[sdiy] Today's Pet Peeve: PCBs

Tim Ressel timr at circuitabbey.com
Fri Jul 27 20:36:14 CEST 2018

Ugh. This has happened to me. I hate it when you spend all that time 
stuffing a board that urns out to be bad, especially if it is too bad to 
fix. I would have to say if a board house cannot plate holes well they 
should be dropped. I'm not one to jump ship at the least little thing, 
but plated holes are a basic thing. If their process control is that bad 
then I'd consider moving.

I have had good luck with PCBWay although there has been the occasional 
bad board. The fail rate is very low and the quality is high. I would 
recommend them.

There are a few things you can do to minimize issues: make traces as 
large as practical, miter all sharp corners to avoid acid traps, add 
tear drops to pads and vias. One fun thing I ran into: if you board is 
symmetrical then the board house might get one side backwards. In that 
case add some text to the copper on both sides to give the board house a 

--Brother Theo

On 7/27/2018 10:49 AM, MTG wrote:
> So my pet peeve is different. While soldering up some prototype boards 
> received from DirtyPCBs (Wherelabs) I found one copy of board A that 
> had two feedthroughs shorted and one copy of board B that had traces 
> with gaps in them (missing copper).  Same thing happened before on 
> boards from OshPark. I wish I'd noticed before I soldered the parts 
> on!  I guess I need to super inspect each board. The gaps aren't 
> really that hard to see, but the feedthroughs I needed to buzz out to 
> find. Fortunately that one was fixable. The missing copper one is 
> quite a few traces and not sure it's worth the time to rework it.
> So, any sage advice? Is PCB testing worth it? Or is the cost of a 
> couple of bad boards less painful.
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--Tim Ressel
Circuit Abbey
timr at circuitabbey.com

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