Pcb Design

Written by Adam Blau
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The design of a printed circuit board (PCB) is as much an art form as it is a science. Anyone looking inside the shell of their DVD player or computer will likely marvel at the beauty and complexity of the components soldered onto the circuit board. It is just as entrancing to look at a well-designed PCB as it is to understand its functionality.

Finding Examples of PCB Designs

If you are just beginning to design your own printed circuit boards, it can be an invaluable tool to examine other extant examples of PCBs. The most obvious place to look would be at your own appliances and gadgets. Do you have an old electronic toy or simple machine that no longer works? Why not open it up and get a better understanding of how it works? (It goes without saying that for safety's sake, you should disconnect the power supply!)

The Internet is awash with examples of printed circuit boards. Do a search for schematic drawings of motherboards, appliances, and electronic music devices. There is an inherent design logic that is often followed between many devices. Look for similarities between PCB designs to learn some of the conventions that are followed. For instance, are LEDs attached the same way in various appliances? Are certain types of capacitors used in certain situations and not in others?

Some PCB design software can be helpful for understanding how circuits are designed. The software itself may have design suggestions or templates that depict conventional circuit components. Experimenting with PCB design software can be an excellent way to learn more about how circuits are created and manufactured.


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