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Making PCB without a computer
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Old 15th August 2018, 09:59 AM   #31
mondogenerator is offline mondogenerator  England
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I've used eagle, easy PC, espressPCB, dip trace, altium and cadstar and Ultiboard.

In contrast, I find dip trace initially not bad, but far far too complex for the needs of an amateur. Frankly it's barely more user friendly than Altium.

Cad star is a similar affair. Easy enough to get into frustrating when you want to think outside of the box.

Ultiboard is good. Comparable with Dip trace, as far as quality output is concerned, but more user friendly.

PCB express and Easy PC are by far the easiest to get into, not as slick looking UI or output but at least I can make my own foot print in less than 2 mins. I can do the footprint in Dip trace, but it isn't anything like as intuitive, and is a rather painful affair.

Someone needs to port a cut down, amateur version, rather than an all singing all dancing fancy UI and origin system which is at odds with all other PCB CAD programs....
Not tried KiCAD.
Not a chance I'll buy diptrace until that happens.

For the learning required just to build a component, WITHOUT having to draw the .sch and link to that....

Well I'd may as well learn AutoCAd electrical/inventor which I have access to...it's THAT painful
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Last edited by mondogenerator; 15th August 2018 at 10:03 AM.
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Old 15th August 2018, 10:10 AM   #32
chris719 is offline chris719  United States
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Making PCB without a computer
I like Altium much more than Eagle. It has it's quirks though and I really would struggle to justify the price if I had to use it outside of work.
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Old 15th August 2018, 12:42 PM   #33
MagicBus is offline MagicBus  Greece
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I'm only using the free versions of this type of software. For idiosyncratic reasons I'll avoid even those requiring to subscribe... But again, my needs are very simple.
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Old 15th August 2018, 01:24 PM   #34
edbarx is offline edbarx  Malta
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I have already climbed quite some distance up the learning curve for KiCad, but I am still far below the peak. Since, I have spent several hours trying to get started with KiCad, and effectively, I produced an amplifier circuit, it makes more sense for me to concentrate more to continue my learning. I need to author a footprint library including 'legacy' footprints like To-3PL, To-92, To-225, To-126.
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Old 15th August 2018, 02:22 PM   #35
davidsrsb is offline davidsrsb  Malaysia
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KiCAD does not use the live libraries on GitHub method anymore in V5. It wasn't a good idea as you really don't want random library changes in the middle of a design
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Old 16th August 2018, 02:00 AM   #36
xrk971 is online now xrk971  United States
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Making PCB without a computer
Black sharpie works great. Nail polish works well but hard to make fine lines. Although using a computer -but as a paint program (not layout software). Best is laser printer on adhesive backed vinyl sheets designed for lining wooden shelving and drawers.

Example with hand drawn black Sharpie:
DLH Amplifier: The trilogy with PLH and JLH amps

Example with paint program and laser printer transfer:
AKSA's Lender Preamp with 40Vpp Output

Example with laser printer and real layout program generated pattern:
Cheap as Chips OPA1688 Low-THD Muscle Amp
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Old 16th August 2018, 02:42 AM   #37
Michael Chua is offline Michael Chua  United States
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I was using Easy PC Pro for many years. I can't remember whether it was DOS or Windows 98. I switched to DipTrace because the board houses are unable to read the old Gerber files.
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Old 16th August 2018, 07:48 AM   #38
gmphadte is offline gmphadte  India
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I made my first pcb by drawing with enamel paint using a bow pen.

Gajanan Phadte
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Old 16th August 2018, 10:38 AM   #39
Chris Daly is offline Chris Daly  Australia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by edbarx View Post
Unfortunately, my Linux installation did not provide me with a stable version of KiCad. While I am editing a footprint for a previously added component, the entire KiCad suite dies leaving absolutely no traces on the screen. I tried to build later versions but I am failing for some reason unknown to me. Even Debian's version does not have a patch that was uploaded about two years ago.

The above forced me to try to create my own software with which I would be able to draw schematics and maybe produce PCBs. However, this is also a path riddled with high hurdles.
Easy EDA offers a very good service to lay out your schematic do revisions to pcb layout and generate a gerber file. EasyEDA - Online PCB design & circuit simulator

Kicad is IMO let down by its schematic program eschema that needs updating, for me Kicad was unusable

But new to the horizon is Libre PCB, presently under development. LibrePCB
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Old 16th August 2018, 12:57 PM   #40
suzyj is offline suzyj  Australia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by edbarx View Post
I have already climbed quite some distance up the learning curve for KiCad, but I am still far below the peak. Since, I have spent several hours trying to get started with KiCad, and effectively, I produced an amplifier circuit, it makes more sense for me to concentrate more to continue my learning. I need to author a footprint library including 'legacy' footprints like To-3PL, To-92, To-225, To-126.
Get used to making footprints - it's a big part of PCB design. Beware of the stock KiCAD TO-126/TO-225 footprint - it has the pins on 0.1" centers rather than the actual 0.09".
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