Questions tagged [solder-mask]

The traditionally green coating which protects copper on PCBs from oxidation and shorting due to solder. Use this tag for PCB design questions and soldering questions which require attention to the mask layer.

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Wheres does this PCB trace go?

I am checking a damaged engine ECU. Two traces were damaged during opening of the ECU. I put a circle around the damaged traces. I need help with the left trace. Where does it connect to?
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Bottom solder mask missing in Altium

I designed a board and sent it for fabrication. The manufacturer says that the bottom solder mask is missing. So when I check, all the components are there, but the bottom solder mask is not showing ...
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BGA rework - Help needed

I've just started working on a PCB with BGA components (EPC GaN HEMT devices, plus BGA gate drives), and my attempts at assembly, have been quite frustrating. I'm using a heat plate (set to 150 ...
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2 answers
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When should I specify that top and bottom copper component pads are to be pre-tinned?

My circuit boards come from the fab house with solder pads in a pre-tinned state. Maybe I did not think to specify this - or not! Prior to reflowing should I stencil more solder or should I just ...
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Solder balls on PCB

I have produced a PCB with a thickness of 1.55 mm, using a 5 mils stencil, using SAC 305 solder (2nd reusable solder tin), a furnace peak temperature of ~235°C for all zones (normal recommended heat), ...
2 votes
1 answer
56 views

PCB soldermask removed in spots?

I was watching a video on Youtube, where I came across this bottom side of a PCB: source: EEVblog 1481 - Dodgy Dangerous Heater REPAIR It is seen that the soldermask is removed so they can tin the ...
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3 votes
4 answers
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How to measure distance between two pads' solder-mask clearance in Altium

I'm new to Altium and want to measure distance between two pads' solder-mask clearance using Reports-->Measure. I tried activating solder-mask layer only and then tried to measure like regular ...
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1 answer
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Applying bottom Soldermask layer to EAGLE board

everyone. I have a problem with one of my designed boards. I submitted my order to PCBWay for checking my files before ordering and I was informed that there is no bottom Soldermask layer. This ...
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2 answers
119 views

Soldering MEMS sensor

I have a problem with soldering the LIS2DH12 MEMS sensor accelerometer. I searched for soldering recommendations but I do not understand exactly how to solder. I couldn't find the needed heat and ...
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4 votes
1 answer
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What's going wrong with my solder paste / mask?

A short question this - I've got a board with a QFN-32 0.4mm pitch footprint, I ordered this stencil, and a tube of this solder paste, and the result is in the picture below. Now, I'm new to this, but ...
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5 votes
1 answer
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Keep-out area underneath power inductor

I'm designing a DC-DC buck converter and when looking at the inductor's datasheet, I noticed an image showing a restricted area underneath the inductor, between the pads. https://www.we-online.com/...
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2 answers
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Does recommended creepage distance apply to copper planes under soldermasks?

I have a design that requires around 0.5mm of creepage distance between conductors. TI said in this video that "creepage is the shortest distance between two uninsulated conductors along the ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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Soldermask on copper trace damaged by heat/cold?

I have a LED-ring PCB, relatively new, that we sent through a few temperature cycle tests (-50 to +85*C), and it now shows signs of the solder-mask coming off some of the copper traces. The LEDs weren'...
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Untented via close to ground paddle

I have designed a board and found an open (untented) via very close to a ground paddle as shown below - The via in question is DVDD12 (shown to the center-right. I am going with a stencil based ...
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How to invert colors in Altium for Soldermask application

I am trying to invert black and white in Altium for the "Bottom Solder" *from this one *to look this one from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ISmS7HuXSE. As it turns out, while doing ...
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Through-hole soldering issue [closed]

I had some hard time soldering new switches to my computer mouse, now it looks like I lost some solder pads, what shouild I do? Every other component of the PCB seems ok cuz I didnt touch it. Photos:
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How to see the solder mask layer in Altium PCB?

Is there a way to see the solder mask layer (green coating layer) of a PCB in Altium? Is it a mechanical layer?
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1 answer
540 views

Using net ties for star ground in Altium

I have been experiencing issues with net ties on altium. I am trying to join my separated analog and digital grounds at a single point (star ground) and I tried creating a net tie component to act as ...
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Pads acting as heat sink for LED design

I am using traces much wider than the LED footprint to dissipate heat. What design guidelines should I follow when making design like this. Should I add solder mask expansion between anode and ...
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UV solder mask and dry film solder mask

I am interested in masking my PCBs and I have a few questions about the process: Using a dry film solder mask seems more straight-forward, but it is more expensive. If I use UV solder mask in a ...
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Use of tin plating

I have been researching about PCB development, and I came across the tin plating process. Consider the following scenario: I have created a PCB, covered it with solder mask, and I am now ready to ...
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1 answer
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Proteus thermal exposed copper (opening) for the pcb layout

I am using Proteus 8.7 and I am so confused about how to make a power plane (copper pour) exposed . I mean I want that area free from green mask so that It can make its use as thermal dissipation area....
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2 answers
498 views

Do PCB routing vias require soldermask expansion?

Most recommendations I've come across regarding solder mask expansion state that it is required so that misalignment between the copper pad and the solder mask opening do not interfere with the solder ...
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9 votes
3 answers
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Traces in connector's solder keep out area

I'm designing with a Molex 87438-0443 connector whose PCB footprint includes a 'solder keep out area' between each pair of copper pads for each connector lead. It appears that the manufacturer wanted ...
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3 answers
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Why do older (green) PCBs have primarily a darker color, whereas new ones are lighter

Note the difference in color between this old commodore board and this newer board. It might seem like lighting, but after looking at my own collection of scrap boards, the older ones tend to have a ...
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Solder Paste and Solder Land in Altium Designer / CircuitStudio

I am designing a footprint for the SOT765-1 using Altium CircuitStudio, and I am a bit confused regarding the solder paste and solder land definitions found on Page 3/5 of this datasheet. For the ...
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How to remove solder mask in Eagle

I want to remove solder mask in particular area for mount a TO220 package. As shown in below image I want to mount the 7805 using a M3 nut and need to remove solder mask only in covering area. (like ...
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1 vote
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PCB Solder Mask textures

In the example image below the pcb is shown to have a textured honeycomb like mesh texture on the solder mask. My question is how would one go about creating a textured finish to the PCB like seen in ...
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3 answers
3k views

Why some vias have solder mask and others do not?

Here's an area of a commercial PCB. I'd like to know if the "missing" solder mask is a deliberate choice made by the PCB designer, and if so, why? edit: changed graphic to highlight representative ...
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4 votes
1 answer
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Why did KiCad merge my pins into one open blob in the solder mask gerber?

I designed a PCB with an IC that has a pitch of 0.5. The footprint solder mask looks like this: However, the gerber came out with one blob that looks like this: Why did it do that? Can I stop it? ...
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1 answer
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Keepout in Solder Mask in Altium 17 for SD Card Connector

I am creating footprint for Amphenol's SD Card Connector in Altium Designer 17. The datasheet shows ...
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soldermask top for non plated holes

I am here to clarify doubt on soldermask for non plated holes. I know soldermask is used to protect board from oxidation and prevention of solder bridges and accurate placement of components to be ...
3 votes
1 answer
2k views

Can Silkscreen Go Directly Onto Copper PCB Layer? (No SolderMask)

Hi I am wondering if a PCB silkscreen layer can be printed directly onto a copper layer without a solder mask. I don't see this often but I have a design for which this would be useful. Has anyone ...
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1 answer
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Vias in between BGA Pads

I'm designing a 4-layer board with BGA components. The BGA part I'm working with, the SensL MicroFJ-60035 TSV, is a BGA SiPM with its pads in a 6mm by 6mm square layout. Most of the pads are no-...
2 votes
1 answer
390 views

Missing soldermask on some pads of mcu

After designing a board in Kicad with an SMT32L0 on it, I sent it to seeedStudio and when I received it, I noticed that some of the pads on the stm32 are missing soldermask: I checked the gerber file ...
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Solder Pad and Stencil Mask Data Sheet - Confused

I am using Autodesk Eagle. Need to create a footprint for CREE LED XHBAWT which is in the XLAMP XH-B series. I do not understand the Datasheet drawing of the footprint, attached. Are the lower views ...
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6 votes
1 answer
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What impact, if any, does the solder mask color have on the electrical and mechanical properties of a PCB

At my place of work, we use soldermask colors as a sort of poke-yoke for manufacturing purposes E.g. Technicians know that green pcb goes with green, blue pcb with blue, etc. This has lead to some ... ...
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2 votes
2 answers
649 views

Is it OK to put traces under castellated PCB

If we would speak in general: what is the strength of the solder mask in terms of breaking voltage? So if we put one PCB with castellated pads on another board like this: What will heppen if both ...
2 votes
2 answers
9k views

Acceptable Silk to Solder Mask Clearence

I am running DRC in Altium Designer and Im getting tons of "Silk to Solder Mask Clearence" Errors. I searched for acceptable values, but without luck. Altium is set to 10mil. I have most values around ...
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1 answer
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How to make untented vias in KiCad?

Is it possible to make some selected via's exposed in KiCad? Although the option "Do not tent vias" is helpful but it is a global setting. Is there any option so that some vias will be left unmasked?
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Super glue as solder mask?

Wondering if super glue could be safely used on a PCB to cover exposed traces or jumper wires. I know it’s non conductive but is there any type of damage that could occur? I normally use green ...
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1 answer
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Minimum solder mask sliver

I am new to PCB design, and especially on Altium. I am trying out it and have no clue of the best way to fix the following error: I am trying to build a PCB for a Li-Ion charging circuit based on ...
3 votes
2 answers
601 views

Inconsistent solder mask on vias

When looking at PCBs in consumer products or PCBs I have ordered from manufacturers myself, I notice that, while many of the vias are covered in soldermask, it seems like a few random vias are missing ...
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3 votes
6 answers
4k views

UV solder mask sticking to cover instead of PCB

I'm doing the usual DIY PCB process. Lately I got some of the chinese UV solder mask (similar to the one used in this video). I can work with it just fine - it sets under my UV lamp perfectly, within ...
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1 answer
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I inhaled some solder fumes for a bit of time [closed]

I inhaled some solder fumes while attempting a project last week, and I haven't stopped coughing since. It's getting rather irritating. However, I should mention that prior to my experiment, I had a ...
2 votes
2 answers
662 views

RTV silicone as solder resist

can moulding RTV silicone be used as a solder resist? note that this silicone is made for casting low melt alloys/metals.
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How to make soldermask on PCBs for soldering?

I know how to do a PCB until this step (below image) ugly and not safe by short-circuits. I found this PCB Plating Tape on Aliexpress (Link to the aliexpress product. I'm not the seller) which I ...
2 votes
2 answers
334 views

Altium: i-dots in soldermask layer disappear in Gerber

I have my email address embedded in the soldermask layer. When checking the generated Gerber data, the dots on all the "i"s are missing. How did that happen?
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Do 0402 chip component need solder mask web between the pads?

In my board, all 0402 parts are using gang solder mask. The pad to pad distance is 10 mils. Is there any risk of solder short? Do I need to suggest applying solder mask web between the pads for all ...
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Can spray paint or a marker block UV for solder mask/resist? [duplicate]

I am planning to make a PCB and putting solder mask on it but I don't have my own laser printer to print the transparency for the mask. I do, however, live near a printing shop with a laser printer ...
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