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.

The Common Parts Library

The two most common causes of delay in small volume manufacturing here at Screaming Circuits (and presumably, others like us) are component availability, and footprint mismatches. We don’t substitute parts without your approval for a number of reasons. I’ve written about … Continue reading

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Raspberry Pi — What’s It All Mean?

What would you do with a computer that costs $5? First, let me explain a bit. The Raspberry Pi, if you don’t know, is a small, inexpensive single board computer designed by the non-profit Raspberry Pi foundation in England. Its mission … Continue reading

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An Engineer Entrepreneur’s First Brand Lesson

If you’re an engineer starting a business, do you need to worry about your business’s brand? In a word: yes. You don’t need to make a big project out of it at the start. It can be as simple as … Continue reading

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How Should You Mark Your Diodes?

Current flows through a diode from the anode to the cathode – it will pass current only when the potential on the anode is greater than the potential on the cathode. This is mostly true, but not always. For the common … Continue reading

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Those Danged LEDs Again

I was caught by one of my own favorite “simple” traps last week: the dreaded LED footprint mess. I designed a board based on the Microchip PIC32 — it’s a ChipKIT Arduino-compatible board — that has a number of RGB LEDs on … Continue reading

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No Need to Waste Parts

We love parts on reels. Who doesn’t? But reels aren’t always practical — and it’s not just about cost. Cost is, of course, important, but there may be other factors to consider. Say, for example, you need 20 2.2K Ohm, … Continue reading

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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 … Continue reading

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Proper PCB Storage — The Top 3 Hazards

It’s late. Do you know where your printed circuit boards are? Let me rephrase that: Can unused PCBs be stored for future use? Yes, they can – if stored properly. Keep them wrapped up, or sealed in a bag. Anti-static isn’t necessary … Continue reading

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What is Personal Manufacturing?

There’s a lot of buzz floating around these days, about “Personal Manufacturing.” Screaming Circuits has more than a decade of bringing personal manufacturing to engineers. We pretty much started the category in the electronics industry, so we’re quite familiar – but … Continue reading

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Manufacturability Index in Practice

My prior blog covered the Screaming Circuits Manufacturability Index. It’s something I’ll be using from time to time when discussing new components I run across. I’ve got a few examples to put the numbers into context. On the low side … Continue reading

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