Screaming Circuits: Tips and tools

PROTOTYPE AND SMALL VOLUME
PCB ASSEMBLY MADE EASY

And Another Footprint Thing

When you are creating a footprint in your favorite CAD program, or reusing someone else's footprint, double check the zero orientation. This post discusses the IPC-7351 specified zero rotation orientation. This picture on the left shows a library component with... Read more

How to Build a footprint

Well, not really how to build one in a technical sense, but some thoughts on how to better ensure that you get it right. In theory, it shouldn't be that difficult. You download the datasheet and build the land pattern... Read more

Loopy Ground Loops

A while back, I posed a question about using flood fill (AKA copper pours). I've been reading a lot about ground loops lately which brought me back to that original question. Some people suggest segmenting your ground plane between analog... Read more

On Final For Landing on Runway 0805

Keep out areas can be a problem when adapting a CAD component land pattern, but that's not the only potential problem. Sometimes the part may be close, but the footprint is different enough to cause problems, as in the picture... Read more

Via Caps

The best way of dealing with via-in-pad requirements is to have the vias filled and plated over at the board house. There can still be some issues with that technique, but if done right, is very reliable and the best... Read more

Little Chippy Challenges

And in terms of "Chippy", in this context, I'm referring to chip-caps and any other tiny little two-connector components. When considering surface mount, most people think of the many-connector parts, like BGAs and QFNs as the challenging components. That's mostly... Read more

Missed it by That Much...

Running a DRC (design rule check) before sending your PCB out for fab and assembly is a must. It's also a minimum. Not everything is caught by all DRCs. For example, if you look at these PCB images, you'll undoubtedly... Read more

To Lead or not to Lead. That is the question

Back at the Embedded Systems Conference in September, I had a number of folks ask me about mixing leaded and lead-free components on a PCB. It's a difficult situation for some people - especially when using old and very new... Read more

Passive Problems

Here's a common scenario: You have an array of small components. Maybe some SOT23 transistors or a set of LEDs. On one side, you have wires and chips and stuff hooked up all over the place. On the other side,... Read more

Another Via-in-Pad reason

Just the other day - No not that one. The other one - I was reading through some of the open source Beagleboard information again and I came across an interesting tid bit. In one of the early revisions, they... Read more