USB-A PCB Interface Card

Table of Contents

Overall Idea

I was working on a Christmas ornament PCB that was meant to be something that you could power with USB. However, the design fell through for a number of reasons:

  • PCB was too thin
  • Schematic had some bugs
  • Timing didn’t allow for a redo
  • JLCPCB doesn’t do PCBA(PCB assembly) for boards that are thicker than 1.6mm.

The biggest issue, the PCB being too thin, is what this project sought to remedy for future projects.

Design Considerations

So the design had to take the following requirements into consideration:

  • USB-A slots require a PCB that is 2.0mm thick.
  • The PCB USB-A slot would need to be something that can be mounted to another project, which CAN have parts assembled on them by JLCPCB.
  • It would be good to go with some kind of standard size/mount positioning.
  • Go for lowest common denominator in terms of contact traces. So only 4 contacts.
  • In addition to the mount holes, add additional 2.54mm spaced holes for solder-based means of securing board to a project.

Gotchas Encountered

So I was trying to be clever and designed two boards to fit within the space of 50mm x 50mm. Unfortunately, because I used a different design, JLCPCB counted this as 2 different boards. So there was a small engineering fee added after the fact. In hindsight… I should have just redesigned the board to have the SAME pattern. Something for next time.

Tools Used

  • KiCad – For PCB and Schematic design.
  • JLCPCB – For the PCB production.

Resources

Author: Wing Wong
Husband, Father, and all around technology tinkerer. :)