Chapter 18. Printed Circuit Boards (PCBs)

Not Much Fun

Electronic components are rarely useful in isolation, and it is usually necessary to connect a number of them together in order to achieve a desired effect. Early electronic circuits were constructed using discrete (individually packaged) components such as transistors, resistors, capacitors, and diodes. These were mounted on a nonconducting board and connected using individual pieces of insulated copper wire. The thankless task of wiring the boards by hand was time-consuming, boring, prone to errors, and expensive, and it was generally agreed that this wasn’t much fun.

The First Circuit Boards

The great American inventor Thomas Alva Edison (1847–1931) had some ideas about connecting electronic ...

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