Order a Pcb

Custom Printed Circuit Boards (PCBs)

The primary method for making PCBs is to order them through PCBway. With the help of your TA, you can order a simple PCB (2 layers) through PCBway at no cost to you. Alternatively, you can order a PCB from any outside vendor (including PCBway) and pay for the cost of the board out of pocket. By paying for a PCB yourself, you are not required to meet the deadlines imposed by the course and often will get your board more quickly.

In rare cases, some teams will be allowed to order PCBs through the Electronic Services Shop in ECEB. If you have need of special board layouts or require a PCB very early in the semester, please discuss this option with your TA.

PCBway Orders Through the Course

Orders through PCBway can be submitted and paid for by the ECE department with the help of your TA. Orders will be uploaded to PCBway by your TA and paid for on the dates listed on the course calendar. Please note that the PCBway orders will not be manufactured or shipped until they are paid for so please be aware of the lag time between order submission and payment. In addition, your order must pass PCBway's audit before the payment date for your order to be processed. In order to help students pass audit more quickly, we have provided a DRC file that can be imported in to EagleCAD to verify that your board meets PCBway's capabilities. Passing the DRC does not guarantee that your board will pass audit but it does greatly increase the probability of that event.

Electronic Services Shop

Orders placed through the Electronic Services Shop will require TA approval so please discuss with your TA before contacting the Services Shop. Please read all the shop PCB web pages before designing and submitting a board order. The software most commonly used is EagleCAD. Contact Mark Smart or Skot Wiedmann in the Electronic Services Shop with questions.

Please be aware of the PCB deadlines posted on the course calendar. If you are unable to meet these deadlines, you will not be able to order a PCB through the the Electronic Services Shop. You will still be able to order PCBs through third party vendors, just be aware that rushed orders can become expensive.

Commercial quality boards

The most commonly used programs for board layout are Eagle and Orcad Layout. The two software packages below allow a schematic to be drawn and translated into a board layout.

Once the board has been laid out, some companies will manufacture small quantities for a very reasonable price.

Wireless IntraNetwork

Daniel Gardner, Jeeth Suresh

Wireless IntraNetwork

Featured Project

There is a drastic lack of networking infrastructure in unstable or remote areas, where businesses don’t think they can reliably recoup the large initial cost of construction. Our goal is to bring the internet to these areas. We will use a network of extremely affordable (<$20, made possible by IoT technology) solar-powered nodes that communicate via Wi-Fi with one another and personal devices, donated through organizations such as OLPC, creating an intranet. Each node covers an area approximately 600-800ft in every direction with 4MB/s access and 16GB of cached data, saving valuable bandwidth. Internal communication applications will be provided, minimizing expensive and slow global internet connections. Several solutions exist, but all have failed due to costs of over $200/node or the lack of networking capability.

To connect to the internet at large, a more powerful “server” may be added. This server hooks into the network like other nodes, but contains a cellular connection to connect to the global internet. Any device on the network will be able to access the web via the server’s connection, effectively spreading the cost of a single cellular data plan (which is too expensive for individuals in rural areas). The server also contains a continually-updated several-terabyte cache of educational data and programs, such as Wikipedia and Project Gutenberg. This data gives students and educators high-speed access to resources. Working in harmony, these two components foster economic growth and education, while significantly reducing the costs of adding future infrastructure.