What is a Mouse Bite PCB?

Different techniques and designs are important when it comes to PCB production. There are some printed circuit boards that come flat. There are others having little notches such as the PCB mouse bites. However, there is an important question. Which of the printed circuit boards will work best for your personal products?

Here, we will focus on the major designs and also assist you in making a very informed decision. In addition, you’ll gain some knowledge on PCB panelization. You’ll also learn the differences between different fabrication and assembly processes.

What Does Mouse Bites in PCB Mean?

Mouse bite in a printed circuit board has to do with the little perforation that is present on boards. Furthermore, the mouse bite resembles the half holes that are present on the postage stamp. Therefore, these perforations permit the connections of the small boards into a group. Also, you can refer to the perforated holes as PCB breakaway tabs (perforated breakaway tabs).

In addition, these holes help in improving a board’s grasp when mounting. One great benefit that these holes offer is that manufacturers are allowed to process many boards in panels for just one price. After you are done with the whole production process, the fabricators then separate all the boards through depanelization.

Furthermore, depanelization has become very easy. This has been made possible with breakout tabs which break along the board’s hole. Therefore, whatsoever is left on the circuit board will have the look of a mouse bite.

Sizes, Dimension, Location of the PCB Mouse Bite

At times, there could be a variation in the tiny holes present on the breakout tabs. However, majority of boards feature five holes in its breakout tabs. Also, the diameter of the hole size is around 0.5mm or 0.020 inches. Regarding the spacing, the distance between the holes is usually 0.76mm or 0.0030 inches. However, not all the circuit board works with these specifications.

Therefore, you may find random spacing and sizes of these holes. The surprise thing is that these random sizes have a bad and good side. For example, when there is a tiny mouse bite, smoothening it out could be less stressful. However, this also means you may require more holes.

In addition, when you have too large holes, smoothening the bites will require more effort. Generally, the main goal is that the pcb board has an adequate size, perfect mouse bite pcb holes placement, as well as dimension. By this, the material leftover that you will need to remove will be less.

What You Should Consider When Placing the PCB Breakaway Tab?

Before making use of perforated breakout tabs all around the outline o a board, it is advisable that you work with these rules.

  • This is great for saving time and effort on router bits, which is possible when you avoid making use of many tabs.
  • All through the PCB assembly, it is very important to make sure the panel features enough breakout tabs which have the ability to fully sustain the printed circuit board.
  • Also, if there are tabs having 0.1125 as its minimum clearance, make sure that is it close to the nearest components.
  • Make sure that these tabs aren’t close to any sensitive components. This is to prevent breakout stresses

Now, having all these at the back of your mind, it is important to consider that if the stress scarring has an effect on the circuitry as a result of the breaking o the tabs, you may not see it early. This may lead to recurrent problem that could be difficult to debug.

In addition, when you don’t make use of the adequate tabs or you don’t position them in a tactical manner during the process of production, this board will experience an excessive flex. Due to this, the pcb assembly may be unstable.

What are PCB Penalizations?

This is the opposite of the depanelization. This has to do with the connection of smaller circuit boards to large groups. With the process, you have to aim to arrange the higher number of circuit boards that will fit into the tool restrictions.

Also it is possible to prepare the board or the panelization by the placement of the fiducial markers on the board and panel’ opposite corners.

These markers are appropriate for pattern recognition. Furthermore, they assist the verification of the orientation on the board, reject below standard boards, as well as measure the board’s distances.

What are the Factors You Should Consider Before you Perform the PCB Panelization Materials?

Now, before you make use of the panelization method, there is a need to take a look at the PCB material. Take for example, the CNC router is great for handling extremely wide and thin board, which cannot deal with excess mechanical stress.

Design

There is a need to confirm the deign type that you will be working with before you go ahead with making a choice or the panelization. Therefore, if you decide to work with boards having edge-hanging components, it could affect the panelization choice.

Important Tips for PCB Panelization Preparation

  • In order to prevent deformity when you are through with the panel placement on a specific fixture, make sure that the PCB panelization external border features a kind of closed loop design.
  • Also, the ideal move is PCB penalizations that are near a square. For example 3 x 3
  • Furthermore, control the distance at the center in-between the panels. Position them to lay with 7 mm and 145 mm
  • For the automatic dispensation, the PCB panelization ought to be less than or equal to 125mm by 180 mm
  • Make sure that the area for non-resistive soldering surpasses the mark point
  • Connection bridge in-between these pieces have to be void of large devices or protruding. Furthermore, your border and components should not have more than 0.5 mm. This is to prevent any possible damage.
  • Furthermore, place the large components in the positioning pot holes. These include I/O interface headphone interface and more.

PCB Mouse Bite PCB VS v-Groove PCB: What are the Differences?

  • The mouse bites method deals with the boring of small perforated holes into the tabs. V-groove on the other hand houses the individual boards
  • Mouse bites are appropriate whenever there are lightweight components. This contrasts the V-shaped grooves whose design works whenever there are no overhanging component or round corners.
  • In addition, the mouse bites help in supporting the edge-hanging component designs. The V-groove, on the other hand, is great whenever there’s much distance present between the PCB edge and component limit.
  • With Mouse bites, its tasks to create while the creation of V-scores come easy.
  • Here, this technique of hand separation for mouse bites works very fine. Breaking apart is difficult without the harming components that are present in the overall process.
  • Furthermore, the mouse bites provide a great grip for the mounts, while the V-groove greater strength
  • Mouse bites could leave back some material on the sharp edges, which will require sanding while the V-groove separation features a better and cleaner cut

What are the Types of PCB Panelization?

From the name, the breakaway tab PCB is not included among the PCB. Therefore, you will be able to about two or the four sides of the boards that aid in SMT assembly. Once the assembly is done, the tabs will go off.

V-grooves (V-cut)

This is the most common PCB penalization type having a depth of around one third of the PCB thickness on the two sides of the PCB. In addition, it features a router bit of around 30 minutes

Stamp Holes (Routing Tabs)

This method is better when dealing with the irregular edges. Also, it deals with making use of bridges having a width on the two ends.

Solid Tab Panelization

Also, this method helps in designing arrays or groups with the solid tabs in-between the circuit boards, which enhances its overall strength.

V Groove PCB Panels vs Tab Routing PCB Panels: What’s the Difference?

Before choosing any of these methods, there is a need to take a look at the PCB design as well as these factors.

Board Shapes

The V-cut PCB Panels are great for working with the rectangular or square boards. However, tab routing makes things better whenever you are dealing with some irregular shapes.

Waste

The V-grooving is better due to the act that it wastes lesser materials in contrast to tab routing

Edge Quality

If the edge quality is an important criterion for your project, then tab routing would be better here in contrast to V grooving. Furthermore, the V-cuts feature rough edges, which will need more sanding so as to achieve the smooth edges.

Timing

The V groove is a much better alternative when you want to complete your task within a very short time. Also, setting it up may take more time in contrast to tab routing.

Conclusion

PCB mouse bites (mouse bite) are great additions whenever you want the PCB board to have a grip during mounting. V-groove, on the other hand, is a great choice when the project needs greater strength.