I'm a little new to PCB design and could use some help figuring out the best way to make this very simply PCB that I plan to connect to the back of a custom led light sign that I'm making. The circuit is simply a bunch of LED strips that all have the power and ground connected in parallel:
Here's what I've drafted up in Kicad, the wide placement of the components is necessary as I need them to span the whole 15" sign:
I've been reading a lot online about putting ground planes in circuits and I'm hoping I can get some concepts clarified.
- Are ground planes necessary in all circuits? I tend to design what I think are simpler circuits, that rarely have many signals in them, which I believe is a reason for using a ground plane
- Is a ground plane worth having in this circuit? Or due to the sparse spread of components is it better to simply have traces? Does that save on copper?
- Do you need one larger via for the ground plan to connect to the jack or would multiple small ones be better?
- Why do SMD components not seem to connect to the ground plane, could they not just move the metal through the layers from the top?
- Will through hole components touch every single layer of the board? I'm concerned that if I make a positive plane and negative plane the thru components will link the two?
- Would having a positive plane and ground plane in this circuit be worthwhile? Or would it be better in to simply have a one layer board with only traces to positive and ground
- Does the unique quality of this circuit—in that it only contains connections to positive and negative—allow the PCB to be designed in a way that is simpler/better than a circuit that contains more than just positive and ground
- Does the fact that this circuit is <3A, or the amperage in any pcb circuit, need to be considered when deciding whether or not to include a ground plane rather than traces?
I understand this is a lot of questions, and answers to one or many(or all!) would be very helpful. Many thanks.