PCB Design Checklist
The following is a simple check list for common things which will help a great deal when constructing and debugging our PCB. See the picture below for an example of some of the items.
Basic Check List
- Print out scale drawing of your board and place actual components on it to verify footprints. See directions on how to do so:
- Does the board have the correct Advance circuits specifications in Altium
- Name and Revision number on board.
- Put the board dimensions on the top overlay, outisde a board outline for the manufacturer to see. Check if the Board Dimensions appear on the Gerber Files and are accurate.
- You can put extra comments in the Overlay outside the board so the manufacturer can utilize them and they won't show up on your final design.
- Check plane clearances to avoid shorts when soldering.
- See the Adding Custom rules – Polygon Pour Clearance Section of Altium_PCB_Layout_Tutorial.pdf to create a clearance rule.
- Verify transmit and receive pins are correct for serial ports.
- Verify silkscreen labels are not under component.
- Verify traces are large enough to handle the load current. (http://basicelectronic.blogspot.com/2006/09/track-width-reference-table.html)
- Passed the Design Rule Check (DRC) without any critical errors
- Did I add in my ground plane before generating the gerbers?
- Bypass capacitors are placed very close to their corresponding components.
- Mounting Holes (for stand-offs) 140-150 diameter Mils of hole size is pretty standard.
- All testpoints/headers are labeled with usable silkscreen designators
- All components have orientation designators (location of pin 1 with a number or a dot)
- All components have part designators (U1, R12, C4 etc.)
- All polarized components have a (+) or (-) silkscreen designators
- Important component Information is labeled with silkscreen designators
- Large/Oddly shaped components have profile in Silkscreen and they do not interfere with other components.
- Labels not covered by parts or no silkscreen overlap
- Power LED for every voltage rail
- Programmer header connection. Have I doubled checked the wiring for the connector?
- Programming header(s) oriented in the correct direction
- Potential De-Bug LEDs
- Add power disconnect jumpers if you want to be able to disable part of your board during testing.
- Or add a Power disconnect for each chip (2-pin header) for independent testing if needed
- Extra Headers/Testpoints/Vias for testing various signals
- Multiply extra testpoints/headers for power and ground (oscilloscope gnd connector)
- Or for connecting power off of the board
- Trace sizes power requirements are met (Advanced spec: 1 oz cu plate)
- link to trace-Current capacity page: http://basicelectronic.blogspot.com/2006/09/track-width-reference-table.html
- Ground connections between different board/systems where data is transferring
- Separate Digital and Analog ground (if necessary) for noisy, inductive components
- If using motors or other inductive loading, separate voltages/gnds for digital and analog rails.
- Voltage Level shifters present for data transmission between boards or chips with different voltage supply values
- Have I ordered parts yet? Are all the parts I put on the PCB instock and ordered already. If not, get them first, then order the board. Or redesign with different components.
- If you are not sure about certain digital connectors (TX/RX) have I added in disconnect headers for adding jumpers?
- Example PCB designator layout - http://www.sdr-cube.com/construction/controls.html with annotations made by Alex Fosdick Jan 2011.