Printed circuit boards (PCBs) are a highly delicate and intricate piece of technology. Due to the complexities involved in PCB assembly, mistakes are inevitable. Today we’ll illustrate the most common mistakes to avoid when designing PCBs.
Poor Footprint Design
In the world of electronics, a footprint refers to the arrangement of pads or “through-holes” used to physically and electrically connect each other. Since there are a plethora of designs and patterns, there are software packages with predetermined schematics. The problem arises when users want a completely different footprint not included in most packages. Manually creating a new schematic can prove to be disastrous without the aid of a professional. To ensure PCBs are well designed it’s always best to consult a reputable company that specializes in custom PCBs.
The trace of a PCB refers to the connecting path of copper found on the circuit board. The trace is responsible for carrying the electrical current throughout the board. Depending on the strength of the current, the width of the trace must be of an appropriate size. Larger currents demand a wider trace, meaning that the overall PCB will need to accommodate the increase in size. To alleviate this issue, there are trace width calculators that can be used to ensure proper calculations when designing a PCB.
Improper Wireless Antenna Layout
A common issue in PCB assembly is the incorrect layout for a wireless antenna. In order to ensure that the antenna functions are optimized, a proper microstrip should be utilized. The microstrip is responsible for carrying high-frequency radio waves and is fabricated onto the PCB. The correct width should be chosen in order to have maximum power transfer between the transceiver and the antenna. To ensure that the correct width is chosen, a microstrip calculator is recommended.
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