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Topic: Perf board layout software? (Read 5155 times) previous topic - next topic

scoates

Hi,

I realize that this might not be the right forum for such a question, but I didn't see a better place. Feel free to scold me and/or move the topic if there's a better venue.

Does perf board layout software exist? A bit of googling turned up absolutely nothing. I know there's lots of PCB layout software, but I want to build some simple circuits on perf board, and I'd like to have some sort of blueprint for where things go (instead of working serially on the fly with my circuits). For example, I put a LED in backwards on my last perfboard layout, and had to move a component after I got my wits about me.

Should I stick to graph paper, or is there software that can help me turn a schematic into jumpered perf-board?

Thanks.

S

Daniel

#1
Aug 07, 2007, 09:38 pm Last Edit: Aug 07, 2007, 09:43 pm by Daniel Reason: 1
hey

there's Crocodile Clips, which is for education. It renders components in 3D in parallel with the schematic. Not sure if there is actually a layout software that makes anything like a perf-board layout. Of course there are lots of PCB layout programs, but the learning curve is steep. Todbot uses something called OmniGraffle, which is terrific for making block diagrams. I think you could make your own component outlines in it.

I'd say graph paper and a pencil would be the way to go! In the old days.... you used to be able to buy plastic drafting templates for electronic components. ( try this link... I'm not sure if it's a museum or a store)I know this will sound really bizarre, but in the late 20th century they actually used to draw schematics on this stuff called paper, made out of pulp, with a marking tool made of wood and black dust. I know, I know, it's too weird to believe.   :)

D

scoates

Thanks.
I found a reference to "Stripboard Magic" which seems to be abandonware (can't buy it). I found a copy, and it does what I need it to do.. sort of.. the layout part isn't very smart, and it tries to outsmart you, which is annoying. Otherwise, it's not terrible.

S

wayoda

Hi,
I'm using DIY Layout Creator (Windows only!) to be found here:  http://www.storm-software.co.yu/diy/index.php?project=software
Even though the original intention of the author was to create a tool for small audio projects, it is also fine for small µC-projects.
Its a bit slow in some of the functions like moving and selecting parts.
On the other hand it is freeware (sadly not open source, it would really need some performance optimization)
Another commercial tool can be found here: http://www.abacom-online.de/uk/html/lochmaster.html
But this one is for stripboards. Maybe it supports perfboards too? Give it a try, because they have a demo in the download section.

Eberhard


nick

The site says

Boards
LochMaster has already a lot of standard-boards defined. If your desired board is not defined, you can create your own boards with the integrated board-editor. This enables you to work with almost every board you can get.

and the picture of boards next to it look like it has a perfboard underneath the other one, so you may be lucky.

Cheers

Nick
     
     
     
     

TJ

You could always use the freeware version of Eagle, "Eagle Lite," from CadSoft.  In the layout routine, set the
placement matrix for 0.100 inch.  The component placement should line up with perfboard holes.

TJ
Embedded Arduino Digicam Remote & Intervalometer
http://www.mindspring.com/~tom2000/Projects/AI-1_Remote/AI-1_Remote.html

recur

I've been using Adobe Illustrator, with a grid set to 0.1" and "Snap to Grid" turned on.  Works just great.  When I'm designing something complex, I scan the components and line them up to the grid.  I'd assume that you could the same thing with Inkscape.
May seem strange, but makes perfect sense to my half-informed practice.

scoates

Thanks all.
Seems there's no REALLY good solution to this. My circuits are generally pretty simple, so I'll stick to dead-tree-and-graphite for now, I guess.

Although, if you've got a library of properly-sized components for AI, recur, I'd love to play with that.

S

KirkCharles

I use the free version on Eagle. Although eagle is a bit of a pain to learn, there is a tutorial PDF (highly recomended) with the distrubution and several good instructables.
The Ratsnest function is great! When making a board it shows the shortest path.  Move a component. Click ratsnest and see if you have good component placement.  Repeat.  Then the printouts are great to use as a checklist for soldering.
Kirk

mem

#9
Aug 14, 2008, 09:06 pm Last Edit: Aug 14, 2008, 09:09 pm by mem Reason: 1
Quote
... Although eagle is a bit of a pain to learn...


I disagree, Eagle is not a bit of a pain to learn. It's the worst pain you will ever go through learning to use a popular software package. I don't want to put people off completely, many people manage to do useful things with Eagle. But go into it knowing that it is extraordinarily unintuitive so there is a steep learning curve.

Grumpy_Mike

Quote
I want to build some simple circuits on perf board


Well I use that sadly neglected piece of software sitting inside my skull call the brain. My advice would be not to get hung up on it but just do it.

Quote
I put a LED in backwards on my last perfboard layout, and had to move a component


Yes well that's no big deal, if you have never made a mistake you have never made anything.

If you keep doing it you get better and it gets easer. Try and place the components four or five in advance before soldering them, that way you get to easily change things and takes the pressure off.
When I left school my first job involved an engineer sketching a circuit and giving it me to build onto strip board, that 6 months has kept me in good stead for the last 40 years. (yes there was strip board 40 years ago)

peterloron

Quote
Quote
... Although eagle is a bit of a pain to learn...


I disagree, Eagle is not a bit of a pain to learn. It's the worst pain you will ever go through learning to use a popular software package. I don't want to put people off completely, many people manage to do useful things with Eagle. But go into it knowing that it is extraordinarily unintuitive so there is a steep learning curve.


Yeah, Eagle's UI could definitely stand some work, but after going through a short tutorial web page, and playing with it for a couple of hours, I'm able to generate simple schematics and board layout, etc.

OTOH, the lite version is free, and has a *LOT* of functionality. CadSoft should be commended for making it available that way.

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