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Power LED and test points?
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Music Tech DIY  
Author Power LED and test points?
l3v3l6
When designing DIY PCB does anyone add an LED just show that the power is on?

I'm working on a board that 15 & 5 volts and I was thinking of adding two LEDS just to validate that there is power and that the 5v converter is working.

What about test points for checking outputs on a VCO? Any sense in that?
flts
In my opinion, clearly labeled main test points should be there in every PCB whenever possible. The only reasons to specifically leave them out would be either to make the PCB difficult to troubleshoot / calibrate (probably more in the realm of commercial devices that aren't meant to be repaired), or lack of PCB space in a tight enough layout.

As for power LEDs, the only drawback I can think of is, that once you've validated that there is indeed power, those LEDs will consume a tiny bit of extra current for the lifetime of the device ... and you'll probably still want to measure the operating voltages from test points anyway. If you also use them in the front panel as "power on" indicators then it makes perfect sense, if they're to be buried behind the front panel and only used for troubleshooting, I'm not sure if I'd include them or just measure whenever needed.
Grumble


I used this.
aabbcc
l3v3l6 wrote:
When designing DIY PCB does anyone add an LED just show that the power is on?

I'm working on a board that 15 & 5 volts and I was thinking of adding two LEDS just to validate that there is power and that the 5v converter is working.

What about test points for checking outputs on a VCO? Any sense in that?


Without having any sort of knowledge about pcb design (I just build a lot) I'm gonna throw in my 2 cents. Imo the more test points the better, and try to place them strategically so your dvm and or multimeter probes don't interfere with everything else, i.e. around the edges. Also ground points near the test points are nice for that little ground clip for the scope.

Oh and test pins/loops (dont know if thats the right name for those) are fantastic, so you can clamp your dvm with alligator clips when calibrating stuff, please include these with the pcb or at least in the bom = )
executiveBlaster
At my day job, I always put an 0603 smd led on each power rail. You can run them at about 100uA (micro!) and see them totally fine. very helpful to know at first power up that things look reasonable, then you can poke around with the meter and confirm.
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