The Advantages and steps of PCB clone

PCB cloned, also known as PCB replication, refers to the restoration of product content, line, principles, etc. on the basis of the existing PCB finished product. Compared to PCB design, clone PCB is relatively simple and fast. In today’s PCB industry, PCB cloning has become an important technology and provides good help for the development of the electronics industry in the country.

What is PCB clone?

PCB cloned, the industry is often called circuit board copy board, circuit board copy, PCB copy, PCB reverse design or PCB reverse research and development. Regarding the definition of PCB copies, there are many claims in the industry and academic circles, but they are not too complete. If you want to give the PCB clone the next accurate definition, you can learn from the domestic authoritative PCB copying board laboratory: PCB copied board, that is, under the premise of physical and circuit board physical objects of electronic products, use reverse R&D technology Reverse circuit board to analyze the circuit board, and restore the PCB file, material list (BOM) file, schematic diagram files and other technical files of the original product, as well as PCB wire printing production files to restore 1:1, and then use these technical files and production files. Perform PCB board, component welding, flying needle test, circuit board debugging, and complete the full copy of the original circuit board model.

PCB cloned background

In the 1980s, Western capitalist countries vigorously developed technology, and various high-end technology electronics products came into being. Such electronic products are widely used. Product developers have a complete set of technical solutions to monopolize the technical solutions of such products. Some product development companies have even maliciously promoted their products for greater profits. In this monopoly environment, some companies have tried to break this monopoly, gain profits from it, try to imitate such products, and do reverse research and analysis of these high-tech products, which is what we call PCB copy boards. The PCB copying industry has also emerged.

What are the advantages of PCB cloning?

Some of the advantages of PCB cloning include:

1. The price is relatively favorable.
It takes a lot of time to design a new PCB product, and at the same time, the production cost is higher. If a cloning method is used, it can save design and testing costs and reduce labor costs.

2. Optimize production
PCB clones should be easier for manufacturers. Therefore, manufacturers identify innovative designs through reverse engineering and use them to create new PCBs. In addition, PCB cloning is automatic, simplifying the production process.

3. Rigorous engineering technology
This means paying attention to PCB clone details. For example, if companies want to adopt advanced technology, they must conduct a wide range of circuit board analysis. Therefore, analysis can help engineers create high-quality PCB artworks. In addition, engineers can now build a reliable PCB.
Using PCB cloning to enable engineers to build products that are consumer friendly. However, you can only reverse engineer the current PCB design to improve product performance.

4. Improved scalability and freedom
PCB cloning allows manufacturers a high degree of freedom, and it will become more flexible during the production process. Of course, the final method depends on the customer’s demand.

5. Promote the development of industry
From time to time, cloning is simply imitation and COPY. It is a field of reverse research. By means of excellent technology and application of its performance and application, it can be developed in secondary development, i.e. delete its functions on the basis of a full understanding of its schematic diagram. Reduce the products that suit your own needs. Not only can you avoid “intellectual property rights”, but you can also quickly create your own brand, and the development cycle is short, the cost is low, and the benefits are significant.

How to clone a PCB board

First scan the circuit board to be copied, record the detailed location of the components, and then remove the components from the material list (BOM) and arrange material procurement. The chart file, then send the PCB file to make the plate. After the board is made, the purchased components are welded to the PCB board made, and then passed the circuit board test and debugging.

Specific technical steps are as follows:

The first step is to get a PCB. First, record the models, parameters, and positions of all components on paper. It is best to take a picture of two component positions with a digital camera. Many PCB circuit boards, the more advanced the diodes, the two pole trigelines, are not paid to see.

The second step is to remove all devices and remove the tin from the PAD hole. Wash the PCB with alcohol and place in the scanner. When scanning, you need to adjust the scanning pixels slightly to get a clearer image. Then use water gauze paper to polish the top and bottom layers slightly, polish the copper film, put it in the scanner, start Photoshop, and use colored mode to scan the two layers separately. Note that PCB must be placed horizontally and vertically in the scanner, otherwise the scan image will not be used.

The third step is to adjust the contrast of the canvas and the lightness, so that the part of the copper film is strongly contrasting and the part of the copper film is strong, and then turn the second diagram into black and white, check whether the lines are clear. If it is not clear, repeat this step. If you are clear, save the chart to the black and white BMP file Top BMP and Bot BMP. If you find that graphics are a problem, you can use Photoshop to repair and correct them.

The fourth step is to convert files of both BMP formats to Protel files, and adjust the two layers in the push, such as the position of the two layers of PAD and VIA. If there is a deviation, repeat the third step. Therefore, the PCB copy board is very patient work, because a small problem will affect the degree of matching after quality and the copy of the board.

The fifth step is to convert the BMP of the TOP layer to the TOP PCB. Pay attention to converting to the Silk layer, that is, the yellow layer, and then you can place the device according to the drawing of the second step on the TOP layer. Remove the Silk layer after painting. Repeat until all layers are drawn.

The sixth step is to adjust the top PCB and BOT PCB in Protel, and it is OK to combine a picture.

The seventh step is to use a laser printer to print Top Layer, Bottom Layer to a transparent film (a ratio of 1:1), and put the film on that PCB. Essence


A copy of the original is born, but this is only half done. It is also necessary to test whether the electronic technical performance of the copied board is the same as the original. If the same is true.