Choosing best PCB manufacturer for your needs

Many PCB manufacturers offer good quality PCBs for a low price. Anyway, there may be lots of small things that may lead to a few inconveniences if your choice isn’t the best. Of course, the primary source to check out is the Internet. Customer feedback may be a good starting point to evaluate the PCB manufacturing process of the chosen vendor. Other sources worth to check are the social media, colleague recommendations or other influences. Sometimes there is nothing wrong to give a try on any manufacturer with some small batch and evaluate PCB manufacturing process and build quality by yourself. There may be a different experience for different people and what is bad for one may be right for others. Evaluating the quality of delivered PCB If you decided to try a new PCB manufacturer, there are some key points that you may want to check when boards are…

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SMD soldering tutorial

SMD entered a hobby market a long time ago, but there are still many people who afraid to push their projects to SMT level. Once you try, it appears to be very easy – even more comfortable than through-hole PCB technology. Dave from eevblog.com has published a series of PCB soldering tutorials where he goes through tools needed to make quality soldering, then through hole soldering tips and finally SMD component soldering. In this video Dave carefully explains what main techniques (individual pin soldering, well based and drag) can be used to successfully solder SMD parts and what odds are awaiting for inexperienced players. If you don’t want to solder with iron, then you’ll see how it is easy to do this with solder paste and hot air gun.

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Importing PCB boards in to Google Sketchup

Designing electronics devices doesn’t end with building a PCB board. Most of the finished products are placed in enclosures. Even if you don’t use enclosure – the board has to sit somewhere or has some mechanical attachments like heat-sinks, holders, etc. One way to be sure everything fits nicely is to put everything together in mechanical CAD like Google Sketchup which is free. The problem is – how easy to transfer PCB image into Sketchup. There is no direct export to format that 3D CAD would understand. So RS Components (EU electronics component distributor) have put all pieces together. They developed a simple solution that clears the gap between PCB and 3D CAD formats. Their small software takes IDF file format (Intermediate Data Format) that is supported by most of PCB software packages. Then with the RS program, this file is converted to Collada (.dae) file which can be imported…

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Soldering small chips in dead bug style

Probably you’re following Dave’s eevblog. He regularly publishes great stuff for electronics engineers and enthusiasts. Following video might be useful for someone who deals with small SMD parts like LGA. Soldering those might be tough, but there is always a way out of the situation. This video demonstrates how to solder three-axis accelerometer on to prototyping board in dead bug style. By following this technique, you can solder almost any SMD chip that is meant for re-flow soldering.

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Print toner traces directly on PCB

Well this sound amazing and scary. Everyone knows that printer toner usually is transferred with special glossy paper and iron, but printing directly… anyway fact is that it is possible and gives amazing results. Author claims and proves that he was able to print 2mill traces what means four traces between two DIP pins. There isn’t any information about how it’s done as other people claim that printers modified as flat doesn’t give even close results. Take a look for more photos in gallery.

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The Proper Ways to Prepare The Eagle Designs For Manufacture

You have to prepare many multi-platform eagle designs for manufacture, but you have no ideas what to do about it? Well, there are many ways to turn an eagle design into an actual PCB. One of the best ways is to save the eagle designs as industry-standard gerber files, where you can use the gerbers files to order a single prototype or in a full panel. For your information, the toner transfer is the favorite choice of beginners to make a PCB, as the total investment in materials is minimal comparing with other methods. Most of the PCBs are made with the photo-resist process, since the photo process makes nice boards, but it requires a bit of equipments. While some of the board manufactures, such as the olimex, can be used to make PCBs directly from eagle .brd files. Olimex requires a minimum order of one eurocard-sized PCB (100mmx160mm). Here’s…

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Save your time with great and updated Eagle library from SparkFun

If you like designing PCB’s with Eagle CAD software this Eagle library may save you tons of time. It has many great footprints that are popular but not included in standard Eagle library like RGB through-hole LED, 16×2 LCD, Relays, RCA Jack, 3.5mm Audio Jack and more. Check out full list which is updating time to time. Also if you’re new to Eagle don’t forget to check Eagle Tutorials for fast start.

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