Electronics development

All specifications are defined and maybe an experimental design is made to answer important questions. Next the electronics can be developed. An electrical schematic is made to connect all necessary components. The design is documented in a text document including all calculations and design descisions. This way it is possible to trace back at any moment how a design was realized.

Points of attention

When making a schematic, the next points are taken into account:

  • functionality
  • electrical specifications like voltages, currents, accuracy, resolution and frequencies
  • standards to which the product must comply like safety or electrical immunity (CE)
  • cost of materials and cost of design
  • complexity
  • reliability, robustness, tolerance to abuse
  • delivery time of components
  • maximum dimensions of the product
  • current consumption
  • manufactureability
  • testeability
  • clear structure of the schematic

Building blocks

Of course we partially rely on our experience from different projects. As a result, we have several “building blocks” to integrate into a design. To give an idea:

  • low current battery powered instruments
  • data communication, both through cables (RS-232, RS-485 or USB) and wireless (through GSM, SMS or GPRS)
  • telemetering, remote measurement and controle
  • wireless communication, both for short range (10 m) and long range (1000 km)
  • sensor technology
  • displays, graphic or plain text, large or small, colour or monochrome
  • measurement technology
  • control technology
  • registration, datalogging

From schematic to PCB layout

During the schematic design, the PCB layout is started. Not so much to make connections as to place all selected components next to each other. This provides clarity during the schematic design about the minimum dimensions of the electronics. The design and schematic are always checked by a collegue. That keeps us keen and avoids the chance for errors.

When the schematic is approved, the PCB layout can be finished.