What Is the Difference Between PCB and PCBA?

March 26, 2021

PCB and PCBA are two very different concepts, but many people use the terms interchangeably. While these terms are related and both used regularly within the electronics industry, they have distinct definitions. In this article, we'll discuss what PCBs and PCBAs are, how they are related, and the key differences between the two terms so

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A Primer on the Types of Printed Circuit Boards

March 19, 2021

Are you designing a new electronic device or upgrading an existing one? If so, chances are you’ll need printed circuit boards (PCBs). The self-contained boards mechanically support and electrically connect electrical and electronic components. The components are located on the surface of a non-conducting board (i.e., the substrate) and soldered to printed circuits (i.e., small

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Why Lead-free RoHS Circuit Board Assemblies?

August 14, 2017

The Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) directive 2002/95/EC began as a European movement to decrease the deposition into the environment of known carcinogens and to enhance the recyclability of mixed-material waste. The goal was to create a new generation of electrical products that are free of substances hazardous to health and the environment. Initially all

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“Boilerplate”

“Boilerplate”

May 24, 2017

Boilerplate is a good thing to have on the side of a steam locomotive but questionable in the engineering notes for a printed circuit board. There are many options available to which most of us never give a second thought.  The Gerber files contain the traces and outline but rarely the tolerances.  Some common specifications

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Is Isola running scared?

May 2, 2017

Although Isola had published the announcement quoted below, alluding to the termination of manufacturing FR406, they now seem to be backpedaling a bit and state that it is still available.  Perhaps someone let the cat out of the bag a bit early??? Reports from PCB manufacturers continue to pour in stating in simple terms that

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Oh my – Metal too?

September 16, 2016

Even people who have been our PCB customers for 25 years can be surprised to learn that we are equally involved in custom metal components.  For our metals customers we provide the same personal service, design assistance, and stocking for JIT that you have experienced in our support for your PCB requirements.  This attention to

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Wide-ranging PCBs fit your needs

April 25, 2016

The sales staff at USTEK Inc. thank you for your PCB requirements that you have placed with us.  We have worked hard these past 30 years to provide a high level of quality and service coupled with competitive prices and kanban shipments to meet your ever-changing needs. But have you seen the entire range of circuit boards that

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Metal parts big and small

April 15, 2016

For the past 20+years USTEK has supplied our PCB customer base with added support: custom manufactured metal components. Metal parts have included: cast aluminum instrument bezels for aircraft and marine applications, copper RFI fences, formed SS equipment handles, brass electrical terminals, and extruded aluminum heat sinks. Most recently we added a new capability for the manufacture

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The Importance of PCB Finishes

March 29, 2016

The surface finish of your printed circuit board might not be the first design aspect that you address in a new layout but it should be among the top contenders. Where do you usually begin a PCB design?  Mechanical design aspects would lead one to select rigid, flex, or bend-flex.  Operating temperature would dictate if

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