Starting to make sense? These are the basics and may even seem obvious or intuitive to you, such as the wires and if they are connected. Whenever you determine your specific field of electrical engineering, you may see more complex diagrams and symbols. You’ll learn also that different countries use different symbols. For example, of the two symbols for resistors above, the first one is used in the U.S., while the second is used in Europe. You will also learn about the various symbols used for switches, other power supplies, inductors, meters, lamps, LEDs, transistors, antennas, and much more.
On all but the simplest PCBs, wires must be printed on more than one surface of fiberglass to allow for all the required component interconnections. Each surface containing printed wires is called a layer. In a relatively simple PCB that requires only two layers, only one piece of fiberglass is required since wires can be printed on both sides. In a more complex PCB where several layers are required, individual circuit boards are manufactured separately and then laminated together to form one multi-layer circuit board. To connect wires on two or more layers, small holes called vias are drilled through the wires and fiberglass board at the point where the wires on the different layers cross. The interior surface of these holes is coated with metal so that electric current can flow through the vias. Most Digilent boards are simple four or six layer boards; some more complex computer circuit boards have more than 20 layers.
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