Forums

need help in designing circuit

Started by panfilero January 4, 2007
Hello, I just finished creating a circuit, it's a drum machine, but
I've done the whole thing on a solderless breadboard.  I was wondering
if anybody could give me any tips on how I could go about transferring
my design onto a PCB.  If anyone could reccomend any software or such
that is good for this?  I have a copy of PSPICE, but I'm not sure if
that's mainly for simulations.  I've seen the "do it yourself" kits
with the photo-resist chemicals and everything, but that seems
potentially messy and complicated.  I was wondering if anyone was
familiar with the places that you send the schematic to and then they
mail you your PCB?

Thanks
Joshua

panfilero wrote:
> Hello, I just finished creating a circuit, it's a drum machine, but > I've done the whole thing on a solderless breadboard. I was wondering > if anybody could give me any tips on how I could go about transferring > my design onto a PCB. If anyone could reccomend any software or such > that is good for this? I have a copy of PSPICE, but I'm not sure if > that's mainly for simulations. I've seen the "do it yourself" kits > with the photo-resist chemicals and everything, but that seems > potentially messy and complicated. I was wondering if anyone was > familiar with the places that you send the schematic to and then they > mail you your PCB? > > Thanks > Joshua >
There aren't places that you just mail a schematic and get back a board -- there are PCB houses to which you can send a board design and get back a board. The process works quite well, it costs way less to have a few boards popped out than having a technician build one from scratch, and you have a 'real' board. But you still have to do the layout with a PCB layout tool, and that's not trivial if you haven't done it before. If I have a circuit that is working right on a breadboard, and I want to make a one-off permanent circuit, and I don't care to make it smaller, I hie myself down to Radio Shack and buy one of those PCBs that has the same hole and solder pattern as a breadboard, and I transfer it -- wires and all -- to the PCB just exactly the way it was on the breadboard. This is in the US -- I'm not sure if you can get those convenient little PCBs anywhere else. -- Tim Wescott Wescott Design Services http://www.wescottdesign.com Posting from Google? See http://cfaj.freeshell.org/google/ "Applied Control Theory for Embedded Systems" came out in April. See details at http://www.wescottdesign.com/actfes/actfes.html
panfilero wrote:

> Hello, I just finished creating a circuit, it's a drum machine, but > I've done the whole thing on a solderless breadboard. I was wondering > if anybody could give me any tips on how I could go about transferring > my design onto a PCB. If anyone could reccomend any software or such > that is good for this? I have a copy of PSPICE, but I'm not sure if > that's mainly for simulations. I've seen the "do it yourself" kits > with the photo-resist chemicals and everything, but that seems > potentially messy and complicated. I was wondering if anyone was > familiar with the places that you send the schematic to and then they > mail you your PCB? > > Thanks > Joshua
Try Kicad. Find it here: http://www.lis.inpg.fr/realise_au_lis/kicad/index.html
panfilero wrote:
> Hello, I just finished creating a circuit, it's a drum machine, but > I've done the whole thing on a solderless breadboard. I was wondering > if anybody could give me any tips on how I could go about transferring > my design onto a PCB. If anyone could reccomend any software or such > that is good for this? I have a copy of PSPICE, but I'm not sure if > that's mainly for simulations. I've seen the "do it yourself" kits > with the photo-resist chemicals and everything, but that seems > potentially messy and complicated. I was wondering if anyone was > familiar with the places that you send the schematic to and then they > mail you your PCB? > > Thanks > Joshua
Hi, Joshua. I'd second the motion that the easiest thing to do would be to use the Radio Shack perfboard (Model: 276-170, #3.29 ea) and just transfer over directly. But everyone has a yen to try making an etched board at leat once. Hey, get it out of your system -- it's not too expensive anymore, if waiting a while for board turnaround is OK with you. Try Express PCB. They've got free proprietary CAD software, and have a starter deal where you can get three 2.5" x 3.8" boards made for just $51. You might be amazed what can actually fit on a board that size. http://www.expresspcb.com/index.htm Many swear by them. Many swear at them. They do go to some lengths to make it easy for newbies, and engineering students doing senior projects. Just remember their software locks you in to buying from them or redoing the board in another CAD package -- the files are incompatible with other CAD software. Good luck Chris
Chris wrote:
> panfilero wrote: > > Hello, I just finished creating a circuit, it's a drum machine, but > > I've done the whole thing on a solderless breadboard. I was wondering > > if anybody could give me any tips on how I could go about transferring > > my design onto a PCB. If anyone could reccomend any software or such > > that is good for this? I have a copy of PSPICE, but I'm not sure if > > that's mainly for simulations. I've seen the "do it yourself" kits > > with the photo-resist chemicals and everything, but that seems > > potentially messy and complicated. I was wondering if anyone was > > familiar with the places that you send the schematic to and then they > > mail you your PCB? > > > > Thanks > > Joshua > > Hi, Joshua. I'd second the motion that the easiest thing to do would > be to use the Radio Shack perfboard (Model: 276-170, #3.29 ea) and just > transfer over directly. > > But everyone has a yen to try making an etched board at leat once. > Hey, get it out of your system -- it's not too expensive anymore, if > waiting a while for board turnaround is OK with you. > > Try Express PCB. They've got free proprietary CAD software, and have a > starter deal where you can get three 2.5" x 3.8" boards made for just > $51. You might be amazed what can actually fit on a board that size. > > http://www.expresspcb.com/index.htm > > Many swear by them. Many swear at them. They do go to some lengths to > make it easy for newbies, and engineering students doing senior > projects. Just remember their software locks you in to buying from > them or redoing the board in another CAD package -- the files are > incompatible with other CAD software. > > Good luck > Chris
True not all CAD software are compatable however some are like CADkey and AutoCAD. AutoCAD has applications for electronic drawing and with some work CADkey is also available to draw electronic design. Using standard Electronic shop practices you can adapt any CAD software drawings as circuit board drawings. How do you thing electronic drawings are made? By hand? haw haw... Here is a list of CAD programs Active-Cad Active-VHDL Alias ANVIL EXPRESS Ashlar Vellum AutoCAD Avanti Bentley CADAM CADDS Cadence Cadence Allegro Cadkey Cadmax CADnetix Cadstar CALMA CATIA CoCreate Computervision Designcad 2000 HP Solid D I-DEAS Ironcad Macdraft Mentor Graphics Microstation Orcad PADS P-CAD PDMS PDS PRO/E PTC Rhino SDRC Smartsketch Solid Designer Solid Edge Solidworks Step Synopsys Tango Turbocad Veribest Verelog VesaCAD VHDL VHDL Warp View Logic
Bitznpeezs@msn.com wrote:
> Chris wrote: > > panfilero wrote: > > > Hello, I just finished creating a circuit, it's a drum machine, but > > > I've done the whole thing on a solderless breadboard. I was wondering > > > if anybody could give me any tips on how I could go about transferring > > > my design onto a PCB. If anyone could reccomend any software or such > > > that is good for this? I have a copy of PSPICE, but I'm not sure if > > > that's mainly for simulations. I've seen the "do it yourself" kits > > > with the photo-resist chemicals and everything, but that seems > > > potentially messy and complicated. I was wondering if anyone was > > > familiar with the places that you send the schematic to and then they > > > mail you your PCB? > > > > > > Thanks > > > Joshua > > > > Hi, Joshua. I'd second the motion that the easiest thing to do would > > be to use the Radio Shack perfboard (Model: 276-170, #3.29 ea) and just > > transfer over directly. > > > > But everyone has a yen to try making an etched board at leat once. > > Hey, get it out of your system -- it's not too expensive anymore, if > > waiting a while for board turnaround is OK with you. > > > > Try Express PCB. They've got free proprietary CAD software, and have a > > starter deal where you can get three 2.5" x 3.8" boards made for just > > $51. You might be amazed what can actually fit on a board that size. > > > > http://www.expresspcb.com/index.htm > > > > Many swear by them. Many swear at them. They do go to some lengths to > > make it easy for newbies, and engineering students doing senior > > projects. Just remember their software locks you in to buying from > > them or redoing the board in another CAD package -- the files are > > incompatible with other CAD software. > > > > Good luck > > Chris > > True not all CAD software are compatable however some are like CADkey > and AutoCAD. AutoCAD has applications for electronic drawing and with > some work CADkey is also available to draw electronic design. Using > standard Electronic shop practices you can adapt any CAD software > drawings as circuit board drawings. How do you thing electronic > drawings are made? By hand? haw haw... > Here is a list of CAD programs > Active-Cad > Active-VHDL > Alias > ANVIL EXPRESS > Ashlar Vellum > AutoCAD > Avanti > Bentley > CADAM > CADDS > Cadence > Cadence Allegro > Cadkey > Cadmax > CADnetix > Cadstar > CALMA > CATIA > CoCreate > Computervision > Designcad 2000 > HP Solid D > I-DEAS > Ironcad > Macdraft > Mentor Graphics > Microstation > Orcad > PADS > > P-CAD > > PDMS > > PDS > > PRO/E > > PTC > > Rhino > > SDRC > > Smartsketch > > Solid Designer > > > Solid Edge > > Solidworks > > Step > > Synopsys > > Tango > > Turbocad > > Veribest > > Verelog > > VesaCAD > > VHDL > > VHDL Warp > > View Logic
www.cadsoftusa.com makers of Eagle has a lite version. FREE limited to 2-sided pcb. The OP seems to be a newbie and those other packages are way too expensive for someone just experimenting. Eagle has a usenet newsgroup, so plenty of support if you need it.Look for the tutorial pdf file on their website. Problem with expresspcb is, you can not make gerber files, you are STUCK with their crap. stay clear away from them.
On 3 Jan 2007 20:18:16 -0800, "panfilero" <panfilero@gmail.com> wrote:

>Hello, I just finished creating a circuit, it's a drum machine, but >I've done the whole thing on a solderless breadboard. I was wondering >if anybody could give me any tips on how I could go about transferring >my design onto a PCB. If anyone could reccomend any software or such >that is good for this? I have a copy of PSPICE, but I'm not sure if >that's mainly for simulations. I've seen the "do it yourself" kits >with the photo-resist chemicals and everything, but that seems >potentially messy and complicated. I was wondering if anyone was >familiar with the places that you send the schematic to and then they >mail you your PCB? >
Depending on the complexity, you might want to do this by hand. I have used various CAD programs, and they make the job much simpler, but the problem is that they have a big learning curve, especially the first one you encounter. If you expect to be doing more of this work, then investing the time to learn a program may make sense. But there is also a certain satisfaction to doing it by hand, and it's not too hard if the board can be single-sided. (You may need a few jumpers to make that work.) Use graph paper with a 10th-inch grid. Draw copper as black lines, component outlines in red. You may need to redraw several times as you try different layouts. The hardest parts are the purely-digital sections, since there are no components to break a trace and allow another to cross in the same plane. I typically do rough sketches on plain paper just to get an idea of the best approach. If you don't care about jumpers (if you are only making one of these) this can be much easier. Otherwise, you can spend (waste) a lot of time optimizing. Then you can make the whole thing with a Sharpie marker, a dental bur in a Dremel tool, and ferric chloride etchant. Full details at www.daqarta.com/lptxh.hrm Hope this helps! Bob Masta dqatechATdaqartaDOTcom D A Q A R T A Data AcQuisition And Real-Time Analysis www.daqarta.com Scope, Spectrum, Spectrogram, Signal Generator Science with your sound card!
panfilero wrote:
> Hello, I just finished creating a circuit, it's a drum machine, but > I've done the whole thing on a solderless breadboard. I was wondering > if anybody could give me any tips on how I could go about transferring > my design onto a PCB. If anyone could reccomend any software or such > that is good for this? I have a copy of PSPICE, but I'm not sure if > that's mainly for simulations. I've seen the "do it yourself" kits > with the photo-resist chemicals and everything, but that seems > potentially messy and complicated. I was wondering if anyone was > familiar with the places that you send the schematic to and then they > mail you your PCB? > > Thanks > Joshua >
Have a look at http://homepage.ntlworld.com/g.knott/elect441.htm
Chris wrote:

> panfilero wrote: > >>Hello, I just finished creating a circuit, it's a drum machine, but >>I've done the whole thing on a solderless breadboard. I was wondering >>if anybody could give me any tips on how I could go about transferring >>my design onto a PCB. If anyone could reccomend any software or such >>that is good for this? I have a copy of PSPICE, but I'm not sure if >>that's mainly for simulations. I've seen the "do it yourself" kits >>with the photo-resist chemicals and everything, but that seems >>potentially messy and complicated. I was wondering if anyone was >>familiar with the places that you send the schematic to and then they >>mail you your PCB? >> >>Thanks >>Joshua > > > Hi, Joshua. I'd second the motion that the easiest thing to do would > be to use the Radio Shack perfboard (Model: 276-170, #3.29 ea) and just > transfer over directly. > > But everyone has a yen to try making an etched board at leat once. > Hey, get it out of your system -- it's not too expensive anymore, if > waiting a while for board turnaround is OK with you. > > Try Express PCB. They've got free proprietary CAD software, and have a > starter deal where you can get three 2.5" x 3.8" boards made for just > $51. You might be amazed what can actually fit on a board that size. > > http://www.expresspcb.com/index.htm > > Many swear by them. Many swear at them. They do go to some lengths to > make it easy for newbies, and engineering students doing senior > projects. Just remember their software locks you in to buying from > them or redoing the board in another CAD package -- the files are > incompatible with other CAD software. > > Good luck > Chris >
If you're going to do it often I'd recommend you learn how to use EAGLE and go with PCB Express (pcbexpress.com -- they're different from expresspcb.com, and I always get the wrong URL). The learning curve is steeper with EAGLE, but EAGLE will give you industry-standard Gerber format files that you can shop around anywhere. OTOH, if ease of use is of paramount importance, use Express PCB and their baby CAD software. -- Tim Wescott Wescott Design Services http://www.wescottdesign.com Posting from Google? See http://cfaj.freeshell.org/google/ "Applied Control Theory for Embedded Systems" came out in April. See details at http://www.wescottdesign.com/actfes/actfes.html
Whoa! I appreciate all the responses, I didn't think it was gonna be
this complicated to get my schematic over to PCB format (I'm new to all
this).  This is something that I would like to get into, so I am
willing to invest some time and energy to learning some of the better
software than taking an easy way out of this.  I have access to a copy
of OrCad 10.5, if I learn how to use this and draw my schematic on it,
would this give me a file that I could send somewhere to have it made?
I mean if I'm willing to invest some time and energy into learning
software for circuit designing, what is a good, generally universely
accepted type of program to go with?

much thanks
Joshua