MEP EP#59: Grass Fed PCBs

Parker Dillmann |   |  Bit rot from space, Custom Bench, DS90C365A, MacroFab, macrofab engineering podcast, Meetup, MEP, Mouser, PCB Surface Finish, Podcast, RGB666, RPI3

MacroFab Engineering Podcast


Download: MP3
RSS Feed: Link
Twitter: @MacroFab

Runtime: (54:53)

Parker Dillmann
Stephen Kraig


PCB Surface Finishes. Left to Right: HASL, OSP, ENIG.
Figure 1: PCB Surface Finishes. Left to Right: HASL, OSP, ENIG.
Engineering Bench Design Stephen is working on.
Figure 2: Bench Design Stephen is working on.

Podcast Notes

  • MacroFab and Mouser Electronics have teamed up to create a free monthly meetup in Houston for anyone involved with hardware & electronics engineering or manufacturing. Hosted on the last Wednesday of every month, these meetups are designed to build a community of professionals who want to learn from one another, gain new insights on emerging electronics technologies, and expand their network.
    • Sign up here!
    • What to expect
      • ¬†Networking
      • Fireside chats with Q&A
      • Individual project sharing and discussion
      • Door prizes
      • Refreshments
      • Free parking
  • Christian Aurich writes: “Could you talk about differences in surface finishes on PCBs? I am especially wondering what difference ENIG makes to other ‘flat’ finishes… so everything else than HAL.”
    • HASL (Leadfree and Leaded)
    • ENIG
    • Immersion Tin
    • Immersion Silver
    • OSP (Organic Solderability Preservative)
    • Gold – Hard Gold
    • PDF on pros and cons
  • Parker
    • Working on a LVDS output board for the RPI 3
    • Parallel Display Interface on the RPI3
    • Config.txt parameters and by enabling the correct Linux Device Tree
    • Using the Ti DS90C365A. It converts a RGB666 signal to a LVDS signal for LCD panels. You give it 6 bits for ever color, pixel clock, H clock and V clock and poof LVDS.
  • Stephen
    • Bench Stats:
      • 80/20 construction
      • 1 5/8″ plastic laminate table top
      • 60″x30″ with adjustable height between 30.625″ to 32.625″
      • Total Length of 80/20 per bench: 40.33 feet
      • 42 angle brackets
      • 84 nuts/bolts
      • ~68.5 lbs
  • Particles from outer space are wreaking low-grade havoc on personal electronics
    • Click bait? In many instances, however, these operational failures may be caused by the impact of electrically charged particles generated by cosmic rays that originate outside the solar system.
    • This is called a single-event upset or SEU
    • SEU failure rates for consumer electronic devices performed by Ritesh Mastipuram and Edwin Wee at Cypress Semiconductor on a previous generation of technology shows how prevalent the problem may be. Their results were published in 2004 in Electronic Design News and provided the following estimates:
      • A simple cell phone with 500 kilobytes of memory should only have one potential error every 28 years.
      • A router farm like those used by Internet providers with only 25 gigabytes of memory may experience one potential networking error that interrupts their operation every 17 hours.
      • A person flying in an airplane at 35,000 feet (where radiation levels are considerably higher than they are at sea level) who is working on a laptop with 500 kilobytes of memory may experience one potential error every five hours.
    • The engineer’s bottom line: “This is a major problem for industry and engineers, but it isn’t something that members of the general public need to worry much about.”

Special thanks to whixr over at Tymkrs for the intro and outro!