide.

Card guides are used to support the motherboard in a personal computer. Motherboard guides are typically adjustable components that fit in to the computer’s chassis, and typically involve a combination of lock tabs, rails, and plastic rivets to secure the motherboard. A motherboard guide ensures that the components on the motherboard, such as the input and output shield, can safely clear the other components contained in the chassis. The rail used as part of the motherboard card guide also includes a grounding loop that is attached to each of the rivet receptacles on the chassis.

Card guides can be mounted with hardware or may also come with snap fasteners that secure them in the computer chassis or backplane. Card guides with moldings or pads can help absorb some of the vibration during operation and are also shock resistant. Guides are made of thermoplastics and polycarbonate materials, aluminum, or stainless steel. Stainless steel card guides are typically used for extra strength and can come with an injector/ejector device to make inserting and removing the cards easier.