P1 Board Design Feedback

So I wanted to learn how to do a P1 board for my future projects.

Its one of my first SMD PCB board designs, So I wanted to check with the more experienced elite to see if I could get feedback on how bad or good I am doing. Not to mention that I am a complete noob :smile:

It feels tiny to me! I have a reflow oven and all… But just checking to see if I am not doing something stupid.

So here are two files. One with the designes blowed up and the other with the actual size.

can anyone from Particle just tell me if it looks reasonably fine… Don’t intend for anyone to check my work… Just to see any obvious issues that might arise that need addressing… Like size, pitch, etc…

I don’t think I will have the eyes to layout the components… But what the heck! If its reasonably ok… I will give it a try!

Can you post the schematic?

Its worth printing the board on paper at 1:1 size and laying/pushing the components into their respective locations to confirm all the spacing, pitches etc. is correct.

Whats the smallest SMD component you have used? 0402 is fine to place by hand with tweezers but 0201 is definitely too small.


To add to @joe4465’s suggestions, do you have a silkscreen layer or are you etching this at home? If not, do consider adding one with component values (and names, when relevant) as it would help you while placing components.

Sometimes, what I’ll do is “smash” all the components in Eagle to get their labels individually controllable on the tValues and tNames layers, and then move or copy the tValues layer to tPlace to get them to show up on the silkscreen.

Also, on second glance, what signals are your layers defined as? It seems odd that your ground pads are connected via traces rather than to the top layer.

Thank you.

What do you mean?
I don’t see ground pads that are connected by traces… Can you tell me where. Maybe theres a mistake!

The top and bottom copper pours are both grounds.


Ah, looks like you lost the ground connection from these pins on the bottom:

The ground pads I mentioned are the ones in the 3x3 grid in the center of the module, but it looks like this affects all your ground pins. They’re all interconnected, just not to the ground planes.

Outstanding catch!! Súper!! Thank you much!


Quick question. Can anyone suggest a good component library (resistors, caps, etc) for eagle that will match good parts that can be hand placed and ref lowed with an oven?

I am a noob when it comes to SMD and I am using the standard particle components use in the photon. I a, guessing this will be too small for hand placing? So I am looking for any info that will help me replace those parts with larger parts.

the rcl lib included have all the basic parts.

I solder 0805 by hand, 0603 is doable but smaller than that I cant really.
With a cheap laser cut stencil I can hand hot air solder TQFP packages without much problems.


I can get a stencil and I have a reflow oven… Do you think the standard components in the Photon device will be doable?

As long as you have a good steel stencil placing the tiny components will be easy as long as you don’t rush it.

Once you Reflow everything you will be so impressed how professional the board looks. Hand soldering all these parts will leave you with a board that looks way less than professional and clean from my experience.

Good luck!

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