Tag Archives: PCB

Logic PCB Business Card


Floyd-Jones designed his own business card using logic circuitry. He writes:

The card implements a digital finite-state machine which displays the next character of my last name on a 7-segment display each time the button is pressed. Luckily all 11 characters in my name can be reasonably shown, essentially spelling out FLoyd-JonES. I simulated the design in Altera’s Quartus II FPGA software before constructing it in Eagle.

Logic PCB Business Card – [Link]

3D Print the Ultimate Helping Hands for a PCB Workstation


by Giuseppe Finizia @ makezine.com:

I am the Senior Analyst of the Electronic Forensics Unit of the Carabinieri (Italian Military Police) and I deal with technical investigations on seized electronic devices. I spend most of my day in a well-equipped electronic laboratory, but I was lacking a tool for performing technical assessments on printed circuit boards (PCBs). I needed a way to secure small boards on my workbench and place multiple probes across the board for acquiring data from a circuit memory, analyzing an I2C or SPI communication bus using a logic state analyzer, and much more.

3D Print the Ultimate Helping Hands for a PCB Workstation – [Link]

Making a PCB business card


Ilia Baranov has designed a reference business card:

Back of card includes:
Ruler in both 1/10″ and mm.
AWG Hole size gauge (not super accurate due to plating, but that is unavoidable)
Resistor/capacitor/inductor/diode sizes
Common surface mount component sizes
Common electrical symbols and shortcuts/equations
Common conversions
Trace size comparison
Quote from Dune!

Making a PCB business card – [Link]

PCB stencil jig


Gonazar’s PCB stencil jig:

My solution to making a PCB stencil jig.
I need this to do a run of ~30 small boards I got from DirtyPCB who also provided me with the stencil. However, I know that I’m going to be making more later with a new revision so I wanted a jig that I could later reuse with a new design.
One of the challenges of making a pcb jig is alignment and finding something to lie next to the pcb so the stencil doesn’t bow/bend from unsupported areas.
So my design uses two 1/8″ thick acrylic frames on a hinge. The top frame has a large opening to work with the stencil and the bottom frame has a fixed rectangular hole. This hole is for placing a 3D printed jig that perfectly matches the PCB shape and thickness. It’s also exactly the dimension of a 8.5″x11″ cut into 8 pieces. This way I can lock in my PCB and align my stencil, then adjust the height by shimming it with pieces of paper underneath.

PCB stencil jig – [Link]

Can a current flow even up the hill?


Of course it can, even apeak. So if you connect leads from the bottom side via a PCB connector, you don´t have to worry about the current…

Should you however be afraid of accidental fall off of the connector (it will certainly hold on if there are no vibrations, shocks or unpredictable tension to leads), then for your peace of mind we recommend you to use connectors that can be secured by a screw.

Naturally, devices exposed to vibrations are much more frequent (for example with a motor) or even devices which are often subjeted to transport – for all such cases a connector with a flange (and integrated screw) finds its place.

Such solution is also offered by a well-known producer of terminal blocks – EUROCLAMP. For example for currents up to 8 Amps and voltages to 160V, these novelties from our stock are suitable:

  • SH04-3,5-K (4-pole plug-in connector for cable, with a 3.5 mm pitch, with a flange and screw)
  • PV04-3,5-V-K (a mating piece to SH04-3,5 for a PCB with a flange and screw) For a real certain feeling, this component can be screwed to a PCB by a self tapping screw ( ISO1481-ST 2,2×4,5(6,5)C screw, not included)

A screw also prevents accidental disconnection (it´s only possible with a screwdriver). In extreme case, the screws can be replaced by security head screws… (but this perhaps no – if you deal with a critical device – then use some more efficient precautions).

Detailed information can be found in the SHxx-3,5-K and PVxx-3,5-V-K datasheets.

Can a current flow even up the hill? – [Link]

Surface-mount device prototyping in education


In this article Vassilis K. Papanikolaou explains how SMD prototyping practice can be used in learning environments using simple and wide available tools and equipment:

A feasibility study is herein attempted, towards the adaptation of modern surface-mount device (SMD) prototyping practice to learning environments. This necessity emerges not only from the profound advantages of the above technology (e.g. component size, availability, low cost etc.) but also from the fact that contemporary designs often require special board layout considerations, which may be incompatible with through-hole components. In addition, the long process between prototyping and product finalization can be greatly shortened. Nevertheless, the employment of surface-mount techniques in education may be discouraged by both the unappealing part sizes (i.e. handling difficulty) and the excessive cost of commercial supporting equipment. The main objective of this study is to suggest practical and low-cost solutions for all different SMD prototyping/manufacturing stages, which can demystify and render this procedure welcome and easily applicable in laboratory classes.

Surface-mount device prototyping in education – [Link]

ZofzPCB: FREE 3D Gerber Viewer

Rafal @ zofzpcb.com writes:

Many CAD designers, including myself, are equipped with powerful graphic cards. I definitely wanted to use a gamer graphic and I wanted to fly. There is the result, 3D Gerber viewer with newly implemented display of components. Components are guessed, not yet from BOM. Download at http://www.zofzpcb.com Do not forger to check the Autopilot.

ZofzPCB: FREE 3D Gerber Viewer – [Link]

Kristall 511 solder wire won´t dirt your PCB


Innovative flux and a high qualty alloy provide to Stannol Kristall 511 solder wire excellent processing properties with a minimum of clean transprarent residues.

You, who are at production of electronic devices, know, how important is a choice of a suitable solder. A designer of a given device might not focus on a solder used at soldering of the first protoype, bu tin a production it will manifest itself – sooner or later. Not that some solder would be miraculous and otherone unusable, but each one is suitable for something else.Similarly lie in other segments, even here are some exceptions, when by using the newest materials and know-how from development of solders exist types suitable for multiple applications. One of them is solder Kristall511 Ecoloy with an innovative flux based on synthetic resins. The result is a small spatter and clean, transparent residues, which don´t influence electrical properties of a PCB, i.e. they belong to a “No clean” category – they can stay on a PCB withot cleaning. Kristall 511 is a considerably active solder and it shows its strength even at surfaces with not that optimal solderability and also there, where it´s necessary to solder quickly (for example components that are exceptionally sensitive to temperature). KRISTALL 511 was developed for automated soldering of SMT components, as well as for hand soldering and rework.

This way Stannol, as a producer with rich experience in development of solders (from 1920), produced a combinatio of an alloy+flux with properties meeting majority of requirements of production:

  • small amount of transparent residues
  • excellent spreading even at poorly solderable sorfaces (copper, brass, nickel,…)
  • highly active
  • electrically safe residues
  • low spitting
  • mild odour and small amount of fumes

On stock we have two novelties KRISTALL 511 Sn95,5Ag3,8Cu0,7 (593132) (diameter 1mm, 500g) and KRISTALL 511 Sn96,5Ag3,0Cu0,5 (810050) (diameter 1mm, 500g) solder wires. Technical details can be found in the Kristall_511 datasheet.

Kristall 511 solder wire won’t dirt your PCB – [Link]

Homemade x-ray inspector reveals PCB secrets


John McMaster has written an article detailing his homemade x-ray scanner:

In some previous posts I talked about getting an x-ray head working, reverse engineering an x-ray sensor, and working with LinuxCNC. In this post I put them all together so that I can take a bunch of x-ray snapshots across an entire PCB. This allows me to more quickly reverse engineer PCBs.

Homemade x-ray inspector reveals PCB secrets – [Link]

Making PCBs with CNC


Rui written an article on how to build your own PCBs using a CNC machine. Rui Cabral writes:

The PCB manufacturing method i used before buying my CNC machine was the lithography method and worked as follows:

First i printed the board design on an acetate sheet.

This sheet was placed over a pcb with a light sensitive coat and placed under UV light for several minutes.

The pcb was then immersed in a solution of caustic soda to remove the photo sensitive material that was “damaged” with the UV light.

The pcb was then immersed in a Ferric Chloride solution to remove the copper.

After the copper being removed i then washed the pcb to remove the chemicals and then i needed to cut the plate and finally drill the pads.

Making PCBs with CNC – [Link]