PCB Design Software Suggestions?

Discussion in 'Electronics Resources' started by Llamarama, Dec 19, 2014.

  1. Llamarama

    Thread Starter Active Member

    Feb 1, 2010
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    Hello everyone, I've got some high quality scans of some PCBs that I need to re-create. There's a minor error on the PCB so I can't just up the contrast of the scan to make a transparency, and I'd also like to have it professionally made at some point so I thought i'd transfer it to a PCB Layout program.

    Can anyone suggest a ole that will allow me to place a grid over the image and, in effect, trace the layout out? It's a fairly large single board computer my dad designed in the early 80s, along with a floppy controller for such a system.

    Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated, Many thanks,

    Mike
     
  2. ISB123

    Well-Known Member

    May 21, 2014
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    Any photo editing software will do that,gimp is free.Your problem is scale you will most likely need to scale the image up/down.
     
  3. jpanhalt

    AAC Fanatic!

    Jan 18, 2008
    5,699
    907
    Try the free version of EAGLE (cadsoftusa.com)

    John
     
  4. GopherT

    AAC Fanatic!

    Nov 23, 2012
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    DesignSpark is also free and has many advanced features and output formats. Unfortunately, Design Spark does not allow images to be pasted into the design field (like your scan, for example). Most boards are made on 0.1" grids so you could just drop your solder rings where needed for each chip, resistor and capacitor, then connect the dots.

    How big is your board?
     
  5. Llamarama

    Thread Starter Active Member

    Feb 1, 2010
    62
    2
    The biggest factor I have to consider is the size of the board, it's 12 inches by 6 inches. GIMP seems to be working well for each side. I've found that printing it at a 1:1 scale then re-building it in ExpressPCB with a pair of calipers to be the most labout-intensive, but give the best output. Thanks for the suggestions :)
     
  6. GopherT

    AAC Fanatic!

    Nov 23, 2012
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    How are you planning on turning your drawing into a board?
     
  7. ISB123

    Well-Known Member

    May 21, 2014
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    He could set the grid size to 2,5~mm and then just place the pads accordingly to the grid.Or he just could print the PCB mask straight from gimp if drawing is accurate enough.
     
  8. Llamarama

    Thread Starter Active Member

    Feb 1, 2010
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    I was planning on setting the DPI to 600 and then printing onto acetate and using standard photoresist board. I know the original scan is 600 DPI and have confirmed this by printing out and measuring a selection of pads, all of which are on the standard 2.54mm putch, give or take 0.02mm.
     
  9. raumut

    New Member

    Jan 29, 2013
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    i am with john, give eagle a try. should support these features. find it here.

    have a nice day
     
  10. Llamarama

    Thread Starter Active Member

    Feb 1, 2010
    62
    2
    I've tried a few over the past few days and Eagle is, by far, the most useful. The only problem is the price, the free version can only create boards 100mm*80mm which is too small for most of my projects, even the paid for eurocard version is too small. I need at least double-Eurocard, however their pricing is way out of my budget :/
     
  11. joeyd999

    AAC Fanatic!

    Jun 6, 2011
    2,691
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    Cool. Just cool.

    Regardless if you are successful or not, your dad would be proud. I know I would be if my daughter someday tried to recreate some of my work.

    Edit: talk about getting to know your parents!
     
    panic mode likes this.
  12. Llamarama

    Thread Starter Active Member

    Feb 1, 2010
    62
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    He started out in the ship yards as an electrician, got into opto-electronics, then managed to get into designing and building high end CAD systems in the early 80s. Then he became a programmer for medical software and finally started selling it. His CV is a good read, I'll say that.

    On a semi-related note, i've had a bit of success tracing a PCB with tracing paper and a fine marker pen! :p
     
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