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'[EE] PCB serial number'
2006\05\07@085828 by Wouter van Ooijen

face picon face
I want to give PCBs a serial number (for visual inspection only). I
could write the number with a marker pen, or use a printed sticker, but
I am afraid such markings won't last for too long.

Do any of you have experience with using scratch-away markings using the
silk or component-copper layer? Or maybe solder pads that are soldered
to make the marking? I have a small area available on the component
side, maybe I can even get rid of all copper there, but I can't free the
solder side.

Wouter van Ooijen

-- -------------------------------------------
Van Ooijen Technische Informatica: http://www.voti.nl
consultancy, development, PICmicro products
docent Hogeschool van Utrecht: http://www.voti.nl/hvu



2006\05\07@095851 by Jesse Lackey

flavicon
face
Hi - for this, I have a filled rectangle of silkscreen, and I write the
number there with a Sharpie after the board has been tested.  After a
few years of (indoor) use it hasn't worn away at all.

However, it washes off pretty easily with solder flux cleaner, sometimes
this is a good thing, I normally just write it on after any board fixes
are done.

Anyway, just FWIW...
J


Wouter van Ooijen wrote:
{Quote hidden}

2006\05\07@100329 by Howard Winter

face
flavicon
picon face
Wouter,
On Sun, 7 May 2006 14:56:23 +0200, Wouter van Ooijen wrote:

> I want to give PCBs a serial number (for visual inspection only). I
> could write the number with a marker pen, or use a printed sticker, but
> I am afraid such markings won't last for too long.
>
> Do any of you have experience with using scratch-away markings using the
> silk or component-copper layer? Or maybe solder pads that are soldered
> to make the marking? I have a small area available on the component
> side, maybe I can even get rid of all copper there, but I can't free the
> solder side.

I've seen patterns in the copper in seven-segment format, where the solder-resist is scratched away from the
appropriate segments to reveal the copper underneath.  It looked good, but I can't say how easy it would be to
do it.

Cheers,


Howard Winter
St.Albans, England


2006\05\07@110752 by Bob Axtell

face picon face
Howard Winter wrote:
{Quote hidden}

About the only thing I have seen that worked well is those tiny barcodes
implemented in plastic in sequential order, that can be attached by
adhesive. They
almost always have a long lifetime, regardless of chemical bath (except
soaking).

--Bob

2006\05\07@112035 by Tony Smith

picon face

{Quote hidden}

Binary?

Tony

2006\05\07@125934 by Peter

picon face

On Sun, 7 May 2006, Wouter van Ooijen wrote:

> I want to give PCBs a serial number (for visual inspection only). I
> could write the number with a marker pen, or use a printed sticker, but
> I am afraid such markings won't last for too long.
>
> Do any of you have experience with using scratch-away markings using the
> silk or component-copper layer? Or maybe solder pads that are soldered
> to make the marking? I have a small area available on the component
> side, maybe I can even get rid of all copper there, but I can't free the
> solder side.

Can you drill holes using a small drill ? Or solder bridges ?

Peter

2006\05\07@130034 by Peter

picon face


On Sun, 7 May 2006, Jesse Lackey wrote:

> Hi - for this, I have a filled rectangle of silkscreen, and I write the
> number there with a Sharpie after the board has been tested.  After a few
> years of (indoor) use it hasn't worn away at all.
>
> However, it washes off pretty easily with solder flux cleaner, sometimes this
> is a good thing, I normally just write it on after any board fixes are done.

You can use an engraving tool instead (the electric kind).

Peter

2006\05\07@142006 by Stef Mientki

flavicon
face
what about a
 dummy dip-switches
 dummy jumpers
 dummy resistor, where the value codes the serial number
 some 1-wire / i2c ID or memory device
but labels are the simplest and hold at least 20 years ;-0

Stef


Wouter van Ooijen wrote:
{Quote hidden}

2006\05\07@142135 by Vasile Surducan

face picon face
Why don't you do it proffesionaly at the component mounting factory?
They have a sort of stamp which looks exactly like the silk screen.
The other way is engraving with a high speed drilling machine (like
protomax) but looks ugly.

Vasile

On 5/7/06, Wouter van Ooijen <spam_OUTwouterTakeThisOuTspamvoti.nl> wrote:
{Quote hidden}

> -

2006\05\07@142244 by Wouter van Ooijen

face picon face
part 1 399 bytes content-type:text/plain; (decoded 7bit)

> Can you drill holes using a small drill ? Or solder bridges ?

I did not think of drilling. Nice idea.

For now I'll try solder drops, see attachment.

Wouter van Ooijen

-- -------------------------------------------
Van Ooijen Technische Informatica: http://www.voti.nl
consultancy, development, PICmicro products
docent Hogeschool van Utrecht: http://www.voti.nl/hvu



part 2 29226 bytes content-type:image/gif; (decode)


part 3 35 bytes content-type:text/plain; charset="us-ascii"
(decoded 7bit)

2006\05\07@143852 by Wouter van Ooijen

face picon face
>   dummy dip-switches
>   dummy jumpers

too large, but otherwise nice

>   dummy resistor, where the value codes the serial number

nice idea, but I don't think my customers service personell could read
that in the field

>   some 1-wire / i2c ID or memory device

not 'visibly' readable

> but labels are the simplest and hold at least 20 years ;-0

which kind of labels?

Wouter van Ooijen

-- -------------------------------------------
Van Ooijen Technische Informatica: http://www.voti.nl
consultancy, development, PICmicro products
docent Hogeschool van Utrecht: http://www.voti.nl/hvu


2006\05\07@143853 by Wouter van Ooijen

face picon face
> Why don't you do it proffesionaly at the component mounting factory?

The current mouting factory is a 17y boy who earns more soldering for me
than carrying goods around at the local supermarket :)

Wouter van Ooijen

-- -------------------------------------------
Van Ooijen Technische Informatica: http://www.voti.nl
consultancy, development, PICmicro products
docent Hogeschool van Utrecht: http://www.voti.nl/hvu


2006\05\07@165244 by Mauricio Jancic

flavicon
face
This is just a thoght.
You can leave a copper only area. Then, put a small sitcker that has the
numbers cut out. When you apply the solder paste or when the board goes
trough the solderw wave, you'll only have the SnPb placed on the numbers,
and the copper will be the background.

What do you think?

Mauricio Jancic
Janso Desarrollos
http://www.janso.com.ar
.....infoKILLspamspam@spam@janso.com.ar
(54) 11-4542-3519


> {Original Message removed}

2006\05\08@084031 by Robert Ammerman

picon face
Wouter:

Go to four rows of drops, and each column can represent a digit in BCD.

Or keep three rows of drops, and use octal instead of decimal for your
serial numbers.

Bob Ammerman
RAm Systems

2006\05\08@090404 by Wouter van Ooijen

face picon face
> Wouter:
> Go to four rows of drops, and each column can represent a
> digit in BCD.
> Or keep three rows of drops, and use octal instead of decimal
> for your serial numbers.

This size does fit, so if it works I don't need to compress it. And the
'field service' guys can at the very most be trusted to find the correct
screwdriver and open the box, I would not let them read binary, BCD, or
anything else.

Using a 7-segment might (for the above reason) be even better, but it is
slightly more work to apply the solder. But I think I will give that a
try next time.

Wouter van Ooijen

-- -------------------------------------------
Van Ooijen Technische Informatica: http://www.voti.nl
consultancy, development, PICmicro products
docent Hogeschool van Utrecht: http://www.voti.nl/hvu


2006\05\08@102706 by Peter

picon face
Wouter van Ooijen <wouter <at> voti.nl> writes:

> > Why don't you do it proffesionaly at the component mounting factory?
>
> The current mouting factory is a 17y boy who earns more soldering for me
> than carrying goods around at the local supermarket :)

Don't tell us who does the QC. Especially if the circuit has more than 10 parts
and/or he makes more than 10 pieces of it. I don't want to know.

Peter



2006\05\08@111734 by Wouter van Ooijen

face picon face
> > The current mouting factory is a 17y boy who earns more
> soldering for me
> > than carrying goods around at the local supermarket :)
>
> Don't tell us who does the QC.

That's me, myself and I. With a big magnifier.

And it helps that there is a lot of software in the PIC, it will bark
when it finds something it does not like.

> Especially if the circuit has more than 10 parts
> and/or he makes more than 10 pieces of it. I don't want to know.

Much more than 10 parts. So far he did 30 pieces, with one zener diode
fitted the wrong way round ,and one FET with a tab not soldered.

But note that this is not your average 17y boy, he is from the local
electronics club (the one I more or less wrote Jal for, years ago).

Wouter van Ooijen

-- -------------------------------------------
Van Ooijen Technische Informatica: http://www.voti.nl
consultancy, development, PICmicro products
docent Hogeschool van Utrecht: http://www.voti.nl/hvu


2006\05\08@142303 by Peter

picon face
part 1 434 bytes content-type:TEXT/PLAIN; CHARSET=US-ASCII; format=flowed

On Sun, 7 May 2006, Wouter van Ooijen wrote:

>> Can you drill holes using a small drill ? Or solder bridges ?
>
> I did not think of drilling. Nice idea.
>
> For now I'll try solder drops, see attachment.

Have some clearance between the pads or they will merge. You can also
drill holes in the donuts for the same purpose. Engravers are very
inexpensive but whoever uses them needs some practice first.

Peter

part 2 29226 bytes content-type:IMAGE/GIF; NAME=Clipboard01.gif (decode)

part 3 35 bytes content-type:text/plain; charset="us-ascii"
(decoded 7bit)

2006\05\08@163432 by David VanHorn

picon face
Binary would be a lot more compact.

--
Feel the power of the dark side!  Atmel AVR

2006\05\08@171939 by Wouter van Ooijen

face picon face
> Have some clearance between the pads or they will merge.

I hope I can avoid that, we will see.

> You can also
> drill holes in the donuts for the same purpose.

No, I don't have the copper (bottom side) free.

Wouter van Ooijen

-- -------------------------------------------
Van Ooijen Technische Informatica: http://www.voti.nl
consultancy, development, PICmicro products
docent Hogeschool van Utrecht: http://www.voti.nl/hvu


2006\05\08@194536 by William Chops Westfield

face picon face

On May 8, 2006, at 2:17 PM, Wouter van Ooijen wrote:

>> Have some clearance between the pads or they will merge.
>
> I hope I can avoid that, we will see.
>
Perhaps you can draw some lines (gaps, actually?) on the mask
layer so that even though the pads are merged you still have
mask lines between your potential dots...

I think you'll be in trouble if you ever stop hand-soldering?
Maybe not; you have to be doing reflow, and you could just leave
that area with no paste at all.

Um.  Do people version-control their board files, complete with
something visible on the board?  that seems like it would be a
good idea :-(

BillW

2006\05\08@200223 by Matt Pobursky

flavicon
face
On Mon, 8 May 2006 16:45:35 -0700, Chops wrote:
> Um.  Do people version-control their board files, complete with
> something visible on the board?  that seems like it would be a
> good idea :-(

Of course we do. Every PCB I design has both the bare circuit board
part number and revision in the copper. It's on the film (gerber files)
for the PCB too. I have lots of products with multiple revision levels
that accumulate over the years and without these markings it would be
difficult (or at least very error prone) to determine if you have the
correct PCB/artwork/gerber files for a given production run.

Matt Pobursky
Maximum Performance Systems

2006\05\08@202811 by Jesse Lackey

flavicon
face
I concur, this became a clear necessity after a few revs of a few
designs.  I put it in the copper for the prototype if it is going to be
done w/o silkscreen.  Funny how many proto revs it takes sometimes to
get to production ... serial # gets written with sharpie into a
silk-filled rectangle, and hardware rev is in silk somewhere nearby.

Another thing I've done if there are spare PIC pins - code the hardware
rev by tying several to VCC or GND.  Then the software can read the
hardware rev, and do whatever differently.  Then you get to have one
source file work across (minor) hardware changes, and sometimes be
backwards-compatible as well.  And have the latest software fail
gracefully if accidentally put on a too-old hardware rev...

J



Matt Pobursky wrote:

{Quote hidden}

2006\05\08@204811 by William Chops Westfield

face picon face
>>>  Do people version-control their board files
>>
>> Of course we do. Every PCB I design has both the bare
>> circuit board part number and revision in the copper.

Sigh.  I seldom have room on copper OR silkscreen layers (it's
not that my boards are particularly dense, but that I tend to
shrink them till they are as small as possible.  It seems that
"as small as possible" may be rather smaller than "as small as
sensible...")

BillW

2006\05\09@082642 by Russell McMahon

face
flavicon
face
>> The current mouting factory is a 17y boy who earns more soldering
>> for me
>> than carrying goods around at the local supermarket :)

> Don't tell us who does the QC. Especially if the circuit has more
> than 10 parts
> and/or he makes more than 10 pieces of it. I don't want to know.

17 year old boys *can* make superb assemblers. The next generation of
Techno-Gurus, Nobel laureates and the like have to come from
somewhere. it's just finding the right needle in the haystack ... :-)


       RM


2006\05\09@092514 by olin piclist

face picon face
William Chops Westfield wrote:
> Um.  Do people version-control their board files, complete with
> something visible on the board?

I certainly do.

******************************************************************
Embed Inc, Littleton Massachusetts, (978) 742-9014.  #1 PIC
consultant in 2004 program year.  http://www.embedinc.com/products

2006\05\09@101444 by Carey Fisher

face picon face


Olin Lathrop wrote:
> William Chops Westfield wrote:
>  
>> Um.  Do people version-control their board files, complete with
>> something visible on the board?e(s)
>>    
>
> I certainly do.
>
> ******************************************************************
> Embed Inc, Littleton Massachusetts, (978) 742-9014.  #1 PIC
> consultant in 2004 program year.  http://www.embedinc.com/products
>  
Our Boards have the Assembly # and bare board # combined as in :
"AS/PCB100123 Rev C" printed in silkscreen along with our name and
copyright date(s).
This business would be a mess without Configuration Control!!!!!!

The only issue I am struggling with is how to ID and track firmware
revisions???  Especially since I occasionally ICSP an updated or bespoke
firmware version on one or more specific units.  We don't track specific
PCBs by S/N - maybe we should?  How do others do this?

Carey (Rev 0)
--

*Carey Fisher, Chief Technical Officer
New Communications Solutions, LLC
*careyfisherspamKILLspamncsradio.com <.....careyfisherKILLspamspam.....ncsradio.com>
Toll Free Phone:888-883-5788
Local Phone:770-814-0683
FAX: 888-883-5788
http://www.ncsradio.com <http://www.ncsradio.com/>

2006\05\09@103235 by Peter Todd

picon face
On Tue, May 09, 2006 at 10:14:46AM -0400, Carey Fisher wrote:
> Our Boards have the Assembly # and bare board # combined as in :
> "AS/PCB100123 Rev C" printed in silkscreen along with our name and
> copyright date(s).
>  This business would be a mess without Configuration Control!!!!!!
>
> The only issue I am struggling with is how to ID and track firmware
> revisions???  Especially since I occasionally ICSP an updated or bespoke
> firmware version on one or more specific units.  We don't track specific
> PCBs by S/N - maybe we should?  How do others do this?

My practices probably aren't really applicable but... I simply assign a
64-bit random number to every single bit of art I make. This all goes in
a large database and I maintain history logs for everything related to
the devices. The system isn't completely developed, but since I also
store all of the information related to the design of my art in cvs it's
fairly simple to tag specific revisions.

For instance I can say that 8bea5b38cb0594d3 refers to one of my 16^2
Intersector's. The actual pcb is tagged with 4ae5497faeface23 on the
front solder layer which corresponds to a tag in CVS for that particular
revision (1.0) of the board. I also have it noted what the firmware
loaded into the PIC chip is. Finally I have scans and photos of the
final product, very usefull if I need to make another.

Most of that info is on my website too, at http://petertodd.ca/uuid
Still gotta reorganize some stuff though, for instance the above CVS tag
stuff isn't actually in the database, but rather in another directory...
I think with all this stuff you really gotta be diligent in your record
keeping, no doubt about it. It's far too easy to get lax.

--
EraseMEpetespam_OUTspamTakeThisOuTpetertodd.ca http://www.petertodd.ca

2006\05\09@103624 by dbwood

picon face
I used to work for Tallgrass Technologies (the tape drive company).
Toward the end of that companies' live, it got purchased by Exabyte
(out of Boulder, CO).

Exabyte was a hardware company. They made tape drives. They didn't
make any software (backup/restore software). They treated
the "embedded software" that went into their products as "firmware"
and it was assigned a hardware part number. A hardware engineer was in
charge of maintaining it. Absolutely NO software version control
software/techniques were applied to the development of
this "firmware". They could track ANY changes that they'd made over
the course of the product's (development) life, except for a piece of
paper squirreled away somewhere in this guy's desk.

My point is this: It's all software, whether it goes into a PC or a
piece of embedded hardware. Treat it as such. Use software version
control software/systems where ever possible.

Douglas Wood

{Original Message removed}

2006\05\09@103625 by David VanHorn

picon face
On 5/9/06, Olin Lathrop <olin_piclistspamspam_OUTembedinc.com> wrote:
>
> William Chops Westfield wrote:
> > Um.  Do people version-control their board files, complete with
> > something visible on the board?
>
> I certainly do.


Absolutely. Otherwise it can be a disaster

--
> Feel the power of the dark side!  Atmel AVR

2006\05\09@110300 by Spehro Pefhany

picon face
At 10:36 AM 5/9/2006 -0400, you wrote:
>On 5/9/06, Olin Lathrop <@spam@olin_piclistKILLspamspamembedinc.com> wrote:
> >
> > William Chops Westfield wrote:
> > > Um.  Do people version-control their board files, complete with
> > > something visible on the board?
> >
> > I certainly do.
>
>
>Absolutely. Otherwise it can be a disaster

I think every professional does.

But because I do consulting I occasionally see some pretty disastrous
situations. How about no *part numbers* on the PCBs (and no accurate
schematics, just hen-scratchings and various corrections on paper, and
of course corrections on the boards that had a 50% chance of being reflected
in the schematics)? ;-)

I'm sure others have seen even worse.

>Best regards,

Spehro Pefhany --"it's the network..."            "The Journey is the reward"
KILLspamspeffKILLspamspaminterlog.com             Info for manufacturers: http://www.trexon.com
Embedded software/hardware/analog  Info for designers:  http://www.speff.com




2006\05\09@113454 by Carey Fisher

face picon face

Spehro Pefhany wrote:
{Quote hidden}

Let's face it, electronics manufacturing is like making sausage - the
process is UGLY but the end result is pretty cool!!!

--

*Carey Fisher, Chief Technical Officer
New Communications Solutions, LLC
*TakeThisOuTcareyfisherEraseMEspamspam_OUTncsradio.com <RemoveMEcareyfisherspamTakeThisOuTncsradio.com>
Toll Free Phone:888-883-5788
Local Phone:770-814-0683
FAX: 888-883-5788
http://www.ncsradio.com <http://www.ncsradio.com/>

2006\05\09@122829 by Vasile Surducan

face picon face
On 5/7/06, Wouter van Ooijen <wouterEraseMEspam.....voti.nl> wrote:
> > Can you drill holes using a small drill ? Or solder bridges ?
>
> I did not think of drilling. Nice idea.
>
> For now I'll try solder drops, see attachment.

Solder drops looks a better ideea than drilling.
Both have a major disatvantage when you have on your table 100 boards
or more and search for a particular one...

cheers,
Vasile

>
> Wouter van Ooijen
>
> -- -------------------------------------------
> Van Ooijen Technische Informatica: http://www.voti.nl
> consultancy, development, PICmicro products
> docent Hogeschool van Utrecht: http://www.voti.nl/hvu
>
>
>
> -

2006\05\09@131909 by Peter

picon face

On Mon, 8 May 2006, William Chops Westfield wrote:
> Um.  Do people version-control their board files, complete with
> something visible on the board?  that seems like it would be a
> good idea :-(

One tries to. There are five things to keep in sync: the schematic, the
board, the parts list, the description, and the manual. Oh, and back
annotation of flying parts and mods added later.

Peter

2006\05\09@135948 by Peter

picon face


>>> The current mouting factory is a 17y boy who earns more soldering for me
>>> than carrying goods around at the local supermarket :)
>
>> Don't tell us who does the QC. Especially if the circuit has more than 10
>> parts
>> and/or he makes more than 10 pieces of it. I don't want to know.
>
> 17 year old boys *can* make superb assemblers. The next generation of
> Techno-Gurus, Nobel laureates and the like have to come from somewhere. it's
> just finding the right needle in the haystack ... :-)

If you'd expect 100% error free output from that person he could be the
first *robot* to win the prize ...

Peter

2006\05\09@140621 by Peter

picon face

On Tue, 9 May 2006, Vasile Surducan wrote:

> On 5/7/06, Wouter van Ooijen <EraseMEwouterspamvoti.nl> wrote:
>> > Can you drill holes using a small drill ? Or solder bridges ?
>>
>> I did not think of drilling. Nice idea.
>>
>> For now I'll try solder drops, see attachment.
>
> Solder drops looks a better ideea than drilling.

*after* the wave soldering bath ?

Peter

2006\05\09@140855 by Peter

picon face


On Tue, 9 May 2006, Carey Fisher wrote:

> The only issue I am struggling with is how to ID and track firmware
> revisions???  Especially since I occasionally ICSP an updated or
> bespoke firmware version on one or more specific units.  We don't
> track specific PCBs by S/N - maybe we should?  How do others do this?

I always scratch or write the bin file checksum into the board or chip.
If I change fw I re-scratch it.

Peter

2006\05\09@160945 by Bob Axtell

face picon face
Carey Fisher wrote:
{Quote hidden}

A location or two is reserved in the EEPROM that represents the firmware
revision. The EEPROM is always
enabled for reading on my designs.

Otherwise, you can REALLY get screwed up.

--Bob

2006\05\09@174124 by David Sincock

flavicon
face
I seem to remember a long time ago, my employer (a govt agency) used to have
a line of text, in copper, that looked like "Mod No. 1 2 3 4 ....".

When a mod was done on the board, the number could be scratched off, either
with a knife or even just burnt off with a soldering iron.
The circuits were *always* kept current with mod numbers.

But if you have a 100 on the bench, the one you want is invariably the last
one you look at ;-)

Regards,
David

{Original Message removed}

2006\05\10@075027 by Russell McMahon

face
flavicon
face
>> 17 year old boys *can* make superb assemblers. The next generation
>> of
>> Techno-Gurus, Nobel laureates and the like have to come from
>> somewhere. it's
>> just finding the right needle in the haystack ... :-)

> If you'd expect 100% error free output from that person he could be
> the
> first *robot* to win the prize ...

Edward "zero defects" Deming would have had a comment to make about
that comment :-).


       RM




2006\05\10@083445 by Spehro Pefhany

picon face
At 11:48 PM 5/10/2006 +1200, you wrote:
> >> 17 year old boys *can* make superb assemblers. The next generation
> >> of
> >> Techno-Gurus, Nobel laureates and the like have to come from
> >> somewhere. it's
> >> just finding the right needle in the haystack ... :-)
>
> > If you'd expect 100% error free output from that person he could be
> > the
> > first *robot* to win the prize ...
>
>Edward "zero defects" Deming would have had a comment to make about
>that comment :-).

It's not hard to get zero defects in a few hundred relatively simple
boards. Good work habits (keeping things well organized, arranging for no
interruptions) are an important part of it. It's harder to motivate an
employee to do that well, and it's hard to find a person who has a
quest for perfection yet is not really slow doing the work. Many young guys
don't seem to have the motor skills developed to do really well, at least
in my experience. Needlepoint is a better prerequisite than, say, full
contact hockey. IME, It's also easier to teach people who have zero
experience to solder well and fast than to get someone to unlearn bad habits.
It's better if they know a bit about electronics, but there are not really
that many things to learn (care with ESD issues, which parts orientation
matters on, and the soldering itself).

>Best regards,

Spehro Pefhany --"it's the network..."            "The Journey is the reward"
RemoveMEspeffEraseMEspamEraseMEinterlog.com             Info for manufacturers: http://www.trexon.com
Embedded software/hardware/analog  Info for designers:  http://www.speff.com
->>Test equipment, parts OLED displys http://search.ebay.com/_W0QQsassZspeff


2006\05\10@100421 by Alan B. Pearce

face picon face
>Do any of you have experience with using scratch-away
>markings using the silk or component-copper layer?

I know I have seen 7-segment type numbers in etch, but have always assumed
they were modified as the PCB masters were updated. Maybe you could use an
8888 type marking, and noticably mark appropriate segments with an engraver
or dremel or similar, to indicate that that segment is "erased" to indicate
the number, without necessarily removing the whole segment.

2006\05\10@104811 by Alan B. Pearce

face picon face
>But because I do consulting I occasionally see some
>pretty disastrous situations. How about no *part numbers*
>on the PCBs (and no accurate schematics, just
>hen-scratchings and various corrections on paper, and
>of course corrections on the boards that had a 50% chance
>of being reflected in the schematics)? ;-)

Oh don't - we got some guys down the corridor like that - no identifying
marks on the PCB at all, nothing  - zilch - nothing to even say which side
is which.

2006\05\10@105951 by Alan B. Pearce

face picon face
>Many young guys don't seem to have the motor
>skills developed to do really well

When I was an apprentice, each apprentice had to string a dial cord on the
radio tuners that were coming off the production line. Always made the
production line girls laugh ...

2006\05\10@135044 by Wouter van Ooijen

face picon face
> How about no *part numbers*
> on the PCBs

Why would that be a problem? The only time I need the part numbers (!=
part values) is when I am bug-hunting and I need to find a particular
part. For that I open eagle with part numbers visible (often oustide the
PCB area with arrows pointing to the components), or I use a printout of
this view.

Wouter van Ooijen

-- -------------------------------------------
Van Ooijen Technische Informatica: http://www.voti.nl
consultancy, development, PICmicro products
docent Hogeschool van Utrecht: http://www.voti.nl/hvu


2006\05\10@143709 by Vasile Surducan

face picon face
On 5/9/06, Peter <RemoveMEplpspam_OUTspamKILLspamactcom.co.il> wrote:
>
> On Tue, 9 May 2006, Vasile Surducan wrote:
>
> > On 5/7/06, Wouter van Ooijen <RemoveMEwouterTakeThisOuTspamspamvoti.nl> wrote:
> >> > Can you drill holes using a small drill ? Or solder bridges ?
> >>
> >> I did not think of drilling. Nice idea.
> >>
> >> For now I'll try solder drops, see attachment.
> >
> > Solder drops looks a better ideea than drilling.
>
> *after* the wave soldering bath ?

sure, it's a problem of desoldering (if small pads available) or of
suplementary soldering (if large pads available)  and both are easy.

Vasile

>
> Peter
>
> -

2006\05\10@144128 by Vasile Surducan

face picon face
On 5/10/06, Wouter van Ooijen <EraseMEwouterspamspamspamBeGonevoti.nl> wrote:
> > How about no *part numbers*
> > on the PCBs
>
> Why would that be a problem? The only time I need the part numbers (!=
> part values) is when I am bug-hunting and I need to find a particular
> part. For that I open eagle with part numbers visible

??? then you never had 200 capacitors and 300 resistors on one board right ?
It's difficult to find the part even with assembly drawing magnified 8
times and printed on paper in different colours for component silk,
component number and route on the mounting layer...

Vasile



(often oustide the
{Quote hidden}

> -

2006\05\10@150930 by Spehro Pefhany

picon face
At 07:48 PM 5/10/2006 +0200, you wrote:
> > How about no *part numbers*
> > on the PCBs
>
>Why would that be a problem? The only time I need the part numbers (!=
>part values) is when I am bug-hunting and I need to find a particular
>part. For that I open eagle with part numbers visible (often oustide the
>PCB area with arrows pointing to the components), or I use a printout of
>this view.

I agree that on tighter multilayer PCBs eg. 0402 or smaller parts there's
really no room for a silk screen anymore, and something like that is
necessary.

But what I'm talking about is no part number *for* the PCB. Eg. when
you go to re-order blank PCBs, you have no way of reliably referring to
the part you want! How difficult is it to come up with a system (or just
use a random sequence of letters and numbers) and put a line of text on
the board?

Or when they talk to me, they have to say the third PCB about 3" square
for the emulsifier backwash controller output stabilization supply...

>Best regards,

Spehro Pefhany --"it's the network..."            "The Journey is the reward"
RemoveMEspeffKILLspamspaminterlog.com             Info for manufacturers: http://www.trexon.com
Embedded software/hardware/analog  Info for designers:  http://www.speff.com
->>Test equipment, parts OLED displys http://search.ebay.com/_W0QQsassZspeff


2006\05\10@152503 by Wouter van Ooijen

face picon face
>>> How about no *part numbers*
>>> on the PCBs
>>
>> Why would that be a problem? The only time I need the part
> numbers (!=
>> part values) is when I am bug-hunting and I need to find a
> particular
>> part. For that I open eagle with part numbers visible
>
> ??? then you never had 200 capacitors and 300 resistors on
> one board right ?
> It's difficult to find the part even with assembly drawing magnified 8
> times and printed on paper in different colours for component silk,
> component number and route on the mounting layer...

No, i have never dealt with a PCB of that complexity, but I answered
someone who was alarmed at the idea of a PCB without part numbers. If
finding the part numbers on a multi-color (probably magnified) printout
is difficult I don't think part numbers on the silkscreen will make
things easier!

Wouter van Ooijen

-- -------------------------------------------
Van Ooijen Technische Informatica: http://www.voti.nl
consultancy, development, PICmicro products
docent Hogeschool van Utrecht: http://www.voti.nl/hvu


2006\05\10@154815 by Wouter van Ooijen

face picon face
> But what I'm talking about is no part number *for* the PCB.

OK. I agree that is plain stupid.

Wouter van Ooijen

-- -------------------------------------------
Van Ooijen Technische Informatica: http://www.voti.nl
consultancy, development, PICmicro products
docent Hogeschool van Utrecht: http://www.voti.nl/hvu


2006\05\10@155742 by Bob Axtell

face picon face
The FCC requires legible part numbers on all PCBs they certify. Its ok
in silkscreen as long as it doesn't wash off. UL might, too.., I forgot.

I believe they WILL accept layer text (Text In Copper) as long as it is
protected by a hot solder overlay.

I don't believe they accept stickers.

--Bob

Wouter van Ooijen wrote:
{Quote hidden}

2006\05\10@160902 by Peter

picon face

On Wed, 10 May 2006, Alan B. Pearce wrote:

>> But because I do consulting I occasionally see some
>> pretty disastrous situations. How about no *part numbers*
>> on the PCBs (and no accurate schematics, just
>> hen-scratchings and various corrections on paper, and
>> of course corrections on the boards that had a 50% chance
>> of being reflected in the schematics)? ;-)
>
> Oh don't - we got some guys down the corridor like that - no identifying
> marks on the PCB at all, nothing  - zilch - nothing to even say which side
> is which.

Are they wearing fatigues and call each other by numbers instead of
names ?

Peter

2006\05\10@160906 by Philip Pemberton

face picon face
In message <5.1.1.5.2.20060510151229.03778ea0STOPspamspamspam_OUTmail.interlog.com>>          Spehro Pefhany <spamBeGonespeffSTOPspamspamEraseMEinterlog.com> wrote:

> But what I'm talking about is no part number *for* the PCB. Eg. when
> you go to re-order blank PCBs, you have no way of reliably referring to
> the part you want! How difficult is it to come up with a system (or just
> use a random sequence of letters and numbers) and put a line of text on
> the board?

I'd just use numbers. Cuts out most of the mess of people mishearing part
numbers - "Was that 98923-KDA or 98923-ADJ, Sir?"

I'd probably use something along the lines of:
 YYYYMM-SSSS-RR
 
 YYYY: Year of design
 MM:   Month of design
 SSSS: Design serial number
 RR:   Design revision number

--
Phil.                         | Kitsune: Acorn RiscPC SA202 64M+6G ViewFinder
KILLspamphilpemspamBeGonespamdsl.pipex.com         | Cheetah: Athlon64 3200+ A8VDeluxeV2 512M+100G
http://www.philpem.me.uk/     | Tiger: Toshiba SatPro4600 Celeron700 256M+40G

2006\05\10@202441 by Carey Fisher

face picon face
I like:

PCB100xxxRev0 (xxx in sequence from 001) for bare PCB including Gerber
filename prefixes

AS100xxxRev0 (matching the PCB xxx) for stuffed PCB Assys.  (Usually
mark the PCB "AS/PCB100xxxRev0")

TP100xxxRev0 (matching the PCB xxx) for Test Processes for the specific
PCB Assy.

Note that the 100xxx are just assigned in sequence and are not
meaningful except as they relate between the PCB, AS & TP prefixes.  
These numbers are generally document numbers (AS100xxxRev0 is Assy and
Assy Drawing AS100xxxRev0) as well as, in AS & PCB cases, hardware
numbers.  Keep the Revs Sync'd!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Just gotta come up with a surefire way to know what firmware is planted
where without having to use a computer to read a chip.

Philip Pemberton wrote:
{Quote hidden}

--

*Carey Fisher, Chief Technical Officer
New Communications Solutions, LLC
*spamBeGonecareyfisherspamKILLspamncsradio.com <.....careyfisherspam_OUTspamncsradio.com>
Toll Free Phone:888-883-5788
Local Phone:770-814-0683
FAX: 888-883-5788
http://www.ncsradio.com <http://www.ncsradio.com/>

2006\05\10@210311 by Marcel duchamp

picon face
Carey Fisher wrote:
> I like:
>
> PCB100xxxRev0 (xxx in sequence from 001) for bare PCB including Gerber
> filename prefixes
>
> AS100xxxRev0 (matching the PCB xxx) for stuffed PCB Assys.  (Usually
> mark the PCB "AS/PCB100xxxRev0")
>
> TP100xxxRev0 (matching the PCB xxx) for Test Processes for the specific
> PCB Assy.
>
> Note that the 100xxx are just assigned in sequence and are not
> meaningful except as they relate between the PCB, AS & TP prefixes.  
> These numbers are generally document numbers (AS100xxxRev0 is Assy and
> Assy Drawing AS100xxxRev0) as well as, in AS & PCB cases, hardware
> numbers.  Keep the Revs Sync'd!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Keep the Revs Sync'd?

Why? Would this include the BOM also?  I'm not sure I understand the
idea about rev levels on documentation all being the same.

Is this the idea that if you modify the pcb layout, then the schematic,
bom, assy dwgs, etc. all get their rev levels bumped up one to match it?


2006\05\11@013907 by Carey Fisher

face picon face
It can get messy if you let it.  Generally, if I rev an assembly where
it is no longer directly interchangeable (form or function) with a
previous rev, the hext higher level gets a new rev letter.


Marcel duchamp wrote:
{Quote hidden}

If necessary, that is if the different revs become non-inerchangeable.  
If I change any part number I always prefer to bump the rev of the next
higher assy to clue in the operator that something has changed.

>
>  

--

*Carey Fisher, Chief Technical Officer
New Communications Solutions, LLC
*TakeThisOuTcareyfisher.....spamTakeThisOuTncsradio.com <TakeThisOuTcareyfisherKILLspamspamspamncsradio.com>
Toll Free Phone:888-883-5788
Local Phone:770-814-0683
FAX: 888-883-5788
http://www.ncsradio.com <http://www.ncsradio.com/>

2006\05\11@035249 by Alan B. Pearce

face picon face
>> Oh don't - we got some guys down the corridor like that - no identifying
>> marks on the PCB at all, nothing  - zilch - nothing to even say which
side
>> is which.
>
>Are they wearing fatigues and call each other by numbers
>instead of names ?

<VBG> Nah - they are straight out of university, no experience in the real
world outside. I keep saying they should go and spend some time in a private
sector business, and learn the ways of dealing with production.

2006\05\11@043034 by Vasile Surducan

face picon face
On 5/10/06, Wouter van Ooijen <.....wouterspamRemoveMEvoti.nl> wrote:
{Quote hidden}

Is mandatory !
Else you're lost.
For 0402 or 0201 the silkscreen is bigger than the component itself
(if you really want to read something) and when there is no room near
the component, all the component numbers could be grouped away in the
same map structure as components. Is the only way you could solve the
problem.

Vasile


>
> Wouter van Ooijen
>
> -- -------------------------------------------
> Van Ooijen Technische Informatica: http://www.voti.nl
> consultancy, development, PICmicro products
> docent Hogeschool van Utrecht: http://www.voti.nl/hvu
>
>
> -

2006\05\11@074451 by olin piclist

face picon face
Wouter van Ooijen wrote:
> No, i have never dealt with a PCB of that complexity, but I answered
> someone who was alarmed at the idea of a PCB without part numbers. If
> finding the part numbers on a multi-color (probably magnified) printout
> is difficult I don't think part numbers on the silkscreen will make
> things easier!

I think component designators (part numbers actually means something else)
are a good idea on the silkscreen where possible.  They make debugging
easier and make it just a little less likely that someone will screw up
during manufacturing.  They may be technically redundant, but redundancy can
be a good thing when trying to reduce human error.

Unfortunately with the newer smaller components and more tightly packed
boards, it's not always possible to put all component designators on the
silkscreen.  I have developed several ways to deal with this using Eagle.

I have gone back to all my library parts and added component designators in
a small font in the tDocu layer, then also put component designators
intended for the silkscreen in the tNames layer.  The smallest I use for
silkscreen is size .05 with ratio 16, which comes out to .008 line width.
That's the smallest I trust silkscreen to reproduce without explicit specs
to the contrary.

This scheme works with my GRID_BRD ULP.  This automates the creation of gray
scale drawings of the top and bottom sides of the board.  The appropriate
Docu layers are shown in full black to stand out easily, with the
silkscreen, copper, and other layers in various shades of gray to provide a
good visual match between the drawing and the board.  GRID_BRD also draws a
1" grid in light gray with labeled coordinates so that it is easy to find a
particular X,Y coordinate on the board.  Then my INDEX ULP creates a part
finder index that gives schematic page, coordinate within page, and board
X,Y coordinate for each part.

The assembly house gets the BOM, the board drawings, and the part locator
index.  I've had assemblers comment to me that they really liked the parts
locator and wished everybody else would provide one too.

I put an example board drawing at http://www.embedinc.com/temp/eusb2_top.gif
and the corresponding locator index at
http://www.embedinc.com/temp/eusb2_index.txt.  The small black component
designators only show up on the drawing, not on the board.

Another important step that all too often gets skipped is to clean up the
silkscreen after you're done routing.  Parts will have been placed in
orientations that make sense for the layout, and the resulting tNames text
can end up in awkward places.  Neatness counts, both for reducing human
error and towards the impression others get when looking at the board.  Yes
it's tedious, but I go thru and move around the text for each part to make
it right side up when possible, make sure it's not on top of any vias (which
will put a hole in the silkscreen), clearly labeling the associated part and
not some other, not colliding with other text, etc.  Sometimes it's not
possible to fit everything.  For example look at C45 and R15 near the lower
left corner of the board.  In such cases it is better to leave the labels
off than to try to cram them where they will make a mess and cause more
confusion than they might eliminate.  I couldn't put the label below C45
because of there were 3 vias there.  Not having a label on C45 would have
made a label below R15 ambiguous whether it was referring to the part above
or below it, so I left that off too.  I probably spent two hours just on the
silkscreen after getting the final route.  This included adding other text
beyond just adjusting the component designators, like the labels for each
pin of P8 near the top right corner.

Oh, yeah, to get back to the original subject, see the lower right corner of
the board.  The "EUSB2" is in copper, and is how I designate that particular
version of that particular board.  All my Eagle files are called EUSB2 and
are in a EUSB2 subdirectory.  This is really an internal name and not
relevant to a user.  Just above the board part number is a filled silkscreen
rectangle for the serial number.  I plan on serial numbers being written by
hand with a sharpie marker.  There are better ways for high volumes, but for
low volumes that works fine in my experience.

You can try all this yourself easily.  All the Eagle tools I've mentioned
are available in my Eagle Tools download at
http://www.embedinc.com/pic/dload.htm.


******************************************************************
Embed Inc, Littleton Massachusetts, (978) 742-9014.  #1 PIC
consultant in 2004 program year.  http://www.embedinc.com/products

2006\05\11@083943 by Alan B. Pearce

face picon face
>clearly labeling the associated part and not some other,

Yeah, I had some confusion at one stage with a board not working in test
because they guy laying out the PCB had moved the silkscreen designator to
the wrong place.

I suspect that it got moved "over there" while he moved something else, that
was in the way, then associated it with the wrong outline. In this case it
swapped a cap and a resistor.

2006\05\11@085716 by Vasile Surducan

face picon face
On 5/11/06, Olin Lathrop <RemoveMEolin_piclistspamspamBeGoneembedinc.com> wrote:
{Quote hidden}

This looks very good indeed. You've solved the drawing.assy for Eagle
in this way.
Usually I'm generating a regular silk screen and a modified silk
screen named assembly drawing but is more complicated than your
solution.

greetings,
Vasile

2006\05\11@093403 by Gerhard Fiedler

picon face
Olin Lathrop wrote:

> I have gone back to all my library parts and added component designators in
> a small font in the tDocu layer, then also put component designators
> intended for the silkscreen in the tNames layer.  

Ah, a very good suggestion! Thanks.

> Another important step that all too often gets skipped is to clean up the
> silkscreen after you're done routing.  

Doesn't everybody (who does that professionally) do this? After all, that's
an important part of the board documentation...

> The "EUSB2" is in copper, and is how I designate that particular version
> of that particular board.  

I put such a board name/version identifier on all layers.

Gerhard

2006\05\11@094846 by Gerhard Fiedler

picon face
Spehro Pefhany wrote:

> [...] but there are not really that many things to learn ([...] which
> parts orientation matters on [...]).

That kind of remembers Olin's message about silk screen clean-up... I'd say
that this should be something that can be found out by looking at the silk
screen (or the component drawing): if orientation matters, it should be
marked in the drawing.

Gerhard

2006\05\11@120010 by Dwayne Reid

flavicon
face
Jumping in on the discussion of board revision control . . .

We use a fairly simple system based upon the board layout number.

I'm still using our antiquated EE Designer II package for most of my
designs - I've got the latest and greatest version of that software
(Cadint 3.7.01) but the old system is still quicker for many (most)
of my projects.

EE Designer is limited to a 6 character file name and the first
character must be a letter.  So: all schematic file names are in the
form of Snnn@n.  Layouts use Lnnn@n.  This will become a problem
sometime when we reach board number 999 (we are currently at L492
after 22 years).

This is a pretty simple system.  That's important - it makes it
really easy to keep up to date.  The first 3 digits are the board
number.  The alpha character is for major revs, the following numeral
is the minor rev.  The first real layout that makes it to copper is
rev LnnnA0.

Minor revs show up with the last numeral incrementing.  Major revs
increment the alpha character, with the trailing numeral resetting to
0.  A major rev is usually defined as something that changes on the
schematic or a layout revision that results in any form of
incompatibility with the previous version (physical, mounting,
connector changes).

For what its worth, the longest continuous board run for us is
currently at rev E1 (rev A0 dates back to 1995).  These have all been
schematic or connector changes - the current shipping version can be
used to replace any of the previous versions.  The new board that
will soon replace the current board is more than 300 board numbers
later but the changes are significant enough that it warrants a new
board number (still uses same mounting holes but no longer completely
electrically compatible).

Initial board layouts (the 'scratch' layouts that are the first
attempts) use the form of Lnnn@@.  I usually keep these around
because I'm a packrat.

All the files associated with a particular layout are kept in a
directory named in the form of "board layout name".nnn where nnn is
the board number.  Back in the old days, we were limited to an 8
character directory name.  Thankfully, those days are long past and
the directory name can actually reflect the board name.  The
directory numeric extension allows easy sorting when viewing in a file browser.

Many of our boards can be stuffed in different ways.  These are
currently named in the form of LnnnA0-ASMnn, where the front part of
the name is the exact copper version that we are dealing with; the
last pair of digits starts at 00 and increments for each custom
stuffing variation.  Older assembly files were limited to by the 8.3
filename restrictions and used to just add a letter and number as the
7th and 8th digits.

Some of our boards are pretty small and often, the only text in
copper is the board file number.  But we always try to include our
company name and location (Edmonton AB Canada) if possible.

The above naming scheme fits in nicely with code versions.  Early PCB
layouts used a lot of PLD devices.  The files that describe those
devices were named with the board number and rev, with the next 2
characters being a letter, then a number.  The letter represents the
particular PLD, the number is the code revision.  Any code revision
that went past 9 then started at A (36 possible revisions).  This
allowed for up to 26 PLD devices on a card.  I don't think that I
ever got past 12.

Processor code did much the same thing, except there used to be only
a single micro on a card.  Those files were named a little
differently: the 7th alpha char was a major rev, the following
numeral is the minor rev.  Again, the first 6 digits match the PCB filename.

That worked well until the advent of the tiny PIC parts.  Now I've
got one card with 9 of the darned things (12c508) sitting on it.  5
of those contain 1 chunk of code (25 KHz PWM), 2 more have a
different chunk of code (7 seg temp display), the last 2 are
different (control algorithms).  We make this box for 3 different
customers - only the control algorithms change.  So I cheated: the
sockets on the PCB are labeled with the function (PWM, DISP, ENG,
TRN) - the PIC files are named the same way.  This code dates back to
the 16 bit version of MPLAB - again limited to 8.3 filenames.

I'm sure there are better methods out there.  This one seems to work
OK - except when its early in the morning and I do the dyslexic thing
and swap a couple of the digits in the board filename.  Spent some
time last month trying to find the bare boards that I *knew* that we
had received - they had been put where the board number said they
were supposed to be - but I had swapped 2 of the 3 digits.  312 is
NOT the same as 132.  Oops.

dwayne

PS - we do serial number some of our cards.  Permanent paint marker
from Pilot "Silver Liner Extra Fine Metallic" (part number SEF-S)
hand written on the card.  Done as part of the final test procedure.

dwayne

--
Dwayne Reid   <spamBeGonedwayner@spam@spamspam_OUTplanet.eon.net>
Trinity Electronics Systems Ltd    Edmonton, AB, CANADA
(780) 489-3199 voice          (780) 487-6397 fax

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2006\05\17@110848 by M Graff

flavicon
face
Wouter van Ooijen wrote:
> which kind of labels?

I've used the labels from one of those label printers before, to label
which board was which in wiring diagrams.  The little ones that spit out
plastic tape labels.

I don't know how long they will stick in a high heat environment, nor
how long they will stick if exposed to any sort of weather, but they
stick very well if applied to clean boards and used as they would be
used if applied to a shelf in a storage locker -- looked at, not touched
much.  :)

--Michael

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