Valley Services Electronics

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component orientation on pcb

Capacitor ESR: Selection and Detection

Capacitors are ubiquitous throughout a design for many purposes. From charge storing, signal smoothing, filter applications, and more, these components are often the most populated element on a board. The capacitance and voltage rating (to handle the expected voltage and any spikes) are the primary factors when selecting capacitors. However, a lesser heralded metric can…

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component orientation on pcb

Fiber Optic Cable Manufacturing for Optoelectronics

Most electronic systems default to copper wire as the transmission medium, and for good reason: it’s highly conductive, readily machinable, and cost-effective. While copper’s applications are nearly universal, its performance can suffer at microwave frequencies and speeds well into the GHz range, where the skin effect causes current to concentrate towards the surface of the…

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The characteristic impedance of transmission lines starts with the board stackup.

FR4 PCBs: Substrates and Stackups

Designing a PCB starts with the circuit, but the days when the substrate material is an afterthought are long gone. Performance rests on the design’s mechanical, electrical, and thermal considerations, and substrates lacking one or more of these areas are likely to exhibit poor quality and reliability over the device’s service life. FR4 is an…

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ISO 13485 Certified Companies

An inherent risk when working with medical devices extends beyond general electronics concerns: defects and performance issues are more liable to cause personal injury. Given the possibility, medical manufacturing must strive for a higher standard than the general industry. ISO 13485 certification is the answer: by providing a foundation for exceeding competency goals while carefully…

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High Voltage PCB Design Tips

Outside of video games, shortcuts and corner-cutting have a more negative connotation. We tend to view shortcuts as cheating, whether the person performs 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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smt vs through hole components

IPC Class 2 PCBs: Manufacturing Requirements

The Association Connecting Electronics Industries (IPC) publishes the industry standard for PCB manufacturing—IPC-A-610. It is a comprehensive document that outlines the criteria and requirements for the acceptability of electronic assemblies, guiding manufacturers on quality assurance and inspection processes. The standard lists three classifications of PCB manufacturing requirements: Class 1, 2, and 3.  Frequently, designers may…

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