You can also see that I’ve made it very easy for heat to move away from the regulator (U1) and into the ambient environment or into other portions of the PCB. U1’s thermal tab is connected to a large copper pour, and this copper pour is shot through with vias that conduct heat down to the internal ground plane. If I were really worried about thermal issues I could also connect these vias to a copper pour on the bottom side of the board, but in this case, it would have been total overkill.
V-groove panelization involves cutting a third of the board’s thickness from the top and bottom sides. The remaining part joins the separate boards and is then cut with a machine during the depaneling. This helps to reduce the stress on the PCB. One challenge with the V-groove method is that it is restrictive and cannot be used with PCBs that have overhanging components over the edges.
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