Tuesday, November 12th

Author Archives: Brian Paper

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Manufacturing The Dream

Manufacturing The Dream

“Our country’s manufacturing capability plays an important role towards maintaining our economic strength, protecting our intellectual property and ensuring our national security. If we rely on others to manufacture our critical defense systems and communications infrastructure then our country’s independence will always be at risk.”

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University of Florida Solar Racing Team

University of Florida Solar Racing Team

Our PCBs for Education program enables us to help future engineers by actively partnering with professors and students in support of their classroom engineering projects and team competitions. We’d like to highlight one such group, the University of Florida Solar Racing Team which aims to spread awareness for solar energy by designing and building a solar-powered race car.

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Tips for Working with PCB Assembly Houses

Tips for Working with PCB Assembly Houses

You’ve prototyped a circuit board and you want to bring it to market. What’s next? Well, aside from choosing a high quality manufacturer to fabricate your PCB, you’ll also need to select a vendor to assemble the components to the board. While choosing the an assembly house may seem daunting, we’ll share a few tips to make sure your next project goes smoothly.

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HASL or ENIG? A Comparison Guide for the Surface Finishes

HASL or ENIG? A Comparison Guide for the Surface Finishes

If you’ve ever had a circuit board professionally manufactured, you have likely been asked your choice between HASL and ENIG surface finishes. From solderability to cost, these two finishes can’t possibly be more different. While some engineers have a tried and true favorite, you may be left wondering the differences between the two variants.

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UC Berkeley CalSTAR Rocketry Team

UC Berkeley CalSTAR Rocketry Team

Our PCBs for Education program enables us to help future engineers by actively partnering with students in support of their classroom engineering projects and team competitions. This month we’d like to highlight the CalSTAR Rocketry Team from UC Berkeley, which designs and builds high-powered rockets for multiple national and international competitions.

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High Temperature PCB Design Considerations

High Temperature PCB Design Considerations

Printed Circuit Boards are indispensable electronic devices, but sometimes engineers are faced with temperature constraints that force them to think outside the box. In this article, we will be giving a high-level overview of designing a high temperature circuit board, and along the way we will consider some of the options you may be given when you find yourself in this situation.

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Single-sided or Double-sided PCBs?

Single-sided or Double-sided PCBs?

Fundamentally, single-sided and double-sided printed circuit boards serve the same purpose. Both serve as catalysts for electrical connections between components, however there are some key differences that set them apart from each other. More specifically, they differ in the costs associated with production and development processes, as well as ampacity differences.

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Bay Area Circuits Celebrates Manufacturing Day 2017

Bay Area Circuits Celebrates Manufacturing Day 2017

Bay Area Circuits, hosted a Manufacturing Day event on Friday, October 6th for the fourth consecutive year. The company opened its doors to give college engineering students a tour of its printed circuit board manufacturing operations and a look at the latest equipment upgrades and technological advancements in the industry.

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10 Tips to Ensure PCB Assembly Success

10 Tips to Ensure PCB Assembly Success

As a bare printed circuit board manufacturer, we’ve written extensively on topics related to ensuring that the PCB fabrication process goes smoothly. But what about the PCB assembly process? What steps should be taken to ensure a high-quality, cost-effective outcome? We work closely with many companies who provide assembly services, and, here are some tips we’ve gathered to help you.

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Resources for Learning Electronic Design

Resources for Learning Electronic Design

Whether you’re a professional design engineer, an electrical engineering student, or an electronics enthusiast/hobbyist/maker, it pays to never stop learning. Fortunately, this is the information age and there’s no shortage of resources available to learn about electronics design. There are many other great electronics design resources available and we thought we’d share a few of our favorites.

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Picking The Right Trace Width for Your Next PCB Design

Picking The Right Trace Width for Your Next PCB Design

A factor to consider when designing single-layer and multi-layer PCBs is trace width. As with other design factors for PCBs, requirements for a good trace width can impact the size and layout of a PCB. Reducing PCB size may reduce costs, but there’s still a need to ensure you have sufficient space for effective trace widths.

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Building a Successful Multi-Layer Printed Circuit Board

Building a Successful Multi-Layer Printed Circuit Board

Printed Circuit Boards today face an ever-increasing demand in capabilities including high speed, low weight, higher component density, miniaturization, and more. Multi-layer PCBs can help meet those increased demands. A multi-layer PCB is created from two or more PCBs stacked together, although they are not simply laid one on top of the other.

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So, You’ve Got an Idea and Want To Manufacture a Printed Circuit Board, Eh?

So, You’ve Got an Idea and Want To Manufacture a Printed Circuit Board, Eh?

We’ve written extensively on topics related to ensuring that the PCB manufacturing process goes smoothly, but today, we’re going to take a higher-level view of the process, from idea to ready for manufacturing, and offer up our recommendations on steps to follow to ensure the desired outcome is achieved.

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Tips for Including Fonts & Graphics on a PCB

Tips for Including Fonts & Graphics on a PCB

As PCB aesthetics continue to grow in importance, we’re manufacturing more designs with specific fonts and graphics as a part of the PCB’s silkscreen layer. But if you’re not following the process we’re about to describe, don’t be surprised if things don’t turn out quite the way you expect!

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Are You Providing Your PCB Manufacturer With the Correct Files?

Are You Providing Your PCB Manufacturer With the Correct Files?

You’ve completed a PCB design and are ready to send the design to be manufactured. But the file export process isn’t always straightforward, and, depending on the PCB manufacturer, specific requirements may vary. Here are some helpful design file guidelines that will make the Bay Area Circuits ordering & manufacturing process go smoothly.

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ITAR Compliance and the Manufacture of Printed Circuit Boards

ITAR Compliance and the Manufacture of Printed Circuit Boards

The U.S. Government requires all manufacturers, exporters, and brokers of defense articles, defense services or related technical data to be ITAR compliant. An increasing number of companies are requiring their supply chain to be ITAR compliant based on the use of the end product even though they may not be engaged in the “export” of the product or its technical information.

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Our Top 10 Most Viewed Content in 2016

Our Top 10 Most Viewed Content in 2016

In 2016, we’ve worked tirelessly (ok, that’s an exaggeration) to create educational articles for PCB design enthusiasts that provide the keys to the knowledge held by PCB manufacturers such as ourselves. We hope you’ve enjoyed these, and are here to say that we’ve got more great content headed your way in 2017!

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Secrets of a Fabrication Drawing

Secrets of a Fabrication Drawing

Essential to the success of any printed circuit board (PCB) manufacturing project are the detailed notes included in the fabrication drawing. While the design files (typically Gerber or ODB++) contain the most basic structure and outline of the board design, it is the fabrication drawing that tells the manufacturer the specific details about a board that make it unique.

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Bay Area Circuits Annual Open House An Opportunity To Display Support For Education

Bay Area Circuits Annual Open House An Opportunity To Display Support For Education

This year’s event featured solar and electric vehicles on display from 3 local universities, all sponsored by Bay Area Circuits, including: CalSol’s solar vehicle from UC Berkeley, UCD Formula Racing’s electric vehicle from UC Davis, and Spartan Racing’s electric vehicle from San Jose State. The vehicles are designed and manufactured by the student teams…

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Common Problems with Gerber Files and How to Avoid Them – Part 3 of 3

Common Problems with Gerber Files and How to Avoid Them – Part 3 of 3

The PCB manufacturing process is complex. The precision of the manufactured PCBs hinges on many things, but none more important than accurate and complete manufacturing or design data, most often Gerber files. A wide variety of PCB design software applications are used to produce manufacturing data, and the complexity of each design can vary significantly.