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About the Design Process

Don Voth designs custom electronics. Product development starts with your product idea. We'll discuss: (1) what you want your unit to do and (2) what are the best ways to achieve this?

Conceptualization

Then, I spend some time conceptualizing circuits. Circuit development and debugging is done with SuperSpice. SuperSpice is a circuit modeling program that allows me to confirm that my design will work. 90% of bugs are eliminated with SuperSpice.

Software Development

Next we deal with the software issues, if a microcontroller is part of the design. I use the Zilog IDE environment to develop the software. Debugging is done in conjunction with a target development PCB that is readily available from Zilog.

PC-Board Development

After the schematic and the software is confirmed, it is time to lay out a prototype PC-board. PC-board development is done with EasyPC. The schematic is redrawn in EasyPC with schematic images that are linked to PC-board footprints. Once the schematic is done then EasyPC will translate the schematic to a PC-board. I then lay out the foil traces on the PC-board and confirm that there are no errors.

PC-Board Production

In the old days, people would draw out a PC-board layout and then have it sent out to be photographed and negatives produced. When computer-based PC-board layout software came out, photo negatives were no longer necessary. Instead, a file format standard was created called a Gerber file. This took the place of the photo negative. Gerber files are generated by EasyPC. These files are sent to a PC-board prototype facility and prototype blank PC-boards are generated.

Prototype Assembly

Once I receive the blank PC-boards, I generate a parts list and order the components. The prototype is hand-assembled, tested, and final debugging is done. We now have a working prototype. In the case of the HotBox (see picture below) our first prototype was a fully functioning product that the customer is still using!

Final Thoughts

From here it is up to you, the customer, to decide if you want to refine the product by developing new schematics with new features and ultimately producing a new prototype. Together we can turn your dream into a real, working product. Let's get started today! Contact Don Voth.