[TriEmbed] Help with PCB design software choice

Scott Hall scottghall1 at gmail.com
Wed Apr 2 10:04:06 CDT 2014


We just had this discussion a couple of months ago at the Monday-night
meetup.

Discussed was not only KiCAD and the for-personal-use one-offs Eagle
license (Free EAGLE PCB Design Software, Layout Software -
CadSoft<http://www.cadsoftusa.com/download-eagle/freeware/>),
ExpressPCB's software (ExpressPCB - Free PCB layout and schematic
software<http://www.expresspcb.com/ExpressPCBHtm/Download.htm>),
but also apps like Fritzing <http://fritzing.org/home/> and
DesignSpark PCB<http://www.rs-online.com/designspark/electronics/eng/page/designspark-pcb-home-page>
.

Here is a page that lists 10 free PCB design software apps:
http://www.electroschematics.com/2249/pcb-design-software/



On Wed, Apr 2, 2014 at 9:54 AM, Martin Brooke <martin.brooke at duke.edu>wrote:

> The online Kicad Tutorials you can find with Google are very helpful.
>
> The main trick is to realize that the components in the schematic need a
> pad layout associated with each of them that matches your parts, and that
> is all that, in the end, matters.
>
> Try not to get too fancy to start with.
>
> Start with through hole parts, there are lots of DIP footprints and any
> part with the same number of pins as yours will work in the schematic.
>
> the SIP footprints work fine for through hole resistors and capacitors if
> you cannot find the correct part or footprint.  You just need holes in the
> board!
>
> Once you get going you may want to learn about the design rule checker and
> get fancy with making the parts in the schematic and layout tailored to
> your actual parts.  This will enable you to reduce errors in the designs to
> near zero.  But it is often faster to make a board quickly and fix the
> errors with wire and solder later, than learn all the error checking tools
> to start out.  I call it board surgery and it works well for development,
> particularly if you resist the urge to get the pretty colored solder mask
> painted over all your traces.
>
> But be assured Kicad is a very nice full featured tool.  Once you get used
> to it you can produce complex error free boards.  The only feature it does
> not support that I notice is back annotation of simulation results to the
> schematic (unless that has been added and I missed it!).
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
> On Wed, Apr 2, 2014 at 9:07 AM, Carl Nobile <carl.nobile at gmail.com> wrote:
>
>> Jose,
>>
>> If you are not looking to market this controller then you can still use
>> Eagle. It only cost money if you need it in a real production environment.
>> The learning curve on KiCad is a little more steep than Eagle, but it is
>> free and has no limits. I have both installed on my Linux machine and try
>> to use KiCad for new designs and Eagle when I need to see somebody else's
>> design that uses Eagle. I'm not real good on either, but hey we're here to
>> learn.
>>
>> Carl
>>
>>
>>
>> On Wed, Apr 2, 2014 at 8:28 AM, Bill Farrow <bill at arrowsreach.com> wrote:
>>
>>> On Wed, Apr 2, 2014 at 2:09 AM, Jose Medrano <jamedran at ncsu.edu> wrote:
>>> > is...Eagle is about an order of magnitude higher than what I can pay
>>> right
>>> > now. Do you all have any suggestions for other good PCB software?
>>>
>>> Have you tried the Open Source KiCad ?
>>>   http://www.kicad-pcb.org/
>>>
>>> Bill
>>>
>>> _______________________________________________
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>>>
>>
>>
>>
>> --
>>
>> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
>> Carl J. Nobile (Software Engineer)
>> carl.nobile at gmail.com
>> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
>>
>>
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>> TriEmbed web site: http://TriEmbed.org
>>
>>
>
>
> --
>
> Martin Brooke
>
> --
>  *Martin Brooke*
> Associate Professor,
> and Philip Baugh Scholar
> Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering <http://www.ee.duke.edu>
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>
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>
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>
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>
>
>
>
>
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>
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-- 
Scott G. Hall
Raleigh, NC, USA
scottghall1 at gmail.com
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