Week 3: Circuit Boards


In week 3 we looked at how to create/print a circuit board. The software that we used were Fritzing and Inkscape.

So first things first-what is a circuit board?

A circuit board connects the electronic components within a circuit using conductive tracks etched from copper sheets.

In this session we took a look at Fritzing – it is an open source software that has all the components you can think of and enables you to create virtual circuits and test them as well – which is very handy in my opinion especially in my case where I have no idea what I’m doing 😀 . I will be able to experiment online without causing any harm, unnecessary separate circuits or losing my nerves.  What’s best about this program is the feature which lets you export your circuit as a scheme – and this is extremely useful for creating circuit boards. Instead of drawing everything on your own, you just click a button and the schematic image is generated. It was also useful to me because it was easier to understand what exactly circuit boards are designed.

How are circuit boards designed?

  1. Deciding on a circuit that you would like to make a circuit board for
  2. Schematic capture using electronic design automation (Fritzing)

The task for this week was to make an arduino shield. The first thing that bothers me is that I know what a shield is, but I have no idea how I could make it functional. With much effort I might succeed creating something that sits on top of the arduino right-but that’s all. Even that sounds unachievable to me due to the fact that I do not know how exactly to use the machine that engraves copper – in the lecture we were taught how to engrave, but not how holes are made. Overall I get the idea of why I would engrave – the copper lines connect components instead of wires which is a lot more compact and would make excellent use of space. What I don’t get is why I would design around it like we were told when I know that this bit of the circuit would be hidden in something else.

-to be continued-


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