[TriEmbed] Fritzing & CAD parts libraries

Pete Soper pete at soper.us
Tue Jan 14 14:14:55 CST 2014

Thanks for that, Jon. I was way too harsh about Fritzing and should not 
have said what I said because my judgment of this tool is several months 
old. But when I tried it then I somehow failed to notice the caveat that 
surely lurked in the fine print for that version of Fritzing:

    "We apologize in advance for what you're about to experience as you 
try to accomplish much of anything with this 'tool'!"

But that was then, and this is now. Brian's situation, as he explained 
toward the end of the meeting, is that he has a well understood, 
debugged breadboard design that he wants to turn into 16 completed 
devices via custom PCBs. Fritzing may be the best choice if the cost and 
shipping logistics aren't a problem. From a learning curve standpoint 
Fritzing would be hugely better. On the other hand, it might make for a 
fun project to see if we can turn his schematic into an Eagle board file 
and have him send it to Oshpark. Brian doesn't actually want to spend a 
lot of time with CAD programs, whereas I figure some of the rest of us 
might be eager to learn how to use and not use this program.

As far as the CAD parts library situation goes, that could be a subject 
all it's own at another meeting. I had to make a CAD description for 
both the M41T62LC6F clock chip and the FXOS8700CQ 
accelerometer/magnetometer chip mentioned last night. (I said the clock 
chip was a M41T62Q, but that's the version in the QFN-16 package that 
works with an outboard crystal. The LC6F part is the truely small, metal 
package with internal crystal.)


PS Bill Farrow: if you're reading this, the reason I haven't given you a 
completed FX board is because I've only been able to complete one so 
far. I'm finding the solder paste step with a stencil more difficult 
than it has any right to be.

On 1/13/2014 11:52 PM, Jon Wolfe wrote:
> Thanks, Pete, for the fascinating talk!
> Fritzing was brought up this evening. I'll agree, I wouldn't want to 
> use it for PCB layout. I do have a use for it, however: to pre-plan 
> complex breadboard or protoboard/perfboard layouts. I learned the hard 
> way that while  Fritzing might be rather limited for some things, but 
> it is a lot more efficient than repeatedly ripping apart a breadboard 
> circuit because you didn't plan the layout well enough.
> Also, on a separate note, you can use Eagle parts libraries in KiCad, 
> but the process is a little painful (basically you have to run an 
> exporter/converter script in Eagle).
> This page has a little on that, toward the bottom:
> http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Kicad/FAQ
> Thanks again,
> Jon
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