About designing the boards which carry the components of an electronic circuit. For questions about getting them built instead use PCB-fabrication. If your question is specific to a certain CAD tool, say which tool and version you are using.

learn more… | top users | synonyms

0
votes
1answer
42 views

CADSOFT EAGLE libraries searching best practices

I just started to learn how to use EAGLE PCB software. The device I wanted to draw as the first try containing two elements that are not in the libraries provided with Eagle out of the shelf: ...
11
votes
3answers
375 views

Why do they make traces to LTZ1000 in spiral shape?

I was browsing Google images of LTZ1000 voltage reference IC. I saw that in some of the PCBs, the traces that go to LTZ1000 are in spiral shape and cut out gaps are left between them. What is the ...
-1
votes
0answers
42 views

Will this VFD design work? [on hold]

I've been looking for some design into making a variable frequency drive as I see they can be pretty pricey. Trying to use it to control the speed of a motor for a metal lathe. Can you tell me if the ...
0
votes
1answer
32 views

PCB Mount Push Button Identification Help

Can anyone help me identify the push button on this PCB board taken from a router? The button is circled in RED and is the one on the backside of the router, used to turn it on/off. I would like to ...
0
votes
0answers
48 views

fiducials on a panel

have a little question about fiducials: My Layouter/My Boss likes to use 3 fiducials on the panelframe and one fiducial on each individual board in the panel. My job is to build the program for the ...
2
votes
5answers
77 views

Correct way to define board outline?

I'm a student and am almost ready to have a PCB I designed fabricated, but I'm confused about how the board outline should be defined. Here's what I currently have: I also have a 20mil keepout ...
1
vote
1answer
45 views

How to export and print the PCB in Altium

Hi I have done a very basic PCB (only one layer) with Altium, but when I'm trying to export the pdf, the obtained file has different sizes: in particular my 15x15cm circuit is expanded to the whole A4 ...
2
votes
2answers
154 views

Eagle - non solder mask defined (NSMD) pads

I am designing a PCB layout in Eagle and in the datasheet of my modul it is said that "Non solder mask defined (NSMD) type is recommended for the solder pads on the PCB". Does it mean that there will ...
0
votes
0answers
39 views

KiCad auto placer to compliment auto router

All, I have been designing few prototype PCB in KiCad and etching them using the Laser toner transfer method. This is working great as of now but as my circuit is getting complex, I am unable to place ...
0
votes
1answer
68 views

Should I build my own parts for making PCB with eagle or is there a database somewhere?

I'm trying to build a custom PCB for a project I'm working on. I'm building a small robot that navigates using a color sensor and moves using two motors. For logic I'm using an Arduino Nano. My ...
1
vote
1answer
47 views

Should courtyard information be included in gerber files for manufacture?

I just used 4pcb's free DFM checker and it doesn't like the fact that the courtyard line widths on my board are 1.968mils (what Altium generated in the IPC component wizard). It's also complaining ...
1
vote
4answers
87 views

PCB alterations post-production. Or, how do I not stab myself while scraping off the copper?

I made a PCB that I am happy with (it works!). This is for a power circuit, and I have realized (way too late) that I want a switch on the board as well. I bought a switch from a hardware store that ...
1
vote
1answer
38 views

Passive ringing on PCB causing noise

I have a PCB that is exposed to a sharp inductive-voltage collapse, around 100V/100nsec. The voltage collapse happens when the current through a transorb reaches zero. When this happens, the board and ...
0
votes
1answer
65 views

Schematic shows some resistor values as DNE

What does it mean on a schematic when some resistor values are listed as DNE?
2
votes
2answers
59 views

Muxes, Adders, Comparators, and Gates

This question is actually from one of my previous discussions, which I still don't understand how to implement. The goal is to use abstraction to design a circuit, which converts two-digit ASCII ...
0
votes
0answers
57 views

Single or dual ground plane for SMPS DC-DC converter?

I'm working on DC-DC converter prototype using dual layer PCB. Layout it finished using bottom layer as ground plane. Question is does make any sense to put on top layer also ground. How that can ...
2
votes
1answer
63 views

Floating plane in PCB

I just designed a simple class D amp pcb in which the ground plane is in a star configuration with the IC as center as suggested by the datasheet (cuts in signal areas vs big cap areas, etc..). VCC ...
0
votes
1answer
34 views

Connecting any signal route with unused pin

I am using BGA package type of MCU, and it has ball pins on the bottom side. As I route the signal route, some of pins should be connected with unused pins without build-up method. The pins are not ...
6
votes
1answer
680 views

Should I avoid BGA?

I am designing a board and have found that a BGA component is cheaper than the larger footprint. I am curious if I should be reluctant to implement a BGA with regard to extra steps during ...
1
vote
2answers
49 views

Milling power planes

I just started sketching a simple PCB for LEDs with integrated drivers, it has large unused spaces and being lightweight is important, so I was considering milling holes in the middle of these empty ...
0
votes
4answers
127 views

How to order a custom PCB

I need a tiny PCB for a tiny IC. Is this something I have to design in autocad? Do I have to go to a shop to print it for me? Ultimately I want to be able to flux solder the IC on the tiny board so ...
3
votes
1answer
84 views

Crystal oscillator problem

Here is the datasheet of the crystal (32 MHz) that I use for a MCU. The right layout is an older version of my board which totally works fine. The left one is the newer version where I placed the ...
5
votes
3answers
588 views

How to deal with low space and high current?

In my circuit I am using a stepper motor driver, providing me up to 3 A current per trace. Thus I calculated the required trace width with a trace calculator, which told me to use a trace width of ...
1
vote
0answers
48 views

Cooling the IC on a board printed by hand

I'm building a battery charger circuit with BQ24278. The battery draws 500mA minimum and 2.5A maximum current; therefore, I must prevent IC from overheating. I printed the board onto single sided ...
3
votes
1answer
80 views

PCB Short Issue

I recently designed two boards and had them manufactured for a project I am working on. Before I soldered any components, I checked the continuity of some of my connections and discovered that there ...
0
votes
3answers
47 views

Connections for Panel Mount 12VDC Power Supply

I'm using a 12V Panel Mount Power Supply, taking a 110/220VAC input and giving a 12V/5V DC output. What is the best practice for connecting this power supply to the AC mains? And how should this ...
-1
votes
0answers
31 views

sizing of trace of pcb? [duplicate]

Dose any one have example (picture) of real pcb board of various size traces .like 40th 60th....etc.actually i designed pcb on software as my term assignment .but i want to which width looks like how ...
0
votes
2answers
76 views

AVR Rapid Fire Mod… I hit a wall and need some help

Title says it; I'm making a rapid fire mod chip with the 328p family of chips right now (I'm going to scale down to whatever the smallest chip is that will safely hold the final software). I'm a fan ...
0
votes
1answer
33 views

Question about Audio signal trace layout (TLV320AIC3204)

I am using the TLV320AIC3204 in an audio project. The part is a stereo audio codec from TI. I'm curious about how the traces are to be laid out. With other chips such as the AD1939, you need to ...
0
votes
1answer
57 views

Is it mandatory to use thermals in hand soldered PCBs?

I understand thermals are used to prevent tombstoning during oven soldering by allowing all pads to heat up more evenly, but are they necessary when the PCB is going to be soldered by hand? Consider ...
1
vote
1answer
59 views

Abstract Datasheet Dimension Notation

I am attempting to create a footprint for a Surface Mount Component and I am using the manufacturer's datasheet for reference. They include PCB dimensions but the notation used is a bit confusing. It ...
3
votes
1answer
121 views

How to generate Assembly drawing in Altium

How to generate Assembly drawing with designators inside the boxes like this in Altium? Is it by placing designators (silkscreens) inside manually? I guess not.
0
votes
1answer
49 views

Proteus Ground Plane with thin trace in Pad

I am doing a project on Proteus Ares and applying a ground plan. However, the points of the terminals that are connected to ground to ground-pad connection is by a thin trail. Is there any way to ...
2
votes
0answers
69 views

LED module design considerations for an aluminium board

I need to design a LED module something similar to below. Could anyone who is experience tell me if there is any SW (or tools) to determine how to place the LEDs to have a good and evenly ...
1
vote
1answer
64 views

Altium doesn't show traces when interactively routing

When I try interactive routing, the traces don't show up until after I leave the interactive routing state. I've tried resetting desktop layouts, and showing all connections, but nothing I've seen ...
34
votes
6answers
2k views

How do you document your hardware design decisions?

How do you document your hardware decisions in the design phase? How do you avoid having to ask yourself the following questions while reviewing an hardware design that you made in the past: Why did ...
0
votes
3answers
99 views

Why would a 74LS14 be used to enable another IC?

As a learning experience, I am studying a 64K 80 COLUMN expansion card for the Apple IIe. The model number is ...
-2
votes
1answer
69 views

What to expect when i place a diode in magnetic field

I am designing a PCB that senses basic NTC values and converts it into digital format. The problem is the entire PCB is above a magnet(about 70mT at the board) that is moving. Hence i want to know ...
1
vote
1answer
59 views

why is the ic rf shielding exposed

I assume this rectangle around the IC is for RF shielding, but why when is it exposed? I have seen this occasionally and I am not sure of it's exact purpose or why its exposed. Googling the title ...
6
votes
2answers
116 views

Mixed Signal PCB, 2 or 4 Layer?

I'm currently designing a mixed-signal PCB for a client and I've been reading a lot about signal integrity and most of the books recommend a 4 layer board (or more) because of the noise resistance ...
3
votes
3answers
111 views

What does this symbol with white rectangles around my vias mean in Altium?

I'm doing a PCB in Altium and I don't know what these white rectangles beside my vias are meant to indicate. A screen shot is below:
0
votes
2answers
158 views

“Net Antennae Violation” on Pad -> Via -> GND plane connection

I just started routing my first PCB on Altium. It is a simple 2-layer board with bottom layer as dedicated GND plane. I started out placing GND vias for GND pads of the top layer SMD components like ...
0
votes
0answers
20 views

Eagle mixed manual and autorouting approach [duplicate]

Often in Eagle I find myself routing important bits by hand manually, and then letting autoroute finish. If I want to redo the autoroute, maybe with a tweaked DRC or something, it would be convenient ...
2
votes
1answer
178 views

How can I design my PCB in a way I can debug the Atmel microcontroller on board?

We are designing a board around Atmel SAM4E microcontroller, and use Atmel-ICE for debugging/programming. To save space, we would like to avoid including the whole ICE connector. Which are the minimum ...
3
votes
1answer
76 views

What to consider when designing a pcb for HV?

The question is already in the title: What should I consider when I want to design a PCB with a voltage output up to 2 kV? Only the output lanes are going to be on this level, the other lanes are on ...
1
vote
1answer
53 views

Eagle Auto Router Display

I've been having difficulty finishing the routing on a PCB I've designed. This is the first time this has happened really. I have miles of free space, yet it only gets to 96.4%. Anyways, I can't find ...
4
votes
1answer
158 views

LTC3355 backup DC/DC regulator output voltage sags under load in boost mode

Background For a hobby project I have designed a board using the LTC3355 DC/DC regulator to work as a power supply. I am a software engineer by trade, and I am thus totally underequipped to properly ...
1
vote
1answer
60 views

Can I cross the output inductor trace with input power line?

I'm attempting to learn a little more about SMPS design while referring to existing designs and posts such as this one: SMPS PCB Design Critic I'm implementing an AL8805 based constant current buck ...
0
votes
0answers
48 views

Design of Capacitive electrodes using Kicad

I am looking into building a capacitive electrode. I find a lot of research papers available online , however none that tell me how to actually construct the capacitive electrode. Most deal with ...
2
votes
1answer
36 views

Eagle tStop pad colliding with other pads

As you can see from the image, the tStop layer is colliding/wildly close with other tStop pad layer. Is that a cause of concern? IC is Linear Technology battery management IC - LTC4155. Package is ...