Go Down

Topic: Reccomend me a pcb package (Read 1 time) previous topic - next topic

jonisonvespaa

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

CrossRoads

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.

Designing & building electrical circuits for over 25 years.  Screw Shield for Mega/Due/Uno,  Bobuino with ATMega1284P, & other '328P & '1284P creations & offerings at  my website.

jonisonvespaa

#2
Jan 11, 2013, 09:32 pm Last Edit: Jan 11, 2013, 09:35 pm by jonisonvespa Reason: 1
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

CrossRoads

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.
Designing & building electrical circuits for over 25 years.  Screw Shield for Mega/Due/Uno,  Bobuino with ATMega1284P, & other '328P & '1284P creations & offerings at  my website.

jtw11

#4
Jan 11, 2013, 10:51 pm Last Edit: Jan 12, 2013, 01:23 am by jtw11 Reason: 1

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.

vasquo

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.)

CrossRoads

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.
Designing & building electrical circuits for over 25 years.  Screw Shield for Mega/Due/Uno,  Bobuino with ATMega1284P, & other '328P & '1284P creations & offerings at  my website.

jonisonvespaa

thanks will have a look at those

danb35


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.

jtw11

#9
Jan 12, 2013, 08:55 pm Last Edit: Jan 12, 2013, 11:11 pm by jtw11 Reason: 1

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.

CrossRoads

Figured out what I did - just drew rectangles; they do not get named.
Designing & building electrical circuits for over 25 years.  Screw Shield for Mega/Due/Uno,  Bobuino with ATMega1284P, & other '328P & '1284P creations & offerings at  my website.

vasquo

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.

fungus


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

jtw11


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 :)

CrossRoads

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.
Designing & building electrical circuits for over 25 years.  Screw Shield for Mega/Due/Uno,  Bobuino with ATMega1284P, & other '328P & '1284P creations & offerings at  my website.

Go Up