[sdiy] Schematic to PCB problems

Jay Schwichtenberg jays at aracnet.com
Tue Jun 4 00:15:21 CEST 2002

All the shops I've used for work use PADs but that's another $5K-10K

Don't even consider Edwin. The version I bought was hard to use and crashed
before I could get anything done with it.

I've been using the free version of Eagle CAD. It's one of the easiest to
use I've found. I'd spend $400 on the standard schematic and PCB parts could
do 30 sq inches specifing the dimensions. If my calcs are right it's good
for 4" (100mm) x 6.4" (160mm) or 25.6 sq inches. It seems most board houses
have cheap prototype runs for 5" X 6" or 30 sq inches.

The software from expressPCB is real straight forward and simple (no
schematic capture). I've been getting ready to have some of their cheap 2.5"
X 3.8" boards done.

One word of advice if you're going to have someone else actually make your
boards. Get all the info you can from them about trace width, etch spacing,
hole size, and types of files needed before you start laying out your board.
Most prototype services have a limited number of tools they'll let you use.
It's a real pain to do a layout and use the wrong hole size and have to
change things latter.

If you are going to make boards yourself you can use about any CAD package
that supports symbol libraries. There are a couple of issues with that.
Scalling the printing to be an acurate 1:1 ratio is one. The other is
getting a print opaque enough for the photo process.


> -----Original Message-----
> From: owner-synth-diy at dropmix.xs4all.nl
> [mailto:owner-synth-diy at dropmix.xs4all.nl]On Behalf Of Clint Davis
> Sent: Monday, June 03, 2002 1:31 PM
> To: Synth-DIY list; Hallvard Tangeraas
> Subject: Re: [sdiy] Schematic to PCB problems
> All I have to say, is that I'm very impressed with that eagle cadsoft
> program.  Definately recommended for the DIY-er from my preview
> of it.  The
> auto-routing function on it is great.  With a minimal amount of
> effort I was
> able to put together that circuit with no jumpers into a very
> compact area.
> For the price (free) it seems really user-friendly and pretty powerful.  I
> haven't really compared it with anything, so I suppose it's not much of a
> professional opinion, but it looks like it could do anything I
> could ask of
> it.  It has a pretty extensive component library as well, pretty much any
> opamp you could want.
> On the subject of freeware, if there's any other software out
> there that you
> guys know about that's useful/interesting/educational, share the wealth!
> Clint
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Hallvard Tangeraas" <northstar2010 at yahoo.no>
> To: "Synth-DIY list" <synth-diy at dropmix.xs4all.nl>
> Sent: Monday, June 03, 2002 1:05 PM
> Subject: [sdiy] Schematic to PCB problems
> > I'm trying to finalize my ETI vocoder which I've mentioned here several
> > times in the past, and to do that I need to build a
> test-oscillator which
> > is described in the instructions.
> >
> > The problem is that unlike all the other circuits, this one only has a
> > schematic, and not a complete PCB layout.
> > It's a small and simple circuit, but since I don't have any
> experience in
> > creating a circuit board out of a schematic I'm struggling quite a bit.
> The
> > problem of course is to design it in practical manner to take as little
> > space as possible, with as few "bridges" as possible etc.
> >
> > I've tried to do this on paper, but so far I haven't found any good
> > solutions. I currently don't have any equipment for etching
> PCBs, so I was
> > thinking of building it using a "strip" type PCB. Still, a
> proper circuit
> > board layout would be nice as I plan to document the whole building
> > procedure of the vocoder when done.
> >
> > Any suggestions on how to go about with this?
> > I've uploaded the schematic here:
> >
> >  http://home.c2i.net/st_hallvard/test_oscillator.jpg
> >
> >
> > Hallvard
> > --
> > Notator/Creator SL : <http://www.notator.org>
> > Atari Launchpad    : <http://launchpad.atari.org>

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