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Omni Circuit Boards is an e-sensitive manufacturer of Printed Circuit Boards.

Omni Circuit Boards has been in the printed circuit board fabrication business since 1985. It has been our goal to be as environmentally conscientious as possible.

We are committed to keeping our customers and the future of our children front of mind.

The Circuit Board

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Buying PCB boards with Bitcoin

 
Omni Circuit Board Bitcoin

Over a year ago we started hearing about a strange digital crypto-currency that could be easily exchanged through the Internet.

We paid no attention at the time, expecting it would be just another transient Internet fad. But it hasn't faded away. It resurfaced for us during a recent brainstorming session (not my idea) which resulted in many awkward concepts, not to be disclosed here, even though “no idea is a bad idea” except clearly when it is…


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Understanding PCB Manufacturing: Working with Duroid laminates

 
Duroid-Omni_PCB

If you have ever driven in the winter and suddenly lost control for no reason, you probably experienced black ice.

The road looks perfectly normal but all the driving skills you learned over the years and the advice you have been given, doesn’t matter much as you slide across the highway out of control. It may be viewed as a dramatic comparison but working with Duroid is a little like driving on black ice.


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Understanding PCB Manufacturing: Odd Layer PCB Boards

 
Odd Layer Circuit Board

Our cookbook of PCB recipes includes an assortment of odd layer PCBs.

About 8% of PCB boards we are asked to produce are comprised of an odd number of layers. But unless you have a specific requirement, it is usually best to design a multilayer board with an even number of layers. Reducing an even layered board by one layer may seem like a cost-saving move, but from a PCB perspective it is not. It may actually increase the cost as well as lead-time and leave you with a warped PCB board which may not meet your expectations. Let's look at the issues in detail.


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A Quality Tragedy about a Chicken Dance and a PCB Board

 
The PCB Chicken Dance

One common sense business rule is: Sound economic decision making is a requirement for any company intent on succeeding. This rule applies to all aspects of the business, including the quality department.

The following is a series of events from my past with firms who require aliases. The supplier (who will be referred to simply as Fowlmouth) and the customer (who we will call Foghorn) are located within a thirty minute drive of each other and it’s very, very important to note neither is a government agency. I have had the good fortune to work with a few outstanding organizations whose Quality Managers maintained quality programs which helped improve the profitability of their respective organizations; but, this isn’t about one of those...


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What You Should Know About Immersion White Tin PCB Manufacturing

 
immersion white tin printed circuit board

If you work with printed circuit boards and PCB manufacturing in your business, then you have probably already heard of immersion white tin, but may have questions about how it actually works and whether it's a process that you should care about.

Given that we are leaders in immersion white tin PCB fabrication here at Omni, it goes without saying that we are heavily in favor of its use. To understand why, you first have to understand the reason behind our preference for white tin in the first place. Traditionally, circuit boards have been finished with a coating of material, usually containing lead, as part of the soldering process. That's great for the functionality of printed circuit boards, but less friendly for the environment since these metals (and the byproducts created) can be extremely toxic.


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How to Avoid PCB Board Delays in CAM

 
Omni PCB CAM delays

CAM (computer-aided manufacturing) is the art of translating a PCB board designer’s creative CAD (computer-aided design) output into information required in our manufacturing processes.

Our processes require your computer generated files to be converted into phototooling films and drill/router files which will allow us, the printed circuit board manufacturing facility, to produce a custom PCB to your specifications.


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Omni PCB boards on the cover of Time magazine

 
time magazine cover small

So how would you respond to appearing on the cover of Time magazine?

PHOTOGRAPH BY GREGG SEGAL FOR TIME

We recently received rock star status in our local network of manufacturers by having our PCB boards featured on the cover of the February 17, 2014 issue of Time magazine.


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Understanding PCB Manufacturing: Impedance Control

 
ZMetrix ST600

Printed circuit boards with impedance requirements demand a high level of precision.

Image courtesy of Zmetrix

For standard circuit boards, a PCB manufacturer is given a set of patterns - copper patterns, hole patterns, ink patterns, which are combined into a single circuit board with all the pattern sizes and positions within certain tolerances. Failure to meet a certain size or position with the specified tolerance can be cause for the circuit board to be rejected. If a trace has been defined as an impedance control trace, it is not the trace size which is strictly defined, but rather the impedance. While a nominal trace size will be provided in the Gerber layer, it is understood the circuit board manufacturer can vary trace width, height, and dielectric thickness as long as the final impedance is within tolerance.


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Understanding PCB Manufacturing: Hard Gold Plating

 
omni circuit board goldfingers edit

Plating Hard Gold onto printed circuit boards is typically done to provide contact points and PCB edge connectors.

Gold contact surfaces are often used on circuit boards with membrane switches which are a technology of choice for industrial, commercial and consumer products. When PCBs will be repeatedly installed and removed electroplated gold is used for edge-connector contacts or as they are more commonly known: Gold fingers. It is difficult to hear the term Gold finger without remembering the villain Auric Goldfinger from the James Bond film of 1964. However, the gold fingers (gold-plated contact pins) found on PCBs are quite unlike Auric’s stubby, fat digits. To begin with, the plating thickness of a PCB gold finger is typically a mere 300 micro-inch. At this thickness the hard gold is expected to survive 1,000 cycles before wear through.


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Developments in Aluminum Trace Circuit Boards

 
Selective Copper on AL PCB

As you might expect, no two applications for aluminum trace circuit boards are the same and most often they are not even similar.

While some customers are investigating frontiers in MEMS (Microelectromechanical systems), others are delving into the inherent superconductive properties at milliKelvin temperatures, while still others are exploiting the radiation response characteristics of aluminum. For the R&D personnel at Omni Circuit Boards, the requests have presented some interesting challenges.


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