App note: Nonideality of ground

Ground in PCB design, another app note about grounds from Renesas. Link here (PDF) Ground is supposed to be ideal. It should be a black hole for stray currents where the voltage is always zero. Unfortunately, those stray currents travel through some non-superconducting material, so small voltages arise. You may not notice small changes in […]


Anfractuosity published a new build: “Acoustic cryptanalysis is a type of side channel attack that exploits sounds emitted by computers or other devices” Wavecatcher is a simple PCB that makes use of a MEMS ultrasound microphone, in order to capture audio to around 80kHz, with the goal of finding interesting ultrasound sources and playing with […]

DC/DC switcher for 5v TO 3v at 750mA in a TO-220 7805 footprint

An open source small DC/DC 3W switcher to drop 5V to 3V in a 7805 TO-220 pinout from Black Mesa Labs: This post is an open source hardware design from Black Mesa Labs for a simple DC/DC converter for dropping 5V to 3.3V ( or adjustable to lower voltages via resistor selections ). The design […]

App note: Adding flexibility by using multiple footprints for I2C™ serial EEPROMs

Save PCB space by utilizing EEPROM SOIC-8 area, here’s an application note from Microchip. Link here (PDF) For many years, the 8-lead SOIC package has been the most popular package for serial EEPROMs, but now smaller packages are becoming more commonplace. This offers a number of benefits; the reductions in footprint size and component height […]

App note: PCB routing methodology for SuperSpeed USB 3.1 switch family from ON Semiconductor

Routing USB 3.1 traces app note from ON Semiconductor. Link here (PDF) The introduction of USB Type−C has provided a significant launch opportunity for USB3.1 data rates across an array of platforms from portable to desktop and beyond. This proliferation of Type−C will certainly create challenges due to the high speed nature of the interface. […]

Pimp your PCB businesscard full color

Here is a nice PCB businesscard @ As a good electronic hobbiest tradition I started to design a businesscard from PCB material. Downside of all the businesscards (and PCBs in general) is the limited number of colors you can use: FR4, soldermask (with or without copper behind it), silkscreen or bare copper. Since the […]

Magic Mote MSP430G2553 wireless sensor node with NRF24L01+ module

Tom from Magic Smoke writes: This is my first time designing a PCB for MSP430. I really like the NRF24L01+ booster pack but I would like something smaller to use for remote temperature sensors. With that in mind I’ve designed a 24.5 x 50 mm PCB (2 on a 5×5 cm prototype) featuring MSP430G2553 and […]

Things to avoid when sending PCBs to the fab house

Sjaak shared some tips when sending PCBs to the fab house: I usually collect a few PCB designs before sending them off to the PCB fabhouse. I prefer to use as I know Ian from for a long time and think he provides good quality, and fast turn around time for your money. […]

Crystal Ladder filter

Dan Watson writes: Here’s a little board for making a four pole crystal ladder filter. This type of filter has a very high Q and narrow bandwidth, allowing you to select a specific frequency from your signal. Because of the narrow bandwidth, selection of the capacitors and tuning of the filter is important to achieve […]