Screaming Circuits: Layout

PROTOTYPE AND SMALL VOLUME
PCB ASSEMBLY MADE EASY

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

What's So Difficult About Diodes?

A diode can be put on a a PC board in one of two ways. It's only got two pins (usually - see, already, Iv'e got a caveat.) I've written about them a few times before. I've got a sampling... Read more

What Makes a Good Fiducial?

Accountants may have a fiduciary responsibility, but that really has nothing to do with PC board assembly. Change the "ry" to a "ls", however, and you get fiducials, which does have something to do with PCB assembly. A fiducial is... 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

Surface mount power component footprints

There was a time when the Bison ran free on the plains and power components were easy to design with. Everything, with the exception of an exotic few, used either the TO-220 or TO-3 packages. Even when surface mount came... Read more

Start the Year Right, without PCB placement overlap

Today's illustration isn't a super-bad problem. You can usually make this work - unless you've got to align up with a hole in case. I'm talking about the venerable 3.5 mm audio jack. They aren't used all that often these... 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

Fab Drawings or Assembly Drawing Standards?

It's not always possible to have all of the information needed for a successful PCB assembly printed on the blank PC board. When this is the case, we ask for an assembly drawing - like I suggest here. But what... Read more