Thursday, August 16th

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Design Considerations with Heavy Copper

Design Considerations with Heavy Copper

Minimum line width is one of the first questions asked of a PCB manufacturer’s capabilities, but the answer rarely includes “depending on copper weight.” To simplify your design process and avoid problems at the time of manufacturing, we will demonstrate how and why line width depends on copper weight. This brief overview gives some near-universal rules for trace width versus copper weight, along with other important considerations when using heavy… Read More

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PCB Design Guide Basics

PCB Design Guide Basics

Circuit Board Components A PCB is a Printed Circuit Board and are made from fiberglass reinforced plastic with the copper wiring in trace form. All the circuit board components are held in position by soldering the components into place after drilling holes in the demarcated areas on the board.  The copper tracks which take the place of traditional wires are more effective and more resistant to damage.  They link all the… Read More

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5 Electronics Design Tips

5 Electronics Design Tips

Electronics Design Tips for anyone. Electronics Design can cover a vast array of technical options.  This article will focus on some of the basics. A schematic drawing is only one part of creating a design in electronic engineering. Your schematic should be able to be read and understood by others in the electronic engineering field. If you are good with your schematic, the reader of your design should be able to… Read More

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Ardulab Open Sourcing Space

Ardulab Open Sourcing Space

With space travel moving from NASA to private enterprises like SpaceX many new opportunities are beginning to open up.  One of those opportunities is from a group called Infinity Aerospace and their Ardulab project. Bay Area Circuits is a sponsor of the project started by students from Stanford University.  Here is what they had to say about it in their announcement. Infinity Aerospace is pleased to announce Bay Area Circuits… Read More

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PCB Creator Interview on Real Time with IPC

PCB Creator Interview on Real Time with IPC

At this years IPC-APEX show in San Diego we were interviewed by Kelly Dack with PCB007. We were able to talk about PCB Creator, our new PCB Design software. If you have not had a chance to give it a try be sure to check it out in action by Clicking Here. Below is the video as well as the transcript. Hi! Thanks for being with us I’m Kelly Dack for Real… Read More

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The Digispark Arduino Enabled USB Board

The Digispark Arduino Enabled USB Board

Digispark Digispark: I wanted to share with you a cool new product for the hobbyist and test engineers out there. Bay Area Circuits has had the privilege to be building the bare PCBs in this project. Many are familiar with the Arduino test chips used to make all kinds of little electronics projects. Erik Kettenburg over at Digispark thought there would be a better way to make use of these… Read More

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Countersinks and Counterbores for Printed Circuit Boards

Countersinks and Counterbores for Printed Circuit Boards

Countersinks and Counterbores This is a continuation of our PCB-101 series. In this post we will talk about Countersinks and Counterbores. First I will highlight what these are and then what we need to know when manufacturing a printed circuit board that needs to have counterbores and countersinks. Countersinks and counterbores are not anything unique to printed circuit boards, by the way. They are used in a variety of manufacturing… Read More

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Photocopier Teardown from EEVblog

Photocopier Teardown from EEVblog

Well here we have Dave Jones again with one of his Teardown Tuesdays. He does a great job of breakdown a wide variety of electronic devices in his weekly show. This time out I wanted to show you this teardown of a Photocopier. The technology in these machines has really changed over the last ten years. They used to be very analog based machines and now they are all digital.… Read More

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Useful Toolkit for Troubleshooting and Characterizing Circuits

Useful Toolkit for Troubleshooting and Characterizing Circuits

PCB Toolkit Enjoy our guest blog post from electrical engineer Doug Smith. Figure 1. Troubleshooting Toolkit including Current Probes, Wire Loops, and Copper Tape PCB Toolkit PCB Toolkit: Abstract: Over the years, I have developed a tool kit of items that are very useful for circuit troubleshooting and verification. Components of the kit are discussed and references given. Discussion: In addition to the normal troubleshooting tools like scope probes, oscilloscopes,… Read More

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Routing Signals Between PCB Layers – Part Four Interplane Voltage

Routing Signals Between PCB Layers – Part Four Interplane Voltage

Here is another post from Doug Smith.  We really appreciate his technical contribution to our site.  If you have questions for Doug please add them to the comments below. Figure 1. Test Setup For Measuring Voltage Between the Planes on a Four Layer PCB Model (Measurement in the time domain) Abstract: Four layer PCBs are used in a wide variety of applications. However, usually it is necessary for some signal… Read More

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Controlled Impedance for Printed Circuit Boards

Controlled Impedance for Printed Circuit Boards

Controlled Impedance: First of all I am not an Electrical Engineer and I do not play one on TV.  This is meant to be a very basic idea of what controlled impedance is and how it relates to printed circuit manufacturing.  I would love to have comments from electrical engineers in the comment section below! What is Controlled Impedance? Electrical impedance is the measure of the opposition (resistance) that a… Read More

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Routing Signals Between PCB Layers – Part 3 Interplane Voltage

Routing Signals Between PCB Layers –  Part 3 Interplane Voltage

Routing Signals Between PCB Layers –  Part 3 Interplane Voltage (Frequency Domain Measurement) (Spectrum Analyzer Screen at 10 dB/div Vertically and 100 MHz/div Horizontally) Abstract: Four layer PCBs are used in a wide variety of applications. However, usually it is necessary for some signal paths to be routed on both the top and bottom signal layers to achieve required routing density. Using a model of a four layer PCB with… Read More

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Routing Signals Between PWB Layers – Part 2 An Emissions Example

Routing Signals Between PWB Layers –  Part 2 An Emissions Example

Routing Signals Between PWB Layers –  Part 2, An Emissions Example Figure 1. Relative Emissions for Two Paths (one passes from top to bottom layer (plot with peaks) and the other stays on one side) Abstract: Printed wiring board, PWB, signal paths must often change layers in a board stackup. Under some conditions this can cause problems. An emissions example is used to illustrate the conditions where changing layers can… Read More

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Routing Signals Between PWB Layers Part 1

Routing Signals Between PWB Layers Part 1

Routing Signals Between PWB Layers –  Part 1, An ESD Example Here is another in our guest blog posts from Doug Smith.  You can learn more about Doug at his website www.emcesd.com. Figure 1. Signal Current Flow in a Layer Transition Abstract: Printed wiring board, PWB, signal paths must often change layers in a board stackup. Under some conditions this can cause problems. An ESD example is used to illustrate… Read More

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Electronics Thermal Heatsink Design Tutorial

Electronics Thermal Heatsink Design Tutorial

Here is another great video from Dave Jones of EEVBlog. A follow on from some of the recent blogs that have involved basic thermal heatsink calculation. This time around Dave takes you though the basic theory of thermal design and how heatsink calculations work. Then there are some real world temperature measurements to see how close to the theory we get. How do you read a heatsink thermal response graph?… Read More

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Embedded Magnetics Technology Overview

Embedded Magnetics Technology Overview

This is a blog post of a recent paper written by Jim Quilici.  Jim is an electrical engineer working on new technology uses for magnetics in electronics.  This is post is a recent paper Jim wrote for the IPC Apex show.  He is also a Bay Area Circuits customer. Jim Quilici Radial Electronics El Dorado Hills, Ca. Abstract — Inductors and transformers are basic building blocks in electronic systems. Their… Read More

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Rout and Fabrication of Printed Circuit Boards

Rout and Fabrication of Printed Circuit Boards

For the next in our PCB101 series we will be talking about the final fabrication on the board. Once we finished applying the board finishes mentioned in our last post in this series it is time to cut our rout out the individual boards. The boards can be routed out as individual small boards or they may be an array (multiple boards) still connected via tabs or score lines.  This… Read More

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PCB Protection Can be Compromised by Ground Structure

PCB Protection Can be Compromised by Ground Structure

This post is a guest post from Doug Smith.  Doug is an electrical engineer who trains other electrical engineers in EMC Design.  His website emcesd.com is a wealth of information.  We appreciate his contribution to our site. Figure 1. PCB Layout with Noise and Signal Ground Areas Abstract: Printed Circuit Board designers sometimes place protective devices on external signals as they enter a PCB and shunt the current from these devices to… Read More

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Makerbot Thing-O-Matic 3D Printer Time Lapse Build

Makerbot Thing-O-Matic 3D Printer Time Lapse Build

I wonder if you have ever seen one of these 3D printers.  They are used to make quick prototype designs and even can be used to make final production products. They are quite an amazing piece of technology.  There are several ways that the process works but basically it is taking a polymer and applying it a small layer at a time until the final object is completed. There are… Read More

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