Screaming Circuits: Tips and tools

PROTOTYPE AND SMALL VOLUME
PCB ASSEMBLY MADE EASY

What do you do if you can't have reference designators?

The first answer to that question is probably going to be along the lines of: "put them on the board." But, sometimes you can't have reference designators on your board. Maybe it's too densely populated and there isn't room. Maybe,... Read more

Packing Parts for Personal Manufacturing

Manufacturing, especially small volume one-time-only builds (like a prototype) is hard. It's not wise for most people to actively seek out chaos, but that's what we do, and we do it wisely. That's what we've been doing since 2003. We... Read more

Via in Pad - Why and How

There are many reasons you shouldn’t use via in pad. It’s not good practice, and those via holes act like little capillary straws and suck solder off of the pad or the BGA. That said there are some applications that... Read more

Cost Reduction in Design - More Advice for Makers

As a Maker, you really need a decent price, with good quality, and good service. Contrary to what many people think, you don't need to look outside of North America for this. You can keep your gaze West of the... Read more

Choose Your Package Wisely

As I mentioned in my prior blog, there are reasons to consider different packages than just physical size. Sometimes it is just space available on the PC board, but there may be other considerations as well. One of the first... Read more

QFN? QFP? QFwhat?

The QFN (quad flat pack, no leads) has become my favorite integrated circuit package. It's very compact, yet is easier to use than a micro BGA. Micro BGAs of 0.5mm and smaller pitch become a bit more difficult and costly... Read more

Warped PC boards

So... You just got a nice big PC board back from the fab shop. You set one on your desk to admire only to discover that it's warped. What do you do? There are two primary types of causes of... Read more

Panel Rails - What Are They?

I referred to "panel rails" in my blog about V-score panels, but I didn't explain the "whats" and whys" of panel rails. You might find yourself asking "what are panel rails and why would I want to use them?" Well,... Read more

Individual routed boards - not panelized

Some people, especially in the manufacturing industry, refer to PC board panels by the term "palette." I can't seem to avoid thinking of the big wooden thing used for shipping stuff, so it's tough for me to call a panel... Read more

Tab Routing panelization

In my prior post, I covered V-sore panelization. The other very common panelization method is called tab-routing, as in routed, but with tabs. (That's "routed" like using a router, not as in Napoleon being chased out of Russia.) Following this... Read more