When prototyping an electronic device, it is extremely important to choose not only the right printed circuit board or PCB for your device, but also the right components. Not choosing your PCB components wisely will increase the chances of your prototype device to fail during testing. With that in mind, here are six important tips on how to select the right PCB components.
Consider Footprint and Land Pattern Decisions
During the schematic drawing stage, you must take into account the land pattern and footprint decisions that you need to make when selecting components. Keep in mind that part footprints include not only the mechanical dimensions of the component, but also the electrical connection pads.
This includes the outline of the part’s body, as well as the pins that are going to be directly attached to the printed circuit board. When choosing components, do not forget to consider any packing or housing restrictions at the top, sides and bottom of the PCB. Components like polarized capacitors do have height clearances that you need to consider during component selection.
During the design phase, it is considered good practice to first make a rudimentary drawing of the board’s outline, then place the critical or bigger components — 24 to 32 pin connectors — that you need to use. This drawing provides a visual representation of the placement of the board and its components.
Land patterns indicate the exact hole shapes or pads on the printed circuit board where the various selected components will be soldered on. Copper patterns on the printed circuit board itself also provide important basic shape details. These land patterns have to be sized correctly, or else soldering will become extremely difficult and there will be no proper thermal and mechanical integrity of the connecting components.
With that in mind, it is therefore extremely crucial to choose the right PCB for your design. Our PCBs here in pcbnet.com are topnotch. We provide just the right size of land patterns, so that soldering is extremely easy.
When designing the printed circuit board layout, always take note of how the PCB will be fabricated. If the board is going to be hand soldered, consider how the soldering pads will be accessed during the soldering process.
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Practice Good Grounding
Ensure that the design has enough ground planes and bypass capacitors. When making use of Integrated Circuit pins, also called ICs, make sure that decoupling capacitors are utilized in close proximity to the supply near the ground plane. There are three factors aptly sized capacitors depend on: frequencies, capacitor technology and application. Also, keep in mind that a circuit’s susceptibility performance and electromagnetic compliance is optimized whenever bypass capacitors are close to the IC pins and placed across the ground and power pins.
Designate Footprints for Virtual Parts
Always remember to run a BOM, or Bill or Materials to check for virtual parts. Keep in mind that virtual parts will not be transferred over to the layout and do not have any associated footprint. Make a BOM then double-check all of the design’s virtual components. If you did everything correctly, the only entries that you should find are ground and power signals since these are regarded as virtual parts and are handled exclusively in the schematic environment.
In addition, unless you are going to use the board exclusively for simulation purposes, components indicated in the virtual section should be replaced with components with footprints.
Make Sure that the BOM Data is Complete
Upon receiving your BOM report, check and re-check if you have ample data. After running the report, try as much as possible to populate any incomplete part, manufacturer, or vendor information for each part.
Organize the Reference Designators
It is imperative that you contiguously organize your reference designators to assist in proper reviewing and sorting of the BOM.
Verify Spare Gates
Keep in mind that if spare gate inputs are left to float, the overall system may fail to function properly. It is, therefore, considered a good rule of thumb to check for any forgotten or spare gates so that you can properly connect them.
So these are the tips that you have to keep in mind when choosing the right component for your PCB. Of course, just like what we mentioned earlier, your components are useless unless you have a top-quality PCB as well. For your PCB needs, visit us here at pcbnet.com.
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