Been trying to find a discussion on these, but so far no luck other than a couple of old reddit posts and aGH thread that did not really answer my question.
When you buy stabilizers, is it always just personal choice or do some PCBs and Plates require you to use a specific kind ? I have heard about plates with large holes that expect you to use a pcb mounted version. How do I know this is this always the case with plates in general ?
Once you have decided to use a PCB mount stab, how do you decide between clip-ons vs screw-ins ?
Is it always required to use electrical tape when using screw-in stabs to avoid shorting out the PCB ?
It varies depending on the plate. If you’re doing PCB mounted then screw in can be nice as it’s a bit more secure but you have to watch out that the screws don’t short the circuit.
I find if you’re doing a band-aid mod that the band-aid going through the pcb hole will hold the stab in pretty well anyways.
Some builds require one or the other, or both. Just depends on the footprints used on the PCB and the way the plate was cut. The image below shows a stab cutout for a switch plate that is compatible with both PCB-mount and plate-mount stabs.
The characteristic that identifies it as plate mount compatible is the little notch I have circled in red.
Here is an example of a plate that is only compatible with PCB mounted stabs:
To identify a PCB that is compatible with PCB mounted stabs look for holes like these highlighted in blue: