pcb panel - keep cooper layer or not?

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dlavila
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pcb panel - keep cooper layer or not?

Post by dlavila » Sat Sep 12, 2020 3:49 pm

I'm making most of my panels from FR4 PCBs, at the moment I'm not using the cooper layer for any graphics (only the silkscreen), so I'm usually removing the entire layer. Is there a difference if I keep the layer, in terms of the quality of the soldermask or scratch resistance of the panel? thanks!

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MikeDB
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Re: pcb panel - keep cooper layer or not?

Post by MikeDB » Sat Sep 12, 2020 4:32 pm

Yes. The copper layer acts as a ground plane and reduces EMI coming out of the module. Keep it on, at least on the backside if you don't like the look on the front.
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Bartimaeus
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Re: pcb panel - keep cooper layer or not?

Post by Bartimaeus » Sat Sep 12, 2020 6:08 pm

MikeDB wrote:
Sat Sep 12, 2020 4:32 pm
Yes. The copper layer acts as a ground plane and reduces EMI coming out of the module. Keep it on, at least on the backside if you don't like the look on the front.
note that this only works if your drill holes are pads that the jacks sleeves can make contact with to ground the panel (or if you connect it to ground some other way). otherwise it's just a big chunk of copper.

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Re: pcb panel - keep cooper layer or not?

Post by Flounderguts » Sat Sep 12, 2020 6:19 pm

If you're ordering from chinese pcb manufacturers, it is cheaper to do a 2 layer pcb than a single or no layer pcb. They are also more opaque, because you get soldermask on both sides.

Consider putting the layer in as a pattern that is under the solder mask...it can make a very nice embossed look.

I find the quality of the exposed copper/ENIG text is far better than the silkscreen, and always perfectly aligned. But sometimes making the right shapes as pads can be a task.
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revtor
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Re: pcb panel - keep cooper layer or not?

Post by revtor » Sat Sep 12, 2020 6:35 pm

The copper makes the solder mask colors much brighter too.
I think it makes the panels more rigid as well.
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MikeDB
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Re: pcb panel - keep cooper layer or not?

Post by MikeDB » Sat Sep 12, 2020 7:52 pm

Bartimaeus wrote:
Sat Sep 12, 2020 6:08 pm
MikeDB wrote:
Sat Sep 12, 2020 4:32 pm
Yes. The copper layer acts as a ground plane and reduces EMI coming out of the module. Keep it on, at least on the backside if you don't like the look on the front.
note that this only works if your drill holes are pads that the jacks sleeves can make contact with to ground the panel (or if you connect it to ground some other way). otherwise it's just a big chunk of copper.
Agreed. I always expose copper around the mounting holes and have a silkscreened message on the back of my panels saying "Ensure Ground Continuity By Using Metal Bolts to Rack". Not 100% accurate statement but makes sure people do it.
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Re: pcb panel - keep cooper layer or not?

Post by KSS » Sun Sep 13, 2020 5:30 am

Flounderguts wrote:
Sat Sep 12, 2020 6:19 pm
If you're ordering from chinese pcb manufacturers, it is cheaper to do a 2 layer pcb than a single or no layer pcb. They are also more opaque, because you get soldermask on both sides.

Consider putting the layer in as a pattern that is under the solder mask...it can make a very nice embossed look.

I find the quality of the exposed copper/ENIG text is far better than the silkscreen, and always perfectly aligned.
^ This.

And leaving copper on both sides is stiffer. Putting it on only one side invites bowing. Thermal gradient in most synths interior-exterior ensures this will be worth payng attention to. Use at least 2mm thick PCBs.
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Re: pcb panel - keep cooper layer or not?

Post by EATyourGUITAR » Sun Sep 13, 2020 7:04 am

revtor wrote:
Sat Sep 12, 2020 6:35 pm
I think it makes the panels more rigid as well.
:agree:
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