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Author Topic: Schematics/circuits to PCB  (Read 978 times)
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Just wanted to let anyone out there looking to put their circuits on a PCB I can do PCB layouts fairly quick. Or assist you by reviewing your layouts prior to purchase. There is a great program that allows you to do simple layouts and order all from the same software. This software is free as well. Its called pad2pad. I have been using it for years now and have build many PCBs with no issues.

Thanks
Scott
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Hi Scott,

Why do you prefer Pad2Pad over Eagle?  I haven't used Pad2Pad, so I'm just curious.
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It's really easy to use and you can place an order directly from the software. Not sure if eagle has  that or not. I only tried eagle once and didn't like it. The price of the pcbs is decent as well. I also like the custom component creater and the library has plenty of standard package sizes.
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Quote
It's really easy to use and you can place an order directly from the software. Not sure if eagle has  that or not.
No Eagle is not locked into any PCB manufacturer.  Instead it allows you to generate the industry-standard Gerber files which can go to nearly any vendor.  Which is great because you can use services like BatchPCB or Seeedstudio.  Both of those are at least half the cost of Pad2Pad.

The majority of the Hobbyist community uses either Eagle or gEDA.  Both are free.  Both are multi-platform.  Both generate industry-standard files.  Because they are so widely used, there are tons of tutorials and forums available to help get over their slightly higher learning curve.
« Last Edit: October 05, 2010, 10:45:35 am by cmiyc » Logged

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Hey James,
Is there any PCB size limit on gEDA? Eagle has 100mm*80mm(?) size limit. I'd have to pay around $750 to get that size doubled. I'm about to hit that limit.
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There is obviously a practical board size limit for geda pcb but not one you are ever going to hit. I don't know what it actually is other than that it is BIG!

If anybody else is interested
The gschem schematic layout & pcb software both feel a bit clunky when you first try to use them but they are both a lot better than the impression gained from the first few attempts at using them, so it is worth carrying on struggling for a while until they become a bit more familiar.

I am speaking as someone who had several attempts at using eagle a few years ago and gave it up  as being one of the most unintuitive pieces of software I had ever tried to use. It would need a  very good piece of software now to temp me away from the geda tools.  
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Another option to consider is kicad - I know there's a site out there that has a ton of the eagle parts and footprints converted for kicad as well...
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jabber, I'm ok with eagle, now that I'm used to it. My background with 90's cad programs helped, like autocad 11 and PSPICE.

cr0sh, could you compare kicad with Eagle and gEDA? Thank you!

Eagle has some libraries, and the sparkfun one is good. Could you tell me the site with converted libraries for kicad?
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Just tried the kicad. Pretty hard to use. Do I need to generate the netlist manually so I can work on PCB after making a schematic? Every time I open pcbnew from schematic the program says no net list found. I remember I had to do that with ExpressPCB when I tried it around 5 years ago.
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Yet another free option is 'FreePCB' and 'TinyCAD'.
No limits, open source.  I find it easy to use, but there is a learning curve.   The support forums are pretty good.

Gerber views, and autorouting are done like add-ons, with the autorouter being a java applet - the drawbck being network link is required to do this.
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