Help out a newbie just starting

Discussion in 'Electronics Resources' started by Tecno, Dec 3, 2006.

  1. Tecno

    Thread Starter New Member

    Dec 3, 2006
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    0
    Hi people,

    I'm a newbie in electronics, I don't know how to read a schematic for a pcb or an electronics map, with all it's components and understand what I'm looking at...

    Could someone point me out to some good books for newbies ?

    Something that covers the following topics:
    - PCBs: Schematics, Creating (home), Reading, Understanding, etc...
    - Understanding Basic Electronics components and what they do...
    - Soldering and De-Soldering electronic components on pcb's: ic's, smd's, etc...

    I work alot with fixing computers and I also get alot of schematics for pc interfaces, so I could really use the knowledge...

    Thanks for the help ! :)
     
  2. Dave

    Retired Moderator

    Nov 17, 2003
    6,960
    143
    Start with the basics, do you understand circuit symbols?

    Have a look at: All About Circuits - Volume V:Chapter 9

    Understanding schematics is often down to experience and familiarity. Perhaps you could upload a copy of a schematic you are having issues with and we could walk you through it.

    As for understanding electronic components well there are some of us here that have worked with electronics for many years and still don't understand basic components! The on-line textbook here at AAC is the ideal strating point for undrstanding basic components. Are there any components you have in mind? The basic building blocks that you could look at are:

    -Resistors
    -Capacitors
    -Inductors
    -Filters
    -Diodes
    -Transistiors (BJT, JFET and MOSFET)

    The list goes on, but these are probably the best starting point. All of the above components are covered in detail in the All About Circuits textbook; use the search facility to look throughout the textbook.

    I learnt to solder when I was an apprentice, so I did it all on-the-job. As a result I cannot recommend somewhere to look for information.

    Dave
     
  3. Tecno

    Thread Starter New Member

    Dec 3, 2006
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    0
    Thanks Dave :) Really apreciate the help.

    About PCB's: layout, making the schematics, making a home-made prototype, do you know where I can get such info ?
     
  4. n9352527

    AAC Fanatic!

    Oct 14, 2005
    1,198
    3
    There are many many resources on the internet for making your own PCB at home manually. Search for them.

    As for schematic and layout have a look at Kicad or gEDA packages, they are free and quite capable. I kinda prefer Kicad than gEDA, but that's just my preference.
     
  5. Tecno

    Thread Starter New Member

    Dec 3, 2006
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    0
    All those softwares work with on-line pcb prototype manufacturers ? I heard some only accept some types of files...

    Also, I've found some resources on how to make pcb's at home on the net as you say, but most of them require a Laser Printer and I only have a Inkjet one... :( Also, most require some kind of UV light source... Which I don't have also... And I'm trying to keep the costs of prototyping as low as possible, so I don't want to invest on a laser printer or UV light source...

    Any ideas on how to bypass this ? This I why I asked, because maybe someone would give me other links to webpages with tutorials that had other ways of doing it... ;)

    Please reply. Thanks :)
     
  6. n9352527

    AAC Fanatic!

    Oct 14, 2005
    1,198
    3
    The standard file type for PCB is Gerber. Almost all production houses and CAD packages accept and produce Gerber file.

    If you are manually making them, then you don't even need the Gerber file. Just print the negative or positive with a laser/ink-jet printer.

    There are two main methods for manual PCB transfer from CAD package. The first one, which is pretty good, is the toner transfer method. Basically you print the layout on a photopaper, but using laser printer then you heat transferred the layout to a standard PCB using an iron, ready to etch. You need laser printer for this method.

    The second is using photosensitive board, you do need a photo-clad board, or photo sensitive spray for standard copper-clad board. You would also need to make the negative, which can be done with transparent paper and an inkjet. However, you do need an UV light source. There are people advising that the board can also be exposed on bright sunshine, but I've never had any satisfying result from this method (not that I've tried it that many times).

    If you are just making simple boards, then skip the CAD layout and just use PCB/etch resist transfer or similar method (permanent ink, etc.). Very easy for normal size board/traces. Just don't expect any miracle.
     
  7. Tecno

    Thread Starter New Member

    Dec 3, 2006
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    Any tutorials on the net about the first and last method you mentioned ?

    Also, where can one buy the pcb ready for: "you heat transferred the layout to a standard PCB using an iron, ready to etch" ? Any on-line sites that ship worldwide ? The electronics shops in my country are very few and don't sell a great variety of stuff... :(

    About "etching", what does it mean ?

    Thanks :)
     
  8. Dave

    Retired Moderator

    Nov 17, 2003
    6,960
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    Etching is widely used in Photolithography - a technique for semiconductor fabrication. Essentially it is a process of removing superfluous material from a chip, through bombardment of the surface of the chip with a reacting chemical based on pattern defined by a masking process. Photoresist is applied and a mask defines the area to etch - a chemical is applied that essentially attacks the exposed region and removes the material. This technique is widely used for defining interconnect on the chip - the surface of the chip is sputtered with metal, and a photresist is applied and masked to define the interconnect pattern. Metal that is exposed by the photoresist is not part of the interconnect pattern and is removed by the chemical etching process.

    Dave
     
  9. Tecno

    Thread Starter New Member

    Dec 3, 2006
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    WoW :eek: Really technical eh Dave... Thanks anyway ! :)

    BTW: since your the admin, I must warn you, in case you haven't seen it yet, that the ": (" smiley is not working, neither is the ": o" one...

    For Dave or n9352527: any tutorials on the first and third/last method of pcb creating at home that n9352527 mentioned ?
    Also, any sites that sell the mentioned pcb's boards that can be "etched" at home ?


    Thanks to both for your help and patience ;)
     
  10. Dave

    Retired Moderator

    Nov 17, 2003
    6,960
    143
    Thanks for the word of warning - can't you tell I mostly use the Quick Reply feature.

    Sorry I can't help you on your home etching/PCB fabrication query - I do most of my personal fabs through the local university.

    Dave
     
  11. Tecno

    Thread Starter New Member

    Dec 3, 2006
    5
    0
    One thing about electronics, maybe you could help me DAVE:

    I have a router and it uses an integrated cpu with some kind of linux distro, I saw an Elektor magazine d.i.y. about adding an USB port to it, so as to be able to create an inexpensive, low power WebServer, to do it I need a 48MHz:

    - Crystal ? Oscilator ? Is it the same ?
    - TTL or HCMOS ?
    - 3.3v or 5v ?

    I'm looking at www.digikey.com catalog and I'm finding very diferent components, Don't know which one to use...

    One think I think I know, the size on the board is for a Half-Size component right ? I'm looking at part numbers:

    -> 535-9181-5-ND -> Abracon Corporation ACH Series Half Size Oscilator 5v TTL and HCMOS compatible

    -> 535-9199-5-ND -> Abracon Corporation ACHL Series Half Size Oscilator 3.3v TTL and HCMOS compatible

    -> XC280-ND -> ECS INC. INTERNATIONAL Half-Size Clock Oscilator 4.5~5v

    -> XC256-ND -> ECS INC. INTERNATIONAL Half-Size TTL Clock Oscilator 4.5~5v

    Could you take a look and tell me which one you would use ? Thanks ;) Please reply.

    I'm trying to get this:

    [​IMG]

    To This:

    [​IMG]

    I can't find anything about this eCera NC5qA 48.000 on eCera's site: http://www.ecera.com.tw :(

    The d.i.y. is here: http://www.spritesmods.com/?art=sweexusb&page=1

    Thanks for all the help.
     
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