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.

Remote ESD

ESD, or electrostatic discharge, is of great concern to anyone who deals with electronics. That’s obvious. What’s not necessarily so obvious, is that some times, you don’t even need to be all that close to the circuit board or component … Continue reading

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Warped PCBs

You just got a nice big PCB 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 board warping: … Continue reading

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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, first of … Continue reading

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V-Score Panelization

My last post talked a bit about panelization, in general. Today, I’m taking a look at V-score panelization. V-score is created by running a V-shaped blade across the top and bottom of the panel without cutting all the way through. … Continue reading

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PCB Panel Routing Technique

Most PCBs we receive are individually routed; i.e., not panelized. That doesn’t mean that, sometimes, sending them in a panel isn’t a good idea, or required. Generally, we don’t require panels (sometimes called a pallet), but there are some cases … Continue reading

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Component Packages — Let’s Get Small

I’ve been on a bit of a package binge lately. First talking about metric vs. US passive sizes, and then a very tiny ARM Cortex M0 from Freescale. The Freescale BGA part checks in at 1.6 x 2mm. That’s cool and I’m almost always … Continue reading

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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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