Pages: [1]   Go Down
Author Topic: Reccomend me a pcb package  (Read 1203 times)
0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.
uk
Offline Offline
Sr. Member
****
Karma: 0
Posts: 314
View Profile
 Bigger Bigger  Smaller Smaller  Reset Reset

hi
been using Design spark for ages now but its really being unstable with lots og niggling bugs now, could someone recommend me a free pcb package please other than eagle
thanks
Logged

Global Moderator
Boston area, metrowest
Offline Offline
Brattain Member
*****
Karma: 538
Posts: 27089
Author of "Arduino for Teens". Available for Design & Build services. Now with Unlimited Eagle board sizes!
View Profile
WWW
 Bigger Bigger  Smaller Smaller  Reset Reset

What's wrong with eagle?
Its updated regulary, can do 80mmx100mm boards with free version, gets easier to use with practice.
Has lots of parts libraries, and can design your own parts.
Can get a lot of stuff on a 80x100mm board.

Logged

Designing & building electrical circuits for over 25 years. Check out the ATMega1284P based Bobuino and other '328P & '1284P creations & offerings at  www.crossroadsfencing.com/BobuinoRev17.
Arduino for Teens available at Amazon.com.

uk
Offline Offline
Sr. Member
****
Karma: 0
Posts: 314
View Profile
 Bigger Bigger  Smaller Smaller  Reset Reset

nothing id really like it but as you say free version is restricted to size

design spark is good but there is just too many niggling bugs in it, shame as ive invested a lot of time in it and have made a lot of custom components

i do have a funny version of eagle but im resisting installing it as im sure it will end in tears.

just wondered if there were any good free packages out there
« Last Edit: January 11, 2013, 03:35:44 pm by jonisonvespa » Logged

Global Moderator
Boston area, metrowest
Offline Offline
Brattain Member
*****
Karma: 538
Posts: 27089
Author of "Arduino for Teens". Available for Design & Build services. Now with Unlimited Eagle board sizes!
View Profile
WWW
 Bigger Bigger  Smaller Smaller  Reset Reset

Kicad is mentioned regularly.
Or that toy, fritzing. Have never seen a good schematic posted from that.

Could try these guys too
http://www.advancedcircuits.com/

Once you get past 10cm x 10cm, PCB prices start climbing.
Logged

Designing & building electrical circuits for over 25 years. Check out the ATMega1284P based Bobuino and other '328P & '1284P creations & offerings at  www.crossroadsfencing.com/BobuinoRev17.
Arduino for Teens available at Amazon.com.

UK
Offline Offline
God Member
*****
Karma: 1
Posts: 530
View Profile
 Bigger Bigger  Smaller Smaller  Reset Reset

What's wrong with eagle?
Its updated regulary, can do 80mmx100mm boards with free version, gets easier to use with practice.
Has lots of parts libraries, and can design your own parts.
Can get a lot of stuff on a 80x100mm board.

Couldn't agree more - I haven't found the free version remotely restrictive. I find EAGLE so incredibly intuitive...

EDIT - Saying that, I can't work out how to build heatsink polygons that will touch the pads of ICs, it seems to be creating spaces automatically... Hmm.
« Last Edit: January 11, 2013, 07:23:24 pm by jtw11 » Logged

Offline Offline
Sr. Member
****
Karma: 9
Posts: 296
View Profile
 Bigger Bigger  Smaller Smaller  Reset Reset

Check out DipTrace. It's fugly though, running on OSX. But I think it's a worthy contender/upgrade/step-up from Eagle.

(and I do own an Eagle Pro License and DipTrace has piqued my interest, that I might consider it in the future.)
Logged

Global Moderator
Boston area, metrowest
Offline Offline
Brattain Member
*****
Karma: 538
Posts: 27089
Author of "Arduino for Teens". Available for Design & Build services. Now with Unlimited Eagle board sizes!
View Profile
WWW
 Bigger Bigger  Smaller Smaller  Reset Reset

Heatsink pads - I fake those in eagle by giving the polygon pads the same name as the signal on the board drawing, then you can overlap them. Will get overlap errors when you run the DRC that you can ignore.
Logged

Designing & building electrical circuits for over 25 years. Check out the ATMega1284P based Bobuino and other '328P & '1284P creations & offerings at  www.crossroadsfencing.com/BobuinoRev17.
Arduino for Teens available at Amazon.com.

uk
Offline Offline
Sr. Member
****
Karma: 0
Posts: 314
View Profile
 Bigger Bigger  Smaller Smaller  Reset Reset

thanks will have a look at those
Logged

Offline Offline
Full Member
***
Karma: 1
Posts: 107
View Profile
 Bigger Bigger  Smaller Smaller  Reset Reset

Check out DipTrace. It's fugly though, running on OSX. But I think it's a worthy contender/upgrade/step-up from Eagle.
DipTrace is fugly on a Mac, it's true, but it does seem to work just fine.  It's a native Windows app, so it looks fine there.  There isn't a Linux version, but since the Mac version is just the Windows version packaged with Wine, I'd expect the Windows version could run under Wine on Linux.

The DipTrace free version is not limited on board size like Eagle's free version.  Instead, it's limited on the number of pins--no more than 300 for the free version, and only two signal layers on the board (as many power and ground layers as you want).  What I've seen (very little) and heard (a bit more) suggests that DipTrace is quite a bit more intuitive than Eagle, but no doubt YMMV.

KiCad is completely free, not just a limited freeware version.  I've not heard good things about its usability, though I haven't run it myself.
Logged

UK
Offline Offline
God Member
*****
Karma: 1
Posts: 530
View Profile
 Bigger Bigger  Smaller Smaller  Reset Reset

Heatsink pads - I fake those in eagle by giving the polygon pads the same name as the signal on the board drawing, then you can overlap them. Will get overlap errors when you run the DRC that you can ignore.

You're a star - cheers. I'll give it a try later.

EDIT - I have just tried it, no success. I've checked the pad I'm trying to connect my polygon to is named VCC (in this case), I've made an overlapping polygon onto this VCC pad.

I tried renaming it by Right Click > Properties > Name, but it told me to use the name command, so I did and have successfully changed the name of the pad to VCC. However, if I rename the pad to VCC and then try to fill it using ratsnest, nothing happens? The polygon just remains an empty space outlined with dashes.

If I leave the name unchanged, and click ratsnet - great, it fills it - but leaves a gap between the polygon and the pad - defeating the point of being a heatsink. Any ideas? Here's some screenshots.
« Last Edit: January 12, 2013, 05:11:19 pm by jtw11 » Logged

Global Moderator
Boston area, metrowest
Offline Offline
Brattain Member
*****
Karma: 538
Posts: 27089
Author of "Arduino for Teens". Available for Design & Build services. Now with Unlimited Eagle board sizes!
View Profile
WWW
 Bigger Bigger  Smaller Smaller  Reset Reset

Figured out what I did - just drew rectangles; they do not get named.
Logged

Designing & building electrical circuits for over 25 years. Check out the ATMega1284P based Bobuino and other '328P & '1284P creations & offerings at  www.crossroadsfencing.com/BobuinoRev17.
Arduino for Teens available at Amazon.com.

Offline Offline
Sr. Member
****
Karma: 9
Posts: 296
View Profile
 Bigger Bigger  Smaller Smaller  Reset Reset

Why don't you just edit the library, clone the part, but make the smd pads bigger on the new clone.

Another technique, if there's nothing behind, you can put another heatsink pad in the bottom copper layer, and use several vias to connect/bridge the upper and bottom pads. 

Also order your boards as 2oz copper.
Logged

Valencia, Spain
Offline Offline
Faraday Member
**
Karma: 146
Posts: 5507
View Profile
 Bigger Bigger  Smaller Smaller  Reset Reset

Kicad is mentioned regularly.
Or that toy, fritzing. Have never seen a good schematic posted from that.

That might be the users...not the program.
Logged

No, I don't answer questions sent in private messages (but I do accept thank-you notes...)

UK
Offline Offline
God Member
*****
Karma: 1
Posts: 530
View Profile
 Bigger Bigger  Smaller Smaller  Reset Reset

Why don't you just edit the library, clone the part, but make the smd pads bigger on the new clone.

Another technique, if there's nothing behind, you can put another heatsink pad in the bottom copper layer, and use several vias to connect/bridge the upper and bottom pads. 

Also order your boards as 2oz copper.

Yep - I've decided to do this, I've just cloned the packed with the suffix "HOT".

I'm making the boards myself by UV etching, so I'll have a play soon with 1 vs 2oz etches. Cheers smiley
Logged

Global Moderator
Boston area, metrowest
Offline Offline
Brattain Member
*****
Karma: 538
Posts: 27089
Author of "Arduino for Teens". Available for Design & Build services. Now with Unlimited Eagle board sizes!
View Profile
WWW
 Bigger Bigger  Smaller Smaller  Reset Reset

If doing your own etching, give yourself lots of ground plane - then you're not using up lots of time/etchant eating away big copper areas.  Especially for 2 oz copper vs 1 oz.
Logged

Designing & building electrical circuits for over 25 years. Check out the ATMega1284P based Bobuino and other '328P & '1284P creations & offerings at  www.crossroadsfencing.com/BobuinoRev17.
Arduino for Teens available at Amazon.com.

Pages: [1]   Go Up
Jump to: