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EXAMINATION QUESTION - PCB CONVERSION

V. Ryan © 2006

 

An example of CAD (Computer Aided Design) is seen below. The software called ‘Crocodile Technology’ is used to design circuits on the screen of a computer rather than by making prototypes.

 
   
   
1. What is the advantage of using modelling software compared to making a prototype circuit?
 
 
 
 
     
POSSIBLE ANSWER  
   

The software can be used quite quickly and components arranged and moved around the screen through the use of a mouse. When the circuit is finished it can be tested on screen. Faults can be corrected easily, components deleted and replaced. This saves time and money as the real circuit is not made until the computer versions works and real, costly components are not wasted.

   
2. Symbols of electronic components are seen on the left hand side of the screen (above). What are they used for?
 
 
 
 
 
POSSIBLE ANSWER
   

The symbols of components seen at the side of the screen can be dragged into the main screen area and arranged to form a circuit.

   

3. When a PCB is being produced/manufactured the circuit is designed on computer software such as Crocodile Technology and then exported to a second piece of software such as ‘Real PCB’. This second software converts the circuit diagram into a circuit mask. What is AUTO-ROUTING?

   
 
 
 
 
   
POSSIBLE ANSWER
   

When the circuit diagram is being converted into a circuit mask, the tracks between the components are automatically routed by the computer software. The circuit designer does not have to plan and draw each track by hand. This is called auto-routing.

     
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