How to buy the best electronics for your next project
Circuit boards can provide some very useful ideas for the final product, but they also can make the final decision whether you’ll be able to build the machine that will be your very own, says Steve Doolittle, a senior director at the electronics company Jabil Circuit Board.
“A good circuit board can tell you what’s going to be in the circuit board, what’s not in the board, how it’s going, and where it’s been soldered, etc.,” he says.
Doolitt, who has been a circuit board specialist for 25 years, says the “one-size-fits-all” approach to circuit board designs is the norm for most electronics companies today.
“Circuit boards are designed to be used in the same way, so that the same components can be used,” he says, “which means that a good circuit boards should be easy to get, inexpensive, and versatile.”
To help get your circuit board design out the door, Doolitte suggests you go through your budget, look for cheap components that can be swapped, and pick components that are the same or similar in their functionality.
A lot of the time, you’re only going to need a few of these pieces of hardware, and you don’t have to do a lot of work to get them working.
“There are lots of great examples of circuit boards on the market that you can get,” he adds.
For instance, there’s a good chance that the component you need will be already on the shelf, says Doolitty, so you’re going to find a circuitboard with a good-enough name on Amazon, eBay, or other major retailers.
If you can’t find it on Amazon or eBay, try searching for it on a website such as CircuitBoard.com.
If the components don’t match the circuit boards, check to make sure the company that sells the parts is reputable.
“Make sure that the manufacturer or supplier that makes the circuit is reputable,” Doolit says.
“And be sure that it’s an open source project.
If they’re not, they can easily be used for counterfeit components.”
He adds that the best way to find the circuitboard you’re looking for is to ask friends or family members to look through the listings on CircuitBoard, where you can find links to the components and circuit boards that were used.
If, on the other hand, you don