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A peek at complex PCB layout

2010/06/11

Attached is a shot of the main microcontroller board for my current contract.  It’s the second revision in this form factor (4th overall), with an eye towards both switching to a “smaller” (yet more RAM!) microcontroller and fixing some power problems.  Those of you who were at the last DorkbotPDX meeting saw the previous revision in the flesh.

The board has an ATxmega192a3 on the top, CDCE913 PLL and 6V->3.3V switcher on the bottom, plus a ring of connectors on both top and bottom which connect it to two other boards in the stack.

As you can see it isn’t done, but it’s getting a lot closer (and cleaner) than my previous attempt, which had the PLL on the bottom right and the programming connector on the top left stacked on top of each other.  Some shuffling of all the microcontroller connections (yay Xmega!) allow me to flip things around and clean stuff up quite dramatically.

The catch is: the board is 1.25″ round…

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