PCB design software for beginners

As title!
I’m looking for something really simple but with a decent library.
What would you guys suggest?
Thanks!

www.expresspcb.com

Another possibility is [url=http://fritzing.org/home/http://oshpark.com/, it also has the ability to generate gerbers which means you can use any PCB house like http://oshpark.com/]http://fritzing.org/home/http://oshpark.com/, it also has the ability to generate gerbers which means you can use any PCB house like http://oshpark.com/

Thank you guys,
What frustrates me is, for instance, I try to add some simple IDC connector and it doesn't seem to exist in the library.
That's the kind of problem I always found with the software I tried before.

Jay98:
Thank you guys,
What frustrates me is, for instance, I try to add some simple IDC connector and it doesn’t seem to exist in the library.
That’s the kind of problem I always found with the software I tried before.

it doesn’t matter what software you end up using, for just about any board you will need to create at least a few of your own parts. Either the part you want doesn’t exist, or is in the wrong footprint, etc…

I have recently switched to Kicad, and found this online tutorial helpful for creating my own library parts. http://contextualelectronics.com/buildpcbs/

I understand.

I'll be using 7x 16 pins ICs with their resistors, a couple IDC connectors, a led and a capacitor.

Any advice you can give me? Board size? Tracks width?

Go with Eagle by ww.cadsoft.de
Lots of library parts, can down libraries from sparkfun, adafruit, and newark.com has lots of individual parts as well, can download after you register.
Bit of a learning curve. You can use an Arduino board as a starting point, extract libraries from an existing board, delete components you don't want, add in your own, leave the headers in place, etc.

Alright, I made this schematic with eagle

Now I have a lot of doubts about the PCB

  • How should I distribute the components?
  • Can I use the autoroute function for this?
  • What tracks width should I set?

Thanks for all your help.

Edit:Net Classes, select a minimum width for traces.
Signals, at least 10mil. Clearance 10mil. Drill, 12 mil.
Power, at least 20mil. Clearance 10mil,. Drill 24 mil. If high current is expected, then 32 or even 40 mil.
Can't tell what the parts are - add a 0.1uC cap to the Vcc pin of each powered device to Gnd.

Once done with that, select File:Switch to Board for the board view to layout your components.

mildly hi-jacking thread......

what do you guys use for autorouting ?

my ( winqcad) program is old and no longer supported. I had an unlimited pin license, but alas, after a hard disk fail and not support, I have a 500 pin ceiling.

I use eagle, usually do a little cleanup, add a few vias named Gnd. It can do a nice job if you have good parts placement to start. If you have some critical signals, route those first by hand, they will be left alone.

The OP does not seem to have the parts designed correctly. All pins seem to be called 'pas 0' so auto routing is going to be fun.

No, he just has "PINS" layer turned for viewing - what is shown is a property of the symbol used.

CrossRoads:
Edit:Net Classes, select a minimum width for traces.
Signals, at least 10mil. Clearance 10mil. Drill, 12 mil.
Power, at least 20mil. Clearance 10mil,. Drill 24 mil. If high current is expected, then 32 or even 40 mil.
Can't tell what the parts are - add a 0.1uC cap to the Vcc pin of each powered device to Gnd.

Once done with that, select File:Switch to Board for the board view to layout your components.

Thank you Mr CrossRoads.

i'll be using a 595 chip on each socket, 2 of them drive the segments of 2 4x digits 7s displays, and the other one their digits.

I made some tests with eagle and the autoroute function leaves some tracks without drawing.
I don't have access to the software right now but I think status bar shows something like "90% done"
Does this happen because lack of space? (there is no visible error message)
I'm doing it single layer since It's my first try and want to keep it as simple as possible.

Lack of space, or not setting the auto-route grid fine enough.

The eagle autorouter seems not to handle power separate from signals, so
I'd at least hand-route the power first, add a ground plane, then autoroute
the signals. Power traces should be wider than signals, note, and you should
endevour to get those decoupling capacitors close to the power pins.

The auto router will do Power & Gnd just fine.
In the schematic, right click a 5V power trace and give it a net class property of Power or whatever you named it.
Draw a polygon around the outside of the board, will look like a dotted line. Right click & name it GND. When you click Tools:Rats Nest, it will fill in open spaces and connect grounded signals.
If you're going to send the board out to be fabbed, go ahead and make it double side, since the material starts out as double sided copper clad fiberglass anyway as standard stock.
Draw a GND polygon on both layers, outside of the board boundary so you can see it easily.
Then you can also select Rip Up and single click it to hide it and see your traces easier.
For better autorouting, select View:Grid and select mil.
Then under Tools:Autorouter, select 2 mil for the routing grid, that should get a lot more of the routing done assuming you had decent placement to start. You may have to add some Vias named GND to help with the last ground connections.

MarkT:
Lack of space, or not setting the auto-route grid fine enough.

The eagle autorouter seems not to handle power separate from signals, so
I'd at least hand-route the power first, add a ground plane, then autoroute
the signals. Power traces should be wider than signals, note, and you should
endevour to get those decoupling capacitors close to the power pins.

Thanks Mark, will check it

add a 0.1uC cap to the Vcc pin of each powered device to Gnd.

Can it be a polyester 0.1uf?
I'm not familiarized with capacitors values and types

0.1uF ceramic cap

For most digital work like this you can use most any non-polarized cap. With non-polarized caps in digital circuits your only real paramter beyond capacitance that you are worried about is the voltage rating. With a standard 5V digital circuit it is best to make sure your cap's voltage rating is at least 10V (some will say 6.3V.

Something like this; http://www.mouser.com/ProductDetail/TDK/FK28X7R1E104K/?qs=sGAEpiMZZMt3KoXD5rJ2N48tYEMqcp4xEeCIZV2cepk%3D $7.50 for 100 rated to 25V

All that said, if you already have 0.1uf polyester caps in your junk draw, then by all means use them but if purchasing them new, the polester caps are usually (from my main supplier mouser) slightly more expensive.

http://www.mouser.com/ProductDetail/Panasonic/ECQ-V1H104JL/?qs=sGAEpiMZZMv1cc3ydrPrF%2bfZ13WJ%2Fr1%2FEY9wPof57Ts%3D $7.80 for 100, rated to 50V

Thank you!

Going back to Eagle, I seem unable to get the above schematic done over a 10x10 board unless I enable the bottom layer.
With 1.27mm routing grid it reachs 95%, with 2mm about 40%.
I was trying to keep it single layer, as the fabrication process scared me a bit, but I guess I have no choice.

Another issue I found is it makes some tracks with 90 degrees turns.
I know I must avoid that but I don't know where I can set it.