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hello and welcome in this video i'm going to share with you at least seven secrets i learned over time to become a successful hardware engineer a lot of people have been asking me kirsh how do i get started in hardware design how do i get started in pcb design well this is it right these seven secrets are gonna lay overall the general foundation you need to know that you can be successful and over time confident in your pcb designs so let's get started secret number one is to understand and learn the pcb layout process from a schematic to your finished printed circuit board okay and you want to do that using a professional pcb software take for instance altium designer you can get a free trial for two weeks make sure you use you make sure you use the link in the description below if you're going to get that altium get that ltn free trial and then do a pcb layout take my free tutorial series on how to do the pcb layout take other tutorial series as well okay and so you can get that practice before the two weeks runs out so that's secret number one learn and understand the pcb layout process from start to finish using a professional pcb design software secret number two you want to understand electronics design now i'm not gonna i'm not talking about just pcb design i'm talking about hardware design engineering which includes everything from start schematic part selection to finish pcb layout okay it's because nowadays you you're going to be more attractive even more attractive as a pcb designer if you are really a hardware designer you're from scratch to finish okay so practical electronics for inventors is my highest recommended book i highly recommend this if you're really trying to fresh refresh yourself on electronics quickly and uh to get back up on your game and also to learn about practical electronics like wiring cabling and all that stuff stuff i learned on the job not in college okay the next book is the art of electronics fantastic fantastic classic book and i'm so glad they've been updating it so this book houses different from the first book right this gives you all the electronics you can imagine but in uh not in just basic components but also cookbook kind of circuits you can use for different applications plus they really get in on some of the communication protocols like spi i squared c so on and so forth so this is a fantastic book always keep this in your library that's secret number two understand your electronics design as a hardware engineer secret number three you need to understand how to select components and parts so check out digikey how do you select parts from mouser arrow octopart how did you how do you do your parametric search to make sure you're getting the correct the correct parts and what are the schematic symbols that you would put in the schematic design from secret number two right but not only that how do you read the the data sheet so that you can understand the mechanical footprint that goes underneath the device onto the pcb you need to know that as well yes the pcb layout the footprints okay and that's governed by like ipc 7351 standard and some other things but yeah understand parts both the conceptual and the mechanical part of the part okay no pun intended all right so that's secret number three parts secret number four pcb fabrication i always harp on this you know i for a while for a long time i didn't really know all the steps in the pcb fabrication process and i still don't know every single step but i at least kind of know what it looks like and the materials that are involved because guess what the materials in affect signal integrity and emi and pcb stack up and all that stuff there are very specific reasons why the manufacturer wants you to do certain things a certain way to have an even number of layers on the pcb as opposed to an odd number of layers and this is called designed for manufacturing when you design with your manufacturer and assembly company in mind because here's the achilles heel every pcb that you want to design you want it to be made right it needs to be manufactured so there's really no way to escape the design for manufacturing process all right so it's a set of steps or rules that make it easier for your manufacturer and assembly house to fabricate and build your assembled pcbs for longevity for a good price reliability and things like that plus you want to use the ipc 221 standard which is generic standard on printed circuit board design very good standard okay this is where the top companies put all their best knowledge and give you some guidelines on how to lay out your printed circuit board so design for manufacturing and understanding the pcb layout pro the pcb fabrication process and assembly process is essentially secret number four secret or secret number five excuse me secret number six is electromagnetics so what do we mean by that you need to understand signal integrity power integrity and electromagnetic compatibility emi what do these affect how are these connected okay select signal integrity affects your traces your control impedance traces your things that affect length matching skew so on and so forth for your high speed digital design you need to understand your signal integrity you also want to understand power integrity for the power distribution network that's also important for the parts all the parts are going to need some kind of power so your power distribution network and how that's affected by power integrity or pisi is important then emc emi you know why does this matter right it's to a pass emissions testing and this directly is affected by and affects your pcb stack up and also your signal integrity and your traces so you need to know this as well if you want a good primer on like electromagnetic compatibility and pcb stack up check out rick hartley's presentation on um achieving proper grounding he's like the stack up guru on this stuff and also also dr eric bogatan signal integrity all right you want to check him out he is the signal integrity evangelist okay so understand those why because when you understand secret number six the electromagnetics then you're ready for high speed pcb design oh and if you understand secret number five the materials and the design for manufacturing okay then you're ready for high speed pcb design okay now the final secret secret number seven is uh how do you package your files to send them to a manufacturer right so if you uh if you wanna get your board manufacturer you need to package the files in such a way that a company can actually build the board a good way to check your files is to use altium 365 free online viewer upload your files you can submit them as gerber and you can zip them up you can also use the direct design files from the ltm designer software and upload as well you can use eagle also keycad those kinds of formats you submit it here and check it out you can share your designs but that's not it that's not everything you actually need to go to the manufacturer go to the manufacturer's website whether it's crs circuits i like to use crs circuits or other companies they will giv
Thanks for your comment Gerry Srygley, have a nice day.
- Kathryn Palas, Staff Member
Thanks for this interesting article
Thanks paulistac your participation is very much appreciated
- Kathryn Palas
About the author
I've studied mastery learning at Virginia Wesleyan University in Virginia Beach and I am an expert in psychopathology. I usually feel listless. My previous job was automobile mechanic I held this position for 23 years, I love talking about fishing and zen tangles. Huge fan of Paul Hollywood I practice rollerblading and collect pin-back buttons.
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