[time-nuts] Working with SMT parts.

Chris Albertson albertson.chris at gmail.com
Sat Aug 13 01:53:04 EDT 2016


If you are looking for a free PCB layout program there are a few around.

1) Eagle cad https://cadsoft.io This one is the most popular by far.   The
free version is some limits, only two layers and only up to about 4 x 3
inch PCBs.  Yes it can output Gerber files.  For larger size PCBs and more
layers you need to buy a license

2) Kicad http://kicad-pcb.org is completely free,  No limits on size of
number of layers.  This is used in a lot of projects

3) gEDA tries to do everything.  You enter the schematic and that can go
into simulation or PCB layout http://wiki.geda-project.org

There are more.  The Wikipedia lists about a dozen of them
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_EDA_software


On Fri, Aug 12, 2016 at 9:28 AM, Tom Miller <tmiller11147 at verizon.net>
wrote:
> Bill, that is a great deal for $99 for the full package. Very easy to use
> and learn.
>
> Thanks for the link.
>
> Regards,
> Tom
> WA3PZI
>
>
>
> ----- Original Message ----- From: "wb6bnq" <wb6bnq at cox.net>
> To: "Discussion of precise time and frequency measurement"
> <time-nuts at febo.com>
> Sent: Friday, August 12, 2016 10:22 AM
> Subject: Re: [time-nuts] Working with SMT parts.
>
>
>> Hi Didier,
>>
>> I use ExpressPCB as well, but I send the ExpressPCB file to a company
>> called Futurlec
>> ( http://www.futurlec.com/PCBService.shtml ).  They have reasonable
>> prices.  Because it is overseas it takes about three weeks to get the
>> product back.  So far I have been very impressed with the product I
>> recieved.  I have even had notches done in the four corners to fit a
plastic
>> box that came out very well.
>>
>> Also, There is a person who started to write his own version  of layout
>> program based off of the ExpressPCB program called  "Copper Connection."
(
>> http://www.robotroom.com/CopperConnection/index.html )  It is a bit more
>> involved than the ExpressPCB program and does have GERBER files as a
>> selection.  However he charges for the program but it seems the prices
are
>> reasonable ( http://www.robotroom.com/CopperConnection/Buy.html ).
>>
>> 73....Bill....WB6BNQ
>>
>>
>> Didier Juges wrote:
>>
>>> The way ExpressPCB works is that their free software produces boards in
a
>>> proprietary format, and you have to pay to convert their design file to
>>> Gerber.
>>>
>>> Your mileage may vary but I found the combination of design tools
>>> learning curve, board quality and quick service to be worthwhile to me.
>>>
>>> I have tried Eagle twice and never could manage to build the models I
>>> needed. It may have been an issue of not finding the right tutorial but
I
>>> have produced several ExpressPCB designs in less time than I have tried
>>> (unsuccessfully) to produce a single schematic in Eagle, let alone a
PWB.
>>> Since it is a hobby that has become a business, time matters to me,
design
>>> time and delivery.
>>>
>>> At that point, the cost of the Gerber becomes somewhat irrelevant.
>>>
>>> Note that you can make boards of any size in ExpressPCB.
>>>
>>> I am not advocating it is the best solution for everyone, I personally
>>> would like to be proficient with Eagle, but Express PCB works for me.
>>>
>>> Didier KO4BB
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> On August 11, 2016 10:45:45 PM CDT, Chris Albertson
>>> <albertson.chris at gmail.com> wrote:
>>>
>>>> This seems totally backwards.  Typically a Gerber file is something
>>>> you make yourself on your computer then send it in for a prototype.
>>>> Seems odd to buy them.
>>>>
>>>> I checked ExpressPCB prices and they are very high.  I can get PCBs
>>>> made quickly in the US for $3 per square inch, shipping included with
>>>> $9 minimum order.  And  you don't buy the Gerbers.
>>>>
>>>> I notice ExpressPCB offers free software.  But it is totally
>>>> non-standard and you can't use it for anything other then for their
>>>> service.  Most people needing free PCB software use Eagle, some use
>>>> Kicad or some others.  But Eagle seems to be kind of a universal
>>>> standard.
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>> On Thu, Aug 11, 2016 at 8:55 AM, Didier Juges <shalimr9 at gmail.com>
>>>> wrote:
>>>>
>>>>> I concur. I have been using ExpressPCB extensively over the last 2
>>>>>
>>>> years
>>>>
>>>>> with great satisfaction now that it is possible to get Gerber files
>>>>>
>>>> from
>>>>
>>>>> them.
>>>>> I typically use the mini board pro service (3 bare boards, 2 sided
>>>>>
>>>> with
>>>>
>>>>> solder mask and silk screen) for prototypes and then buy the Gerbers
>>>>>
>>>> --
>>>>
>>>> Chris Albertson
>>>> Redondo Beach, California
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>>>>
>>>
>>>
>>
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-- 

Chris Albertson
Redondo Beach, California


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