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PHAS ELAB - PCB Design and Prototyping


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Full course description

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The Technical Services of the Department of Physics & Astronomy provides access to its Electronics Lab (ELab). Located in Hennings 254, the electronics lab is equipped with all the necessary tools for electronics design, production, repairs, and maintenance. It is also manned from 8:30am to 4pm, Monday to Friday, by experienced lab engineers and technicians who will be more than happy to assist you.

We believe that the best way to learn is through practice, therefore, the course is almost entirely hands-on. You will learn basic electronics skills by tackling a project: a signal generator and conditioning circuits.

Passing the course will enable you to put best practices to use when implementing your PCBA schematic and layout, and gain hands-on experience with PCBA assembly and testing circuits with commonly used tools such as multi-meters, oscilloscopes, etc.


  • Understanding the basic principles for digital, analog, and mixed signal design
  • Understanding the basic strategies for digital, analog, and mixed signal PCB design
  • Understanding the basic electronics design and implementation flow
  • Be able to follow the best practice for the schematic capture and PBC layout
  • Be able to optimize the PCB layout in minimizing noise level with grounding layout techniques
  • Be able to generate the PCB manufacturing files and understanding the manufacturing process
  • Hands on experience on Assembly PCBA
  • Hands on experience on testing circuits with Multi-meter and Oscilloscope


The course consists of 10 sessions, with most sessions lasting approximately 3.5 hours. The course is also divided into two stages. The first stage of the course will run for seven working days, from 4pm to 7pm. The first stage is complete after the PCB layout is finished and sent out for manufacturing. The second stage starts approximately four weeks later, when the manufactured PCB is returned. The second stage will run for three days, from 4pm to 7pm.

Stage 1

Session 1

  • Elab Introduction and Tour
  • Course Introduction
  • Basics of Digital, Analog and mixed signal Circuits design
  • Electronics Design and Implementation Flow
  • Introduction of the Circuits to be implemented and tested in the course
  • Strategy of the selection of parts
  • Best practice for the Schematic Capture
  • Best practice for the PCB layout
  • How to generate manufacturing files and making BOMs

Sessions 2-3

  • Building Schematics Symbol Library
  • Schematic Capture

Session 4

  • Building PCB Footprint Library
  • Creating a PCB design project
  • Mapping the design from schematics to PCB
  • PCB layout

Session 5

  • PCB layout

Session 6

  • PCB layout
  • Generating Manufacturing files: Gebers, Drill, BOMs
  • Geber reviews before sending to manufacture

Stage 2

Sessions 7-8

  • Assembly the PCBA after receiving the PCB

Sessions 9-10

  • Circuits testing and verification


Students must own a laptop/computer on which they can install KiCAD (license free) or Altium (Altium license not provided by Elab). The course will use the KiCAD tool and Altium tool can be an option if the students prefer to but they have to use their own license.


To cover the cost of material and technician time, the department charges a course fee of:

  • Person affiliated with the Physics & Astronomy department: $300
  • Person affiliated with UBC: $500 (discount available when paying with personal funds)
  • Person outside UBC: $900

+ 5% GST if not paid by UBC



If you have any questions, please contact