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What's up with my ground plane?

Discussion in 'PCB Layout, Design and Manufacture' started by Braeden Hamson, Nov 20, 2018.

  1. Braeden Hamson

    Braeden Hamson

    198
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    Feb 18, 2016
    So here's my first board design:

    https://jlcpcb.com/quote/gerberview/aa2ca0f4-898b-44e2-bb7c-5b7aad202830_2_53_1_0_0.html

    If you look in the upper right corner, the ground plane is striated. Then if you look towards the center that ground plane is solid. I have no clue what is going on. I'm using EagleCAD. I've attached my board and schematic file.

    I've also noticed there are random holes. I've fixed those, I had a superfluous drill file.
     

    Attached Files:

  2. Harald Kapp

    Harald Kapp Moderator Moderator

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    Nov 17, 2011
    The link produces a 404 :(
     
  3. Braeden Hamson

    Braeden Hamson

    198
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    Feb 18, 2016
    Darn.
    I've stepped away from my computer, I'll post a picture if I don't clear it up in the mean time. But my ground plane doesn't look solid. It's a number of horizontal lines. I think I'll up the trace width with which (say that 5 times) I made the polygon. I doubt they're connected but, worth a try.
     
  4. davenn

    davenn Moderator

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    Sep 5, 2009

    get a pic as soon as you can .... really difficult to tell what you setup is like otherwise :)
     
  5. Harald Kapp

    Harald Kapp Moderator Moderator

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    Nov 17, 2011
    Looks fine here:

    upload_2018-11-21_7-34-0.png

    [mod edit improved image viewability ]
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 20, 2018
  6. davenn

    davenn Moderator

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    Sep 5, 2009

    as Harald said, it looks good

    Only problem .... WHY on earth didn't you connect the 2 large ground plane areas ????

    upload_2018-11-21_7-42-13.png
     
  7. Harald Kapp

    Harald Kapp Moderator Moderator

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    Nov 17, 2011
    Including the transistor (green hatch):
    upload_2018-11-21_6-57-45.png
     
    davenn likes this.
  8. davenn

    davenn Moderator

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    Sep 5, 2009

    yup and other areas

    and I just noticed that the GND of the upper connector ( or whatever it is) the GND isn't going to GND
     
  9. Braeden Hamson

    Braeden Hamson

    198
    13
    Feb 18, 2016
    Okay here's what JLC is showing me
     

    Attached Files:

  10. Braeden Hamson

    Braeden Hamson

    198
    13
    Feb 18, 2016
    Yes please pick apart my PCB, no jokes I really appreciate it.
    I didn't connect the grounds, because they're on different supplies. I'll be using a wallwart (wallwort?) power supply to run the 555 PWM circuit for lighting. I'm gonna get a PS from a thrift store, so its quality will be unknown. I figured just leaving the two seperate would be best.

    HOWEVER, upon writing I realize this they are not separate. The transistor is switched by the arduino, therefore I should connect them. I'll just smother the area in ground plane.

    I also realize you can't pick apart my PCB if you don't know what it does. Its a USB switch box controller. It uses 4 shift registers to pass switch states into the arduino. In there software (which I did not write, called MMJOY) takes it and it talks to my computer. And then there's a bog standard 555 PWM circuit. So this circuit does 5V and 12V digital signals. Not sure what the frequency is. I based my design on this one
    http://simhq.com/forum/ubbthreads.p...Shift Register 74HC165_Board _GOOD_Layout.png
     
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2018
  11. Braeden Hamson

    Braeden Hamson

    198
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    Feb 18, 2016
    Two more questions:

    I know right angle corners on traces is bad, but what about right angle into a via?

    I made this design just by looking at other PCBs and google. Anyone know any good resources on PCB design?
     
  12. Harald Kapp

    Harald Kapp Moderator Moderator

    9,044
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    Nov 17, 2011
    What is JLC? The lines may be an artifact from the way the layout is displayed. You'll get the best impressin of the 'real' layout if you inspect the gerber output (which is the input to the PCB manufacturing process) using e.g. gerbview.

    Depends on your circuit. Show us the full design (upload image or pdf, not everybody can read eagle files). If your circuit is not designed for potential isolation, you'll run into trouble by not connecting grounds.

    That statement is true for high frequencies and/or very thin traces only. On a 'slow' board and with traces at least 200 mil thick right angles are not really a worry.

    Read e.g. here and follow the link to the design guidelines. There's a reason pcb layout is also called ARTwork (emphasis on art). You'll learn as you go along.
     
    davenn likes this.
  13. Braeden Hamson

    Braeden Hamson

    198
    13
    Feb 18, 2016
    JLC PCB its a low cost PCB manufacturing house. You can get PCBs of good quality for $10

    Thank you for answering my questions. Haha PCBs are art eh? I think I'm in my "abstract phase"
     
    davenn likes this.
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