Designing the PCB

A project log for Tougher INA3221 Power Monitor

Triple-channel power monitor based on INA3221. Compatible with Arduino Nano and Feather.

beast-devicesBeast Devices 09/10/2020 at 07:480 Comments

I wanted to keep the design 2-layer, and with some insignificant shortcuts, I kept it at two layers. I have tried to avoid large currents to pass around INA3221 to prevent ground bouncing, so I added some cutouts in the ground. Cutouts are made so that differential traces from current resistor don’t experience ground plane breaks. I didn’t add any ground pours on the bottom layer, because it wouldn’t add any significant benefit that I can see. It would just introduce more headache with controlling where the ground current are going. The ground path in the power area is solid and uninterrupted, and the ground path in signal areas is good enough.

The size of PCB is 130 mm by 53 mm, and could probably be made a bit smaller with a 4-layer design, by having Feather/Arduino sitting on top of everything. But this approach would also make it harder to do any changes later on. In the current design, if I want to change from Feather/Arduino to something else, I don’t have to modify anything in the power area.