Recovering from My First PCB Fail


My love of Guitar Hero inspired me to design my own string-less guitar. By that time, I had learned about touch sensor technologies during a summer internship and had also taken an embedded C programming class. I was also familiar with the Arduino platform.

I got my proof-of-concept to work in minutes. Engineering seemed like the title of the book on my desk—for dummies. But designing my own circuit board proved to be another matter. Even though I had copied the schematic exactly, put all the components on the board, and used code I know worked (because I didn’t writeit), my design didn’t work!

In “Engineering is for Dummies (and I’m Living Proof),” I chronicle the steps I took to build my first PCB from scratch…and why it failed. Read it today for some lessons learned and also some insight into how the valuable tools ecosystem that’s available to design engineers can help you get started and be successful with your design concepts. Does my experience mirror one that you’ve had? How did you recover?

By Mohamed Ismail, Senior Member of the Technical Staff, Technical Services, Maxim Integrated

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