Understanding the Terminologies When Working With Printed Circuit Boards

Working with a printed circuit board would mean dealing with a lot of terms that may sound very confusing and intimidating.

Here is a short guide to the most common and useful ones:

The annular ring is the copper ring that surrounds a plated through hole.The DRC or the design rule check is a software that checks the PCB for any errors. Traces that are too skinny or incorrectly touch, and drill holes too small are some of the errors that a drc checks, preventing any potential catastrophes.

Drill hits are places on the pcbnet.com design, which indicate the places where holes are supposed to be drilled. Some poorly manufactured boards may have inaccurate drill hits due to the use of dull drill bits.A finger refers to the metal pads exposed along the board’s edge. This is used to form a connection between 2 or more circuit boards.


Mouse bites refer to the alternative to a v-score (partial cuts through a printed circuit board that allows the board to easily snap along a line) when separating boards from larger panels. To create mouse bites, clustered drill hits are made on the board surface to create a weak spot.

A plated through hole refers to a hole on the surface of the board surrounded by an annular ring. This ring is plated all the way through both surfaces of the board. This can be used a connection point for through-hole components, a mounting hole or as a via through which a signal passes through.

A pogo pin refers to a spring-loaded contact. This is used in creating temporary contacts for programming or testing purposes.A reflow refers to melting a solder in order to make joints between the component leads and the pads.

A silkscreen refers to the symbols, images, numbers and letters on the surface of the board. Resolution of the silkscreen is often low and in white.A slot is a term used for any hole made in the board that is not in circular. These slots may or may not have any plating.

A solder paste is a small ball of solder, which is suspended in gel medium. This is applied to the mount pad surface with the aid of a paste stencil. This is done on the surface of the board before all the components are attached. The solder within this paste melts during the reflow process. This will create mechanical as well as electrical joints between components and pads.

A pad is a section on the board surface with exposed metals where components are soldered.A paste stencil refers to thin metal or plastic stencil lying over the surface of the board. This allows the deposition of solder paste only in specific areas during an assembly process.

A solder pot is a pot that is used for quick hand soldering of printed circuit boards that have through-hole components. The pot often contains small molten amounts of solder. The printed circuit board is quickly dipped into this and the solder joints are left on all of the exposed pads.

A solder jumper is a small blob of solder that is unintended and unwanted, which connects 2 adjoining pins on the component.A surface mount is a manufacturing method allowing for simple setting of components on the board, without the leads passing through the holes on the board.


Thieving refers to the gridlines, hatching or dots of copper that were left on the surface of the board, where there are no traces or planes are present. This would reduce etching difficulty because there isn’t much excess copper that needs to be removed.A trace refers to the continuous copper path found on the surface of the printed circuit board.See the detail information about different components of printed circuit boards on www.pcbnet.com.


How to Buy a Used Storage Container

Shipping containers are normally used in shipping goods throughout or out of the country. It is built to withstand moisture and salt so it is more commonly used as overseas shipping containers.

However, even if there is a constant trade of goods between countries, a lot of shipping cubicles are still being left abandoned in the shipyards because of the high cost and risks it poses for the ship that will deliver it back. Consequently, these are sold or rented to people or companies that can’t afford brand new shipping containers. They use them as shipping cargos or as something else like houses and other kinds of edifices.

Acquiring a used shipping cubicles can be very tricky. Whatever purpose you have in buying a shipping container, it is a good idea to have ample knowledge about used storage containers to avoid future frustrations. You have to consider a lot of things before buying one. Here are some tips to help you find, choose, and buy a used shipping cubicle:

1. Evaluate your needs.

A standard shipping container comes in two sizes: 20 foot and 40 foot container lengths. Heights are 8 feet 6 inches and 9 feet 6 inches respectively. If you need more space, extra wide containers are also available. The length of these containers is 48 feet.

Bigger containers are, of course, more expensive. Assess the capacity of one container first and the things you want to put in them before buying one.

2. Where would you want to put your container?

Unless you’re making a home extension with a storage container, it is not a good idea to put a shipping container on your yard—that is if you have a big enough yard to fit a 20-foot metal vessel. If you’re not planning on shipping out items somewhere, better call a space provider to store your containers for you. There are plenty of companies in the US that houses shipping containers at a cost.

3. The internet is your friend and enemy.

You can find all things on the internet, but none of them are worth buying unless you check the item yourself. Online stores are your friends but only if you know how to shop online. Items like shipping containers require physical inspection before anyone can decide about spending a dime.

The physical condition of a used storage container may vary from slightly used to well-worn containers. If you’re looking for a relatively new container, look for “one-trip” containers. These might have a few scratches from their initial trip but are nonetheless good as new.

4. Make your choices.

Call the shipping container company you found online and ask for prices. You can type them all out on an excel file for better comparison later. Include transportation costs in your comparison table to get a better view on things. You want to make sure that the value of your money is being maximized.

Trim down your choices into three or less. Visit the storage container companies of your choice and inspect your prospect containers yourself. If you can, hire a professional inspector to check the condition of the containers for you. This will also help you decide on what container to buy.

5. Purchase the best container out of your options.

After everything has been checked out, it’s time to make that purchase. Some companies may require a credit card or a check upon purchasing. Make sure to ask about that upon calling the company, and ask for price quotes as well. There is no better feeling in the world than knowing that while you have spent some money, you also have maximized the value of it by finding the best deals.