Discussion:
Semi-OT: printed circuit board making
(too old to reply)
Thad Floryan
2013-12-17 19:01:36 UTC
Permalink
I just received an email from Jameco (electronic parts) which
laments the decline and soon disappearance of Radio Shack. In
that article I found this link which touts the free PCB Creator
software:

http://bayareacircuits.com/pcb-creator/

which appears useful if anyone needs to make a test circuit for
diagnosing computing or networking issue.

FWIW, I usually use the free KiCAD:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/KiCad

http://www.kicad-pcb.org/ <== check out the screenshots
including 3D board views
with components included

Thad
David Kaye
2013-12-17 20:57:37 UTC
Permalink
Post by Thad Floryan
I just received an email from Jameco (electronic parts) which
laments the decline and soon disappearance of Radio Shack. In
that article I found this link which touts the free PCB Creator
I had been in contact with the architect of Radio Shack during its golden
age (the free batteries, the cube weather radio, the flyers, etc) and he
laments that Radio Shack has lost its way. He still had some stock in RS
but couldn't get the board's attention to do anything.

The guy is Lewis Kornfeld. He put out a book about the history of Radio
Shack and his involvement in it, along with lots of marketing mistakes both
his and other companies made. It's a very worthwhile read:
http://www.amazon.com/Catch-Mouse-Make-Noise-Cheese/dp/1565300041
Hud Nordin
2013-12-23 02:13:00 UTC
Permalink
Post by David Kaye
I had been in contact with the architect of Radio
Shack during its golden
age (the free batteries, the cube weather radio, the
flyers, etc) and he
laments that Radio Shack has lost its way. He still
had some stock in RS
but couldn't get the board's attention to do anything.
The guy is Lewis Kornfeld. He put out a book about
the history of Radio
Shack and his involvement in it, along with lots of
marketing mistakes both
http://www.amazon.com/Catch-Mouse-Make-Noise-Cheese/dp/1565300041
Lewis Kornfeld died August 11, 2013.
--
Hud Nordin <***@pobox.com> Silicon Valley
David Kaye
2013-12-23 08:33:49 UTC
Permalink
Post by Hud Nordin
Lewis Kornfeld died August 11, 2013.
Dang. That explains why he didn't respond to my email a couple months ago.
We had written a few emails back and forth previously.
sms
2013-12-17 23:03:16 UTC
Permalink
Post by Thad Floryan
I just received an email from Jameco (electronic parts) which
laments the decline and soon disappearance of Radio Shack. In
that article I found this link which touts the free PCB Creator
http://bayareacircuits.com/pcb-creator/
which appears useful if anyone needs to make a test circuit for
diagnosing computing or networking issue.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/KiCad
http://www.kicad-pcb.org/ <== check out the screenshots
including 3D board views
with components included
Thad
I've used PCBExpress which is cheaper but their layout tool is all
manual with no DRC. The board worked and it forced me to be very
diligent about checking placement and layout.
Thad Floryan
2013-12-18 01:56:38 UTC
Permalink
Post by sms
Post by Thad Floryan
I just received an email from Jameco (electronic parts) which
laments the decline and soon disappearance of Radio Shack. In
that article I found this link which touts the free PCB Creator
http://bayareacircuits.com/pcb-creator/
which appears useful if anyone needs to make a test circuit for
diagnosing computing or networking issue.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/KiCad
http://www.kicad-pcb.org/ <== check out the screenshots
including 3D board views
with components included
Thad
I've used PCBExpress which is cheaper
Uh, cheaper than zero? :-)

Both the 'pcb-creator' and KiCAD are free.

KiCAD is also open source that works on just about every computer
(*BSD, Linux, MacOS X, Solaris, UNIX, Windows).
Post by sms
but their layout tool is all manual with no DRC.
If you really want to return to the Stone Age, I believe that
Rubylith and various widths of black tape are still available
for purchase along with a light table and X-Acto blades. :-)
Post by sms
The board worked and it forced me to be very diligent about
checking placement and layout.
Ugh, painful today. Computers and free software make doing a PCB
easy.

I bet you would relate to this PDF I created a few days ago from
an email another correspondent sent to me (7 pages, 358kB):

http://thadlabs.com/FILES/Tools_and_how_to_use_them_HUMOR.pdf

:-)

Thad
r***@911pcb.com
2014-06-27 02:24:59 UTC
Permalink
Post by Thad Floryan
I just received an email from Jameco (electronic parts) which
laments the decline and soon disappearance of Radio Shack. In
that article I found this link which touts the free PCB Creator
http://bayareacircuits.com/pcb-creator/
which appears useful if anyone needs to make a test circuit for
diagnosing computing or networking issue.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/KiCad
http://www.kicad-pcb.org/ <== check out the screenshots
including 3D board views
with components included
Thad
KiCAD is a good program for basic boards. We develop some pretty complex circuit boards and use a company in San Diego for the PCB layout. They use a bunch of programs like Altium and PADs. If you need something more complex done, maybe give them a shout.

http://www.911eda.com
Thad Floryan
2014-06-27 03:03:36 UTC
Permalink
Post by r***@911pcb.com
Post by Thad Floryan
I just received an email from Jameco (electronic parts) which
laments the decline and soon disappearance of Radio Shack. In
that article I found this link which touts the free PCB Creator
http://bayareacircuits.com/pcb-creator/
which appears useful if anyone needs to make a test circuit for
diagnosing computing or networking issue.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/KiCad
http://www.kicad-pcb.org/ <== check out the screenshots
including 3D board views
with components included
KiCAD is a good program for basic boards.
I wouldn't call 16-layer capability along with 3D viewing showing all
the components installed "basic". The "PCB Creator" program as I
mentioned above at http://bayareacircuits.com/pcb-creator/ *IS* a
basic suite:

PCB Creator is:
Free
Easy to use
Will allow you to design 2 and 4 layer PCBs
Provides easy quote and order options
Gerber files available at no cost after PCB order

PCB CreatorPCB Creator Includes:
* PCB Layout — PCB design with easy-to-use manual routing
tools, autorouter and auto-placement.
* Schematic — Schematic Capture with multi-level hierarchy and
export to PCB Layout, Spice or Netlist.
* Component and Pattern Editors — allow you to make new parts
and footprints.
* Standard Libraries – include 100,000+ parts.
* 3D PCB Preview – shows your design in 3D. 2500+ package 3D
models are supplied with the program.
* Import/Export Features – allow you to exchange designs and
libraries with other EDA tools.
* Step-by-Step Tutorial – learn the software and start real
work in a few hours.
* Windows Based Software (No Mac version currently)

And no Linux version (of PCB Creator) either.

Contrast the above to this at KiCad's page:

KiCad is an EDA software suite for the creation of professional
schematics and printed circuit boards up to 16 layers. KiCad runs
on Windows, Linux and Apple OS X and is released under the
open-source GNU GPL v2 free of charge.

With KiCad you can create schematic diagrams and printed circuit
board up to 16 layers. KiCad comes with a rich set of libraries
with 3D models as well. KiCad is a mature EDA software tool
under active development by a team of developers and a vibrant
user group. KiCad team counts three main developers and a dozen
of regular contributors. KiCad includes a project manager and
four main independent software tools:

Eeschema, schematic editor.
Pcbnew, printed circuit board editor.
Gerbview, GERBER file viewer.
Cvpcb, footprint selector for components association.
Post by r***@911pcb.com
We develop some pretty complex circuit boards and use a company
in San Diego for the PCB layout. They use a bunch of programs
like Altium and PADs. If you need something more complex done,
maybe give them a shout.
http://www.911eda.com
I'm not trying to dis anyone's company, but there are those of us on
limited budgets designing computing systems (e.g., for home security
and dedicated task processing (e.g., astronomical telescope control,
supporting photographic hobbies, and more)) for which a program like
KiCAD suits all the requirements.

And, BTW, you need to dump the piece-of-shit Google Groups that you're
using -- double-/triple-spacing what you're quoting is UNacceptable
on Usenet and is grounds for permanent inclusion in everyone's kill
files.

There are many free email clients (even Thunderbird) that work fine with
Usenet as I'm doing and there are many free newsreaders for all platforms
available, too (I often use knews on my Linux/UNIX boxes).

Free access to Usenet is available here so you can dump Google:

http://www.eternal-september.org/

http://www.eternal-september.org/serverstatus.php?language=en

Thad
Eric Weaver
2014-06-27 03:21:16 UTC
Permalink
I have been using Gnu gEDA and PCB. A little clunky but they do get the
job done.

Eagle was good too but I outgrew the free version and I'm too much of a
freetard.
Kristian M Zoerhoff
2014-06-27 04:45:33 UTC
Permalink
Post by Thad Floryan
KiCad is an EDA software suite for the creation of professional
schematics and printed circuit boards up to 16 layers. KiCad runs
on Windows, Linux and Apple OS X and is released under the
open-source GNU GPL v2 free of charge.
With KiCad you can create schematic diagrams and printed circuit
board up to 16 layers. KiCad comes with a rich set of libraries
with 3D models as well. KiCad is a mature EDA software tool
under active development by a team of developers and a vibrant
user group. KiCad team counts three main developers and a dozen
of regular contributors. KiCad includes a project manager and
Eeschema, schematic editor.
Pcbnew, printed circuit board editor.
Gerbview, GERBER file viewer.
Cvpcb, footprint selector for components association.
As an employee of one of the Big 3 EDA companies, this software frightens
and impresses me at the same time.
--
Kristian M Zoerhoff
Thad Floryan
2014-06-27 07:05:48 UTC
Permalink
Post by Kristian M Zoerhoff
Post by Thad Floryan
KiCad is an EDA software suite for the creation of professional
schematics and printed circuit boards up to 16 layers. KiCad runs
on Windows, Linux and Apple OS X and is released under the
open-source GNU GPL v2 free of charge.
With KiCad you can create schematic diagrams and printed circuit
board up to 16 layers. KiCad comes with a rich set of libraries
with 3D models as well. KiCad is a mature EDA software tool
under active development by a team of developers and a vibrant
user group. KiCad team counts three main developers and a dozen
of regular contributors. KiCad includes a project manager and
Eeschema, schematic editor.
Pcbnew, printed circuit board editor.
Gerbview, GERBER file viewer.
Cvpcb, footprint selector for components association.
As an employee of one of the Big 3 EDA companies, this software frightens
and impresses me at the same time.
Hi Kristian,

Interesting.

Let me guess. :-)

Hmmm, assuming Silicon Valley I was going to guess Agilent (first name in
the Wikipedia EDA company list below) though I now see my guess was wrong.

For those unaware, EDA = Electronic Design Automation. Some background:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electronic_design_automation

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_EDA_companies

Thad
Kristian M Zoerhoff
2014-06-27 22:23:25 UTC
Permalink
Post by Thad Floryan
Post by Kristian M Zoerhoff
Post by Thad Floryan
KiCad is an EDA software suite for the creation of professional
schematics and printed circuit boards up to 16 layers. KiCad runs
on Windows, Linux and Apple OS X and is released under the
open-source GNU GPL v2 free of charge.
With KiCad you can create schematic diagrams and printed circuit
board up to 16 layers. KiCad comes with a rich set of libraries
with 3D models as well. KiCad is a mature EDA software tool
under active development by a team of developers and a vibrant
user group. KiCad team counts three main developers and a dozen
of regular contributors. KiCad includes a project manager and
Eeschema, schematic editor.
Pcbnew, printed circuit board editor.
Gerbview, GERBER file viewer.
Cvpcb, footprint selector for components association.
As an employee of one of the Big 3 EDA companies, this software frightens
and impresses me at the same time.
Hi Kristian,
Interesting.
Let me guess. :-)
Hmmm, assuming Silicon Valley I was going to guess Agilent (first name in
the Wikipedia EDA company list below) though I now see my guess was wrong.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electronic_design_automation
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_EDA_companies
That list needs to be updated; Cadence bought Jasper recently, and Mentor
has acquired Nimbic, Oasys (synthesis), and Berkeley Design Automation in
the last year.
--
Kristian M Zoerhoff
sms
2014-06-27 17:08:58 UTC
Permalink
Post by Thad Floryan
Post by Kristian M Zoerhoff
Post by Thad Floryan
KiCad is an EDA software suite for the creation of professional
schematics and printed circuit boards up to 16 layers. KiCad runs
on Windows, Linux and Apple OS X and is released under the
open-source GNU GPL v2 free of charge.
With KiCad you can create schematic diagrams and printed circuit
board up to 16 layers. KiCad comes with a rich set of libraries
with 3D models as well. KiCad is a mature EDA software tool
under active development by a team of developers and a vibrant
user group. KiCad team counts three main developers and a dozen
of regular contributors. KiCad includes a project manager and
Eeschema, schematic editor.
Pcbnew, printed circuit board editor.
Gerbview, GERBER file viewer.
Cvpcb, footprint selector for components association.
As an employee of one of the Big 3 EDA companies, this software frightens
and impresses me at the same time.
Hi Kristian,
Interesting.
Let me guess. :-)
Hmmm, assuming Silicon Valley I was going to guess Agilent (first name in
the Wikipedia EDA company list below) though I now see my guess was wrong.
For schematics and boards, every company I know uses either Cadence
(OrCad) or Altium.

KiCad is okay but it has some annoying limitations that we ran into when
trying to use it. I.e. try doing a spiral PCB inductor with KiCad. Even
Eagle supports it. The personal version of Eagle is pretty cheap and
they are about to come out with a new version that fixes one of the
biggest complaints about it.

Loading...