All electronic devices have a printed circuit board (PCB), and this includes household items, smartphones, games consoles and medical devices.
They are also used in industry, helping a great deal with automation. If you are unfamiliar with them, they may look complicated, but they are much simpler to design and build than your first glance might suggest. Go about it in the right way, and you could soon have the PCB you need for your electronic device. Here are a few tips to help you.
No matter how diligent you are, there may come a point where you hit a problem with your PCB. Plan it beforehand, however, and this is less likely to happen. Whether you are working with someone else on the design or using the services of Gumstix.com, the whole process will be much simpler if you have it planned before you start. With a board building design-to-order service like this, you can design your board online and have it shipped to your address in just 15 days.
Don’t Crowd It
Although it can be tempting to squeeze as many components as possible into the smallest of areas, don’t be tempted to crowd your PCB. You need to leave adequate space between each one to allow for the most effective use of wires. Leaving vertical and horizontal spaces will let you route the wires in the most efficient manner.
Even if it looks like it will work on paper, do not forget that the copper traces will expand, so you need to leave room for this to happen.
If you are designing a multi-layered PCB, change the direction on each layer. This will make the task of troubleshooting much easier should you encounter any problems. It will also mean that it will be simpler for other people to repair, which could be very important if your PCB is likely to be mass-produced.
Adjust the Width of Copper Traces
The wider your copper traces, the less resistance they will provide, which means that they will produce less heat. As part of your PCB design, you should take account of the current that will be flowing through the copper traces and have the thickest power lines on the board.
Opt for The Right Help
You will find that there is a wealth of information online about schematics and help with designing your PCB, but choosing the right advice can make a huge difference to the time involved as well as the cost. Whether you are designing a PCB as part of your job or it is a hobby you are interested in, finding out as much as you can will always help you with the processes involved.
If you want to develop a PCB for a new electronic product, the time to start is now. Do not put your idea off, as someone else might beat you to it. It can be much simpler than it may first appear, and you can get your product developed and on the market sooner than you think.