General PCB and circuit design considerations

Thread Starter


Joined Feb 25, 2013
From time to time I see small breakout boards or single function boards with one or two IC chips on them. The ICs often don't require any external components for their operation and yet there are a few other components on the PCB.

What are some typical or common components that are added to PCBs (circuits) to make them more robust or reliable? I know for example, decoupling (bypass) capacitors are placed near each IC, and diodes are used with solenoids to protect from inductive kick.

What do you like to add to your circuit designs (PCBs) and why? Reverse polarity? ESD? Over voltage? RF Noise?


Joined Mar 30, 2015
It depends on your design objectives. You do everything required to make the circuit function, then you add features to make it more robust.

If you need to worry about dumb users, you add circuitry to protect the circuit from them.


Joined Aug 1, 2013
It isn't who, it's where. An Arduino running on my desk as a clock needs considerably less protection than the same part in a car flashing a string of LEDs in a sexy turn-signal pattern.



Joined Apr 24, 2011
I would make sure it had proper on board bypass caps so my customers would be happy.
? Reverse polarity? ESD? Over voltage? RF Noise?
Umm, no. First the expense of the parts

Then there is the loss of opportunity profits. I want happy customers who blow up my nice shinny widget to come back and buy another.