Finished my prototype. What now?

Well of course I do know what to do. I just need some directions as to how.

I've been cooking up a little circuit that controls six 7 segment displays via a 4511 and some transistors and 2 buttons for controlling it.

I've written a sketch that mimics scoring for table tennis. I works great. Pushing each button will increment each players score. If a player hits 11 and is 2 points ahead his set score is incremented and a new set starts. If both buttons are held for 2 seconds the game resets. Its really great.

But now that I've done my prototype and made working code I'm ready for production. I've seen something called fritzing that can transform my circuit into a more production ready board but are they any good? Has anyone tried them?

Also I need to construct a much bigger scoreboard. I think I'll use some wood to build a casing and use some plastic as the front plate on which I'll then mount the big displays on and maybe to some coloring to make it fun and great looking.

Here's a pic of the circuit. Its a little messy as its mt first electronic prototype.

I would avoid Fritzing.

Much as I personally dislike Eagle I think that is the best choice. It will be harder to learn than Fritzing but worth it to be using a professional package.

Eagle is free for smallish PCBs, you pay for larger boards and for commercial use I think.


Rob

I agree if you want fritzing to route a PCB from a schematic your looking at awful routing choices and many connections left unrouted at which you will have to do it by hand having to deal with the programs poor choices . I like Sprint-layout easy to use you can make custom parts aside from the libraries it already has and saves to gerber and many other widely supported file types. also has nice options for printing if you plan to etch at home.

From the looks of it, Eagle would be a good option.

Fitzring is just not right!! If you use Linux, you can also have a look at KiCAD. It's another option.

Or, if you have access to it and an infinite amount of patience, you can always route your board in AutoCAD. LOL I have seen it done... although the board took my then manager about a month to route. I did it in a day with OrCAD (I had a license in college for it).

I also suggest EAGLE. On the other hand, you should consider an enclosure. Trying to fit a PCB into boxes is pretty hard, while having a box in front of you and then design the PCB to fit inside the box may be easier.

Is there an eagle symbol for the 74hc4511/74hct4511? I am not able to find it.

Never mind, did a search for "7-segment decoder" and it came up.

Looks like its intended to drive anode of a single common cathode part, I see transistors so you've got some multiplexing going on as well.

So next you lay it out in eagle, end up with something like this on a 80mm x 80mm board, maybe wider if your displays are bigger or you just want more room, maybe add 5V regulator, maybe header pins for FTDI adapter for serial downloading, etc. pins to take the buttons off board and onto display case face, etc.

Yes, you pretty much hit it spot on. I use the 4511 to set the number I want to display and I then use 6 transistors for each of my 6 displays (common cathode). I set the value on the 4511 and I then turn on the appropriate transistor during my loop.

For the end product I'm thinking about using larger displays for scoring and about ½ that size for the set score. I then want to have the buttons on long wires so I can fit them to each end of the table so its fast and convenient. I fear that if people have to walk over to the scoring board to register a win it will never be used. Usability is key :)

Another thing I might have forgotten. I live in Europe. I haven't yet gotten to check out your suggestions but one thing that speaks for Fritzing is its based in Germany which is a big plus for me. I may only ever need 2 production boards printed out so shipping could end up being a deciding factor for this project.

Holm76: Another thing I might have forgotten. I live in Europe. I haven't yet gotten to check out your suggestions but one thing that speaks for Fritzing is its based in Germany which is a big plus for me. I may only ever need 2 production boards printed out so shipping could end up being a deciding factor for this project.

Eagle is the product of a German company. However, neither Fritzing or Eagle actually produce the boards. They generate the files that are used by PCB production services.

If you’re only making 2 boards then you may want to consider just wiring them up by hand. You don’t have much there, can be built up on a
VELLEMAN ECS1/2 EUROCARD 1-Hole Island - 3.9" x 3.1"
in a about a day each, ending up something like this.

Show the back side too.

Ok
Here is 1 of 4 that I made.

Why did you put all the component in headers instead of soldering them directly on the board? And what are those really big resistors?

2 advantage using headers, first you can reuse or replace those chips easy, if you need it on another project later or it gone faulty. Second, some components are sensitive to the level of heat of soldering, so you don’t burn your chips. The larger resistor is higher waltage resistems I think. They can handle more current.

I have used gEDA and briefly KiCad suites in Linux. gEDA’s schematic editor is good, but going from the schematic to pcb is extremely tedious. From the little experience I have the same applies to KiCad as well.

Last night I ended up buying the Eagle Light license (or so I though), because the free version of Eagle doesn’t include autorouting. I went through the Cadsoft’s webshop (it took ages for some pages to load) and paid the license using Paypal. However, I still haven’t got the license. I though I could download it from Cadsoft’s web site after the payment was completed, or that they email the license key, but there was nothing to download and I haven’t got any email from Cadsoft. Really disappointing.

I understand that you put chips/ICs in headers, but CrossRoads put resistors and caps in headers as well. He seems like a guy who knows what he is doing so there must be a good reason for that.

CrossRoads: If you're only making 2 boards then you may want to consider just wiring them up by hand. You don't have much there, can be built up on a VELLEMAN ECS1/2 EUROCARD 1-Hole Island - 3.9" x 3.1" in a about a day each, ending up something like this.

Yes indeed.. I do have a very small circuit. I guess I just might just build it my self. What components do I need to build a functioning arduino?

Obviously I need an extra 4511 and my resistors and the transistors but what will I need to make the basic of the AT chip work?

pekkaa: I have used gEDA and briefly KiCad suites in Linux. gEDA's schematic editor is good, but going from the schematic to pcb is extremely tedious. From the little experience I have the same applies to KiCad as well.

Last night I ended up buying the Eagle Light license (or so I though), because the free version of Eagle doesn't include autorouting. I went through the Cadsoft's webshop (it took ages for some pages to load) and paid the license using Paypal. However, I still haven't got the license. I though I could download it from Cadsoft's web site after the payment was completed, or that they email the license key, but there was nothing to download and I haven't got any email from Cadsoft. Really disappointing.

http://www.cadsoftusa.com/downloads/

You don't need to buy an account if you plan to make a few of the boards and don't intend to make money. But it's good that you now have a light license. You can make money with it.

Quote from: pekkaa on Today at 05:28:15 PM
I have used gEDA and briefly KiCad suites in Linux. gEDA’s schematic editor is good, but going from the schematic to pcb is extremely tedious. From the little experience I have the same applies to KiCad as well.

Last night I ended up buying the Eagle Light license (or so I though), because the free version of Eagle doesn’t include autorouting. I went through the Cadsoft’s webshop (it took ages for some pages to load) and paid the license using Paypal. However, I still haven’t got the license. I though I could download it from Cadsoft’s web site after the payment was completed, or that they email the license key, but there was nothing to download and I haven’t got any email from Cadsoft. Really disappointing.

http://www.cadsoftusa.com/downloads/

You don’t need to buy an account if you plan to make a few of the boards and don’t intend to make money. But it’s good that you now have a light license. You can make money with it.

Is my English that bad? I already had the free version of Eagle installed. I tried to say that last night I tried to purchase a license (because I want to use the autorouter), but didn’t got it even I paid for it.