Welcome Mark and Elijah! Can you start us off with a little about yourselves?
Hey everyone, my name is Elijah. I’ve worked at Royal Circuit Solutions in Hollister, California for the last 6 years. I specialize in DFM/DRC here at Royal as well as “blue-printing” the manufacturing procedures for the orders that come through the shop.
My name is Mark and I'm also part of the team. When they don't have me digging semi-precious recyclable plastics out of the dumpster, they let me research, write, speak and create content for electrical engineers.
I also pay for my own business cards -- so you'll see my job description range from "3rd-shift Hypnotist" to "Research Director".
What questions can we provide answers for today?
Business cards... made from PCBs I assume? ;)
And just a quick disclaimer, I make no guarantees that any particular answer is appropriate for any particular question.
@Andy Geppert Oddly enough no. They end up being too thick to carry around in large volumes.
YES! We are here to help you guys out with choosing a finish, or just help add to your knowledge of PCB finishes
Even if made 0.6 mm thick or so?
I like travelling with enough that if I ever see a "business card sweepstakes" to win something that not only is my chance of winning statistically likely, but it becomes a mathematical certainty.
Although we do see PCB business cards being ordered a few times in our shop!
Choosing finishes is top of my list of "things I'd like to learn about." Understanding cost/time trade-offs.
What is the basic finish and pro/cons?
There are more things to consider, if one goes beyond 1 GHz with their PCBs. Anyone interested in that?
@MS-BOSS Yeah -- if you make them too thin it gets hard to drill and route. -- 0.6mm is still too thick for a business card.
I'm interested in 1 GHz+ !
My boards are all well within 1GHz, but I'm interested in hearing about it just to learn more.
hey @Andy Geppert then thats what we will do! Seeing if we have any questions off that bat, then we will get into spilling out the knowledge
Super easy question. What does "finishes" mean? Are we talking about solder mask here?
@Elijah is going to copy/paste some stuff in as an overview and then we'll hit the questions.
Alrighty guys, im going to start dropping info here while mark answers your questions
So to start off.....When selecting your PCB finish, the main concern should be connectivity between the PCB and your components. Are you trying to temporarily protect the copper from oxidation (lower end finishes), or are we establishing the foundation of the connection with higher end finishes?
As you select higher end finishes, the assembly process should become easier. The solder yield and the shelf life will also increase.
I should have asked first, is there a spreadsheet somewhere for entering questions?
@MS-BOSS @guido.giunchi Let's revisit high speed after Elijah's quick once-over.
@Audi McAvoy - Nope, just shoot out the questions right here
We will be covering these main finishes, but we are open to helping you however we can:
OSP, HASL/HASL-LeadFree, Immersion Tin (White Tin), Immersion Silver, ENIG, ENEPIG
So the "finishes" are the last steps in PCB fabrication -- the outer layers. Most of the time that is referring to how the PCB is prepared for assembly.
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