Creating a PCB
How and why to create a PCB.
Creating a PBC or circuit board, is not required to get stuff working. Fixing things together like I did in earlier projects is quite fine for DIY projects that is only for your own use. But when you want to sell your projects, or others needs to use them. It's time to thing about using a PCB!
Basicly PCB's are plastic boards with cubber on top (and perhaps bottom, or eaven more layers). This cubber board then goes through a process (called PCB ecthing) where the un wanted cubber is removed. Leaving you with cubber lanes / traces left. These act's as wires / connections between components. So instead of having wires all over the place you solder the components to a board with the cubber on it.
Using PCB's gives it a verry profecional look, but it also has other advantages! Because everything os soldered on to a hard surface it gives allot of "robust ness" over components held in place by the wires soldered on to them. Another advantage is the fact that components can be redused in size. E.g. using smd (The small "Surface mount" components) directly without the use of a PCB is almost imposible (but can be done)... But be aware that just adding big components to a PCB will probably NOT make it samller ...
So how do I do it?
Well it's not that simple, and yet amasingly simple ??? SAY WHAT ??? ...
You see thers lot's of different ways of creating PCB's, some are verry simple, others more complex. I am NOT an expert in making PCB's so me trying to explain to you all the pro's an con's of different tecniques will probably add more confusion than help...
So instead of telling you how to do it best, my goal will be to explain what I have done...
Instead of posting an article 20 pages long about all the details, this project will be sort of an on going process. So below here I will post "dated project updates", that you can follow instead.
2017-08-28: First PCB send to production.
I have decided that instead of making the PCB as a protoype hand made PCB, where I do the etching process my self. I will instead try to follow my own design from the Burst mode mosfet project page and send the design that i come up with to a production facility to get a couple of them made...
This decition may end op beeing an okay idea or may end up as a failure ... My main concern is ofcause if I make any mistakes it will cost me a little mony... But on the other hand making a test board will also cost me so I figure: I'm not planing to make huge volumes of test PCB designs in the near future, so why not let others doo the hard work :-)
The first thing that I did was search the web for PCB design tools. Ressults: THERE ARE ALLOT !!! So to narrow it down I found the ones that in my oppinion looked simple. Results: Ended up with like a hand full. The next setp in my search for tools was to try to find out where I cound get the desings made, and what kind of files they need for producing the PCB. Ressult: THERE ARE ALLOT !!! So again: Find the ones that looked simple (so that i don't have to specify thing's that I don't know what are). Then match the output files of the tools with the input requirement of the producers .... Bingo: 1 Match left ... I know: Not the most sientific approach.
The ressult was:
Desing tool: https://circuits.io/ -> Warning, they may be moving ???
Production company: https://oshpark.com/
These may not be the best, or maby they are? I'm not reccomending them, but in my oppinion they was both so simple that I could understand them and get stuff done.
First the design:
On the circuits.io I created an account, made the traces folowing the design on the mosfet page.
If you are interested in how I dit, and how the tool works. Then perhaps you should looka at the youtube video i made of the process:
The ressult of this process was this:
To get the files prodused I downloaded the gerber files. Awailable for download here:
Download the gerber files here
And created a profile with "OSH Park" and ordered the design...
I will ofcause in arround 1 month post pictures and my thoughts here when the PCB arrives.
So in the end I Got the design to production :-)
When I make updates i will post them here :-) If you want to be notified when i post updates, go here -> CLICK HERE <- and write me a message saying "Add my mail adress to the 'BurstMosfet_PCB1' notification mailing list" then I will send you notifications by mail when updates are added :-)