Introduction: Design Your Own Amplifier PCB (in DipTrace)

PCB design is a valuable skill I wish upon any hobbyist. It transforms your messy breadboard into a neat product you can use (or sell!).

That's why I created this 'follow-along' guide of a complete design, beginning to end. It consists of 4 main steps:

1) A look in the datasheet

2) Making the schematic

3) PCB Layout

4) File export

The first step is specific to this chip, but all other steps can be applied to PCB design in general, not only amplifiers.

I'll provide a link to my files (schematic, layout and gerbers) on the last page.

Step 1: A Look at the Datasheet

I'm using the TPA3118D2 chip from Texas Instruments for this tutorial (pin-compatible with the TPA3116). Here is a link to the datasheet:

Step 2: Making the Schematic

TI provides us with a schematic. It has several 'option blocks', I will copy most of them but swap out the LC filter for a ferrite bead filter. The beauty of DIY is that you can customize most things to your preference.

Step 3: PCB Layout

Making a schematic is mostly a matter of correctly copying the datasheet. Making a modification to it requires some reading mixed with knowledge. PCB Layout however, is a real skill. The first time you do it you only see a big mess, the tenth time you'll see more clearly what needs to go where. This layout may seem complex to a beginner, but this is just a simple one.

Step 4: Export

Last step is exporting the needed files for manufacturing and packing it in a zip file. The zip can be send to a board house like:




Usual price is 10USD for 10 boards. Shipping takes ~3 weeks in my experience.

Download link to all my files is here:

Step 5: My PCB

And finally, some pictures of my PCB. It's slightly different from the design in the tutorial, but the core is the same.

Thanks for reading/watching :)