Screaming Circuits: Circuit Design

PROTOTYPE AND SMALL VOLUME
PCB ASSEMBLY MADE EASY

Rules-based PCB Layout

Design rules are rules (imagine that) set in your PCB CAD software that will do one or more of two things. A) They set the limits of the capabilities of the PCB fabrication company you'll use to make your blank... Read more

Power Distribution - To route, or To Plane

Power distribution, on a PC board, can come in a number of forms. The three most common methods are You can route power and ground. You can use surface layer floods. You can use internal planes. After component positioning, you’ll... Read more

Basic Layout - Aligning Components

Not long ago, I designed an Arduino compatible clock board. The board has twelve NeoPixel (digital addressed RGB LEDs) arranged around the board to act as hour hands. The minutes and seconds are represented by an external ring of 60... Read more

Mistakes Were Made - Too Much Ground Isolation

I recently ran a batch of my Neo Pixel clock boards through the factory here. It's an Arduino UNO-based design that I made for myself not long ago. It sports an Atmega328P, with bootloader, an FT231X USB chip, and a... Read more

Designing for Movement

What is the difference between electronics in a robot vs., say, a stationary temperature monitor and control device? For one, if the temperature controller goes haywire, you can pull it off the wall and stomp on it, while you might... Read more

How Much of that part number is important?

Part numbers are incredibly important, but can also be incredibly annoying and confusing. Obviously, we all need them, but it would be nice if there were some semblance of a standard. Well, there are some standards, like capacitor grades and... Read more

Is it time for USB Type C?

The USB 3.1, type C standard have been around long enough such that the connectors and chips are readily available. But, it's a more complex set up and may have far more capabilities than is needed in your design. As... Read more

What Route Do You Take?

There are a lot of polar opposites in the "what is my philosophy" world: Mac vs. PC, on shore vs. off shore manufacturing, Ford vs. Chevy, Atmel vs. Microchip (well, maybe not that one so much any more), auto router... Read more

Top 5 Things to Know When Moving from Hand Assembly to Robotic Assembly

A lot of factors go into the decision to hand build or outsource circuit boards. I hand build my own sometimes, simply because I enjoy the challenge. Of course most of the projects I design are for my own use,... Read more

USB Type-C Connectors

It wasn't terribly long ago that pretty much every cell phone came out with its own custom charging cable. It was a major step forward when they all (except Apple) standardized on the USB micro-B connector. However, there are a... Read more