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Using Arduino => Project Guidance => Topic started by: MalcolmV8 on Apr 02, 2013, 05:07 pm

Title: PCB has tracks on wrong side? what happened?
Post by: MalcolmV8 on Apr 02, 2013, 05:07 pm
Hey Guys,

I've never outsourced a PCB to a board house before but decided to give it a shot.  I used seeedstudio.com as the price was right at $9.99 for 10 boards and $3 shipping.  I also opted for the extra $5 charge to get it lead free.

Anyhow my issue is the board came back with the PCB traces and silk screen printing all on the same side of the board.  All on the top side.  I'm trying to figure out if it's something I did or if they goofed up.  I use Eagle Cad and used the CAM processor to generate the files.  I used the Gerber RS 274 standard as it says to everywhere.

I'm wondering if since I made it a single sided PCB that they tried to put it all on one side? or maybe I just have something all wrong my gerber files.

Anyone here ever experience something similar?  the other issue with the tracks on the top instead of the bottom it essentially puts the traces to the wrong pins on the arduino.  So the only way I could use this board is if I put all the components on the copper track side and solder them on.

Here's a pic where you can see the silk screen and traces all on the same size.
Title: Re: PCB has tracks on wrong side? what happened?
Post by: johnwasser on Apr 02, 2013, 06:08 pm
Did you name the files to show that silkscreen was on the top and the traces were on the bottom?

Bottom Layer: pcbname.GBL
Solder Mask Bottom: pcbname.GBS
Silk Top: pcbname.GTO
Drill Drawing: pcbname.TXT
Title: Re: PCB has tracks on wrong side? what happened?
Post by: MalcolmV8 on Apr 02, 2013, 06:12 pm
Oh I did not.  I used the default names the CAM processor spit out.  I figured the contents of the files specified where they go, not the file names.  wow there's one huge thing I over looked.
Title: Re: PCB has tracks on wrong side? what happened?
Post by: CrossRoads on Apr 02, 2013, 06:59 pm
iteadstudio's .cam file can be used to prevent that kind of thing.
Title: Re: PCB has tracks on wrong side? what happened?
Post by: MalcolmV8 on Apr 02, 2013, 07:06 pm

iteadstudio's .cam file can be used to prevent that kind of thing.


How does it prevent it? file name conventions?  Have a link?

Thanks
Title: Re: PCB has tracks on wrong side? what happened?
Post by: KirAsh4 on Apr 02, 2013, 07:15 pm
Which CAM file did you use?  Both Seeed as well as iTead have DRU and CAM files that will generate the necessary files needed.

May I also suggest using a gerber viewer, such as the free version of ViewMate from Pentalogic (http://www.pentalogix.com/viewmate.php) to verify the gerber files after you've generated them.  This would've helped in identifying a problem before you sent off your design.
Title: Re: PCB has tracks on wrong side? what happened?
Post by: andyyi on Apr 02, 2013, 07:18 pm
if a single sided pcb,you should output the legend on top side.and the circuit on
bottom layer.for a layout fresh man,u must care one thing.u must mirror the bottom
circuit when u output it.then your supplier can get a right gerber.whatever even u forgot
mirror it.ur supplier should correct it.it's just a single layer pcb.  8)
Title: Re: PCB has tracks on wrong side? what happened?
Post by: CrossRoads on Apr 02, 2013, 07:20 pm
Their .cam file creates the gerber files needed for production. You can review the created files with a free viewer from viewplot.com to make sure you haven't screwed up your eagle design by accidentally mirror'ing something during the layout for example and putting it on the wrong later.
Their .dru file will also catch any errors that might cause manufacturing problems, or where you might have made edits that caused traces to overlap.
Running ERC on the schematic page will also point out errors like unconnected pins that may not be obvious.

http://imall.iteadstudio.com/open-pcb/pcb-prototyping/im120418003.html
Click the Download tab near the middle of the page.
Title: Re: PCB has tracks on wrong side? what happened?
Post by: MalcolmV8 on Apr 02, 2013, 07:28 pm

Which CAM file did you use?  Both Seeed as well as iTead have DRU and CAM files that will generate the necessary files needed.

May I also suggest using a gerber viewer, such as the free version of ViewMate from Pentalogic (http://www.pentalogix.com/viewmate.php) to verify the gerber files after you've generated them.  This would've helped in identifying a problem before you sent off your design.


I used the gerb274x.cam file supplied with eagle.  It gave me file names like:
component side: .CMP
solder side: .SOL
silk screen CMP: .PLC
solder stop mask CMP: .STC
solder stop mask SOL: .STS

Then I used the excellon.cam to do the drill holes.  It gave me a .DRD file and I think one other as well.

I have gerber viewers already.  I have "gerberlogix" and "viewplot".  My gerber files look just fine in both.  I'm going to assume it was my file names that got them all messed up and had them do it all on the stop side of the board.  Unless I'm just viewing it all wrong in the gerber viewer too.
Title: Re: PCB has tracks on wrong side? what happened?
Post by: MalcolmV8 on Apr 02, 2013, 07:38 pm

http://imall.iteadstudio.com/open-pcb/pcb-prototyping/im120418003.html
Click the Download tab near the middle of the page.


Thanks I downloaded that and had a quick look.  It has 11 tabs and a lot more to it.  I'll re-process the gerber files with it tonight and then go over it in the gerber viewers and see how it differs from what I had previously submitted.  If it's all the same then I think it was just my file names.

Thanks for the direction guys.  I was really lost as to what I had done wrong.  At least now I have some pointers to go by.

I also found my Arduino nano library for Eagle has to small a drill holes for the pins.  I can't get it through the PCB so this gives me the opportunity to edit the library and enlarge those holes a little.
Title: Re: PCB has tracks on wrong side? what happened?
Post by: CrossRoads on Apr 02, 2013, 07:46 pm
I see Seeed also has some eagle checking files available, I don't know if a .cam file is one of them.

http://www.seeedstudio.com/depot/fusion-pcb-service-2-layers-p-835.html?cPath=185
Title: Re: PCB has tracks on wrong side? what happened?
Post by: MalcolmV8 on Apr 08, 2013, 05:54 pm
Update: seeedstudio tech support got back to me and said their factory made a mistake on the boards and offered to re-do them for me or give me a credit to order new boards.   This is great news as I really couldn't find anything wrong with my gerber files except that I may need to rename my files.  So before I send off more files I wanted to check.  Is there an industry standard on what you name the gerber files?  I'm thinking not since each CAM processor job file I find on the internet seems to have it's own file names.  I'd at least like to stick to something close to a standard as possible to minimize confusion with the PCB house.
What file names do you guys use?

FYI - I did ask Seeedstudio tech support the same question on file names but their support is very slow to answer and like all board houses I've emailed in China we have a language barrier problem and I'm not sure they always understand my question or I their answer.

Thanks
Malcolm
Title: Re: PCB has tracks on wrong side? what happened?
Post by: CrossRoads on Apr 08, 2013, 10:46 pm
Each company seems to have their own standard.  Find somebody good and stick with them. iteadstudio has  been working well for me.
Title: Re: PCB has tracks on wrong side? what happened?
Post by: liuzengqiang on Apr 08, 2013, 11:32 pm
The seeedstudio.com Gerber files naming convention is easy to understand.

As CrossRoads pointed this out already:

3. Gerber file requirements:
   The following layers are needed:

    Top Layer: pcbname.GTL
    Bottom Layer: pcbname.GBL
    Solder Mask Top: pcbname.GTS
    Solder Mask Bottom: pcbname.GBS
    Silk Top: pcbname.GTO
    Silk Bottom: pcbname.GBO
    Drill Drawing: pcbname.TXT

If you are only doing a one-layer design, why not making the other layer a ground plane to save some etching acid? :)
Title: Re: PCB has tracks on wrong side? what happened?
Post by: MalcolmV8 on Apr 09, 2013, 03:01 am

The seeedstudio.com Gerber files naming convention is easy to understand.

As CrossRoads pointed this out already:

3. Gerber file requirements:
   The following layers are needed:

    Top Layer: pcbname.GTL
    Bottom Layer: pcbname.GBL
    Solder Mask Top: pcbname.GTS
    Solder Mask Bottom: pcbname.GBS
    Silk Top: pcbname.GTO
    Silk Bottom: pcbname.GBO
    Drill Drawing: pcbname.TXT

If you are only doing a one-layer design, why not making the other layer a ground plane to save some etching acid? :)


Thanks for the file names.  I'll save those.  So you think I should make the whole top side of the board a giant ground plain?  I don't see much advantage.  I'm not apposed though.
Title: Re: PCB has tracks on wrong side? what happened?
Post by: macegr on Apr 09, 2013, 03:15 am
Are the pads somehow not on the bottom? Because with a "single sided" board (which seeedstudio doesn't normally do), it doesn't matter what side the traces are on if the pads are actually double sided and through plated. The circuit is the same. If you actually only sent one copper layer file, then yeah...one side would be missing the pads.
Title: Re: PCB has tracks on wrong side? what happened?
Post by: MalcolmV8 on Apr 09, 2013, 03:27 am

Are the pads somehow not on the bottom? Because with a "single sided" board (which seeedstudio doesn't normally do), it doesn't matter what side the traces are on if the pads are actually double sided and through plated. The circuit is the same. If you actually only sent one copper layer file, then yeah...one side would be missing the pads.


The pads and tracks were on the top side of the board instead of the bottom like that picture shows.  This pretty much made the circuit a mirror image of what it should have been.  I could put some traces on top on purpose just to make it a double sided.  Seems silly when I can fit it all on one side.
Title: Re: PCB has tracks on wrong side? what happened?
Post by: MalcolmV8 on Apr 09, 2013, 04:45 pm

Find somebody good and stick with them. iteadstudio has  been working well for me.


I noticed iteadstudio has the same pricing as seeedstudio.  What's their turn around time like?  From the time you submit the order till you get it?
Title: Re: PCB has tracks on wrong side? what happened?
Post by: liuzengqiang on Apr 09, 2013, 06:43 pm
Seeedstudio and iteadstudio are comparable in terms of service, IMHO.
Title: Re: PCB has tracks on wrong side? what happened?
Post by: CrossRoads on Apr 09, 2013, 07:20 pm
~3 weeks for Registered Air Mail, longest time seems to be clearing customs after leaving itead.
DHL for larger orders and bigger boards is much quicker, but $26 vs ~$8 also.
My last 2 delivered orders went to board assembly house in CA, seemed very quick,  being assembled this week.  3rd board order is on its way to CA too.