PCB Design & Assembly Design Software & Services

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   Hello everybody!

In order to complete a project I am working on I need to take what is all
breadboarded up and turn it into a PiCrust (tm,R etc. :) ;) ) Thats what I call
 boards that have 40 GPIO connector to plug onto the Pi itself.

Now what I need to is come up with a means to get all this stuff on my lab desk
 and breadboards into the stuff that Advanced PCB http://www.4pcb.com/ needs to
 create the PCB, populate it, its mostly blank, there is module that needs to
have 2 rows of pins to plug it in, these come from another supplier prefab'd.
The board is just wires into the GPIO connectors for 5V, I2S etc...

So what I am looking for is SOFTWARE etc. to do this.

NOTE: I use ONLY, ABSOLUTELY ONLY LINUX, period. I do not use, do not have
access to any non Linux systems. My work and personal systems are LINUX ONLY.
It can run on a PI2/3 or it can run on KUbuntu 12.04, or 14.04 preferred, but
16.04 if I have to... I don't do WINE, I don't do VM's of non *Nix/BSD, so none
 of that is an option. I don't care if the software is open source. So long as
it is EITHER FREE or VERY CHEAP!

So with the above understanding...

With this in mind what software etc. do I need to go from my hand sribbles and
the breadboard mess to finished board, I plug into the Pi's, and stuff the
other board into it, and go..

I am using Advanced PCB as an example, any other similar firms with US
OPERATIONS, is fine.

Thanks.


Rick


... Ding Dong the Witch is DEAD! I Made America Great Again! President Trump!

Re: PCB Design & Assembly Design Software & Services
Rick Christian wrote:

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<https://www.autodesk.com/eagle-download-lin





Re: PCB Design & Assembly Design Software & Services
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Eagle has been cloud-ified, to the extent that you have to login to your
Autodesk cloud account to do anything.

AFAICS Kicad now has a pretty good duplicate of Eagle's feature set, so I
wouldn't recommend anyone to start with Eagle today.

Theo

Re: PCB Design & Assembly Design Software & Services
On Wed, 12 Jul 2017 00:21:41 +0100, Theo Markettos wrote:

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I looked at it a bit earlier, noticed that it has no price, just a rental  
figure and had already decided its far too expensive for the amount of  
use I'd make of it - one 30mm x 30mm PCB.

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I've just downloaded and installed it. Started it to see if it runs: it  
does, on Fedora 25 X64, so will RTFM and get stuck in a bit later after  
I've got a PICAXE doing its stuff on a breadboard and so know what goes  
onto the project PCB.
    

--  
martin@   | Martin Gregorie
gregorie. | Essex, UK
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Re: PCB Design & Assembly Design Software & Services
On 12/07/17 00:21, Theo Markettos wrote:
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My eagle aint cloudified. Downloaded it 6 months ago



--  
"When a true genius appears in the world, you may know him by this sign,  
that the dunces are all in confederacy against him."

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Re: PCB Design & Assembly Design Software & Services
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I should clarify: not 'cloudified' in the sense of Google Docs, but in the
sense of Adobe Creative Cloud.

In other words, it's a normal desktop app but you have to create an account
and login to make it work, and you pay a monthly subscription.  In Eagle's
case this mostly affects the pay-tiers (there's a free tier, but it's quite
restricted: 2 layers, 80cm2 of board).  Previously you paid a one-time fee
and gained perpetual access to the version that was current at time of
purchase.  It's unsurprising that users aren't happy.

Bottom line is, it's not worth the hassle of messing about with logins,
internet connections and subscriptions when equivalent packages are open
source.  If you want to do a really serious design (smartphone motherboard
kind of complexity) then Eagle is the wrong tool for the job anyway.

Theo

Re: PCB Design & Assembly Design Software & Services
On 12/07/17 10:32, Theo Markettos wrote:
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No. you dont. Its free to hobbyists.



In Eagle's
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Think its more than 2 layers.

   Previously you paid a one-time fee
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--  
There is something fascinating about science. One gets such wholesale  
returns of conjecture out of such a trifling investment of fact.

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Re: PCB Design & Assembly Design Software & Services
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As I said, there's a free tier but with limitation.
In particular board capabilities, and no commercial use.
AIUI you still need an account and let it phone home occasionally to use the free
tier.

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They reduced it as part of the Autodesk purchase.
It's "2 schematic sheets, 2 signal layers, and 80 cm2 board area."
https://www.autodesk.com/products/eagle/free-download
- it used to be 160x100mm, ie 160cm2.

The trouble with a limitation like that is that many designs can be
physically small, but as the complexity rises (tiny SMD parts, high-speed
etc) you need more layers.  Which aren't that expensive to manufacture these
days.  Or you can stay 2-layer, but the boards are larger because of routing
limitations.

TL;DR: Kicad has come a long way recently.  What extra does Eagle give me
that makes it worth my while jumping through these hoops?

Theo

Re: PCB Design & Assembly Design Software & Services
theom+ snipped-for-privacy@chiark.greenend.org.uk says...
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For free version I looked at that was the case when I looked about 6  
months ago.

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As a commercial user of Eagle for 17 years I have made many things  
available for other Eagle users and made many PCBs of many sizes and  
layers

Some large examples
    350 x 220 - 2 layer
    330 x 310 - 6 layer

For many different environments and markets

The changing license setup, change to annual subscription, still got the  
useless built in library parts, let alone some of the annoying bugs, I  
am now in long process of changing to KiCAD (which is multi-platform).

Long process as lots of information has to be transferred (as with  
change to any other package would be). Some of my designs have to be  
supported for 20 years so I have to keep sysytems with old versions of
Eagle for a while yet.

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Even had long phone conversation with old Eagle staff now part of  
Autodesk and explained why I would not be continuing with Eagle and  
changing.

The start of the rot was when it was originally bought by Farnell
then Autodesk was final nail in coffin.

For those interested in KiCad a couple of YouTube videos from an  
electronics blogger who does commercial designs and his impressions
back in 2012

Installation and schematic

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xRXEc7pB0o0


Making POB

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xRXEc7pB0o0


His overall view in 2012 was it was good then

Kicad have their own tutorials pages as well
kicad-pcb.org/help/tutorials/


--  
Paul Carpenter          | snipped-for-privacy@pcserviceselectronics.co.uk
<http://www.pcserviceselectronics.co.uk/ PC Services
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Re: PCB Design & Assembly Design Software & Services
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The thing I've been quite impressed by is the Kicad community.  For instance
I can google for a part, and it's quite often on someone's github.
That makes it much quicker to do board designs.

Caveats are that I don't have enough experience to make a statistical
sample, and some of these parts might not be production ready.  However it's
quicker for me to throw a board together in a day, send it for fab, go do
something else for a week, then fix up the bugs on the real board and fab
the production batch.  The alternative is to do lots of checking before it
goes out first time - but despite that there will invariably be something
else I overlooked.

For the kind of hobbyist fab where you only want one, ever, some more
checking might be useful.  And use Design For Bodging (DfB), a longstanding
hobbyist methodology.

Theo

Re: PCB Design & Assembly Design Software & Services
Rick Christian wrote on 7/10/2017 10:58 PM:
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You need two packages or one which combines the two.  You need a schematic  
capture package and a PCB layout package.  I have used FreePCB to layout  
boards once I had a schematic and could generate a netlist to feed the  
layout package.  This worked fine.  Many others use TinyCAD to draw the  
schematic and produce the netlist to feed FreePCB, but you can use any  
schematic program that will generate a PAD netlist.

A package that is popular at the moment is KiCad.  I keep telling myself I  
will learn it, but I have yet to.  KiCad combines both schematic captureand  
layout and is a Unix program.

Oh, I forgot about the Unix thing.  FreePCB is a windows only program.

--  

Rick C

Re: PCB Design & Assembly Design Software & Services
On Tue, 11 Jul 2017 17:43:56 -0400, rickman wrote:

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I'll have a similar requirement soon, but as I already use Wine to run  
aviation-related programs, I have no problem with using it for other  
programs.

So, does FreePCB run under Wine?


--  
martin@   | Martin Gregorie
gregorie. | Essex, UK
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Re: PCB Design & Assembly Design Software & Services
On Tue, 11 Jul 2017 17:43:56 -0400, rickman wrote:

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So is TinyCAD.  

So, it looks rather like I should go for KiCad, particularly as it is in  
the standard Fedora repository. Its also a Debian Jessie package, so next  
time my RPi is running its worth a check to see if its been ported to  
Raspbian.



--  
martin@   | Martin Gregorie
gregorie. | Essex, UK
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Re: PCB Design & Assembly Design Software & Services
On Tue, 11 Jul 2017 23:02:29 +0000, Martin Gregorie wrote:

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I've just checked - kicad is available for Raspbian Jessie, but its  
fairly big. Installing it needs 458 MB of SD card space.

apt-get doesn't say which kicad version would be installed. Since I  
already have the Fedora version installed on my laptop I'm not about to  
install it on the RPi just to see what version is on offer, but its nice  
to know its available.


--  
martin@   | Martin Gregorie
gregorie. | Essex, UK
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Re: PCB Design & Assembly Design Software & Services
On Thu, 13 Jul 2017 12:16:08 -0000 (UTC)
  
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Package: kicad
Version: 0.20140622+bzr4027-3

http://archive.raspbian.org/raspbian/dists/jessie/main/binary-armhf/Packages

Index of /raspbian/dists/jessie/main/binary-armhf/
Packages 13-Jul-2017 10:12 50102714




Re: PCB Design & Assembly Design Software & Services
On 13/07/17 13:16, Martin Gregorie wrote:
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version I have on MINT is "2013 july stable."

so pretty old

Just added the PPA to get latest.

http://docs.kicad-pcb.org/doxygen/md_Documentation_development_compiling.html

says how to port it so cpuld be made to work on a pi, but I rather  
undertsood rhe Pi to be the target of the final PCB, rather then the  
development plaftform for it.


--  
"What do you think about Gay Marriage?"
"I don't."
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Re: PCB Design & Assembly Design Software & Services
On Thu, 13 Jul 2017 15:30:03 +0100, The Natural Philosopher wrote:

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md_Documentation_development_compiling.html
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That depends on what the project requires. In my case I'm intending to  
make a PICAXE-based controller/timer for electrically powered free flight  
model aircraft and to use an RPi as the (portable, for use on the flying  
field) control box which is used to change timer settings in the PICAXE.
The PICAXE chip needs a small PCB to hold various switch connections,  
three servo sockets, an LED and a 3.5mm jack socket for the USB-serial  
cable. This cable is used to download compiled BASIC to the PICAXE and  
will also be used as the link between the RPi controlbox and the timers  
it manages.

RPi<->PICAXE comms uses a USB-serial converter cable. I already have a C  
daemon that can handle the RPi end, so writing its client code (that  
allows time settings to be modified and uploaded to the PICAXE) and  
programming the PICAXE are best done on the RPi since the logistics of  
doing any PICAXE code development requires physical access to it.

However, as I run the RPi headless and its already able to use my main CVS  
code repository, it doesn't matter where I run kicad since everything can  
end up in the same CVS module, so its installed on this laptop.


--  
martin@   | Martin Gregorie
gregorie. | Essex, UK
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Re: PCB Design & Assembly Design Software & Services
On 13/07/17 15:49, Martin Gregorie wrote:
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Not the hardest task in te world. I'll buy a couple off you though

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Blimey. Most peole use a couple of pots - time and power level.

Seems like you are making this all too complex, to me.

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Yup. Thats how to do it. I write source code on thsi desktop and save it  
via sshfs to a remote virtual machine miles  away and compile it there..



--  
"I am inclined to tell the truth and dislike people who lie consistently.
This makes me unfit for the company of people of a Left persuasion, and  
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Re: PCB Design & Assembly Design Software & Services
On Thu, 13 Jul 2017 16:06:21 +0100, The Natural Philosopher wrote:

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If you need Free Flight timers anytime soon, talk to Dan Kennedy and get  
a couple of his DanTimers and a control box - like most of the FF timers  
on the market, one controller can set all the timers because it either  
sucks the settings out of the timer, modifies them and writes them back  
or, like the Black Magic and other older timers, uses a Palm Pilot as  
controller and stored copies of all timer settings in it.
  
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Two reasons for this:

1) I really hate timers where you're supposed to use about two switches
   and a flashing LED to set the motor run time, possibly a trim change at
   the end of the motor run and a d/t time

2) RPis are cheap enough and anyway this is a good excuse to learn to
   make one talk to a touch screen and to use GTK to paint a nice display.

Pots may be good enough for sport flying or scale models, but I'm  
planning to use this on a competition models E36/F1S for sure and  
possibly F1Q as well.

E36 is simple enough: just a fixed length motor run and d/t time, though  
these days it probably needs a radio DT as well: push the button the stop  
the motor if its running and release the d/t.

F1Q is rather more complex because the motor must stop either its burnt  
the allowed number of joules or the maximum motor run time expires: the  
first of these stops the motor. Then, if its a fast climbing model it  
needs to retrim for glide (move rudder and/or tailplane to glide  
settings). Finally the model should d/t at the end of the flight. It may  
also be carrying a radio DT system.

Last but not least, I may have a crack at electric scale and it would be  
nice to use the same timer for that - think putting it on the runway and  
pressing the start switch. After a pause it starts the motor and takes  
off. A bit later u/c and flaps come up and power reduces for cruise.  
After 30 seconds or so motor stops, flaps come down and it glides down to  
land.

I know how to make a timer that can do all this: its not all that hard,  
but does need a control box that can be used to modify the timer's flight  
program[*] as and when needed on the flying field.

[*] by 'flight program' I mean the list of times and servo positions that  
control a flight, not the compiled BASIC program in the PICAXE chip.


--  
martin@   | Martin Gregorie
gregorie. | Essex, UK
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Re: PCB Design & Assembly Design Software & Services
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Reminds me of an alleged comment by Seymour Cray...

When told by his sales team that they just sold a Cray supercomputer
to Apple to use to design the next Apple computer, he laughed.
The Sales Director asked why it was so funny, and Seymour Cray replied
that he designed the Cray on an Apple computer.

--  
Andrew Gabriel
[email address is not usable -- followup in the newsgroup]

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