EagleCAD workshop

From Noisebridge
Revision as of 23:50, 27 April 2009 by Jtfoote (Talk | contribs)

Jump to: navigation, search

Contents

EagleCAD

EagleCAD is a computer-aided tool for schematic capture and designing printed circuit boards that runs on Macs, Linux, and Windows. There is a free (as in beer) version available here:

http://www.cadsoftusa.com/freeware.htm

The free version is slightly crippled in terms of the size of the board you can design but is perfectly fine for most hobbyist use.

List of EacgleCAD "gotchas"

I promised I would post my list of "gotchas;" hope this helps avoid some irritation! Jtfoote 23:38, 27 April 2009 (PDT)

  1. IF BOARD AND SCHEMATIC GET OUT OF SYNC, YOU ARE SCREWED. This can happen if updates on the schematic don't make it to the board. To avoid this, always keep board file open when editing schematic, and vice versa! Use "rip up" instead of "delete" on the board. DRC will tell you when you are not in sync, otherwise you won't know. Use it often, and save often.
  2. Don't click on "Drop" button when adding a component. Hit "cancel." "Drop" "drops" the library (!)
  3. tOrigin layers must be visible to move/rotate components.
  4. Overlapping wires sometimes don't logically connect. Add junction (green dot) if a problem. Check by moving component and seeing if wire moves with it.
  5. "Cut" (scissor icon) is really "copy to paste buffer" and only works on groups! Use "copy" for single items. In V5, use shift-right-click or menu item to copy/move groups.
  6. Pay attention to messages in the status bar, they are often helpful. For example when trying to select things on top of each other, clicking will cycle through each and the status bar will tell you how to select the one you want.


Possible topics for advanced tutorials

  • How to design/edit custom parts using the library editor
  • How to fab a board. Converting EagleCAD designs to Gerber and drill files, checking output files and design rules, uploading to fab houses.
  • Panelizing (step-and-repeat copying) designs using http://claymore.engineer.gvsu.edu/~steriana/Python/gerbmerge/ (one way around EagleCad board size limitation)
  • Advanced tricks like logo images in the silkscreen layer

Checking Gerber file output

You will want to check that things look OK. Use a gerber file viewer like ViewMate (reg req) http://www.pentalogix.com/Download/download.html#item8

or GerbView (free, open source, a little buggy) http://sourceforge.net/projects/gerbv/

Personal tools