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.

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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Push-me Pull-you LEDs

I may never get tired of talking about LED and diode polarities. It’s so much fun. Not long ago, I wrote about two LEDs from the same manufacturer, marked with opposite polarities. I recently ran into another one, but at … Continue reading

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Intergalactic Geek Pride Day Quiz

There was a time when “Geek” was far from a badge of honor. Jr. High School (AKA middle school) was developed specifically for the purpose of making geeks miserable. We were told that lockers were  designed for holding books, lunches … Continue reading

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The Value of Open Source

There were a number of interesting sessions and debates at the DesignWest show. One of the more passion filled, was on the value of Open Source hardware. Some people think it will save the world,if only everyone will do everything … Continue reading

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LEDs: Seeing Double

Like I do so often, I’m being a bit redundant. While I’m all for stamping out and eliminating redundancy, this is redundancy with a purpose (not a porpoise). Not long ago, in a galaxy not far away, I blogged about … Continue reading

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Will a Via Fit Between?

I don’t know that it would be accurate to say that BGAs have ever been easy, but with 0.4mm pitch being common and 0.3mm pitch showing up, some of the older size, like a WHOLE millimeter pitch seem positively spacious. … Continue reading

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More Cautionary Tails

I recently wrote about the horrors of LED marking variations. Unfortunately, LEDs aren’t the only place to find inconsistencies in our world. Another part to keep a close eye on is the ubiquitous three-terminal voltage regulator. For just short of … Continue reading

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