making your own printed board

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by ddickey, Feb 8, 2012.

  1. magnet18

    Senior Member

    Dec 22, 2010
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    Thanks, I wasn't sure

    And to the OP, yes, keep at it, we've all gotten frustrated and started throwing things :)
    Express PCB and Eagle are the only 2 I use, and I like them both. They have their uses.
    Express PCB is great to start with as it's easy to use and clear cut. Eagle is more complex, but has more/better features and you can create gerbers from it.

    A warning, if you use express PCB, you are required to get your boards made through them
     
  2. Wendy

    Moderator

    Mar 24, 2008
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    This is an incorrect statement. They would like you to make your boards through them, but DIY types the world over (myself included) use the software, then take the finished results and make our own boards at home. I go a little further than most in changing the pads for something I am happier with.

    It takes a while to figure out a mix of graphics packages to do this, but most people can figure it out.
     
  3. Wendy

    Moderator

    Mar 24, 2008
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    The thing to remember is this is not SPICE software. You can draw schematics, but it is for error checking on the PCB which is made later.

    I think there is some cases where a schematic drawn with a PCB CAD program can be used for SPICE, but I don't personally know of any.
     
  4. nerdegutta

    Moderator

    Dec 15, 2009
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    I think I read somewhere that there is an ULP (User Language Program) for Eagle, that convert an Eagle schematic to a LTSpice file. Don't know about the models used in the drawing.

    Doesn't Multisim have such a feature? And Isis or Proteus? (Or is this the same program? Main difference is Student / Professional?)

    If you, ddickey, needs help with a model/footprint, just ask... :)
     
  5. Felo

    Member

    Feb 20, 2012
    91
    13
    I recommend NOVARM DIPTRACE, they have a student version, It's only a CAD software, but is quite powerfull in my opinion, it has always keep up with my needs. You can also mod. the libs to suit your needs, gerber export, the whole deal.

    I believe that all the people that now has mastered the techniques in making PCB's had gone throuh pain, misery, and blood-sweating trying to make a good PCB, but the good news is that once you had, you will find that the perceived complexity level of forthcomming proyects is greatly reduced. So everything is easier after that!!!

    My advice is don't loose you temper, read the docummentation, stick stubbornly with one product, force yourself through it the first few times and you will succede in no time.

    Good Luck
     
  6. Wendy

    Moderator

    Mar 24, 2008
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    Yeah, you are trading off one butt load of work for another, with the difference it becomes a piece of cake to reproduce.
     
  7. panic mode

    Senior Member

    Oct 10, 2011
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    Why not consider open source product? I am using KiCad for example.
    Granted, library is not as extensive as in some other programs but it is easy to make any symbol and footprint you like. Also there are no restrictions as in cut-down or student editions of commercial programs. You get up to 16 layers, unlimited board size, unlimited number of schematic pages, etc.

    http://kicad.sourceforge.net/wiki/Main_Page
     
  8. nerdegutta

    Moderator

    Dec 15, 2009
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    I've used KiCad earlier, and I liked the instant 3d view. When I printed the PCB layers I needed, the traces were like old 8-bit sprite graphite. Not so nice. So I took the time to learn some Eagle, and I'm not going back...
     
  9. panic mode

    Senior Member

    Oct 10, 2011
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    what version was that and what was the size of step?

    i'm using KiCad for few years now and I cannot see that.
    I've done boards through several PCB companies and boards are ultimate benchmark. everything is smooth as far as microscope can show.

    i just looked at the prints too. the only not-smooth artefact is a jagged edge of the zone fill, but it is not like you describe, it is approximation of a curve.
    here is sample at 3200% zoom.

    was this the problem you describe? I would expect that any software would show similar result with sufficient magnification.
     
  10. nerdegutta

    Moderator

    Dec 15, 2009
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    That's looking great. Mine - not so much... :(

    This is on of the early boards I made. And I must say that I've come a long way from that. :D

    BTW: The circuit is 3 555 timer IC's. The first is a monostable, second is appx 0.5sec on, 0.5sec off. The third is connected to a buzzer...
     
  11. panic mode

    Senior Member

    Oct 10, 2011
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    eeek... i see now, i didn't think it would be that bad ;-)
     
  12. nerdegutta

    Moderator

    Dec 15, 2009
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    You see why I went to Eagle...

    Anyway, if the OP sticks with one ECAD program, I'm sure he gets the hang of it in a while.:)
     
  13. Wendy

    Moderator

    Mar 24, 2008
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    I really don't like Express PCB's pads, but I can work around them well. I used to draw layouts with Paint, which is a real pain.

    The big difference is the laminator, it is what made all the difference. You need a way to transfer the layout cleanly, either toner transfer or optical.
     
  14. panic mode

    Senior Member

    Oct 10, 2011
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    done with the work and too lazy to study so i played with this a bit...
     
  15. ddickey

    Thread Starter Member

    Sep 28, 2011
    55
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    Hey that looks nice.
     
  16. nerdegutta

    Moderator

    Dec 15, 2009
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    This ain't so bad:
    [​IMG]
    :D
     
  17. panic mode

    Senior Member

    Oct 10, 2011
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    This ain't bad at all... :)
     
  18. ddickey

    Thread Starter Member

    Sep 28, 2011
    55
    1
    I'm making my board today with some help from a person who has made several before. I'll post a pic or two later.
     
  19. ddickey

    Thread Starter Member

    Sep 28, 2011
    55
    1
    Here is the control part of the circuit. I amy have to make chnages though on the signal side as ifixit stated on my other post.
     
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  20. nerdegutta

    Moderator

    Dec 15, 2009
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    Did you use the toner transfer method?
     
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