10 Common PCB Problems and How to Fix Them

Table of Contents

Common PCB Problems

People who have worked in electronics manufacturing know that there is a lot that can go wrong when making printed circuit boards. Mistakes are easy to make when working with tiny components and complicated layouts. If you’re new to electronics manufacturing, keep this in mind before you take on the task of creating your own printed circuit boards. Read on to learn about 10 common PCB problems and how to fix them.

1. Too Many or Too Few Solder Pads

If you’ve ordered PCBs for your project, you may find that you have too many or too few solder pads. It’s important to know what amount of pads to order for your PCBs, but you also have to be aware of your design.

  • If you have too many pads, it can create a few major issues.
  • If your board has too many pads, there is a good chance that some of the pads will be bridged together.
  • If the pads are bridged together, it can create a short circuit, which can cause your whole circuit to fail. Another issue that can happen if you have too many pads is that the pads can come in contact with one another.
  • If the pads come in contact with each other, they can cause a short circuit.

The solution to having too many pads is to use a Dremel tool to remove some of the pads.

2. Incorrect Bending of Copper Tracks

Sometimes, the copper tracks on your PCBs don’t bend correctly. This can happen for a few reasons. First of all, you may have bent the tracks during the inspection. It can be easy to bend the tracks without realizing it, especially if you’re working with a high-volume PCB. You may also have bent the tracks during the manufacturing process. If that happens, the manufacturer can usually fix the issue by re-bending the tracks. The last way that the copper tracks can be bent incorrectly is during the design process. If you bend the tracks incorrectly, they can’t be fixed later on. The only solution is to create another PCB.

3. Lack of Adhesion During Soldering

Soldering pads are used to connect components to the PCB. If you’re working with a printed circuit board, you’ll find that most pads only have a small amount of solder on them. This is because you want to make sure that the pads don’t get too hot. If the pads get too hot, they can melt the PCB. If you’re having a problem where the pads aren’t sticking to the PCB, there are a few reasons why.

First of all, the pads could be too dry. If the pads are too dry, you can try adding a little bit of flux to them. Another reason why the pads may not be sticking is that you have too much solder on them. If the pads have too much solder on them, it can cause them not to adhere to the PCB.

4. Excessive Amount of Solder

Too much solder can be a problem, but it can also happen by accident. If you’re having issues with too much solder, it’s important to note that you don’t need to re-solder the entire pad. You can simply remove some of the solders to lower the amount. If you try to fix this issue by adding more solder, you’ll just create another problem. The pad may be too small for the amount of solder that you’re adding.

If that’s the case, the solder will start leaking out the side of the pad. Another issue that can happen if you have too much solder on the pad is that the excess solder can create a ball. The ball of solder can come between the pad and the component that you’re trying to solder.

5. Incorrectly Placed Components

If you’re having issues with a few components on your PCB, it could be that you’ve incorrectly placed the components. Most components are tiny and easy to misplace. If this happens to you, there may be a couple of ways that you can fix the issue. First of all, you can re-solder the component to the PCB. If the component is larger, you can sometimes use tweezers to move the component to the right place. It’s important to note that you should only do this if the component isn’t soldered to the PCB. In some cases, it may be easier to just replace the component with a correctly placed one.

6. Uneven Surface Mounting

The pads on a PCB are used to connect components and conduct electricity. Surface mount pads are used to connect small components like resistors or capacitors. If you have uneven surface mounting, it’s usually because the pads aren’t being soldered correctly. Sometimes, uneven surface mounting can also be caused by dirty pads. If the pads aren’t being soldered correctly, you can try cleaning the pads to see if that helps. You can also try using a different solder to see if that makes a difference.

7. Unmarked Track Areas

Sometimes, you’ll have an unmarked track area. A tracking area is an area on a PCB that isn’t used for components. An unmarked track area can happen for a few reasons. First of all, if you’re working with a high-volume PCB, it can happen if the PCB was used before. It can also happen if you’re using a partial PCB. It’s important to know that it’s okay to have unmarked track areas. It’s not a major issue. It’s a good thing. Unmarked track areas are useful for adding jumpers or making changes to the PCB.

8. Mistakes During Soldering And Manufacturing

There are a few mistakes that can happen during the soldering and manufacturing process. If you’re having issues with the pads on your PCBs, it may be because the holes are too small for the soldering iron. It can also be caused by the iron being too big. If the iron is too big, it will make it harder to control the iron. It can also cause extra damage to the PCB.

Another issue that can happen during soldering is that the iron may be too hot. If the iron is too hot, it can damage the PCB and the components on it. It can also cause the solder to flow too quickly, making it hard to control the iron. It’s important to note that all PCB manufacturers have standards for what temperatures are safe for soldering.

9. Excessive Solder Mask Dripping

During the manufacturing process, it is essential to have the right amount of solder mask applied. If there is too much of the protective coating on the PCB, it can cause problems with the electrical connection. If the solder mask is applied too thick, it can create an excessive amount of droplets on the PCB, causing electrical issues and decreasing the quality of the product. To prevent this issue, manufacturers should be sure to purchase the right amount of solder mask for each job.

10. Too Many Via Holes

The holes on a printed circuit board can be used for a number of things, from installing input/output ports to housing electrical components. While there are a number of ways to install these holes on the board, you want to avoid placing more than one via per hole. Placing one via per hole is the standard.

If you have a layout that requires you to use more than one via per hole, you need to review your design to make sure it is not something that can be fixed. This can cause a number of issues, such as electrical shorts. You also want to ensure that the distance between each via is no less than 1 cm. If you have a layout that requires you to use more than one via per hole, you need to review your design to make sure it is not something that can be fixed.

Final Words

Making your own PCBs isn’t always easy, but it can be worth it if you have a large number of the same circuit boards that you need to make. While it’s possible to have a few issues with your PCBs, it’s important to remember that any printed circuit board will have some issues.

As long as you have a plan in place for what to do if things go wrong, you should be able to create PCBs that work the way that you need them to. If a problem pops up, make sure to talk with your manufacturer about what went wrong. They may be able to tell you how to fix the issue.



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About Author

Aidan Taylor
Aidan Taylor

I am Aidan Taylor and I have over 10 years of experience in the field of PCB Reverse Engineering, PCB design and IC Unlock.


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