Screaming Circuits: Layout


Make that Three QFNs

It's a new weekend, and I'm back to my obsession with stepper motors. If you haven't read part one of this series yet, go back and read it here. That's not an order; more of a plea. In any case,... Read more

A couple of QFNs and Circuit Maker CAD software

It's about time for another project. I normally design half a dozen or so small boards per year. It's not my profession. It's just something I do. But I haven't designed or built anything since the "incident" with the photo... Read more

Electronics Manufacturing Files - What We Need

Manufacturing is all about taking data from you and delivering some good working circuit boards. Well, it can be just data - as in full turn-key, or data plus some parts and or PC boards, as in a partial turn-key... Read more

Do You Really Need Soldermask and Silkscreen?

We've been asked that question: "Do I Really Need Soldermask and Silkscreen?" many times. And, we've been asked with good reasons. To us, soldermask protects exposed metal, reduce the chance of shorts, and keeps solder where solder needs to be.... Read more

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

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