Tuesday, November 12th
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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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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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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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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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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.

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Common Problems with Gerber Files and How to Avoid Them – Part 2 of 3

Common Problems with Gerber Files and How to Avoid Them – Part 2 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.

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Common Problems with Gerber Files and How to Avoid Them – Part 1 of 3

Common Problems with Gerber Files and How to Avoid Them – Part 1 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.

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An Inside Look at Manufacturing Circuit Classics PCBs

An Inside Look at Manufacturing Circuit Classics PCBs

There’s no doubt that we, at Bay Area Circuits, get to work with some very talented individuals working on some pretty incredible projects. Star Simpson is one of those individuals and Circuit Classics is one of those projects! Star is bringing to life classic circuit drawings from Forrest Mims’ “Getting Started in Electronics” and recently made the designs available via Crowd Supply.

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Circuit Board Design Tips for Hard or Soft Gold

Circuit Board Design Tips for Hard or Soft Gold

Due to the specialized nature of hard gold and soft gold surface finishes, many designers never encounter the particular challenges associated with these surface finishes. As a result, the first build for a hard or soft gold PCB can often be cumbersome and even surprising.

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Rogers Material: Right For Your Next RF Project?

Rogers Material: Right For Your Next RF Project?

With the increase in mobile communications from cellular phones, IoT devices and more, the demand for special materials in circuit board manufacturing has increased as well. To help you understand your options, we put together a Q&A with Rogers Corporation, a leading manufacturer of engineered materials.

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Don’t Be Surprised By Markings on a PCB

Don’t Be Surprised By Markings on a PCB

In the days of the old Model T Ford, you could get any color you wanted – as long as it was black.  Not that long ago it was the same way for printed circuit boards, of course, the only color available was green. Today, there are many color options for both solder mask and silkscreen.  Green, blue, red and every color combination in between. Some designers, in fact, go… Read More