Once I was happy with the layout of the components, I’ve started the routing process by first defining the width of the tracks and with the «Interactive Route Connections» tool, I started drawing the tracks on the board.

The process is really simple and you get extreme help from the routing algorithm of Altium where if some of the tracks are in the way, they are pushed to the side automatically or re-routed around where a clear path is available.

When I finished with the direct routes, there were few routes that I needed to connect to the other side of the board, so I placed vias close to the pads or the components and used them to connect to the other side.

Again, by using the properties window, you can define the size of those vias, but for now, I stuck to the defaults.

At one point, I was getting some error messages about not having enough clearance on the board based on the set of rules, so I decided to make a bulk change on the thickness of all tracks on the board.

To help me with that, I used the «PCB Filter» window from where you can define a custom selection of components or objects on the PCB based on a set of rules. In my case, I choose to select all of the tracks that were on the bottom and top layer, and using the Properties window, I set the width to all of them to 0.9mm instead of the original 1mm that I started with.

The final step in the routing process was to set the bottom copper zone that is connected to the ground net. This zone helps to suppress any noise generated in the board and it provides a better return path for the current consumed by the board.

To define such zone or copper pour as Altium calls it, we choose the «Place Polygon Pour» tool from the toolbar and we then draw an outline around the entire board or area that we want to be covered in copper.

Once that area is closed, it is filled with copper but at the beginning, it wasn’t connected to anything yet. To connect it to the ground, we can select that net from the Properties window, adjust any of the other parameters and we then need to select to re-draw the copper area based on that new selection.

This is done by right-clicking on the area and selecting «Polygon Actions → Repour Selected» and after a few retries, I was happy with how the area looked like and I proceeded with adding some graphics to the board for esthetics.

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