Computers and Technology

How To Identify Components on PCBs?

A printed circuit board or a PCB is a collection of electronic components connected through conductive channels printed on a substrate. A schematic diagram is used to sketch out the electronic components and conductive routes. This graphic is created using commonly acknowledged symbols and conventions. The signs used in schematic diagrams are established by professional organizations such as the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, the International Electrotechnical Commission, and the American National Standards Institute at the national and international levels. In this blog, we will be discussing more on how to Identify Components on PCB easily.

Different Types of PCBs

PCBs come in a variety of shapes and sizes. The formation approach of printed circuit boards can be classified as single-sided, double-sided, or multilayer board layouts. Before discussing more on how to Identify Components on PCB,  we will examine different types of boards.

Single-Sided PCB

There is only one layer of substrate for single-sided PCBs. On one side of the substrate, a thin layer of metal is applied. Copper is commonly utilized due to its excellent electrical conductivity. This layer creates a conductive path between various electronic components for power and signals. After that, a protective solder mask layer is applied, and a silkscreen coating is applied as a final layer to label the board’s components. Single-sided PCBs are used for simple circuits and are less expensive to mass-produce than other PCB kinds.

Double-Sided PCB

Because the two sides allow for the installation of more complicated circuitry, double-sided PCBs are far more common than single-sided boards. They feature only one layer of substrate, similar to single-sided PCBs, but both sides are covered with conductive metal and circuit components. The components are subsequently connected using either through-hole or surface mounting.

Multilayer PCB

Multiple layers of substrate are used in multilayer PCBs, with insulating materials separating the layers. Multi-layer boards use the same technology as double-sided PCBs, with components connected either through-hole or surface mounting. Multilayer boards typically have four to ten layers, but more layers may be required if the product requires it. They’re commonly used in computers and servers, and they’re also employed in specialist applications like medical PCBs.

What Is The Best Way To Identify Components?

The best way is to Identify Components on PCB is to Break down the complex circuit into small sections. This makes identifying components easier.

Identify the purpose of the board

To begin, attempt to recognize the entire board. What is the purpose of it? Is it a motherboard, a daughterboard, or does it do something specific? Some boards have codes on them that will aid in this process. For example, the DMCB board. DMCB is a DOS Main Control Board for a GE Mark V system. This is true of several GE board acronyms. They can assist you in completing the board application.

The Motherboard is a component having the main components and connectors for mounting other PCBs. A daughterboard is a component that connects to a motherboard and allows access to the CPU and memory.

Identify Components on PCB

After that, to Identify Components on PCB look for passive components such as capacitors and inductors. Then check for potentiometers and resistors. Typically, there will be an ohm measuring indication on these.
The Greek letter Omega, which looks like this: is the sign for an ohm. 100M stands for 100 megaohms.

  • Oscillators (cylinders or boxes marked with an X or Y), transformers (T), diodes (D), and relays (R) are all easily identifiable components (marked as K).
  • Check to verify if the circuit board contains a fuse. Fuses are usually transparent or opaque tubes. After that, look for any batteries or transistors.
  • Look for any connectors on the board. Connectors are used to connect circuit boards together, as well as to connect the board to a larger system or external components.
  • There are so many different types of connectors that you might spend months learning them all, but backplanes, terminal blocks, pin headers and the sockets that take them, and jacks or plugs are the most popular.
  • Finally, locate the board’s processor and other integrated circuits. Many integrated circuits will include a label or ID with the manufacturer and part number. If that’s the case, you might be able to discover more about the chip by looking up a specific datasheet.

List of Most Common Components on Printed Circuit Boards

While PCBs can include a variety of installed components, the most typical are the following:


In most circumstances, batteries will be labeled with the letters “BT.” Batteries serve as a source of backup power.


“C” is written on it. Capacitors are energy storage devices that are measured in farads. Microfarads (F) or millifarads (M) are the most common units (mF).


D or CR are the designations. Zener diodes are labeled with the letters Z or ZD. Voltages are controlled by these.


It’s labeled L. As electric current passes through inductor coils, energy is stored in a magnetic field.


LEDs (light-emitting diodes) are a type of light-emitting diode. LED is clearly marked. LEDs are light-emitting diodes that transform electrical energy into light.


Resistors control current flow, signal levels, voltage division, and transmission line termination. They can also generate heat and dissipate watts of electrical power.


It’s labeled S. Every day, you use switches. These switches are used to turn things on and off, just like a light switch or a car ignition.

Q-marked transistors

Semiconductors, or transistors, are a form of semiconductor. Signals are amplified and rectified by them. Why is Q the one who represents them? Because transformers already had the (T) designation when they were initially used (in the 1950s). Furthermore, some were unsure whether they would be useful enough to stay. So (Q) appeared adequate.

PCB Fabrication Considerations

Prototype printed circuit boards can be quite useful in the PCB manufacturing process since they allow you to test numerous aspects of the designed component before it is mass-produced.
Finding a workshop that can do prototyping will help with PCB assembly in general.

When picking a contract manufacturer for PCB fabrication and assembly, be sure the shop can match your deadlines and technological requirements. Because many shops specialize in one type of PCB or one style of mounting, it’s critical to choose one that meets your production run requirements.

For example, smaller drills or laser technologies are required when producing PCBs with small dimensions. Other PCB specialist techniques, such as depth drilling and sequential lamination, may be available through a fabrication facility. However, if specific processes are required, check ahead of time. Sequential lamination entails laminating two boards at a time, rather than one large batch. When holes need to be drilled to a specified depth without breaking through the circuit board, depth drilling is utilized.

PCB Manufacturing

A circuit board may also require particular materials depending on its usage, so it’s critical to identify a manufacturer who can provide those materials. To generate lighter PCBs for aerospace and medical applications, flexible and rigid-flex PCBs use materials like plastic that can bend and move. To generate lighter PCBs for aerospace and medical applications, flexible and rigid-flex PCBs use materials like plastic that can bend and move. Manufacturers may also focus on a certain industry.

The board can be joined to these components in a variety of ways. In general, an engineer will attach components using either the surface mount approach or the through-hole method.
The engineer attaches the components to the board with solder, following a schematic layout and using the numbers on the silkscreen. When soldering, the engineer must exercise extreme caution. A solder is a metal that is melted by an engineer in order to manipulate it.

Any stray blobs that come into contact with other metal components could short the circuit. This can be hazardous, as it can result in flames or even minor explosions. The PCB is ready to use in a device once the components are properly installed.

How to get additional information on PCB Components

There are usually other resources available if you still need more knowledge about your circuit boards after following this instruction. Look for the associated manual if you’re working with a manufactured circuit board. Even manuals for older technology are frequently available on the internet. Use the search string “Inurl:pdf manual” and your search keyword to find them. For instance, if I needed a handbook for a GE IS230TRTDH3D board, Google “Inurl:pdf manual GE IS200DSPX.” or if you need pdf on DS3800NPOD board Google “Inurl:pdf manual GE DS3800NPOD.”

Also Read: The Complete Guide to Integrated Circuits and ICs Types

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