Electrical – Schematic and PCB Design From Scratch


I have learned to us KiCAD and have designed and ordered several PCBs through OSH Park which solder onto the pins of Teensy PLC. I would like to take my skills further and learn how actually design a logic PCB schematic (like a Teensy or Arduino, for example) from scratch, not just drive the schematic software itself. I am having trouble finding sources to give me common practices and approaches to the engineering design process for a circuit like this, because most of my searches pull up only information specifically about how to operate the PCB layout software.

If anyone knows of a really good source of information that could help me along I would greatly appreciate it, be it a textbook, website, Udemy source, etc. I know that obviously a logic circuit is a delicately engineered product so I by no means expect it to be simple–I just would like to find a source that is not purely theory-based that explains more specifically how to apply electronics fundamentals to actual design.

Much appreciated!

Best Answer

If circuit DESIGN is what you are asking for (????) then you should know that a great many commercial (and open-source) products are based significantly (or completely) on the "reference design" provided by the chip designer/manufacturer. And, of course many (most?) of the microcontrollers out there are Open-Source which means that you can copy them completely (or partially) and use them as your own. And even circuits which are proprietary or protected in some way can be excellent sources of inspiration and learning WHAT they did, HOW they did it, and perhaps most importantly gain insights into WHY they made the design decisions.

There are several YouTube channels which feature "tear-down" videos where the host takes apart something and does on-camera analysis of the design and manufacture with likely-accurate specualation about the trade-off decisions that went into the design. One very popular channel is http://www.eevblog.com/ which also features an online forum where issues brought up in the videos are discussed by knowledgable people.

Your initial question is quite ambiguous whether you are asking for help with:

  1. Circuit design
  2. Schematic drawing
  3. Circuit board layout

Or perhaps some combination. It would be very helpful to clarify your question.