Tuesday, September 25th
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..

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..

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..

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..

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..

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..

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..

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..

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..

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..

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..

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..

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..

An Expert’s Guide to PCB Finishes

An Expert’s Guide to PCB Finishes

Applying the surface finish is one of the last steps of manufacturing a printed circuit board. The surface PCB finish is designed to prevent oxidation of the remaining exposed copper, while the soldermask covers the majority of the circuitry. This is important because oxidized copper cannot be soldered. In rare instances, when a printed circuit board requires “body gold,” the finish is applied to the copper prior to the soldermask Read More..

Can Ferrite Cores Increase Emissions

Can Ferrite Cores Increase Emissions

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. If you have any comments or questions please post them below and we will have Doug answer them for you. Ferrite cores are often installed on cables to insert a common mode impedance. Read More..

Outer Layer Image and Soldermask

Outer Layer Image and Soldermask

Alright let us do a quick re-cap of what we have covered so far. We have given an overview of some basic materials and the initial process for developing imaging for inner layers. We have covered the lamination and drill process. Now we are coming down the home stretch. Now that the panels are drilled we need to do the outer layer image and copper plating process. That begins with Read More..

Lamination and Drill of Printed Circuit Boards

Lamination and Drill of Printed Circuit Boards

We learned how the inner core of a 4 layer PCB is processed prior to adding the outside layers in our last post. In this post we will take about the next part of our “sandwich” construction – but first, let’s start with a brief introduction of foil lamination. Foil Lamination There are a variety of ways that foil lamination is used as well as a variety of materials that Read More..

Reviews

Reviews

We like to hear from our customers on how we are doing. So we setup this comment page so we can hear the good and the not so good if needed of how we are meeting your expectations. Please take a minute and let us know in the comment box below.  

Pizza, Pop and PCBs at Bay Area Circuits

Pizza, Pop and PCBs at Bay Area Circuits

I just wanted to thank Angela Alexander from Iconnect007.com for attending our workshop and doing this write up.  Angela also took the pictures you see here as well.   Recently I was invited to Bay Area Circuits for an evening of Pizza, Pop, and PCBs. The event was organized by Peter Brissette, Marketing Manager at Bay Area Circuits in Redwood City, CA. The seminar has long been a dream of Read More..

Multi Layer PCB Image Process

Multi Layer PCB Image Process

In our last post we talked about the basic material used to start the PCB manufacturing process. If we were doing a double sided board it would actually be going into drill at this part of the process. We will get to that eventually. What we are going to do is walk through the multilayer process which is a different process initially. We will pick up at drill and the Read More..