Finalized PCB – a rewarding experience

There weren’t any tears really, but the PCB is now finally complete.It was extremely tedious to solder since the machine we used to make it does not apply solder to the vias thus every single via on the board needed to be soldered by hand. For this purpose I needed to stick a piece of wire through the hole and solder on both sides. This process became extremely difficult when two or more vias were close to each other.

The best technique I found was to bend a small portion of the wire onto the trace and to solder it to the trace. It made longer solder areas but the connection seemed much better than to have one blob directly on top of the via.

Another challenging part was the surface mount SSOP14 chip, but after a little practice I managed to do it without the microscope.

One of my team-mates also helped me finish soldering a few parts, so credit to Ram for doing so. The board looks much better than anticipated.

Here is the final result!

Now all that is left is programming of the Atmega32 as well as assembling the sensor modules.

My learning experience with PCB design was outstanding. I absolutely loved making the PCB from beginning to the end. As I was told by our supervisor afterwards, this is only the beginning in PCB design, but I really hope that once day I can further my skills in this field and perhaps pursue a career in PCB design and manufacturing.