Tag Archives: PCB design

What Route Do You Take?

There are a lot of polar opposites in the “what is my philosophy” world: Mac vs. PC, on shore vs. off shore manufacturing, Ford vs. Chevy, Atmel vs. Microchip (well, maybe not that one so much any more), auto router … Continue reading

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Mirror Mirror

A mirror can bring bad luck, it is said. In this PCB assembly challenge, it certainly did when a mirrored pad layout for a transformer made it impossible to mount the component to its intended location on the top side … 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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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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Freescale KL03 and PCB123 at 0.4mm Pitch

Small component packages seem to be a recurring theme with me. It’s understandable, I guess. Super tiny packages are becoming more and more common and we build a lot of product with them. The smallest we’ve built is 0.3mm pitch. … Continue reading

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Wilk the Winner

Congratulations to Edward Wilk of Facts Engineering, who won the incentive prize for filling out a recent survey of PCB West 2014 technical conference attendees. Edward, a $50 AMEX gift card is headed your way. Thanks for your support, and thanks … 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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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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Beagle CAD Paw Prints

Unfortunately, I can’t generically hand out Eagle CAD QFN footprints without knowing the specific part, but I can illustrate the areas I initially had difficulty with. All of the traps that used to get me seem blindingly obvious now, but … Continue reading

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