With the current advancements in the field of technology, there is an increased need for more powerful miniaturized electronic devices. In addition, the world is working towards achieving a more portable electronic environment with ever-shrinking electronic devices. In the recent past, easy PCB manufacturing has greatly revolutionized the assembly process. Furthermore, the process allows for the utilization of personal skills for both beginners and electronic experts. The following details talk more about easy PCBs and the entire assembly process.
What is Easy PCB?
Easy PCB is a quick and accurate PCB assembly method that allows the manufacture of high-density printed circuit boards. In addition, it is cheaper compared to traditional assembly methods such as etching and photolithography. Furthermore, this method allows for the production of smaller printed circuit boards. It is, therefore, the most effective method for applications with limited space.
Easy PCB assembly process
When manufacturing an easy printed circuit board, you can follow the following series of iterations:
- First, print your intended printed circuit board design on a transparency sheet. Then you now must make a thin score line using a sharp knife.
- Secondly, cut out the printed circuit board’s tracing using scissors. Finally, your easy PCB is ready for soldering.
- Thirdly, before soldering, you must ensure that you tin all the exposed copper on the printed circuit board. To achieve this, apply some solder to a dry soldering tip and touch the exposed copper tip. In addition, coating the copper with a layer of solder clears the surface and allows the printed circuit board to cool.
- Next, it’s now time to solder your components. The soldering process starts with applying some solder onto one of the components. Now touch the soldering tip to the component’s lead and the exposed copper on the board.
- You hold the iron still to ensure that the solder melts and flows accurately around the lead. Next, remove the iron and leave the joint for cooling.
- Repeat the above two steps for each component. Having done that for all the components, your printed circuit board is complete and ready for testing.
- Finally, connect your power supply and test for continuity using a multimeter. If everything is okay, you are already done with manufacturing your easy PCB.
Advantages of Easy PCB
Easy PCB has a wide range of advantages. The following are some of these advantages:
- Firstly, easy PCB assembly process eliminates the photolithography step. The method, therefore, saves both money and time since photolithography is a sophisticated and expensive process.
- Secondly, it is applicable for high-density applications. Furthermore, the process enables you to make the circuit traces close to each other, allowing for the miniaturization of the circuit board.
- Finally, the process offers high accuracy and repeatability since the master circuit creates a negative image for transferring to the copper-clad board.
Disadvantages of Easy PCB
Despite easy PCB’s advantages, the process also has some demerits. The following are some of these limitations:
- The process is only applicable in the assembly of two-dimensional printed circuits. Therefore, three-dimensional printed circuit boards are difficult to assemble using this method.
- Secondly, the method is not suitable for large-scale PCB assembly. Repeating this procedure, again and again, can be tedious. The number of printed circuit boards you can assemble in a day is, therefore, far much lower than when employing manufacturing equipment.
- Thirdly, easy PCB assembly method is only applicable when manufacturing small and medium-sized printed circuit boards. Furthermore, manufacturing larger printed circuits calls for applying traditional methods such as etching and photolithography to save manufacturing costs.
- Finally, assembling easy PCB can be expensive since it might not always be easy to access the components you require for your setup.
Similarities Between Easy PCB and Other PCB Types
Both easy printed circuit boards and other PCB types have several unique features. However, the following are the similarities between easy PCBs and the typical PCBs:
- Firstly, both easy PCBs and other PCB types are applicable in electronics. Therefore, we can find them in electronic devices like televisions, computers, gaming consoles, cell phones, etc.
- Secondly, both easy PCB and other PCB types have a series of thin layers that protect the delicate components within the device.
- Thirdly, these PCB types depend on the onboard or external power supply. All printed circuit boards require power from a power source that can be either integrated or separated from the PCB.
- Finally, both easy PCBs and other PCB types employ solder mask to protect the circuit components.
Differences Between Easy PCB and Other PCB Types
Despite the many similarities between easy PCB and other PCB types, they may differ in the following ways:
- Easy printed circuit boards are mainly for beginners in electronic assembly. Therefore, many people with little or no electronic experience prefer easy PCB. On the other hand, most other PCB types are for people with some experience in electronics.
- Also, PCBs are easier to manufacture than other circuit types. Consequently, easy PCBs are easier to handle than typical PCB types.
Power Supply and Consumption of Easy PCB
You can either supply power to easy printed circuit boards onboard or off-board. Onboard power supply involves integrating the power supply source to the circuit board’s surface. On the other hand, an off-board power supply involves connecting the easy PCB to a power supply separate from the board. However, the power consumption of the circuit board is not dependent on the power supply style. Instead, the PCB’s power supply refers to the electrical power the printed circuit board requires to function normally. Therefore, we can divide PCB power consumption into two categories, namely:
- Active power- the power that the PCB circuitry depends on to operate.
- Standby power-this is the power that the PCB depends on to remain idle or in a standby state.
We measure the power consumption of an easy printed circuit board in watts per second (W/s).
The Lifespan of an Easy PCB
The lifespan of an easy printed circuit board refers to the amount of time that the circuit board will remain functional before malfunctioning. The following are the factors that affect the lifespan of the easy PCB.
- The solder mask quality
- Quality of the PCB material
- Number of layers in the printed circuit board
- The PCB’S thermal stress
- The thickness of the copper traces
- Surface finish quality
It is important to note that a thick copper trace, good-quality surface finish, and high-quality solder paste support a larger lifespan. In addition, exposing the printed circuit board to high temperatures or subjecting it to mechanical stress also boosts the circuit’s lifespan.
The above details explain the easy PCB assembly process and the easy printed circuit boards. In addition, from the above details, easy PCBs have a wide range of activities and disadvantages. However, despite these demerits, easy PCBs are still popular when producing miniaturized, high-density printed circuit boards.