Screaming Circuits: Oopsie in the Center Pad


Oopsie in the Center Pad

Darn. This PCB don't look so good. Quick - name two things wrong with it...

Center pad oops 1 

If you guessed that the solder mask is inverted and the vias are open, then you were right. Sorry. No points will be given for this exercise. It's just something that happens now and then and a good reason to double check those Gerbers before you send them out to fab.

So, what happened to this poor pcb? Did it get shipped off to the great recycling heap in the sky? Well, not this time. If it were a production build, it would have been chased out of here faster than a speeding Smart Car. But, as it was, this was a proto build and we got creative.

Center pad oops 2 

A little careful scraping with with a sharp object and viola. We don't recommend this as a solution and we won't guarantee that it will work, but sometimes it will do in a proto world, as it did in this case.

Duane Benson
Scrape goes the weasel


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I wish fixing chips were this easy.

My guess is that the original footprint didn't have vias or mask in the center pad and I suspect that someone was trying to do the right thing and tent those vias, but accidentally did the opposite. Bummer.

How does that even happen? Does some popular CAD package have an "invert soldermask" option, or something?

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