A few weeks ago I received an email from LT that was showcasing the LTC2946, a power monitoring IC that communicates using I2C. I was intrigued and ordered a couple, part number LTC2946CMS#PBF. This is the MSOP-16 package and I would need a breakout board so that I could play around with this chip on a breadboard and explore all of its functions. I looked at my normal sources for electronic goodies; Adafruit and Sparkfun had MSOP break out boards but they were all low pin count. I was able to find another source for a MSOP-16 breakout board but at ~$7 a piece plus shipping I knew I could have my own made much cheaper. On to KICAD.
The schematic and PCB was super easy. I made my own symbol and footprint following the datasheet specs. For the PCB layout I just had to make sure to change the track width from the default size to 6mills. This could be a little larger, maybe if I need to make a V2. I have uploaded the files here: MSOP-16_Breakout_Board.zip
Then it was just as easy as uploading the files to OSHPark and ordering the PCBs. I have shared the project for anyone who would like to order their own, MSOP16 Breakout Board. With their small size, 0.64 x 0.84 inches, they come to $2.70 for a set of three. I ordered 6 so I will have spares. Now to wait….
After 12 days the boards were delivered to me and they looked great. I got out my soldering iron, some header strips from the junk bin and my LTC2946. (Remember that chip? That is what started this whole project) Soldering a MSOP IC was, to put it kindly, less then fun. Since I had only one to solder it was more then doable but still took me a good 10 minutes. I will have to look into getting a stencil made for this chip and solder paste if I plan to use this IC in any projects. It turned out great in the end and I didn’t do too bad of a job soldering up that tiny package, yay for good eyesight. I will be posting more about the LTC2946 once I get it hooked up and communicating with the Arduino Uno in the near future.