It is summer, but that does not mean that kids are not learning. Whether they are experimenting with new wood working skills in the garage with a grandfather or attending a summer technology camp at a local university, many students still find a way to learn and expand their knowledge base. One popular new skill that many young scientists like to explore is the basics of prototype printed circuit boards.
Three Basic Kinds of Printed Circuit Board Construction
Used in almost everything that is considered electronic, the prototype printed circuit boards are actually the basis for much of what we turn of and on every single day. Some of the basic terminology that is introduced to anyone working with or creating prototype circuit boards:
- board The printed circuit board itself. Available in a variety of sizes boards obviously have to fit inside the objects that are being developed.
- card This is another name for a printed circuit board. Especially referring to the board before it has been coated with the circuit lines, cards are intentionally generic in the beginning.
- decal A decal is the graphical software representation of a component. It is called a decal because it is a hand made tape example of a printed circuit board. When ready to test or use the decal can be removed. The decal can also be called a footprint or package. On the final manufactured board, the body of a footprint is actually an ink outline created with epoxy.
- hard copy This is a printed or plotted form of an electronic document. In many cases this is in the format of a computer data file.
- surface mount assembly One method for producing electronic circuits in which the components are mounted or placed directly onto the printed circuit board surface. An electronic device so made is called a surface-mount device.
- through hole construction assembly One method for producing electronic circuits in which the circuit board mounting involves the use of leads on the components which are then inserted into drilled holes and soldered to pads on the opposite side of the board.
Circuit board prototyping allows companies to examine a circuit board in its testing stage. Before large quantities are mass produced, prototypes allow for less expensive safety testing.
Helpful research also found here.