How many times in a day do you generally catch yourself using an electronic gadget? Maybe a hundred times like right now. Although we are living with these electronic gadgets, understanding the mystery behind the electronics is still a mystery that needs to be resolved. It is not that difficult to understand the basic functionality and structure of every electronic device.
The reason is almost every electronic device tends to have some similar basic elements in its infrastructure. But still, it seems difficult to understand the working of the electronic device because nothing is happening in front of the eyes visually. Despite all of the facts, it is still interesting to read and understand about electronics. Moreover, it is not unthinkable to start building various electronics projects with a little background knowledge.
Now, let’s move to the very basic and essential part of the electronic industry, and let’s discuss its details so we can understand it well. And that basic thing is the printed circuit board (PCB).
What is a PCB?
Have you ever seen a building? What is it made of? Blocks of bricks, right? Similarly, an electronic device is made up of blocks known as printed circuit boards. The main advantage of a printed circuit board is that it helps in connecting the various components of electronic devices to build a cohesive system that offers power to different devices.
Just like a building designed as top floors, ground floors, rooms, balconies, printed circuit boards are designed to make a connection between different parts of the building (electronic device). And this connection then provides a fully functional electronic system that is capable of providing power to the other devices.
For the past couple of years, printed circuit boards have been used in various electronic devices to improve their functionality and quality. Moreover, these circuit boards make the device more reliable and easier to use. Depending on the type of device, a printed circuit board can be single layer to multiple layers. Generally, multilayer printed circuit boards are used for complex devices. Multiple layers circuit boards also have complex structures. Now let’s understand the structure of printed circuit boards.
What are the components of a PC board?
As we have discussed before, printed circuit boards are the building blocks of any electronic device. That’s why they are made up of different electronic components depending on the functionality of the device they will belong to. These components play a smooth role in the better functionality of the device. If any of the components fail, the entire system would fail and as result, the quality of the product would be affected. So effective functionality from each component is required for better working of the device.
Following are the commonly used components in a printed circuit board. The components mentioned below are just for beginners because as we have mentioned before, the multilayer circuit board will have a complex structure. Mostly used components in a printed circuit board are discussed below:
As you already know that capacitors are used when we need to store electrical energy. Capacitors are essential for storing energy and you will find it on every printed circuit board. A range of electric charges is stored in a capacitor, and they act like storage space or a battery for the circuit board. The capacitor can gain and lose full charge that’s why they are used in the filter process. In this process, an electric device can use the backup source of energy if it loses the main source so that it does not lose the data. Capacitors release the energy when the device needs power. There are various types of capacitors available such as ceramic capacitors, polyester capacitors, and radial capacitors. The categorization of the capacitor is done on the basis of the insulating material used in them.
Resistors are commonly considered the first and essential part of any circuit board. They are used to control energy flow with the device. They are also referred to as the foundation of current control. Electric current is transmitted, and heat is dissipated in the resistors. They provide ease to the electric flow in the electronic devices. The level of resistance of the object can be defined by analyzing its resistance. The flow of electrical energy is resisted to form heat and what is then dissipated. There is a wide variety of resistors. The recommended resistors for the beginner are made of carbon film. The different colors in the body of the resistors show the resistance value.
Inductors are also used to store energy. So, we can say that they are similar to capacitors in nature. The energy is stored in the form of a magnetic field. This magnetic field is generated with the flow of electric current within the device. Moreover, inductors are also used when we need to block some signals. For example, interfering with the flow of signals from another device.
As clear from anime, transformers are used to transform energy from one power source to another. The induction process is used for this purpose. Similarly, transformers are used in printed circuit boards for transforming energy. The electrical is transferred from different circuits and then converted according to the need by increasing or decreasing the voltage. This function is somehow the same as the resistor as it regulates the current. But transforming current provides more electric isolation than a normal resistor. There are two windings (soft inductive circuits) and an iron core in the transformer. Both winding act as sender and receiver accordingly. The primary winding is the source of the energy, and the secondary winding is where the energy will go. The large voltage of energy is broken down into smaller parts by transforming so that the device or the equipment would not be overloaded. This helps in achieving the manageable flow of the electric charges in the circuit.
A Diode works in the same manner as the resistors. Electrical resistance is used to control the flow of the current. They assign a specific way for the high and low resistance. The hi8gh resistance is offered on one side and zero resistance on the other side. In this way, electrical current can be managed from flowing in the wrong direction. Because the wrong direction of the flow can also damage the functionality of the device and the equipment. The most common type of diode that you may have seen is light-emitting diodes (LEDs). Moreover, Zinner, high-speed switching diodes are also available and used for different purposes.
Transistors are used to amplify energy. Transistors are fundamental to all the new electronics. Their role is vital and sometimes they are referred to as the building blocks of the electronic device. A commonly used transistor known as a bipolar transistor can amplify current in three different directions as it has three areas and three pins. Bipolar transistors are further categorized into NPN and PNP types. Both types are made up of base, collector, and emitter. The switching and controlling of the electric current in the circuit are done by the transistors.
ICs (Integrated Circuits):
As clear from the name, integrated circuits are smaller circuits that are placed in the printed circuit board by minimizing the size. They are made up of silicon and then covered with plastic. The calculation is performed by using analog technology in modern integrated circuits. Integrated circuits are the source of energy for printed circuit boards. They provide power consistently that’s why they are also called the powerhouse of the PC Board. Transistors, resistors, and capacitors are collected in ICs as they can oscillate, amplify and process the energy within the circuit.
As it is clear from the name, batteries are used as a source of power in the PCBA. This is probably the most purchased component for the printed circuit board and is generally used by non-electrical people as well. The main function of the battery in the printed circuit board is to convert chemical energy into electrical energy so that power can be provided to different components of the board. An external circuit is used by them for the flow of electrons from one electrode to another.
Sensors are used when we need to analyze the change. They sense the change in the environment. The electrical signal is generated according to the change that has been detected. The signal is then sent to other components of the board.
Switches are the power buttons of the printed circuit board and are used by non-engineers, the same as batteries. Switches are used for a variety of purposes but in pcb assembly, their function is to control the flow of the current. The flow can be managed by opening and closing the circuit. Push-button switches, toggle switches, and micro switches are commonly used types for the circuit board.
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