## Printed Circuit Boards – Things You Must Know as a Beginner

A systematic arrangement of electrical components defined by pathways, signal traces, and conductive paths is called a Printed Circuit Board. If as a beginner you question, ‘what’s a PCB?’, then for simpler understanding, you can look at a PCB this way. Functionally speaking, the PCB offers mechanical support to electrical connections arranged in a logical manner with the help of pads, tracks, and other features. You can find the best PCBs at a cheap PCB manufacturer such as Elecrow. Types of PCB PCBs can be categorized as follows: Single Sided PCBs Multilayer PCBs Double Sided PCBs Flex PCBs Rigid PCBs Rigid-Flex

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## Measuring dielectric constant

Dielectrics are insulators that are used to separate the charged plates in capacitors. The insertion of the dielectric material enhances the charge storing capacity, and hence the capacitance, of the charged plates. Dielectric materials are characterized by what is called dielectric constant, and is defined as the ratio of the capacitance using the material in between the plates, compared to a similar capacitor that has vacuum as its dielectric. Steven Dufresne from Hackaday covers in this tutorial article the basics of dielectric materials and a practical method to measure the dielectric constant using a multimeter. Every now and then you need to

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## Filter optimization for A/D conversion

Filters are necessary to eliminate unwanted noise or distortion in a signal prior to any A/D conversion process. Designing a filter to pass the desired frequencies is easy, but it introduces signal loss, or insertion loss. Check out this application note from TI for some useful tips to optimize the filter design to minimize the losses. One of the first steps of filter optimization is the selection of the center frequency and the bandwidth of the filter. Once this step has been completed the task becomes one of putting the filter elements on the printed circuit board (PCB). PCB design is critical to

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## Alarm clock with a car horn

Do you think your alarm clock is not loud enough to wake you up in the morning? This one would definitely work for you (and probably wake your neighbors too): an alarm clock with a car horn.

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## How does a crystal oscillator work?

Ever wonder how does a crystal oscillator work? Check this 41-min video from Craig on the operational theory of crystal oscillators, and designing a discrete Pierce crystal oscillator suitable for use as a local oscillator in an HF receiver.

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