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What's your biggest PCB mistake?

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Jon Chandler: is a great free service provided by Advanced Circuits.  Upload your Gerbers, they run a sanity check and email results back.  It prevents really stupid things like having a mirrored bottom layer!  That kind of ruins your whole day if not caught before the boards are made.

during the creation of the stackpad for a mini-USB SMD connector, I inverted the pin numbering!
Luckily it was only a prototype, but I had to mount it à la "deadbug", including a generous amount of epoxy glue...

My biggest PCB mistake was actually on my first PCB.  I made a trace too thin for the power that it was carrying causing it to fuse.  The burnt out trace then shorted out 2 pins of a Stepper driver chip causing it to blow a very large hole in the middle of it and create a lot of smoke.
I still have a picture of it somewhere!

im not really big on making PCB's however the ones i did make either had flipped traces etc and at one stage having to mount a PCB secured 7805 heatsink tab up with the package front touching the board because i got the input and output of the regulator topsy turvy
these days i either use vero board (yay) or "kiwipatch" boards which are basically solderable versions of a breadboard, same layout but more permanent which i can get free from brightsparks

On my first ever PCB designed on computer (with mspaint!!), I forgot to mirror the printout before etching it, as well as putting TO-220 packages way too close together to fit. I was going to solder the single IC in upside down and bend the TO-220s to make them fit, but I ended redoing it properly.

The only big blunder that comes to mind recently was sending my A!tium files directly to PCBcart, instead of gerbers, after reading they accept them. "So much easier than making gerbers", I thought. They produced everything nicely, except my ground planes didn't exist! At the time I had no money or time to have them remade, so this was the result: Surprisingly the poor grounding doesn't seem to cause any image quality issues.


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