Help with PCB Design for STK Amp
I recently discovered that I can make my own PCBs at home. So I found a simple enough chip amp based around the 18-pin (STK4050) modules.
I installed DipTrace and began re-creating the schematic based on a published design. There was no 18-pin chip component within the libraries so I created one. However when I tried to convert to PCB, it told me that no pattern found for U1 - the STK - and everything goes south after that. I tried messing around to no avail.
Can someone with Diptrace prowess please help me redo the schematic properly with the right components. It took me all of 10 hours to get this far, and I know it can be done in minutes. I am open to help and advice.
It sounds like you created the logical connection information for the 18 pin component, but did not create the physical connection information for it. That would explain why you could route the circuit, but not lay it out.
I use Diptrace but tbh I lay PCB layouts out manually.
As long as you know the lead spacings (usually multiples of common IC pitches) then you can easily just lay a few IC packages side by side and then delete the unwanted pads. I used that technique here for all the odd spaced parts and sockets,
Tips I can think of... make all the pads and tracks as large as possible. When you come to etch and drill the PCB... you'll be glad you did.
Depending on how you finally create the PCB remember to either mirror the layout, or as I do work as if you are looking down through the board to the copper print. I find that easier and it works out correctly printing to a transparency to use in a UV light box.
And when you think you have done the layout look at it a hundred times :) and check each and every connection goes where it should. It's so easy to miss something and you just don't always see it.
and print out a paper copy.
Place all your components with the legs piercing through, to check PIN pitch and to checking gaps/spacing.
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