Author Archives: Duane

About Duane

Duane is the Web Marketing Manager for Screaming Circuits, an EMS company based in Canby, Oregon. He blogs regularly on matters ranging from circuit board design and assembly to general industry observations.

0.4mm Pitch BGA is Awesome

I recently had a conversation with a friend about 0.4mm pitch BGAs. The specific part is the FreescaleKL03 ARM Coretex-M0+ microcontroller in a 1.6mm x 2mm, 04.mm pitch package. That’s a 20-ball wafer scale BGA form factor. I don’t have an … Continue reading

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When is an 0201 Not an 0201?

I’m working on a special project here that involves some 0402 LEDs and 0201 resistors. When doing such a thing, you should always check the footprint you’re using against the datasheet. When using extra small parts, like this, I recommend … Continue reading

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Open The Pod Bay Doors, HASL

Does anyone use HASL (hot air surface leveling) anymore? It’s also known as HAL. Prior to the RoHS days, HASL was probably the most common surface finish. You can get it lead-free, but most boards seem to use immersion silver … Continue reading

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ODB++ Plus, Plus, Plus

I wrote a bit about ODB++ back in October. Nothing has really changed much since then. I’m just clarifying a few things. First, I want to put more emphasis on the use of ODB++. In addition to being beneficial to … Continue reading

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More Fun File Facts: ODB++

In my last post, I wrote about the up and coming IPC-2581 PCB manufacturing file format. While IPC-2581 may be looked at by PCB fabricators and assemblers as a holy grail of sorts, it’s not yet widely adopted by CAD software. But, … Continue reading

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Fun Facts about Manufacturing Files

Circuit boards live and die by their manufacturing files. Without complete and accurate information, the board fab house can’t fab the boards, the assembly house can’t assemble your boards and nobody can buy the parts. Our old standard, the Gerber … Continue reading

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Pads on Ground Plane

Generally, small pads for passive parts are connected  with a single PCB trace of equal size to each pad. That’s the right way to do it. However, sometimes, circumstances dictate a little different approach. The illustration on the right shows … Continue reading

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Geek Week on YouTube

In case you haven’t heard, it’s Geek Week on YouTube. In honor of that, here are the top ten most incredible pieces of trivia from ancient Geek Mythology. You can scroll down and read them here, or have the questions read … Continue reading

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Super Small Via-in-Pad

Via-in-pad is an old issue that still pops up now and then. Our standard answer hasn’t changed: No open vias in pads. But one of the questions we get related to the subject is: “What if we make the vias … Continue reading

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CAD Data Files

I’ve spent a fair amount of time researching and writing about the centroid file and about CAD library footprints. One of the challenges in this industry is that somethings that are “standard” really aren’t all that standard. That’s why we … Continue reading

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