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Old 10th September 2011, 09:12 PM   #21
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I tend to layout pcbs as they come from the schematic as items that are close to something else usually connect to them. Clearly edge connectors and output transistors need to go on the edges first.

Just as important as routing is design rules checking.
Clearance check.
Layers out of range check (dont want layer if dual layer board.)
Minimum via size check. (vias often have a minimum size for a pcb vendor. I always use 40 thou holes.
Continuity check, makes sure all tracks are routed and connected to corrent layers.
Integrity check, pcb should match the schematic, simple fact but vital.

You should also have done error checking on schematic, single ended nets, lines under pins but not connnected. Unconnected pin scan.
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Old 11th September 2011, 09:40 AM   #22
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my 3 euro cents

amplifiers (and preamplifiers also ) are very often degraded or derated or whatever by the pcb ...the actuall circuit simulates wonderfull and when its made out is by far more worst ...

to design pcb for amplifiers there is a guideline and a few rools
--- decoupling has to take place close to outputs
--- small signal stuff has to be one one area close probably featuring ltp thermal junction
---rails have to be as small is possible
--- ground trace more or less the same
--- starground will be also e a bless
--- zobel has to be far away from input
--- curent mirrors and sources have to be close to the divisions that support
--- miller caps are to be located close to the related transitors
--- management and distribution of earth is a trick
--- ground plane can be twice as worst
--- heatsinks for some transitors might consume area
--- and probably afew others i missed ....

Dont fool your shelf !!!! NO-ONE can make a pcb that can follow all these rules in a single layer ( even for an amplifier that has very low part count )

messing up with a dual layer can be also complicated since its messing up with ground plane or managment and distribution of earth and if not designed properly will/can introduce capacitance and inductaunce between layers ...


in real life one could go for small amplifier /single layer aprx. >100W try to follow as many of the rules above .

aim of the above is to low distortions as much is possible .. the pcbs of this style cannot be comercially produced or assemblied fom robots ... the comercial designers skip quite many of these rules to make there machines able to be massivelly produced and more cost effective ...


redesign of pcb and cable rooting of any comercial amplifier will increase the cost of production 3-4 times but also low the distortion and crosstalk issues to minimum ...

as about Alex mm pcb sorry to say is that i have never seen anything trully inovative from him ... eventhough he is a very hard working guy for free and for the family of the diyaudio .... still he made a pcb once and all his other pcbs is based on the same patern ...

there is other ways to do things ( dont have to be better or worst ) simply they need to e more inovative ...


Joke :
i am curently working on the P3A ( been doing so for 4-5 years ) had a friend asking me to design a couple of pcb based on the schematic of the P3A but designed length wise to be possible to fit on the back of a specific speaker it could be only 4 cm wide and long something between 20-25 cm ...done it in a dual leyer but for some reason the P3A never sounded as good as the original pcb made eventhough parts where exactly the same .... any ideas ? )
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Last edited by east electronics; 11th September 2011 at 09:45 AM.
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Old 11th September 2011, 09:48 AM   #23
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Good advice above, I'll just add one thing. Don't settle on the first layout that looks good. If you leave a design for a day or so, then come back to it fresh, you will often notice little things you can change to optimise the layout, or even big things that mean you have to rip up part of the layout and completely redo it. Don't be afraid to do so.
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Old 11th September 2011, 09:56 AM   #24
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You're not wrong on that Al! I'd worked and worked on the layout for my regulated supply (slightly different because it is verro board) and reached a point where I just didn't think I could improve it any more.

I left it for a few months (not advocating that long!) and came back to it and have made some major revisions for the better. Still probably not 100% but a break certainly can give you a new perspective.

Tony.
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Old 11th September 2011, 10:32 AM   #25
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My original AKSA 55 consumed over 500 hours in the initial design.

The work of a complete lunatic, but it sure sounded good.

Cheers,

Hugh
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Old 11th September 2011, 10:36 AM   #26
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Yup, the hard bit is knowing when to stop.
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Old 11th September 2011, 11:01 AM   #27
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Hugh,

this "bloody" design (drawn with Microsoft Paint, disregarding any theoretical advice - representing Carlos' DX Blame ES) took me 50 hours.

Click the image to open in full size.

http://www.abload.de/img/kk001ejal.jpg

The result has been a "rock-stable" AMP, "playing to pour its heart out to you."

Click the image to open in full size.

http://www.abload.de/img/shootout0179khh.jpg

and has been unmatched for quite a long time (in my ears, according to several listening tests with my AUDIO-friends, "shoot-outs with famous brands", ...).

Theory is on the one side - real life may differ from it.

Remember: we do not have any GHz-signal acting like an antenna on an AMP's PCB, we do not have any V - signal, being crossed / paralled by a Kilo-Volt-signal, ...

This is my experience.

Best regards - Rudi_Ratlos
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Old 11th September 2011, 12:31 PM   #28
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Rudi,

You have the unmatched German eye for detail, hats off.

I will answer your PM first thing tomorrow...... thanks for sending it,

Cheers,

Hugh
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Old 11th September 2011, 01:22 PM   #29
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Hi,
I work with the software Kicad. It is open source and is also suitable for professional printed circuit board manufacturing.
The advantage over sprint layout is that you can go directly from schematic to layout. The progam detect faulty connections in the layout immediately. Since I use Kicad I've never produced a bad layout. If there were errors, they were already in the schematic.
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Old 11th September 2011, 01:44 PM   #30
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Here's my the most power-size-concentrated module I've ever made, ProJet Power Module mono PCB from few years ago. It was more a tour de force than possibly commercial success but nevertheless I made it and it works properly according to specifications. Ten output devices (two are drivers) on such small area is quite an achievement as to some pro's opinions. Tracks are short, well routed and the board has some 70um base + cca. 200um extra copper thickness, double layer with metallized holes, all in white colour.
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File Type: jpg ProJet Power Module.jpg (412.7 KB, 364 views)
File Type: jpg ProJet Power Module BOTTOM.jpg (488.4 KB, 348 views)
File Type: jpg ProJet Power Module TOP.jpg (510.6 KB, 332 views)
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