We all know one and rely on them in our time of need. Yet for all of their creativity, practicality, and value, an engineer will default to tech talk faster than a short circuit. Non-Engineers will never be able to fully understand them, but here are a few pointers as to what they may be talking about.

Today we try and help understand some of the finer points in printed circuit board design and layout, specifically impedance matching and meandering, with the help of Mel, the intern. (See video above)

Simply put impedance matching is all about making sure the the binary bits on a circuit, the 0 and 1’s both arrive at the same time to the same device so the correct decision can be made by that device as to what to do next.

Meandering, is one of the ways to achieve this by making the trace on a board meander (yes, like a river) so its length matches the length of the opposite side of the signal. Often leading to some cool and funky trace lay outs where the non engineer assumes the engineer designing the board started to loose their mind.

So the next time your engineer tells you they need to meander some, don’t panic, they are not pulling your leg but just trying to address an impedance match issue.