The basic thing about PCB-Design is to know about PCB. To start from beginning, first thing to learn about basic of component symbol, design Schematic Diagram, method of component assembly, soldering technique, Process of PCB-Design. Composition and terminology are used in PCB industry you can check out further.
What is a PCB?
A printed circuit board (PCB) mechanically supports and electrically connects electronic components using conductive tracks, pads and other features etched from copper sheets laminated onto a non-conductive substrate. Components – capacitors, resistors or active devices – are generally soldered on the PCB (Courtesy: Wikipedia).
PCB are called “Printed” because you print your circuit onto the copper. PCB are single, double-sided plated-through-hole (PTH) to become multi-layered PCBs.
Figure 1 : Microprocessor Based meter Zig Tester PCB image
Composition used in PCB-Design:
The number of layers of different material are laminated together with the help of heat and adhesive material used to create a PCB board.
Figure 2: PCB Layer composition (Courtesy: learn.sparkfun.com)
Layer between copper plates are FR4 (Flame Retardant 4) made of fiberglass and epoxy resin, which creates and support insulated hard structure of PCB boards.
A thin copper foil is laminated on the board, copper traces are created and synthesized through copper electroplating. Then drilled holes create connection between layers.
You have noticed number of single or parallel line are interconnected with one component to another components pads, these copper lines called signal traces.
The components (resistor, diode, ICs etc.) pin are soldered on a point is called pad, these pads are covered with metal of Tin
The colored component name, symbols and number codes can be seen on surface of PCB are called Silkscreen. The silkscreen layer of name, number and symbols are applied on Soldermask layer of PCB for easily understand the circuit.
The round circle thing can be seen on surface of PCB are called Vias.
You will notice that entire PCB having covered with green stuff, the surface with green stuff is called soldermask and it is a insulator. Soldermask prevent PCB from corrosion, effect from oxidation on copper, preventing from short circuit.
Start from Schematics for PCB-Design:
For any Electronic Engineer, schematic Circuit is most fundamental thing to Reading, Designing, Mapping and Troubleshooting a circuit. So you will have to firstly design schematics then find EDA or PCB design software tool to start PCB board design process.
Figure 3: 5 Volt Power supply using bridge Rectifier IC(Courtesy: EFY Magzine)
Tools used in PCB-Design
There are many eda Tool available in market for designing of pcb Schematics and PCB. After making PCB-Design you can create components BOM list and Simulator also include in software to simulate the circuit that circuit build error free, here are few eda tools used by Designer the list:
- CadSoft Eagle
- Printed circuit board from Wikipedia.com
- Electronics For You Magazine
- PCB Design from engscope.cpm
- PCB basic from sparkfun.com