Author Topic: Critique my first board!  (Read 6396 times)

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Offline paoloTopic starter

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Critique my first board!
« on: November 28, 2012, 05:24:06 pm »
So, day 2 of being a pretend PCB designer - and I have something where my 'fix list' has dried up. So here's your chance to ruin any sense of satisfaction I currently have ;)

Firstly a brief word about the overall layout. The requirement for this is for it to be narrow. I've got maybe an inch and bit to play with on the Y axis.

Secondly I wanted to make it breadboardable. So the interface pads at the edge will have header pins. Maybe right angle if I can find more space in the enclosure, otherwise straight. Easy to pop into a breadboard for testing / prototyping a bigger system.

Electrical stuff... the outputs on the two 12 pin headers will each be sinking up to 30ma per pin. That means the common ground might be returning up to 720ma per board. So I decided to use a spare pin on the bus headers and bi-wire it. The VCC won't be carrying anything like that (there's a seperate source for the high current driver need, exposed via the VLED jumper. It doesn't interact with the circuit on the board).

Everything else is 'just' logic carrying SPI type stuff. The fastest signals will be about 1MHz tops.

So, err, *blushes*, here it is... (DipTrace btw)

The board is here:

https://docs.google.com/open?id=0B3a3xsH0-EKabVZ6VTRWNjJhQVE

The schematic is very slightly out of sync with the board, but it gives you the general idea.

https://docs.google.com/open?id=0B3a3xsH0-EKaTzBRWXYyNHBnVkE


*fingers in ears* ;)

------------------

ETA... The board top and bottom as PNG files:

https://docs.google.com/open?id=0B3a3xsH0-EKaSmVlX24wdXpvNm8

https://docs.google.com/open?id=0B3a3xsH0-EKaN0xMNkRhMk0xMnM
« Last Edit: November 28, 2012, 11:30:26 pm by paolo »
 

Offline mtkaalund

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Re: Critique my first board!
« Reply #1 on: November 28, 2012, 05:27:32 pm »
Is it possible to get a pdf or a picture of it?
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VIR => V = I*R, neat ;)
 

Offline 8086

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Re: Critique my first board!
« Reply #2 on: November 28, 2012, 05:27:38 pm »
PDFs or images would be nice for those of us without diptrace.  :)
 

Offline paoloTopic starter

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Re: Critique my first board!
« Reply #3 on: November 28, 2012, 06:48:05 pm »
Ah, ok. Will do some PDFs when I get home. :)

(Anyone mega-curious, there's a freebie version of DipTrace that's downloadable).
 

Offline paoloTopic starter

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Offline Mechatrommer

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Re: Critique my first board!
« Reply #5 on: November 29, 2012, 12:12:23 am »
PDFs or images would be nice for those of us without diptrace.  :)
diptrace is as fee as any other pdf viewer, with more tools ;) just 60MB download.
Nature: Evolution and the Illusion of Randomness (Stephen L. Talbott): Its now indisputable that... organisms “expertise” contextualizes its genome, and its nonsense to say that these powers are under the control of the genome being contextualized - Barbara McClintock
 

Offline paoloTopic starter

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Re: Critique my first board!
« Reply #6 on: November 29, 2012, 12:41:00 am »
Hmm. Those screen grabs didn't show any solder mask.

Here's a 3D render of the top, as a PNG:

https://docs.google.com/open?id=0B3a3xsH0-EKaVkF6WjR3cDc0Vnc
 

Offline free_electron

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Re: Critique my first board!
« Reply #7 on: November 29, 2012, 01:01:01 am »
don't need any mounting holes ?
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Any comments, or points of view expressed, are my own and not endorsed , induced or compensated by my employer(s).
 

Offline 8086

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Re: Critique my first board!
« Reply #8 on: November 29, 2012, 01:34:48 am »
So, here's the top and bottom as PNG files.

Put thermals on the resistor and capacitor pads. Otherwise looks alright.  ^-^

PDFs or images would be nice for those of us without diptrace.  :)
diptrace is as fee as any other pdf viewer, with more tools ;) just 60MB download.

I don't think I will ever need diptrace, so 60MB and install to never use it again...well, no thanks ;)
 

Offline paoloTopic starter

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Re: Critique my first board!
« Reply #9 on: November 29, 2012, 02:00:31 am »
don't need any mounting holes ?

Good point.

I don't need mounting holes for this project, but I should allow for that in case the boards get repurposed. To avoid growing the board size they'll have to go on that spare edge, which wouldn't be brilliantly stable, but better that than nothing. Good tip. :)
 

Offline paoloTopic starter

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Re: Critique my first board!
« Reply #10 on: November 29, 2012, 02:17:48 am »
So, here's the top and bottom as PNG files.

Put thermals on the resistor and capacitor pads. Otherwise looks alright.  ^-^

Ah.... glad you mentioned this. It was something I was going to ask about.

When I was designing this, I was using an 'official' TI demo board for inspiration. I saw that they didn't have any thermals. I kind of scratched my head and thought, hey, they must know better than me. But I dunno. Maybe they had reasons I don't understand.

Their thermal-less board design is here:

http://e2e.ti.com/cfs-file.ashx/__key/CommunityServer-Discussions-Components-Files/192/3872.TLC5947_5F00_Layout_5F00_PCB.pdf

Any guesses as to why they ended up with that?

I think I saw something on one of their forums about maximising copper around decoupling components. Then again maybe I imagined that - will have to go back and check.
 

Offline 8086

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Re: Critique my first board!
« Reply #11 on: November 29, 2012, 02:26:14 am »
So, here's the top and bottom as PNG files.

Put thermals on the resistor and capacitor pads. Otherwise looks alright.  ^-^

Ah.... glad you mentioned this. It was something I was going to ask about.

When I was designing this, I was using an 'official' TI demo board for inspiration. I saw that they didn't have any thermals. I kind of scratched my head and thought, hey, they must know better than me. But I dunno. Maybe they had reasons I don't understand.

Their thermal-less board design is here:

http://e2e.ti.com/cfs-file.ashx/__key/CommunityServer-Discussions-Components-Files/192/3872.TLC5947_5F00_Layout_5F00_PCB.pdf

Any guesses as to why they ended up with that?

I think I saw something on one of their forums about maximising copper around decoupling components. Then again maybe I imagined that - will have to go back and check.

A lot of example layouts, particularly for things like switching power supplies, don't have thermals. That's fine on paper, but it makes assembly more difficult and less reliable and repeatable. I'm not entirely sure why they like to forget thermals but you have to take what you read and what you know, and put them together to achieve a good solution. Thermals are almost always a good thing to have.
 

Offline paoloTopic starter

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Re: Critique my first board!
« Reply #12 on: November 29, 2012, 02:33:45 am »
So, here's the top and bottom as PNG files.

Put thermals on the resistor and capacitor pads. Otherwise looks alright.  ^-^

Ah.... glad you mentioned this. It was something I was going to ask about.

When I was designing this, I was using an 'official' TI demo board for inspiration. I saw that they didn't have any thermals. I kind of scratched my head and thought, hey, they must know better than me. But I dunno. Maybe they had reasons I don't understand.

Their thermal-less board design is here:

http://e2e.ti.com/cfs-file.ashx/__key/CommunityServer-Discussions-Components-Files/192/3872.TLC5947_5F00_Layout_5F00_PCB.pdf

Any guesses as to why they ended up with that?

I think I saw something on one of their forums about maximising copper around decoupling components. Then again maybe I imagined that - will have to go back and check.

A lot of example layouts, particularly for things like switching power supplies, don't have thermals. That's fine on paper, but it makes assembly more difficult and less reliable and repeatable. I'm not entirely sure why they like to forget thermals but you have to take what you read and what you know, and put them together to achieve a good solution. Thermals are almost always a good thing to have.

OK, that's sold it to me. Thermals it is then.

Assembly is my next challenge and I'd rather not make things any more difficult than it will inevitably be. :)
 

Offline Mechatrommer

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Re: Critique my first board!
« Reply #13 on: November 29, 2012, 04:24:06 am »
i put 1mm thermal cross on my recent (and the first too) pcb, its a bit PITA to solder using my low power (and temp controlled) iron. my imagination tells me that thermal is not necessary if i have a bigger iron which works fine with my hakko "near infinite" power iron.
Nature: Evolution and the Illusion of Randomness (Stephen L. Talbott): Its now indisputable that... organisms “expertise” contextualizes its genome, and its nonsense to say that these powers are under the control of the genome being contextualized - Barbara McClintock
 

Offline Jon Chandler

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Re: Critique my first board!
« Reply #14 on: November 29, 2012, 07:46:16 am »
One thing to remember when asking for help...the easier it is to view a schematic or board layout, the more people will look at it. Word .DOC, Eagle, Diptrace, any proprietary format is going to limit how many people look at a file.  PDFs and jpg or png files are standards that most people have no problem opening.

Even if there are free viewers for a proprietary format, most people aren't going to take the time to install something new.

It's also most convenient for people who may try to help to attach files to posts here.  This prevents broken links and difficult to access files.
 

Offline dr_p

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Re: Critique my first board!
« Reply #15 on: November 29, 2012, 11:57:47 am »
noob here - what's a thermal?  :-//
 

Offline 8086

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Re: Critique my first board!
« Reply #16 on: November 29, 2012, 12:31:28 pm »
 


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