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PICList Thread
'PCB design software recommendations?'
1997\03\15@230906 by Jeff 'n Kristen Kroll

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       I am currently working on a project which will require the design of a P
C
board, however I have no experience in this area. I have seen several
PIClisters opinions of WinBoard (none good) and am wondering if anyone has
some suggestions on an easy to learn program with a moderate price (no
thousand dollar packages please). I was planning to etch the board myself
using the iron on transfers so I would appreciate any comments from people
who have tried that also.
       Oh, one last thing. I saw an ad in the latest Nuts & Volts for an etch
system (tank, air agitator, heater) for $35US. This sounds like a good deal
to me. Is it?

                                               Thanx,

                                               Jeff Kroll

1997\03\16@010831 by Harold M Hallikainen

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       I've been using the system from Advanced Microcomputer Systems in
Florida for maybe ten years and think it's great!  It handles schematic
capture through board layout.  An autorouter is available, though I've
never used it.  It handles boards up to 32 x 32 inches and up 255 layers
(as I recall).  They have a web site somewhere, and I think you can
download a demo.

Harold


Harold Hallikainen                               phone/fax/bbs +1 805 541
0201
Hallikainen & Friends, Inc.                web
http://slonet.org/~hhallika
PO Box 4737                                         email
spam_OUThhallikaTakeThisOuTspamslonet.org
San Luis Obispo, CA 93403-4737     email .....hhallikaKILLspamspam@spam@broadcast.net
USA                                                       email
ap621spamKILLspamcleveland.freenet.edu


On Sat, 15 Mar 1997 19:52:13 -0800 "Jeff 'n Kristen Kroll"
<.....jkkrollKILLspamspam.....JOSHUANET.COM> writes:
{Quote hidden}

1997\03\16@021210 by gary skinner

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> Jeff Kroll wrote

> I was planning to etch the board myself
> using the iron on transfers so I would appreciate any comments from people
> who have tried that also.

Use this only if your time in not worth a lot.
You can generate the gerber files in the cad package of your choice
ftp them to ap circuits in canada   (http://www.apcircuits.com)
and have excellent quality double sided, plated through,
boards in 3 days.  about $50 artwork and then about 0.60/sq inch.
This is way better than trying to do it yourself.
they have a new user file to download that explains all the details.
If you only need single side and are not looking for quite as high
quality and not quite so fast (5 days)
then try ep circuits in canada.  They don't have FTP site so you have
to call canada and use their BBS.
They will ship via priority mail rather than Fedex if you are
concerned about cost and are not in a hurry.

As far as PCB layout program, I currently use AMS
it isn't bad but crashes my win95 system regularly.
reasonable cost, not bad for 2 sided.  Don't expect any support.

hope this helps,
Gary Skinner   EraseMEgskinnerspam_OUTspamTakeThisOuTcsd.net
Electronic Solutions, Inc.
design of custom electronic controls

1997\03\16@132011 by Harold M Hallikainen

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On Sun, 16 Mar 1997 00:16:00 +0000 gary skinner <gskinnerspamspam_OUTARES.CSD.NET>
writes:

>
>As far as PCB layout program, I currently use AMS
>it isn't bad but crashes my win95 system regularly.
>reasonable cost, not bad for 2 sided.  Don't expect any support.


       Interesting!  I've had absolutely no problems with the DOS
version of AMS CAD and have done some relatively complex dense boards.  I
often run it under WFW 3.11 when I want to switch back and forth between
part definition, schematic capture and board layout, but when in a hurry
to do error checking (continuity and clearances) on a board, I drop back
to DOS where it's a LOT faster.  I've also had excellent support from
them.

       On making your own boards...  I agree, I think it's more trouble
than its worth.  A little while back I did some RF stuff that was all
surface mount.  Our local board supplier (Pacific Coast Circuits) could
turn those boards around in 1 day cheap.  I just sent them the Gerber
files and picked up the uncut undrilled boards that afternoon.  It was
enought for me to try out my design.  I have tried having them make
boards for thru hole without drilling (which seems to involve more setup
time), but drilling the holes myself is a real pain!


Harold



Harold Hallikainen                               phone/fax/bbs +1 805 541
0201
Hallikainen & Friends, Inc.                web
http://slonet.org/~hhallika
PO Box 4737                                         email
@spam@hhallikaKILLspamspamslonet.org
San Luis Obispo, CA 93403-4737     email KILLspamhhallikaKILLspamspambroadcast.net
USA                                                       email
RemoveMEap621TakeThisOuTspamcleveland.freenet.edu

1997\03\16@171841 by Andy Kunz

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At 07:52 PM 3/15/97 -0800, you wrote:

>        I am currently working on a project which will require the design
of a PC
>board, however I have no experience in this area. I have seen several
>PIClisters opinions of WinBoard (none good) and am wondering if anyone has
>some suggestions on an easy to learn program with a moderate price (no
>thousand dollar packages please).

I use SuperPCB from Mental Automation (http://www.mentala.com).  I just
upgraded to the latest version and really like it.

>I was planning to etch the board myself
>using the iron on transfers so I would appreciate any comments from people
>who have tried that also.

Iron-on's never worked too well for me.  I use the Kepro DF products, with
laser transparencies for the artwork.  Use heavy traces (020) and pads
(070) and you'll do fine.

>        Oh, one last thing. I saw an ad in the latest Nuts & Volts for an
etch
>system (tank, air agitator, heater) for $35US. This sounds like a good deal
>to me. Is it?

I just use the electric range to heat, a plastic spoon to agitate, and a
glass 9x13 pan from the cupboard.

Andy

==================================================================
Andy Kunz - Montana Design - 409 S 6th St - Phillipsburg, NJ 08865
         Hardware & Software for Industry & R/C Hobbies
       "Go fast, turn right, and keep the wet side down!"
==================================================================

1997\03\16@172457 by gtham

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Jeff,

I think making your own circuit boards is fun and rewarding, as long as
it's just
one or two.

You might try downloading either of:

1. PIA. (http://www.waldherr.com) Extremely intuitive. Lacks the professional
bells and wh.,
  but probably OK for homebrew cards.  "Save" disbled in demo.  About
70 USD.

2. Protel Advanced PCB. (http://www.protel.com).  Fully working demo, but
limited to 200pads or
  20 components.  Good, but takes some training.  Perhaps overkill for
very small board.

3. WinBoard (http://www.ivex.com).  Fully working demo, when it works - see
earlier postings. I
  don't know this one.  Limited to 100 pins.

I use a laser printer and UV-lamp; don't know about transfers.

Good luck, and don't buy cheap drills.

Gustaf Tham

1997\03\16@185650 by David W. Duley

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In a message dated 97-03-15 23:09:50 EST, you write:

<<
        I am currently working on a project which will require the design of
a PC
board, however I have no experience in this area. I have seen several
PIClisters opinions of WinBoard (none good) and am wondering if anyone has
some suggestions on an easy to learn program with a moderate price (no
thousand dollar packages please). I was planning to etch the board myself
using the iron on transfers so I would appreciate any comments from people
who have tried that also.
        Oh, one last thing. I saw an ad in the latest Nuts & Volts for an
etch
system (tank, air agitator, heater) for $35US. This sounds like a good deal
to me. Is it?

                                                Thanx,

                                                Jeff Kroll >>

Jeff,
Look at SuperPCB and SuperCAD by Mental Automation.  The web site is
http://www.mentala.com

These pakages are not bug free but the authors seem to be working hard on it.
They do a lot for the buck.

I have also tried the Ivex garbage.  It is software at its worst!

Dave Duley
V.P. DreiTek Inc.

1997\03\16@192523 by Mark Brimblecombe

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At 06:55 PM 3/16/97 -0500, you wrote:
>In a message dated 97-03-15 23:09:50 EST, you write:
>
><<
>         I am currently working on a project which will require the design of
>a PC
> board, however I have no experience in this area. I have seen several
> PIClisters opinions of WinBoard (none good) and am wondering if anyone has
> some suggestions on an easy to learn program with a moderate price (no
> thousand dollar packages please). I was planning to etch the board myself
> using the iron on transfers so I would appreciate any comments from people
> who have tried that also.
>         Oh, one last thing. I saw an ad in the latest Nuts & Volts for an
>etch
> system (tank, air agitator, heater) for $35US. This sounds like a good deal
> to me. Is it?
>
>                                                 Thanx,
>
>                                                 Jeff Kroll >>
>
Jeff,

I hove found one of the best ways to make PCB's is to plot the image onto
the PCB, with a flat bed plotter. These can be bought new for about $700AUS
or second hand for about $300AUS, the pens are quite expensive at $15.00
each but provide a high quality print.
>
>

1997\03\17@021749 by Carl Watley

picon face
Jeff,

After much trail and error, I finally found a material (wax paper)
that work well.

TTYL
Carl Watley


Jeff  writes:
{Quote hidden}

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