Valley Services Electronics

Silicon Valley’s Premier Electronic and PCB Assembly Blog

The Effect of PCB Impedance on Design

Trail construction, like roads or other similar pathing, has to contour to the features of the ground beneath it. These trails are usually built to minimize the impact of human activity, meaning the lay of the land takes precedence over ease of use (to a point). Trail designers avoid extended steep climbs, but sometimes it’s unavoidable. When there is the option, most trails will incorporate switchbacks, a longer but less taxing ascent than a direct route over the surface.

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PCB Thermal Conductivity: Maximizing Heat Transfer

Packing a cooler is a time-honored tradition for beach trips, camping, and cookouts. I remember the first time I was on cooler duty. Typical of my thought process, I put a bed of ice in the cooler and placed all perishables on top. As you might have guessed, my family was not impressed with my record-breaking cooler pack.

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How To Prevent Common PCB Problems Before Manufacturing

“Measure twice, cut once” is the guiding mantra to prevent irreversible mistakes during any manufacturing process. However, no matter how many eyes check a document or process, some defect or error eventually sneaks through. Luckily, not all errors are equally disruptive, and focused efforts on the primary modes of failure or performance issues can prevent complete malfunction. Establishing and communicating clear design intent also helps prevent ambiguity from sneaking into production, reducing the possibility of issues arising.

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High Voltage PCB Design for Arc Prevention

Outside of video games, shortcuts and corner-cutting have a more negative connotation. We tend to view shortcuts as cheating, whether the person is performing the action or the recipient. Typically, a shortcut invokes risk, which might momentarily solve a problem but lead to issues in developing knowledge or skills that can later undermine the shortcut user.

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The Back Drilling Process: Maintaining Signal Integrity

One of the best lessons I’ve learned in my career in PCB design is realizing when I’ve gone too far. It’s easy to miss the forest for the trees when you’re in the weeds of placement, layout, routing, and other core tasks, but sometimes it’s necessary to take a moment to reflect on your work. Sometimes I’ll find I’ve overlooked some crucial element in the design documents or strayed from the engineer’s intent. In this case, saving the work I think is worthwhile, and undoing the rest with a backup file can seem like an easy fix.

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