Top 10 Design Tips for a Working PCB Prototype 1
We all want our PCB prototypes to get done fast and cheap, but sometimes this will not happen. After all, when you start a new design and focus all your time on the circuit design or component selection, little time is left for your PCB layout. But during PCB manufacturing, the layout process is the most important. So what’s the key to design a PCB that gets you a working prototype back right the first time? We have concluded 10 design tips below for your reference, and the first 3 of them are discussed in this article.
a.Double Check Your Component Placement
When place a component on your PCB layout, you always need to take how your components will be soldered into account. Or are you using SMT components that need to pass through a wave soldering machine? Then you need to position all components of the similar type in the same direction.
All surface mount components are recommended to place on the same side of the circuit board to avoid multiple rotations through the soldering equipment. And try to keep all through-hole parts on top side of the board to minimize the steps required to assemble the parts manually.
b.Define Trace Widths before Designing
Before laying down parts or routing nets, you need to know how wide your traces need to carry their required current. As a general guideline, 0.010" traces is recommended to set for low current analog and digital signals.
If you’re working with traces that will be pumping out more than 0.3 amps, then make your traces wider. Nowadays, you do not need to manually calculate to determine the trace width. Just use a free available trace width calculator as part of your pre-design prep work.
c.Keep Your Electromagnetic Interference in Check
We are likely to work on large voltage circuit boards and know that electromagnetic interference will cause chaos to your low voltage and current control circuits. To reduce the interference influence, we recommend keeping the power ground and control ground planes separate for each power supply stage.
If you do place the ground plane in the middle of your layer stackup, make sure to add the impedance path which can reduce the chance of your power circuit interfering with other components on your board.