Circuits often require inputs that come directly from users (as opposed to inputs that come from other devices). User-input devices can take many forms, among them keyboards (as on a PC), buttons (as on a calculator or telephone), rotary dials, switches and levers, etc. Digilent boards include several input devices, typically including push buttons and slide-switches. Since digital circuits operate with two voltage levels (LHV or Vdd, and LLV or GND), input devices like buttons and switches should be able to produce both of these voltages based on some user action.
In a PCB that uses through-hole technology, holes are drilled through the pads so that component leads can be inserted and then fastened (soldered) in place. In a PCB that uses surface-mount technology, component leads are soldered directly to the pads on the surface. Each set of pads (or holes) in the PCB is intended to receive a particular component. To identify which component must be loaded where, reference designators are printed on the circuit board immediately adjacent to the pads using a silk-screen process. A parts list links a designated set of pads to a physical component by describing the component and assigning it a particular reference designator. The reference designators guide assemblers and testers when they are working with the PCB. Many components must be placed into the PCB in a particular orientation. By convention, components that require a particular orientation have one lead designated as pin 1. On the PCB, a square pad or silkscreen indicator typically denotes pin 1.
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