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Questions relating to designing PCBs
By iceblu3710
#47805
busonerd: Yea im in south surrey area and im hoping next sept to attend SFU full time for electronics eng. ex-sfu guru, what where you involved in?

I just moved from alberta in march, wanted to move to burnaby but ended up stuck in walley untill I ran away lower south.

Sence your near where do you go to browse parts? RP Electronics on Lougheed and Willington I couldn't find yesterday... does electrosonic have a store? I hate buying board interconects online, easier to visualize with the parts in hand.
By busonerd
#47809
I usually go to Active Electronics; its at 1st + boundary. Most of the time though, I just buy from digikey. Its harder to visualize, but you can't beat the price + selection... just make sure to buy from the .ca version, otherwise it ships from the states, and costs an arm and a leg.

RE the ex-SFE guru; I was a sparkfun electronics person for a year, worked on some of their designs; but then my visa ran out and I came back here :P.

Cheers,

--David Carne
By iceblu3710
#47819
Whoot I just designed my first 0603 component board, psu for my nixie's. DC/DC 5v(115mA)->185v(15mA), board measures 17x20mm which is 1/8 the size of my TH board!

http://www.bespoketech.net/friends_shar ... bottom.bmp
http://www.bespoketech.net/friends_shar ... su_top.bmp

Im sure it could be cleaner, I wish I could thicken the wires without making the round ends larger to make thick crisp ended lines i gotta run them overlapping each other with screws up the gcode.

Eagles autorouter is sometimes perfect and other times completely useless, this design no matter how I laid out the components it would not route more than %60...

Can a hobbyist plate through hole's? The chemical method would prolly be pretty hard but I would think somebody made a bobbin & pin design out in each side, press together, solder. Or do most people stick to soldering in a 22guage wire or TH resistor leg?
By winston
#47832
There was some discussion on the yahoo Homebrew_PCB group about plating holes - it sounded like a hole lot of hassle (pun intended). I think I'll stick to using track pins.
By Philba
#47846
when I make a board at home, I use a set of design rules for non-plated through holes. They are pretty obvious:
- use TH component pins to pass signals from one side to the other.
- make sure the pass-through pins have soldering access on both sides
- vias need to be large enough to accept a wire for soldering both sides
- vias need to be accessible for soldering (don't put them under chips, for example)

On the Eagle autorouter: while some say they can make it work, I have found it to be totally useless. It can do small, low density boards but fails on anything else. It runs traces all over the place. It's hard to get it to do things like isolate certain signal classes (analog, for example). And, it makes for a really ugly looking board.

The good news is it isn't that hard to route a board by hand. Start small and work up. it took me a few boards to get pretty good at it. Even complex boards aren't that bad and the Eagle AR won't even come close.
By iceblu3710
#47887
Philba: Using TH components to pass signals, I mount my parts as tight to the board as possible, caps for example so a top pad is impossible to solder (solder top heat from bottom and slide through but kinda shotty).

As every different pcb package I have used they all route top/bottom signals to TH pads and its annoying, in eagle I always gotta pull it off to the side and put a via usually close enough the via and pad are touching just to I can access it (I solder via/smt/th shortest to tallest)

Where do you guys get your track pins? digi-key 'track-pins' gets a whole lot of nothing, maybe they have another name I don't know.

Also anyone know how to bump smt parts to the bottom layer on eagle? It would really help density if I could mount all my passives on the bottom.
By Philba
#47888
I don't bother with pins. Just use a length of stripped wire, thread it through all the vias, solder both sides and clip off the wire loops.
By iceblu3710
#47889
Philba wrote:I don't bother with pins. Just use a length of stripped wire, thread it through all the vias, solder both sides and clip off the wire loops.
Ahh a few posts back I mentioned thats what im doing, just taking a bit of my stripped green fix wire to it. Good to know im doing things right
By beebop
#48187
busonerd wrote:I usually go to Active Electronics; its at 1st + boundary. Most of the time though, I just buy from digikey. Its harder to visualize, but you can't beat the price + selection... just make sure to buy from the .ca version, otherwise it ships from the states, and costs an arm and a leg.

RE the ex-SFE guru; I was a sparkfun electronics person for a year, worked on some of their designs; but then my visa ran out and I came back here :P.

Cheers,

--David Carne
David, I didn't realize you were here... :D

I think Active is quite a rip off, pricewise. Lee's on Main has much better prices on most things, but a different range...
iceblu3710 wrote:Wow, good looking work Winston! I almost didn't believe it!

I was diggin through the classified section of my newspaper and found an add for an elec wholesaler called ElectroSonic and my goodness their SMT passives are DIRT cheep. I just got a list 58 unique items, minimum 100pcs, commons 300pcs, 1k,10k,470,330 600pcs and im not even at $30. Their a lower mainland british columbia company if I like the parts and service ill report back about them.

Now to order 60uniqe values of caps..
I agree about Winston's board. :)

I'd sure like to hear more about ElectroSonic.
By iceblu3710
#48256
Sorry its taking so long before I place my electrosonic review but sofar my cart has 58 values of 5% 603 resistors 100pcs each, 1k, 10k, 100k 1% 600each and price is $30, caps are next and will be ~2.5x more I presume, Its a good search but you cant filter my minimum quantity (same as digikey) which really sucks as you click 5 links to find the one good price. But im averaging $0.005 per part lol ($30/6000pcs)

Sofar I realize they have passives pbfree ~0.17 and leaded ~0.013 since I don't care about lead 90% of the ones I ordered are leaded.

Ill place the order tomorrow, found a bunch of fun dip lcd 7seg for cheep on digikey, my one project requires 8 7segs and cheapest I can find is $3.15/ea electrosonic seems only cheep on passives, more on everything else.

I agree that Active is a ripoff, I useto goto the one in Calgary, AB all the time just to find parts then order online. Where is Lee's?
By beebop
#48434
Lee's is at 4522 Main, and two doors down is Main Electronics. Lee's is the one I like, but if he doesn't have what I want, then I can just pop in next door.
By iharris
#48698
I'm complete unqualified to talk about anything SMD, other than it's something I'd like to get into. I noticed that SureElectronics on Ebay have a bunch of kits:

http://search.ebay.co.uk/smd_W0QQcatref ... lectronics

I order stuff from them quite regularly (they have some fun display boards, progammers, etc).

cheers
Ian.
By Nutter
#48772
wow, there's a lot of us from the lower mainland on here... :)

I generally get everything from DigiKey these days (as I only to smd, and the local stores never have what I need even in TH), except for chemicals and a few other things - those I generally get from either Main, Lee's, or RP... I don't think I've ever been to Active though, nor even heard of Electro Sonic.
By iceblu3710
#48885
Nutter:

Ive tried to find RP like 3 times here, Willington & Lougheed SW portion is all the strip complexes but none are RP.

I need to head over and pick up some misc stuff but even my Crackberry GPS is confused
By Nutter
#48891
It's actually on the corner of Rosser and Sumas (enter off Sumas, as the parking lot is one-way and the stalls are all in that direction).
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