Layout week pt 1

A project log for CC3200MOD Breakout

Creating a breakout board for the TI CC3200MOD WIFI micro controller.

jackson-keatingJackson Keating 02/12/2015 at 02:170 Comments

I'm spending this week laying out the PCB after work. I'm hoping to have a final version submitted to OSH Park in time for the weekend. So far things are going really well. I'm using KiCAD for the first time, so it is a bit of a learning curve on that as well.

As of last night, I put the finishing touches on the PCB routing to the headers, the power supply, and the antenna. I revised the header net lists constantly for the first few days. I didn't have the foresight to organize them based on the header's proximity to the chip's pins. Then, I forgot to add a header connections for the power and ground because they were already connected directly to the chip.

The antenna required some thought. The launchpad design (aka the design that I am liberally ripping off) has a smooth bending route from the antenna to the pin. Apparently, RF signals do not do well with 45° bends. I struggled trying to get KiCAD to do the same thing. Turns out, this is impossible. Finally, common sense kicked in and I had the idea of placing the antenna so that I could create a straight route to the pin. Voila.

Without any major hiccups, I'm well on my way to ordering the first draft. Next up is the fill and copout areas.