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Old 23rd June 2003, 06:16 AM   #1
lgreen is offline lgreen  United States
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Default Eagle PCB Software or Not?

Hello, I am trying to make my 1st ever PCB layout. I am using Eagle PCB software, the free demo version. Having read a few threads here at diyaudio.com,

PCB Software

I am worried that this software will not output files that can be used by pcb manufacturers, gerber files? Why not, what good are they if they can't be used to make a pcb?

Anyway, you all are experts on this stuff. My goal is to design a pretty simpile pcb and send out electronic files to get the boards made. Any recommendations on software OR ALSO pcb manuf. houses? I live in Southern California, USA. I don't want to waste a ton of time coming up with a circuit and be unable to have it put on a board...obviously!

thanks
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Old 23rd June 2003, 06:42 AM   #2
Vivek is offline Vivek  India
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Hi,
You can make make gerber files in Eagle. After making the layout select the CAM processor. In that window, you can select the output device.
I save the output as a EPS file and print it using photoshop.

Cheers,
Vivek
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Old 23rd June 2003, 07:11 AM   #3
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The question relates to CAM processing which Eagle does. I have not in fact been able to verify that CircuitMaker can do the same .... (i.e it does SOME CAM stuff, but it is enough for manufacturers? I hope so, but am still unsure)

Re local printing: I suggest file: Print ...

Eagle has a kind of crummy interface, but I have had the chance to play with it and am starting to like it, mostly because of the tight integration between schematic and layout - this can save you a lot of time if you make changes after the fact. There are some quirks to the program, and it is not very Windows like and intuitive if you are into that sort of thing (like me). In that regard, CircuitMaker appears to be easier to start with.

Petter
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Old 24th June 2003, 01:29 AM   #4
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I use this professional software,
I prefer it over Protel, PAD2000, AutoCAD, etc.

http://www.mentor.com/pads/powerpcb/

but for the home user, it's too expensive.to buy...

It requires a hardware key or server
license too..

If you try to run the software with
no license, it operates in demo mode
which allows you to do small jobs
and output gerbers !


The trick is to get a copy of the software and run demo mode.
Perhaps a call to sales ?

*********
In demo mode, your limits are as follows.

Parts - 30
Nets - 65
Connections - 150
Route Segments - 47
Part Decals - 56
Terminals - 207

*********

Recently, I figured out a way to
get more out of this software
in demo mode - /secret
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Old 24th June 2003, 02:08 AM   #5
jwb is offline jwb  United States
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Eagle does have several problems when producing Gerber files. I do several operations on the files to make them compatible with the requirements of my board house. Especially the output of the drill file is useless.

But I'm still using it, so it must be good enough. The standard parts library is enormous.
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Old 24th June 2003, 12:03 PM   #6
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Thumbs up Library additions....

I've also been plyaying with the demo version of Eagle, and it looks very promising.

I like the vast libraries, and have had a sift through the updated library components on their website.

I couldn't find the LM3875T(F) or CS8412 models anywhere - google, surprisingly, didn't throw any leads up either.

Not wishing to hijack the thread, but are there any other sources for Eagle mods???

As you may have guessed, I would like to make my own nonos DAC and Gainclone boards.

All the best

Jon

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Old 24th June 2003, 12:30 PM   #7
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When I looked at Eagle, I quickly realized that they had vast libraries, but that they were in no way complete.

Creating new devices is not all that hard (once you get used to it). The deal with Eagle and others is that you can't really use them effectively until you have invested considereable time with libraries.

It surprises me that Cadsoft has not used this very point to their advantage. The "additional devices" on their website does not appear to be of much use either.

Petter
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Old 24th June 2003, 03:19 PM   #8
jwb is offline jwb  United States
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One problem is you can't export a single device from a library and share it with other people. You can only mail around the entire library.
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Old 24th June 2003, 03:35 PM   #9
ALW is offline ALW  United Kingdom
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Quote:
Eagle does have several problems when producing Gerber files. I do several operations on the files to make them compatible with the requirements of my board house. Especially the output of the drill file is useless.
I'm suprised by that comment.

The drill file is in a totally standard NC drill format and every board house I've used accepts it fine.

Equally the same applies for the Gerbers - what problems have you experienced - there's a lot fo functionality buried inside Eagle, that isn't always obvious or immediately intuitive?

Non-standard interface aside, it's the best I've used in a readily available package, the downside (and the reason I no longer use it) is the board-area based licensing model.

For beginners stay away from Pads / PowerPCB - it's powerful, but VERY complicated and has a worse interface to Eagle, you will find a steep learning curve.

Andy.

P.S. As Petter says, you will invest most of your time in dealing with the libraries, the layout stuff is easy in comparison, and usually intuitive.
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Old 24th June 2003, 06:00 PM   #10
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Default LM3875 Model??

Perhaps we can make our own library of DIYaudio parts that are the most common??

I must admit that, as a real newbie to thing electrical, it may be a bit of a struggle, I will get there eventually.



Any tips for how to create library objects?? If it's a case of inputting in datasheet info, I'm sure I can cope with that.....

All the best

Jon
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