Printed Circuit Board Overview

Introduction

Printed Circuit Boards (PCBs) are also called Printed Wiring Board or Printed Wiring Card. These boards are made of fiberglass covered with plastic and copper tracks. A PCB’s components are connected together by the copper tracks, forming an electronic circuit. So far, this is the most popular and common way of integrating different electronic wires and circuits into a single unit. Overall function heavily lies on the design not only of the printed circuit, but of the whole system.

As such, a designer should give careful attention to the interlinking of traces, grounding, partitioning, decoupling, etc. because all these factors are important for the completion of the whole design and functionality of the circuit board. It should be noted that poor design may result to inefficiency, data corruption, overheating, and other dangerous outcomes.

Where did it come from?

Printed circuit boardThe PCB originated from the concept of wire wrapping. It is a literal wrapping of wires between different terminal points. This is a lengthy method of creating circuits which usually leads to short circuits and failures as time passes (since wire protections get weaker). Later on, integrated circuits and electronics compelled manufacturers to decrease its size and the printed circuit board was born. Nowadays, PCBs are one of the essential components of small and large electronic gadgets alike.

Electronic devices where PCBs are commonly used come in variety of sizes, shapes, and designs. So, the challenge of the electronic industry and manufacturers is to come up with new ways on how to further decrease its size and fit in all the wire systems and multilayer boards with the same or even higher functions into smaller and more compact sizes.

Basic components of PCB

Printed circuit board has multiple layers, copper wires, and silkscreen that are bonded together through lamination and heat, making it a thin and multi-layered circuit.

• Base material (FR4) –

The base material of PCB is also called the substrate and is commonly made of fiberglass or FR4. This is the main component of PCB which keeps its thickness (its rigidity is based on the thickness of its base). PCB base can be made from epoxies and other materials which are cheaper than FR4 but less durable and rigid. PCB’s with these kinds of low-quality base have a differentiating odor. It may also lead to unnecessary failures.

• Copper –

This is a thin foil which is adhesively fused and laminated on the board. The thickness and weight of copper wires vary in each PCB. The number of layers of one PCB ranges from one up to 16 layers.

• Solder mask –

This is put above the copper wire to prevent it from touching other metal parts of the board. This acts as an insulator for the copper wires. The most common color of solder mask is green but it can be any color such as red, violet, etc.

• Silkscreen –

This is another layer placed above the solder mask. Through the use of silkscreen, letters and other symbols can be added to the PCB. These are important indicators of the names and functions of each part of PCB for users to understand the board better. Like the solder mask, the silkscreen is available in other colors (yellow, red, etc.) as well, but it is very rare to see two different colors in one board.

The entire system of printed circuit board may be contained in a small chip, but putting together all its parts, wires and covers is a complex process that requires expert skills and hands. Likewise, there should be a careful layout practice for designing the whole PCB system to optimize its power components and supply.


Tips to Keep Your Golf Clubs in Mint Condition

If you want your golf clubs to perform better and last longer, you need to learn how to maintain and care for them properly.

Because these pieces of equipment are usually played on the field, it is highly exposed to dirt, soil, rough debris, and even chemicals that are used to treat the golf course. Little by little, these elements will build up on your equipment. If not removed immediately, they can scratch your club heads, and clog the groves near the club face.

If you are using a graphite shaft, you need to be extra careful with your equipment because they are extremely fragile. In addition, its soft fibers can easily be corroded if you do not clean it regularly. You also need to make sure that the grips are tight and well-maintained.

Although your golf clubs need regular care and maintenance, it does not mean that it is a complicated and daunting task.Liquid dish washing soap, water, and a used toothbrush are enough for your basic cleaning needs.

To learn more about properly handling your golf equipment, check out this comprehensive guideline below.

1. Keep your equipment indoors

golf clubAvoid storing them inside your car trunk or garage because these places tend to get extremely hot, especially during the hot summer months. Extremely high temperatures will not destroy your shaft and club head. However, the resins under your grip will become loose and weak. Too much humidity can also cause your golf clubs to rust quickly.

These pieces of equipment can be stored in your car trunk for a short period of time while you travel towards the golf course. But for long term storage purposes, you should think about keeping them in your basement, bedroom, or indoor gym.

2. Immediately clean off any dirt after you make your shot

Whenever you play golf outside, make sure that you bring a little hand towel with you always. After you finish a shot, use that cloth to clean off any small debris that accumulates in the club face. If you remove the grass and little chunks of soil on the groves, your shots will be smoother and more accurate. In addition, it will also be easier for you to clean your equipment at the end of the day.

3. Use head covers

If you are using a variety of wooden golf clubs, then you should protect each of them using head covers. When you place these pieces of equipment in a golf bag, they might constantly bump into each other and create cracks on their surfaces.

The head cover will ensure that your equipment will not be damaged even though you are constantly moving around the golf course. This protective cover is highly recommended for players who are using delicate wooden clubs. But if you are using iron ones, you do not really need to buy this item.

4. Clean your irons using lukewarm water

If you are cleaning your iron clubs, make sure that the water is not too hot because it might damage the ferrules of your equipment. Add a gentle dish washing liquid soap to your lukewarm water. Make sure that the amount of water is enough to submerge the head of your club. However, make sure that you do not soak the shaft.

Allow the club head to be soaked in the water for at least ten minutes. Afterwards, scrub off any dirt on the grove using an old toothbrush. Then, gently brush the remaining parts of the club head. Pour clean water over the head, and dry it using a towel. If you there are any rust spots left, remove it using fine grade steel wool. Any type of golf club can last for a long period of time, as long as you know how to take care of it.