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PCB Layout software - what to use?

K

Keith

Jan 1, 1970
0
Looking for suggestions on what to use for doing up some pcb layouts.
I am doing up some simple circuits for guitar effects and amplifiers. I
would like something that is not too complex.
Hoping for something that is free, but has support for printing. (going to
try the laser printer / photo paper trick)
I have tried ExpressPCB, and i liked it, but the copper trace printouts have
dots all over them (am i doing something wrong?)
Suggestions are appreciated. Thanks
Keith
creekchubbAThotmailDOTcom (replace AT with @, DOT with .)
 
A

Anand Dhuru

Jan 1, 1970
0
Keith said:
Looking for suggestions on what to use for doing up some pcb layouts.
I am doing up some simple circuits for guitar effects and amplifiers. I
would like something that is not too complex.
Hoping for something that is free, but has support for printing. (going to
try the laser printer / photo paper trick)
I have tried ExpressPCB, and i liked it, but the copper trace printouts have
dots all over them (am i doing something wrong?)
Suggestions are appreciated. Thanks
Keith
creekchubbAThotmailDOTcom (replace AT with @, DOT with .)

How about Eagle? The lite version is free; completely functional, but
restricted to 4" X 6" (I think); this should suffice for most hobbyist
projects.

Available at www.cadsoft.de

Regards,

Anand
 
T

Terry Pinnell

Jan 1, 1970
0
Keith said:
Looking for suggestions on what to use for doing up some pcb layouts.
I am doing up some simple circuits for guitar effects and amplifiers. I
would like something that is not too complex.
Hoping for something that is free, but has support for printing. (going to
try the laser printer / photo paper trick)
I have tried ExpressPCB, and i liked it, but the copper trace printouts have
dots all over them (am i doing something wrong?)
Suggestions are appreciated. Thanks

See my notes and links to some 60 ECAD programs at
http://www.terrypin.dial.pipex.com/ECADList.html

Terry Pinnell
Hobbyist, West Sussex, UK
 
J

Joe

Jan 1, 1970
0
Keith said:
Looking for suggestions on what to use for doing up some pcb layouts.
I am doing up some simple circuits for guitar effects and amplifiers. I
would like something that is not too complex.
Hoping for something that is free, but has support for printing. (going to
try the laser printer / photo paper trick)
I have tried ExpressPCB, and i liked it, but the copper trace printouts have
dots all over them (am i doing something wrong?)
Suggestions are appreciated. Thanks
Keith
creekchubbAThotmailDOTcom (replace AT with @, DOT with .)

Hi Keith,

I use pcbexpress also, but you have to save the pcb traces file ( I use a
screen capture program-saves it as a bitmap) and then go into a photo editor
(I use paintshop pro) and using a pixel resize command, change the density
from 24 pixels per inch to 150 pixels per inch. Then I crop at the yellow
guide lines and resize the image to 3.8"wideX2.5"high (using bilinear
resample). I don't have a laser printer, so I print it out on my inkjet and
take it to staples where they laser copy it to staples picture paper (sku
471861, I know it says inkjet paper, but it works the best) in their black
and white copier set to maximum darkness. If you have a laser printer you
can skip the staples step. With my small circuits, I can usually have
anywhere from 4 to 8 on the same page and they only charge 14 cents per
page. It's a good deal. Now, if only I had a laser printer...

hth,
Joe
 
K

Keith

Jan 1, 1970
0
Keith said:
Looking for suggestions on what to use for doing up some pcb layouts.
I am doing up some simple circuits for guitar effects and amplifiers. I
would like something that is not too complex.
Hoping for something that is free, but has support for printing. (going to
try the laser printer / photo paper trick)
I have tried ExpressPCB, and i liked it, but the copper trace printouts have
dots all over them (am i doing something wrong?)
Suggestions are appreciated. Thanks
Keith
creekchubbAThotmailDOTcom (replace AT with @, DOT with .)

Thank you all for the replies
Still using ExpressPCB then a graphics program to clean up after. Wishing it
had more features, but it is the easiest one i've found, and also the
cheapest (free). I will want something more for future designs, so I will
try out more of the programs from the lists (thanks).
Tried out Eagle, still working through the tutorial. Seems a bit complex for
me right now (eg. I want to put a simple resistor here - I want the pads to
be spaced 500mil apart - I want the pad to have 40mil hole, 60mil
diameter --- i must be stupid? because i spent 10 minutes wading through ui
and didn't figure it out)
Anyways, it seems like i will be demoing a stack of software for the next
week or so! Back to work...
Keith
creekchubbAThotmailDOTcom (replace AT with @, DOT with .)
 
A

AtPCLogic

Jan 1, 1970
0
Subject: Re: PCB Layout software - what to use?
From: "Keith" [email protected]
Date: 9/16/04 1:01 AM Eastern Daylight Time
Message-id: <[email protected]>



Thank you all for the replies
Still using ExpressPCB then a graphics program to clean up after. Wishing it
had more features, but it is the easiest one i've found, and also the
cheapest (free). I will want something more for future designs, so I will
try out more of the programs from the lists (thanks).
Tried out Eagle, still working through the tutorial. Seems a bit complex for
me right now (eg. I want to put a simple resistor here - I want the pads to
be spaced 500mil apart - I want the pad to have 40mil hole, 60mil
diameter --- i must be stupid? because i spent 10 minutes wading through ui
and didn't figure it out)
Anyways, it seems like i will be demoing a stack of software for the next
week or so! Back to work...
Keith
creekchubbAThotmailDOTcom (replace AT with @, DOT with .)

Free is nice, but isn't this a lot of work just to save a few bucks?
Brad
PC Logic

Schematic entry and PCB design software
http://www.pclogic.biz
http://members.aol.com/atpclogic/index.html
 
K

Keith

Jan 1, 1970
0
AtPCLogic said:
Free is nice, but isn't this a lot of work just to save a few bucks?
Brad
PC Logic

Schematic entry and PCB design software
http://www.pclogic.biz
http://members.aol.com/atpclogic/index.html

For me, free is very important until my needs are better determined. In the
past i have wasted thousands of dollars on software packages that looked
like they were exactly what i needed. This ended up in a ton of work
changing my workflow to suit the developer's vision, or a useless box
sitting on a shelf.
Electronics is a new hobby for me, and I don't want to spend a lot of money
unless I find a product that I really love. As I am just getting started in
computer pcb layout, I expect that my workflow will be strongly influenced
by the software package.
There are a ton of layout programs out there, with prices ranging from free
to insane. I'm pretty sure, for my basic needs, there is something out there
for me for free or cheap. I just need to do the research and find something
that I can work with, and that will suit me in the future.

Currently trying out ARES Lite, part of the Proteus Lite suite. Going to do
the tutorial this evening.

Keith
creekchubbAThotmailDOTcom (replace AT with @, DOT with .)
 
J

JeffM

Jan 1, 1970
0
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