It’s not greatly known that Intercept, the company behind the Pantheon PCB / Hybrid design software had released a controlled impedance calculator for mobile and tablet.
The app is available for either Android or Apple platforms and the first impression is a clean, uncluttered look. There are seven basic options and each one brings up the required variables. The power of this app is in it’s ease of use, the user prompted for the required values.
Where there is a calculator next to a value is where the user can leave the value blank. Input the other variables, press on the one remaining (which is shown in red) and there you go – your required value appears.
After diving into the other functions in the app the operation is much the same, the amount of variables change depending on what’s being calculated, but the user only needs to have a basic understanding to operate this and get a sensible answer.
The only thing I found was that the app defaults to mils dimensions automatically every time the app is used. I tend to work in metric these days, but it’s not a big deal, just mildly irritating.
I haven’t compared this to Polar or other high end software, but I have compared it against a few known and is pretty accurate. This is a free app that’s meant to be a guide and not replace the likes of Polar. On that basis it’s a very useful tool for any PCB engineer’s toolkit.
Circuit Mechanix © 2016