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EG12002 Project Report

Outline of Assignment
The aim of this project was to design, manufacture and test a system for
controlling a set of traffic lights at an intersection. In order I had to:

➢ Copy the supplied schematic diagram

➢ Package components and create a PCB layout
➢ Produce the PCB in the lab
➢ Populate the board with supplied components
➢ Test the board using the supplied test “jig”
Circuit Description and Method of Operation
The system contains a clock, a counter, and a simple logic array. The timer
system comprises of a 555 timer chip, 2 resistors and a capacitor. The
combination of these resistors and the capacitor denotes the duty cycle and the
period of the operation. In this case the duty cycle is 0.5 and a period of 4

Operation states are when the lights are in a certain position e.g. red and amber,
green only etc. The simple counter produces two bi-stables (types of signals)
named Q0 and Q1 in relation to the clock signal named CLK, this provides
something for the system to “read” and hence decide the state of the lights. The
figures below taken from the supplied “project guide” by Dr K Dastoori (2008)
show the required states for such operations.

0 0 1 0 0 0 0 1
0 1 1 1 0 0 1 0
RA RAY , A GA AY RA 1 0 0 0 1 1 0 0
GB YB RB R BY, B GB 1 1 0 1 0 1 1 0

The logic array isolates these states and produces the logic for lighting the
correct LED’s.

Review of Processes

Design of the system was implemented using the EDWinXP PCB CAD software.
Schematic diagram was completed using pre-designed components from the
programs library. Upon successfully copying the schematic diagram I proceeded

Christopher Tayler
to package the components (place multiple components in one dual-inline
integrated circuit).

Upon successfully packaging the components I proceeded to use the software’s

“Layout” section of the program. This allowed me to place the IC’s and
individual components. Once appropriately placed the tracks (electrical
conductors for signals between IC’s and components) are made and via’s where
appropriate (holes from one side to the other). All connections to the
components are made on the “solder” side of the board (underside) to increase
ease of soldering.

Upon completion of the layout I went onto create the “artwork” using the
software’s wizard. This artwork is used to create the photo-masks used in the
production of the PCB (see attached acetate).

PCB Fabrication

After the masks were created we went to the lab and proceeded to make the PCB
itself. The manufacture of the PCB can be split into several distinct stages;
making tracks on the PCB, drilling holes from one side to another, soldering and
placing components and testing.

Safety guidelines must be followed when fabricating PCB’s. These guidelines can
be found below and have been extracted from the supplied project guide (Dr K
Dastoori, 2008)

• Ultraviolet light can damage eyes so the exposure unit must be properly
closed when in use.
• The etchant is corrosive and can cause burns. Wear goggles, rubber
gloves and a lab coat when using the etchant to protect against splashes.
• The developer and tinning solution contain harmful substances. Dispose
of responsibly and wash hands after use.
• Solder contains lead. Use soldering iron in well ventilated areas and wash
hands after use.
• The PCB is very hot after being in the reflow oven. Allow to cool before

First of all a 4x4 inch piece of double sided PCB was cut out. It must be
remembered when working with the board at this stage it must be handled in a
YELLOW LIGHT environment to avoid exposing the photo resist which would have
resulted in a ruined board. After having removed the plastic sticky protective
cover from both sides of the PCB it is placed between the two sides of the photo
mask printed earlier and placed in the exposure box.

After exposing to UV light for approximately 2 mins the board is removed and
placed in the NaOH (sodium hydroxide) developer until the pattern starts to
become apparent, and is then rinsed with water. The board is then fixed into
place on a holder ready for etching. It is then etched with acid for around 5 mins
and upon completion again rinsed with water. The board is then exposed without
a mask and etched again to remove any remaining unwanted copper.

After this the tracks are “tinned” by being placed in the appropriate solution to
protect the copper from oxidisation.

Christopher Tayler
After having drilled all the appropriate via’s and holes for the components the
wire connecting the component and solder layers were inserted through the
drilled via’s and soldered in place. This time consuming exercise is necessary for
the correct operation of the PCB. After having done all the via’s the board was
“populated” with the components. It should be noted that the IC’s aren’t directly
soldered to the board but are placed in sockets, to allow for replacement in the
event of failure and possible future upgrade


Having successfully assembled the board my PCB was connected to the test jig
via the DBP9 socket and powered up. Unfortunately my board didn’t work as
planned and a “Christmas tree” (all lights on at once) occurred.

The project helped introduce me into the world of practical electronics and PCB
manufacture and also taught me a few things to remember for the future:

• Make track sizes and via’s as large as possible to ensure easier soldering
• When soldering ensure not to hold iron on PCB too long to avoid melting
the board
• Remember to include a decoupling capacitor when placing components
It was unfortunate that the board did not create the correct lighting pattern. This
could have been due to a variety of factors but was most probably caused by
inferior soldering on my part.

If I had the chance to re-do the project I would include all of the above
components and probably get some more practice in soldering, as this was in
fact the first time I have done it!

Christopher Tayler