complete newbie to PCB design, loads of questions.....

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Martin

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Apr 21, 2004, 4:46:49 AM4/21/04
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Hi all,

Well here goes, I am, as the heading says a complete newbie to
designing PCB's, all I want to do is create simple single (perhaps
double) sided PCB's for LED displays. I have made a couple of displays
using strip board but would like to make a more professionals display
using a 'proper' PCB.
These are for my motorbike rear lamp unit. So, all that will be on the
boards are LED's and resistors.
I have been trying to use Eagle from cadsoft, but to be honest I have
failed with flying colours to create the PCB. I can layout everything,
but when I pour the copper it's a complete block instead of nice
tracks.
What I am really after is a drag and drop type thang for use in a
graphics package or perhaps visio, or something along those lines.
I can draw the design on a piece of paper so I want to do the same on
my P.C screen.
I have read that you can use laser printer to print out the design,
then iron it onto your copper sheet, and then etch. This is about as
technical as I need it.
So are there any packages out there that will let me draw a PCB?

Any help gratefully received.

Martin

Frank Bemelman

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Apr 21, 2004, 5:19:23 AM4/21/04
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"Martin" <m...@me.com> schreef in bericht
news:2ebc80logo2f77seb...@4ax.com...

I advise to try again with Eagle. You will have to draw the tracks
manually or by auto-route perhaps. 'Copper pour' places large blocks
of copper, that is correct. There must be an easy way in this software
to draw individual tracks, with a desired width.

--
Thanks, Frank.
(remove 'x' and 'invalid' when replying by email)

Leon Heller

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Apr 21, 2004, 5:54:58 AM4/21/04
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"Martin" <m...@me.com> wrote in message
news:2ebc80logo2f77seb...@4ax.com...

EasyPC and Pulsonix are much easier to use than Eagle:

http://www.numberone.com and http://www.pulsonix.com

The free Pulsonix demo (up to 100 pins) should be fine for your purposes.

For something simple like you are doing, Visio should work OK.

Leon


Martin

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Apr 21, 2004, 7:59:09 AM4/21/04
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On Wed, 21 Apr 2004 10:54:58 +0100, "Leon Heller"
<leon_...@hotmail.com> wrote:

>EasyPC and Pulsonix are much easier to use than Eagle:
>
>http://www.numberone.com and http://www.pulsonix.com
>
>The free Pulsonix demo (up to 100 pins) should be fine for your purposes.
>
>For something simple like you are doing, Visio should work OK.
>
>Leon


Thanks for that, how do I use Visio? Is there a template / templates
for PCB layouts? We have only just got Visio at work and I haven't had
a proper trawl through what has come with it.

Thanks again,

Oh I have downloaded EasyPC, but Pulsonix will have to wait, I still
only have a dial up and the demo is 55meg.

Tam/WB2TT

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Apr 21, 2004, 9:11:57 AM4/21/04
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Martin,

If you don't mind the learning process, you can do it in Corel Draw. If you
do a web search, you can find older versions for around $10. Set up the grid
for 10/inch. Make donuts, and place all the feedthroughs. Route with the
desired pen width. You can make negatives by setting the background to black
and inverting. Also, mirror image is useful for how the back side of the
board would look when viewed from the top. To expose boards optically, print
the artwork on VU Graph foils.

Tam


"Martin" <m...@me.com> wrote in message
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Garrett Mace

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Apr 21, 2004, 10:25:21 AM4/21/04
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> I have been trying to use Eagle from cadsoft, but to be honest I have
> failed with flying colours to create the PCB. I can layout everything,
> but when I pour the copper it's a complete block instead of nice
> tracks.


This is a poor reason to give up on a perfectly fine CAD package.

Always start by drawing the schematic, then lay out the PCB while taking
special care not to break the back-annotation.

Are you trying to pour a ground plane? Make sure all your ground circuits
are named GND. After you draw your ground polygon, rename it's signal to GND
as well. Then it will attach to ground vias and traces and isolate around
the rest; the autorouter will even sink a via to ground if it's the best
solution.

Many people are able to use Eagle successfully. It will be much easier to
use if you simply learn a few of the basics.


Terry Pinnell

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Apr 21, 2004, 11:20:33 AM4/21/04
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See my notes and links to some 60 ECAD programs at
http://www.terrypin.dial.pipex.com/ECADList.html

Visio Technical has symbols for many electronics components, but their
scaling and the routing of conductors would be down to you.

Terry Pinnell
Hobbyist, West Sussex, UK

Dave

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Apr 21, 2004, 11:45:15 AM4/21/04
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Have a look at ExpressPCB:
http://www.expresspcb.com/

Software is the Easiest To Use (all manual..) of any I've found. And if
one really wants to, their printouts can be edited to remove the
background, and that printed to a transparency. Or use their service.

(There is also a way to edit their output file to remove this stuff,
convert to a pdf file, flop it horizontally, and print on transparency.
Lot of steps, but it works.)

Dave

Leon Heller

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Apr 21, 2004, 11:54:46 AM4/21/04
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"Martin" <m...@me.com> wrote in message
news:bdoc80pc3bndsiset...@4ax.com...

I experimented with Visio some years ago. I think I created something like a
couple of DIL footprints as Visio symbols so that they could be placed a bit
like one does with a PCB package, and joined a few pads with lines. It
looked as though it could be workable, with some difficulty. Getting the
output scaled correctly for printing the artwork might be tricky.

Leon


Active8

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Apr 21, 2004, 4:53:10 PM4/21/04
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On Wed, 21 Apr 2004 08:46:49 +0000 (UTC), Martin wrote:

> Hi all,
>
> Well here goes, I am, as the heading says a complete newbie to
> designing PCB's, all I want to do is create simple single (perhaps
> double) sided PCB's for LED displays. I have made a couple of displays
> using strip board but would like to make a more professionals display
> using a 'proper' PCB.

Autozone has LED lights for $16.something and they're guaranteed for
10 yrs.

> These are for my motorbike rear lamp unit. So, all that will be on the
> boards are LED's and resistors.
> I have been trying to use Eagle from cadsoft, but to be honest I have
> failed with flying colours to create the PCB. I can layout everything,
> but when I pour the copper it's a complete block instead of nice
> tracks.

you shouldn't have to do a pour.

> What I am really after is a drag and drop type thang for use in a
> graphics package or perhaps visio, or something along those lines.
> I can draw the design on a piece of paper so I want to do the same on
> my P.C screen.
> I have read that you can use laser printer to print out the design,
> then iron it onto your copper sheet, and then etch. This is about as
> technical as I need it.
> So are there any packages out there that will let me draw a PCB?

Eagle


>
> Any help gratefully received.
>
> Martin


--
Best Regards,
Mike

JeffM

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Apr 21, 2004, 7:14:45 PM4/21/04
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>I want to...create simple single (perhaps double) sided PCB
>I have been trying to use Eagle from cadsoft, but...I have failed
>...when I pour the copper it's a complete block instead of nice
tracks.
> Martin

You've already invested time into learning the package
and you're going to bail at the 1st hitch?
How long to learn the next package?...and the next?

Best to solve your 1 little problem.

EAGLE~Tips_DavidP.Harris http://eagletips.swiki.net/1

EagleEditorTutorial_KevinBolding Seattle Pacific University
http://myhome.spu.edu/bolding/EE4211/EagleTutorial4.htm

David Moodie's tips on copper pour with EAGLE
http://www.google.com/groups?&threadm=35F3B56E.23A2%40strath.ac.uk&rnum=1&prev=/groups%3Fas_epq%3DUse-*-POLYGON-command-to-draw-*-line-around-*-area-you-want%26safe%3Doff%26ie%3DUTF-8%26oe%3DUTF-8%26as_ugroup%3Dsci.electronics.cad%26lr%3Dlang_en%26num%3D100%26hl%3Den

The best place for answers from EAGLE users
news://news.cadsoft.de/eagle.userchat.eng

Answers from the CadSoft company guys
news://news.cadsoft.de/eagle.support.eng

JeffM

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Apr 22, 2004, 4:00:57 AM4/22/04
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>you shouldn't have to do a pour.
> Active8

A rash statment, considering you haven't seen his artwork.
Additionally, the less you have to etch away,
the longer your etchant lasts and the quicker the job goes.

Animesh Maurya

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Apr 22, 2004, 10:25:56 AM4/22/04
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jef...@email.com (JeffM) wrote in message news:<f8b945bc.04042...@posting.google.com>...

Hello Jeff,

You always come up with lot of helpful links.

Thanks to your above link, which helped me to pour down copper in my
PCBs.

I use OrCAD Layout, and feel its quite easy to learn. Although at the
beginning it causes lot of trouble but once you get acquainted
everything comes out in good shape.

Thanks again

Best regards,
Animesh Maurya

Martin

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Apr 23, 2004, 3:53:48 PM4/23/04
to
Thanks for all the help guys.
I am sorry to say that I gave up on the fancy schmancy PCB creation
tools and have created a PCB using Photoshop!
It's not brilliant, but it is the sort of thing I am after.

My pictures of what I have cobbled up on stripboard can be seen here:

http://photos.yahoo.com/tdm...@btinternet.com

In the folder 'new new pcbs' can be seen the pcb (picture) I have
created with photoshop. It needs a little work, it is the first I have
ever done, so no nasty comments, only creative critisism please.

Each of the circular sections of the PCB are (if you didn't guess) the
same, I just copied and pasted. There are 29 LED's 5 groups of 5 and
one group of 4.
There are 2 current limiting resistors per group. One resistor for
normal tail lamp running and another that gets dropped over the top to
increas the current for the brake light.
I will be running each group of LED's at approx 10ma for normal and
20ma for brake light.

The template I used in photoshop is in centimeters with 100 pixels per
cm so I can easily create small connectors.

Once again thanks for all the tips and help. Especially the links for
help on Eagle, I am going to give it another go, honest ;)

Martin.

Martin

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Apr 23, 2004, 3:58:45 PM4/23/04
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Oh, one last thing, after goign through the sci.electronics.design
archives, I am soooo sorry for asking yet more flippin LED questions!
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