The Parts and Components of Printed Circuit Boards

Printed circuit boards, or “PCBs,” have a lot more advantages than the old ways of manufacturing electronics. Before, every component inside of an electronic device was connected using large wires and positioned anywhere they could fit. This resulted in a very messy board and used a large amount of space. These days PCBs make use of a different approach. Components are soldered on a non-conductive board and are connected with traces, small pathways. Because they are normally designed on a computer, PCBs fit various components using less amount of space.

Parts of Printed Circuit Boards

When looking at a PCB, the traces are noticed right away. These are thin conductive lines that connect all the components on the board. They replaced the much bigger wires used in the past to connect the components. A printed circuit board has several small holes. These are drilled where every component should be positioned. For instance, if a microchip needs eight connections, you also need to drill 8 holes on the circuit.

Through this, parts of the electronic circuit can be soldered completely, without using long wires or leads. Again, this will save a lot of space. The last parts added to a printed circuit board are the components themselves. These are tiny electrical devices that should be linked making the unit work.

Common components are microchips, switches, diodes, and resistors. The components make the circuit work, while the printed circuit boards provide the connections.

Identifying Circuit Board Components
Schematic Diagram

The schematic diagram of an electronic circuit is a guide to identify the components. The straight solid lines in the schematic indicate connections and wiring between various parts. The resistors are represented by short zigzag lines. Capacitors are shown by short parallel lines that may be curved or straight. Diodes and transistors have arrows showing the direction of present flow. Complex components like integrated circuits are represented by a block diagram. The symbol is labeled with a number and a letter according to the standard scheme, for instance, the 11 resistor in the circuit will be labeled R11 on the schematic.

Circuit Board

PCB ComponentsThe printed circuit board is a thin plastic rectangle, mounted in the equipment case. The smaller boards are like a matchbook, while the large ones measure 20 inches or more on the side. The usual board has components on one side and on the other side, there’s the conductive copper foil paths that function as the circuit wiring. Printed circuit boards are usually blue or tan, but is also available in other colors.

Integrated Circuits

This small electronic component that has billions of microscopic resistors, transistors and other parts. Although they are available in various package styles, they are usually dark rectangular slabs of ceramic or plastic that connect to the board using several metal pins. The circuits also have a passing resemblance to tiny pieces of dark chocolate. The IC normally has numbers written on them to easily identify them.


These are simple electronic components that control the amount of the current passing in the circuit. On a board, these are small horizontal cylinders having four or five colored stripes. The stripes are a code that shows the part’s resistance in ohms. For instance, the color code red-red-orange-gold is a 22,000-ohm resistor accurate to 5%. A board has several resistors.


A PCB has more connectors connected to it. A cable snaps on the connectors and carries electrical signals from it to different parts of the electronic equipment. Most of the time, connectors are plastic and have more metal pins or fittings that couple with the cable.


It acts as storage containers for electric charge, and are rated by capacitance in farads and breakdown voltage. Vintage capacitors have color codes, contemporary examples normally have the breakdown and farad voltage ratings printed on the part. The capacitors are either horizontal or vertical cylinders and resemble a glossy gumdrop or are disk-shaped.

Author Bio:
PCBs have become an important part of a wide range of machineries, computing devices, automobiles, appliances, and other electronic gadgets. Visit for more detail information.