SCREENSHOT 13. The ground plane makes life good for the component
side of our printed circuit board as we can eliminate traces that are
connecting the GND net. Use thermal pads when the pad that attaches
to the ground plane needs to be soldered. Otherwise, your soldering
iron’s heat will be absorbed by the ground plane copper and you may
put down a cold solder joint.
SCREENSHOT 12. If necessary, you could
also place a PCB heatsink area on the solder
side of the printed circuit board. The LM2940
pad layout I chose has a hole in it that would
allow the component and solder layers of
the PCB heatsink to make thermal contact.
plane work when you load up led_blinker_E.
If you need the maneuvering space, you can
move traces from the component side to the
solder side of our PCB design, even with a
ground plane covering all of the board’s solder side. Our design doesn’t have any trace
constraints. However, in Screenshot 14, I
moved the LED signal lines to the solder side
of the board design just to show you that it
can be done. The ExpressPCB application
automatically creates a channel in the ground
plane for the traces to follow. You have this
file in your download package, as well. Load
up led_blinker_F to check this concept out
Bringing Your ExpressPCB
Design to Life
There are still many other things we can
do to improve our LED blinker printed circuit
board design. For instance, do you need
mounting holes in the corners? Can you make
it more compact? Take the time to fine-tune
your PCB design. It’s worth the extra effort.
Once you’ve finalized your PCB design,
it’s just a simple matter of selecting Order
Boards via the Internet from the ExpressPCB
Layout pull-down menu. Before you place
your ExpressPCB order, check your work,
check your work, check your work, and
check your work. If you happen to miss
something, fret not! Some wirewrap wire and
a magnifier will get you through the mistake
most of the time. However, there’s no feeling
like pulling that PCB out of the box, stuffing
the components into their pad patterns, and
having it work perfectly. NV
Fred Eady can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
ExpressPCB ( www.expresspcb.com)
SCREENSHOT 14. There was no need to
move the LED signal lines to the solder side.
However, you need to know that you have
that option. The ExpressPCB application
automatically makes room for the traces.