pcb software help

Discussion in 'Electronics Resources' started by adamclark, Oct 8, 2013.

  1. adamclark

    Thread Starter Member

    Oct 4, 2013
    472
    6
    hello,, Im very new to electronics and am about to make my first pcb for my first real project.. Is there an easy to learn software that can also help in component placement and simplify the number of traces? My project is on breadboard right now and im positive it can be a lot cleaner and smaller and I don't want to try and clean it up myself and etch a board thats not going to work.. thanks
     
  2. spido

    New Member

    Oct 9, 2013
    1
    0
    pleas help me pcb
     
  3. DerStrom8

    Well-Known Member

    Feb 20, 2011
    2,428
    1,328
    Spido, please start your own thread, and give more information about what you want.

    Adam, most PCB design software requires you do the layout, and honestly I wouldn't have it any other way. I don't know if there's anything out there that can do what you want, but it's definitely worth learning to do the layout yourself. Trust me on this, it would be FAR better than any automated process that bases things on algorithms. That's why most autorouters are crap as well; their algorithms can never beat human intelligence and sens of proper design.

    My advice--just learn to do it on your own. You'll look back in a few years and be thankful that you learned to do it yourself. Trust me on this.

    Matt
     
  4. adamclark

    Thread Starter Member

    Oct 4, 2013
    472
    6
    Thank you sir,, I have every intention of learning to do it myself. I was hoping more for something that would alert me if I was about to screw up, Or maybe give other "options" or suggestions to placement. But I do agree with you. This is something that I must learn to do by myself. I very well cant build circuits and make the electronic projects I want without this skill...Maybe Im just looking to the wrong thing for help. Perhaps my thread should have been named " tips for making neat and clean PCB's " would have put me in a better direction..
     
  5. sirch2

    Well-Known Member

    Jan 21, 2013
    1,008
    351
    Personally I use the free version of Eagle CAD and it has Electrical Rules Checks (ERC) and Design Rules Checks (DRC) that check for a variety of common mistakes (missing conenctions, clearances, crossing tracks etc.) so it does do some of the things you want. It also autoroutes all or part of the board, so you can place components, autoroute them, have a look at the outcome, move things around and route them again. There is a fairly steep learning curve and I find Eagle a bit annoying to use but for a free tool it has extensive component libraries and is supported by a lot of third parties.
     
  6. DerStrom8

    Well-Known Member

    Feb 20, 2011
    2,428
    1,328
    Ah yes, that's part of the learning process--screwing up :p
    I very often route a trace in a way that blocks other traces, so I have to rip it up and try again, changing the direction or whatnot. It's part of the process, so don't worry if you make a mistake. It's actually a good thing, and will help you a lot in the long run! :)

    I use the free version of Eagle as well, for my 1 or 2-layer boards. Any more layers and you'd have to buy the full version, or find another CAD tool to create the design. I don't recommend the autorouter except for in small spaces (for example, if you have to mix up metric and imperial measurements, you'll almost always be off slightly on the pad. The autorouter helps make this tiny connection). I do NOT recommend autorouting the entire board, it usually makes a mess of things and you have to redo it all by hand anyway. Just been my experience, anyway.

    Good luck!
    Matt
     
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