A printed circuit board (or a PCB) is a pretty common piece of electrical engineering tech. Even if you have no clue how to get started with the tech, there are a whole plethora of gadgets out there which use them. Everyone could probably identify one with its bright green board and distinctive copper and white markings even if you could never solder one together. They are an important component of modern tech.
Here are some gadgets you probably didn’t know had a circuit board.
Your Watches & Clocks
Got a digital watch or clock? It is home to a PCB! You might not expect it, especially if the watch face is tiny, but yes, every digital watch and clock has a small circuit board inside it with all the components you need to keep track of the time flying past. Circuit boards can be made so small that even complex but small devices like smart watches contain everything they need to work out some powerful problems. It’s crazy to think that such a small device contains so much power.
You may not think it but most cars have circuit boards in them. The more modern the car, the more circuit boards it will have. The latest models to hit the market are coming with self-opening doors, reversing aids, and much more.
Even older models are packed with tech. Cars bristle with sensors to help keep you safe when you are driving and all the signals from the sensors will have to pass by a PCB before the icon lights up on your dashboard.
Your Child’s Annoying Toy
Small children love nothing better than a brightly coloured and loud toy which shrieks noises, songs, or catchphrases from a beloved TV show. While they drive the parents mad, the children will happily sit and play with them until the next new distraction comes along.
Whether it is a toy phone or a till, if it has some sort of sound effect or flashing light then it will have a PCB hidden away somewhere inside. That theme song repeating every few minutes would not be able to blare without the complex workings going inside their casings. Even toys like talking Barbies hide a mini circuit board inside their plastic bodies.
OK, so this one you might have guessed on your own. Without PCBs, computers would look extremely different. However, we prefer to think of it like this. Computers are crucial to designing new PCBs. Computer aided design software and gerber software viewers are all ultimately powered by PCBs. If you’re wondering “what is a gerber software viewer?” it’s software that allows you to see all the layers of a PCB while you are designing it and lays it out in an easy way to see what you are designing.
So, if you look at it one way, PCBs are used to design more PCBs. We think that is a pretty neat concept if you ask us!