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The Basics of Setting Up A Printed Circuit Board (PCB)

29th November 2018

If you’re making any electronic device, a printed circuit board or a PCB is a must. They form the skeleton of the device, containing all the electrical components that make it function with ease. The common man generally doesn’t consider these aspects of their devices.

However, if you are a new PCB designer, you must closely understand what PCBs are made up of and how they work in order to create one of your own. This article will give you an overview of the PCB, what is it made of and its various components.

The Framework Of A PCB

The Printed Board Circuit is made of a plastic board is reinforced with a glass. This base also contains two copper lines and padding made out of a copper layer to enable the flow of electricity. These copper lines allow electricity to connect the different components of the PCB that are placed in a systematic way on the board. It is in this manner that the electricity is passed to the right source to make the device function.

The Different Types Of PCB Boards

The simplest form of a PCB board is made of a single copper layer to provide the electric current and the other side contains the various components of the PCB board. There are also two layer PCB boards with both the sides acting as the PCB. As copper is a carrier of electricity, if two copper wires cross paths the electric circuits get compromised. This is why it’s essential to have different layers for more complex devices.

The Solder Mask

The Solder Mask acts as an insulation to protect the copper from reacting to any metal that it comes in contact with. Over the solder mask is a silk screen, which contains drawings that enable engineers to easily read the board for easy PCB board assembly. It is the solder mast that gives the PCB its unique green coating, which it’s popularly recognized by.

The Individual Components

While the PCB is the skeleton of the device, the components act as the main body that allows the device to perform the function that it’s intended for. Different electrical components are required for different circuits depending on the device that the PCB is being made for. The engineers are the best to support in identifying the components for a PCB assembly.

However, a basic component usually consists of batteries that provide the current for the voltage, transistors that help amplify the charge and resistors that enable control of the voltage. Other basic components that form a part of any PCB are Diodes, LEDs, Capacitors, Inductors and switches.  

The PCB Assembly Process

This method is used to connect each of the components to the PCB board. Depending on the kind of device and nature of usage, the manufacturer may either use a through-hole technique or a surface mount technique. Various factors need to be considered during the assembly process as this is the final phase to complete the construction of your device and make it functional.

Corey is an all round tech guru who has worked at some major blue chip companies. He started Poweronemedia to share his views and knowledge with the rest of the blogging world.