Reverse Engineering 15 yr old electronics

Jules Richardson julesrichardsonuk at
Sun Nov 13 16:29:29 CST 2005

John Elliott wrote:
> Paul Koning <pkoning at> writes:
> : The only way I can think of is to take a large piece of paper, draw
> : the components (ICs, etc.), then trace each etch on the PCB.  You
> : might use a felt tip pen to put a dab of color on each pin whose
> : connection you have marked on your drawing.
>   If you've got a digital camera, take pictures of both sides of the PCB, 
> and you can then draw on the pictures using a graphics program. 

Duh, good plan :) Previously I've tried sticking boards on the scanner, 
but it doesn't cope well with the upperside due to raised chips - the 
image ends up out of focus and difficult to work with.

Using a camera is a much better idea - stick it on a tripod and make 
marks on the desk below where the PCB is. Flip the PCB over for the 
reverse side and line it up against the marks, and in theory it should 
line up perfectly in a graphics package (once one of the image pair is 

Slight lens distortion shouldn't matter as the critical thing is that 
the image pair are crisp and in focus...

I don't know why I'd not though of that before, but it's a great tip and 
far better than the scanner approach...

cheers :)



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