My first board, needs a  little feedback

Ok This is the first time I have ever made a board, or used eagle, so please be gentle.

I have been working on night rigs for a few of my helicopters, and decided the arduino mini pro, and a pile of leds would make the lights even more interesting than the static lights I use now.

I want to get the lights hooked into the the lipos, and have the colors change when I hit low power, but I figured I would start small... so I made some simple boards with 7 leds each. Now the leds are easy to mount on the heli, and 7 leds means a simple cat5 cable will work for connections. (7 signal, and 1 ground per board)

First I'm not sure the pads are right? Anyone know if I omitted them somehow, or are they supposed to be this small?

No silkscreen either, what step did I miss here?

I used batch PCB, and they actually sent me some extras, pretty cool. The next boards will have a nicer connector, and the silkscreen, hopefully bigger pads(or are they ok... maybe I'm being over critical)... and I'm looking for a lighter wire too.

Anyway here is a pic, feedback would be appreciated, I'm trying to learn... in my spare time, you know

Hi there. Congrats on taking the big step and nice work.


I'm no expert, but two comments: -those aren't pads, they are vias. That is, holes thru the board that are lined with conductive metal. These are used to get a line from one side of the board to the other, or often as a place to solder a thru hole component altho a pad (a bigger flat expanse of metal on one side of the board) on the back side definitely helps in that case as well. If all your connections are the thru type, you should be fine with this version of the board.

-you do have a silkscreen since you have those white lines drawn on the boards. What you may be missing is text you intended to include on that silkscreen?

Thank you matt, yes they are vias. I soldered one up and it works great, so the boards are not a loss, just not what I expected. I'm pretty happy my first boards actually even work.

How do I put pads on the backside? In fact here is a bigger(but I think related) question, how do I put a component on the backside of the board?

You know I think these would be useful for a spinning pov project too... instead for 5x7 I have 1x7... ill need to add a sensor... and I just checked the arduino mini pro will attach to this nicely.

You might want to take a look at my Instructable on fiddling with the design rules. Basically, I claim that just because your cad package and fab default to be able to do 8mil traces with 8mil separation, doesn't mean that you should actually USE traces that small or that close together, and then I go through and describe what to change (and how, using EAGLE as the example.)