Team 4272 Designs Printed Circuit Boards

Team 4272 is now among a select group of teams worldwide who design their own printed circuit boards (PCB). We have designed and assembled two prototypes, with plans for more. Current designs available on the market did not meet all desired features, so we designed our own. Our first design, a breakout board for use with the SparkMax motor controller, features robust connectors. Our second board is a small analog shaft encoder that will plug into our first board, reducing the wiring harness connections for our swerve modules. The schematic and trace layout for these boards were done by a second-year CAD subteam member, Connor M., using KiCad, a free software package for printed circuit board design. All of our designs will be published for use in the FIRST community. It is unusual for a high school student to have the chance to design boards, and we are very proud of Connor who has learned a skill which opens future opportunities for our team. 

Don K. (mentor) and Connor M. (student) with SparkMax motor controller.
A schematic is a representation of how the circuit functions using symbols for the components.
The PCB layout shows the physical implementation of the board including traces and component footprints. Arrows show trace lines and connectors.
PCB #1 and #2 installed on SparkMax motor controller.
Close up of PCB #2.