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With this being my first PCB, I wanted to know if it was standard practice to make the entire top signal layer into a ground plane solely for the two ground pads that I have for the audio connectors which pour into the plane?

I read that if there are a lot of traces, the ground plane can affect signal integrity, but in this case, I have very few traces.

Additionally, at the node where the traces split on the left 20 pin header, I have 5V splitting in parallel to supply 5V each for both audio jacks. Is this the correct way to maintain the parallel circuit?

I ask this because even though I had the parallel layout on the schematic. Altium's active routing created a trace from the pin to the first audio jack pad, then another trace from the first audio jack pad to the second audio jack pad. Is this not connected in series?

schematic

pin descriptionTRS connector

enter image description here

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  • \$\begingroup\$ The plane only connects the TRS connector pins together, it goes nowhere else like the other pins. Is this intentional or mistake? \$\endgroup\$
    – Justme
    Jun 21 at 18:19
  • \$\begingroup\$ Must it go somewhere if I want to ground the two TRS connector pins? \$\endgroup\$
    – Kevin
    Jun 21 at 18:23
  • \$\begingroup\$ we don't know what you want or try to do, but as it is now, it connects to nowhere on the connectors, only the sleeves are together. \$\endgroup\$
    – Justme
    Jun 21 at 18:26
  • \$\begingroup\$ I want to ground the poured pads on the TRS connectors. One of the pins on the 20 pin header goes to analog ground on a DAQ board. If I pour that pin as well, is the system correctly grounded? \$\endgroup\$
    – Kevin
    Jun 21 at 18:31
  • \$\begingroup\$ P21 must have a signal ground \$\endgroup\$ Jun 21 at 18:46
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With this being my first PCB, I wanted to know if it was standard practice to make the entire top signal layer into a ground plane solely for the two ground pads that I have for the audio connectors which pour into the plane?

While it may seem excessive, it doesn't add any additional cost to make, but it does have a function to create one continuous plane. A continuous plane is better than just single traces because it adds a small amount of capacitance and shielding for high frequency signals. Another thing that a continuous plane does is reduce resistance.

I also noticed that you only have one grounding point on the headers, introducing more could reduce common mode voltage noise through the resistance of the connector.

Is this the correct way to maintain the parallel circuit?

If both connectors are plugged in the conductors will make a loop, you may want to reduce the size of the loop because loop antennas can create problems (but it depends on the magnetic environment).

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  • \$\begingroup\$ I didn't intend for any pins that have the purpose of detection. Pin 19 supplies 5V to both TRS connectors, and pin 1 & 3 receive signals from the TRS connector. Pin 2 is meant as an analog ground. \$\endgroup\$
    – Kevin
    Jun 21 at 19:13

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