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> Basic Boaard Layout
kellys_eye
Posted: December 03, 2016 11:17 pm
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Is there a decent pcb design package that doesn't require a schematic input to start with?

I want to layout tracks and pads etc without recourse to inputting a schematic first. I assume there is stuff out there but what's the best (i.e. easiest) to use?


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Sch3mat1c
Posted: December 04, 2016 04:55 pm
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KiCAD is pretty good these days. Fritzing I think does layout, but it's pretty much just a toy? Eagle is free but it sucks. CircuitStudio is free but may not be the beginner-est of ease-of-use.

I think you can start from PCB alone in pretty much everything, to varying degrees of success. For instance, if I wanted to do that in Altium, I would have to place the footprints I'm going to use, create each net, assign all the pins to each net, probably make oodles of mistakes, go back and forth between the netlist editor and the layout...

So much easier to just start from a schematic, even a crappy one. You should be able to make one in a couple minutes. (Not counting the learning curve, obviously, if you've never done it before in $tool.)

I've seen such requests pop up from time to time, but there's absolutely no reason you should ever want to. Are you thinking, just because that's how you'd do it by hand..? That's fine for trivially small things, but more than a handful of pins, just use some dumb schematic symbols, even if they're just pin headers that you've changed the footprints of. (Maybe you don't know that's a trick? smile.gif )

Tim


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kellys_eye
Posted: December 05, 2016 01:06 am
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Years ago I used a program called EasyPC and could draft boards of Eurocard size to double-sided and full of logic (74-series etc) without entering a schematic. Probably as quickly as I could make up the schematic in any package nowadays (given their relative high learning curve).

True, for most boards, I need I certainly don't need to re-enter a schematic I'm already working from - I can work straight from the hand drawn circuit - and usually lay tracks on an (almost) point to point basis before going 'in' and routing them accordingly. It's not rocket science or difficult.

I acknowledge the cleverness of today's design packages but sometimes they are simply too much effort for the intended purpose.

The production of net lists etc isn't required if I'm going to actually make the board myself too!

I actually have a copy of Kicad (somewhere!) but didn't know you could do a track lay-down procedure....

cheers Tim thumbsup.gif


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mrk
Posted: December 06, 2016 03:39 am
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Yeah, I've done them without schematic / DRC before. but there is a reason that isn't how it's done. You'll forget something, unless it's really simple.
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