Advice on ground plane in my first PCB

Posted on Feb 5, 2014

Schematic drawn using OrCAD Capture, which is straight out of the datasheet of the flyback controller LT3748. This is a class project and we must build our own transformer. We couldn`t get the bobbin we wanted and so decided to just lay down the transformer somewhere next to the board and connected it through a 4-pin connector. We couldn`t really mimic the layout

Advice on ground plane in my first PCB
Click here to download the full size of the above Circuit.

suggested in the datasheet, as we`re using only a 2-layer design for various reasons. We do realize that a 4-layer design along with a small commercial SMT transformer would have been ideal, but we`re working with what we`ve got. The datasheet advises to isolate or physically separate the high current ground from small-signal ground. The secondary ground is completely separate, so that`s done with. As for primary, the only high-current grounds are those of Vin and R8 (the sense resistor). So, is it a good idea to connect the negative terminals of Vin and R8 with a track and then connect that track at one point to a ground plane that will have all the other small-signal grounds. The only penalty then would be that the R8 to Vin track would be quite long (since I`m using 2-layer only and wouldn`t like to break my ground plane underneath, unless it is less worse than running this long track). As you see from the schematic, I`m running two tracks underneath the IC (i. e. on the same top layer). Do you foresee any problems there My IC shouldn`t get hot, as it works with small current only.

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