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how to use eaglecad efficiently ?

Discussion in 'CAD' started by robb, Jan 6, 2008.

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  1. robb

    robb Guest

    I am a hobbyist etcher.
    i had been using Exress SCH/PCB (a freeware app from an express
    pcb board shop)
    a very light app, fast and easy but as one might expect express
    does not print the top layer flipped as needed for a iron on mask
    and make its very difficult to trick it, so yo either draw
    flipped or do some image export, flip in a draw package and
    resize etc

    so it was suggested to try a real deal pkg like eagle.

    I find it is taking much longer to construct things than in the
    other.
    - instead of 2 layers there are 50 ?
    - there are wires and signals ? diff ?
    - i find it difficult to change the wire/signal size ?
    - the move is baffling me ? when i try to select something to
    move it picks some other object not near the one i try to move.
    - there seems to be is no generic SMD / SMT pads set so i could
    just grab a SMT 1206 or SOIC 16-050 or sot-23 ? granted there is
    a huge library set but i just need the generic SMT pads sizes
    1218,1206,0805 and some sot and soic maybe a smt-lcc or qfp ,
    leds etc.... and scrolling through the libraries is daunting
    (read time consuming) ?

    alot of people use eagle and reccomend it and it seems very
    powerful/flexible....

    So how do the users use eagle efficiently to solve the problmes
    i have encountered ?

    thanks for any helpful replies,
    robb
     
  2. Rich Webb

    Rich Webb Guest

    Me, too.

    [snip...snip...]
    I started using KiCad, a free (GPL) app. It's still a little new and
    raw around the edges but I find it works great for homebrew projects.

    The print dialog has a checkbox for "mirror."

    Have also gotten Kicad boards done at "normal" fab houses (AP Circuits).

    http://www.lis.inpg.fr/realise_au_lis/kicad/
    http://kicad.sourceforge.net/wiki/index.php/Main_Page
     
  3. JeffM

    JeffM Guest

    Welcome to the world of ECAD.
    Libraries can be a bitch--no matter whose software you use.
     
  4. D from BC

    D from BC Guest

    The pcb app I use has object selection control buttons.
    Ex: If I'm only moving traces, I disable selecting parts.
    D from BC
     
  5. Marra

    Marra Guest

    I use a PCBCAD program I got off ebay for less than £20.
    It allows mirroring and inverting of the print.
     
  6. JeffM

    JeffM Guest

    "Marra" (aka Wrighty aka Nigel Wright aka nigelwright7557
    If this jerk's deceitful method
    http://www.google.com/search?q=define:Astroturfing
    of posting advertisements for his product
    http://groups.google.com/groups/search?q=PCBCAD21+OR+PCBCAD17+OR+PCBCAD&scoring=d&filter=0&num=100
    don't tip you off,
    here's more about how he would likely treat a request for support:

    **Know your vendor (a real jerk)**
    http://groups.google.com/group/sci....t-or-request-for-assistance-with-his-software
     
  7. robb

    robb Guest

    Thanks for info Rich,

    i think i tried or was going to try Kicad but they only had a
    LINUX version ? Maybe i am mistaken i see they have windows
    binaries. well i 'll take a look.

    thanks for info ,
    robb
     
  8. robb

    robb Guest

    Thanks for help Jeff,
    I suppose i just need to use it to get used to the interface , as
    with most apps.
    more flexibility translates to bigger learning curve.

    thanks for help,
    robb
     
  9. Rich Webb

    Rich Webb Guest

    You may be thinking of the gEDA suite, another GPL schematic
    capture and board layout app. DJ Delorie, one of gEDA's
    developers, is around the group here fairly often. AFAIK, the
    gEDA suite is only supported on Linux and relatives but I
    seem to recall that a MS Windows port is under consideration.
     
  10. DJ Delorie

    DJ Delorie Guest

    Linux and Mac OS/X are well supported. Windows works, but there are
    some rough edges we haven't dealt with yet.
     
  11. robb

    robb Guest

     
  12. JeffM

    JeffM Guest

    Rich Webb wrote:
    :You may be thinking of the gEDA suite
    :
    Webb got it in one, I think.
    Yup. The KiCAD developers support Linux & Windoze.

    In addition, Lothar Behrens has ported KiCAD to OS X:
    http://www.google.com/search?q=cach...on.*.OS.X+some.issues.with.*.executable.names

    Bostjan Jerko also has an OS X port he calls YAVOK
    (Yet Another Version Of KiCAD):
    http://www.japina.eu/blog-eng/index.php
    My now-dead Google Cache of that page
    highlighted the fact that he had to split it into 2 executables
    --one for PPC and another for x86.

    There is also a Solaris port of KiCAD:
    http://www.google.com/search?q=cach...t+depend+unstable.tree+EDA.CAD.software.suite
     
  13. Brett Holden

    Brett Holden Guest

    Hello, robb!
    You wrote on Sun, 6 Jan 2008 14:57:59 -0500:

    r> so it was suggested to try a real deal pkg like eagle.

    r> I find it is taking much longer to construct things than in the
    r> other.
    r> - instead of 2 layers there are 50 ?
    r> - there are wires and signals ? diff ?
    r> - i find it difficult to change the wire/signal size ?
    r> - the move is baffling me ? when i try to select something to
    r> move it picks some other object not near the one i try to move.
    r> - there seems to be is no generic SMD / SMT pads set so i could
    r> just grab a SMT 1206 or SOIC 16-050 or sot-23 ? granted there is
    r> a huge library set but i just need the generic SMT pads sizes
    r> 1218,1206,0805 and some sot and soic maybe a smt-lcc or qfp ,
    r> leds etc.... and scrolling through the libraries is daunting
    r> (read time consuming) ?

    r> alot of people use eagle and reccomend it and it seems very
    r> powerful/flexible....

    r> So how do the users use eagle efficiently to solve the problmes
    r> i have encountered ?

    Ahh, the joys of using low-end PCB software. Thank you for the opportunity
    to vent.
    The default menus for things like pad and hole diameters, and line width
    that Eagle starts with are useless in my opinion, but Eagle does allow users
    to run a script to set user preferences. I do so on EVERY instance of
    opening a new library for editing, or starting a new schematic or PCB
    editing session. I will send you a copy of my script if you want. reply by
    PM.

    There is not enough flexibility or intelligence in Eagle's system of
    programming hotkeys. I want a keystroke combination to do different things -
    depending on whether I am editing a library symbol or a footprint. Cadsoft
    could very easily offer that, but they do not, and so I wrote a script that
    I run time and time again. You want efficiency? Well don't hold your breath,
    but it can get the job done.

    I think their next regular release should no longer highlight a nearby part
    after clicking "change text", and it won't highlight a wire when you want to
    change diameter of a pad, etc. etc.

    This is how absurd ver 4.16 can be:
    Me:"Go get me a screwdriver".
    Eagle: "This one?"
    Me: "No, not a hammer. No, not that saw... , and not that wrench...
    .. There, yes that's the screwdriver!"

    So, ver 5 will be less incredibly stupid? I'll save my money. The new
    library browser is supposed to be easier to use, but that is not necessarily
    saying much. Will parts editing be any easier? I just got done spending an
    incredible amount of time customizing my Eagle 4.16 libraries. Most of that
    time was spent entering redundant text - because of Eagle's insistance on
    entering "Variant" names. The name could be gleaned from the package name,
    but they are assholes. GRRRRR.
    I have heard that Easy-PC is the way to go but It will have to wait, because
    my finances are a little tight.

    With best regards, Brett Holden. E-mail:
     
  14. Leon

    Leon Guest

    Easy-PC is much easier to use. Advanced Circuits supply a free version
    of it called "PC Artist".

    Leon
     
  15. Joel Koltner

    Joel Koltner Guest

    "Easy-PC is much easier to use. Advanced Circuits supply a free version
    of it called "PC Artist"."

    The O.P. might also like to know that Easy-PC is the "little brother" of
    Pulsonix -- although I believe they started life as two separate programs,
    development is done by the same company now and hence there are a lot of
    similarities.
     
  16. JeffM

    JeffM Guest

  17. Brett Holden

    Brett Holden Guest

    I badmouth Eagle sometimes because I think their wonks don't listen. They
    have a suggestions newsgroup, but the vast majority of suggestions go
    unanswered and it seems like most underlying cause for the complaints remain
    unfixed. But I use it because I know it; but also in it's own way,
    (-whatever that is-) it is very good. I am looking at other packages, but it
    is hard to change old habits.

    Here is the script that I run to setup my workspace. Save to the SCR folder
    and invoke by clicking >File >Script > (BRD-SCH-PAC-SYM_edit.scr)


    It is good that Eagle has this capability, but I sometimes wonder, "why is
    this necessary"?
    ****************************************************************************
    # BRD-SCH-PAC-SYM_edit.scr
    # Describes diferent BRD, SCH, PAC,and SYM editors grid settings.
    # Use instead of "Assign" keyboard shortcuts. Otherwise, there is no
    difference between PAC and SYM settings.
    ######################################################
    # Run this script after switching between PAC and SYM and editors
    # to eliminate compromised optimal grid settings
    # and lessen the need to memorize keyboard shortcuts that
    # cannot be performed with one hand.
    # As you determine your preferences, change the menues.
    # Also run for SCH and PCB editing.

    pac:
    assign C+A 'grid in; grid .025 2 on'
    assign C+Q 'grid in; grid .0125 4 on'
    assign C+s 'grid in; grid .00625 8 on'
    assign C+w 'grid in; grid .003125 16 on'
    assign C+d 'grid in; grid .0015625 32 on'
    assign C+e 'grid in; grid .00078125 64 on'
    assign C+f 'grid in; grid .000390625 128 on'
    assign A+m 'grid mm; grid 1 1 on'
    assign A+n 'grid mm; grid .5 2 on'
    assign A+b 'grid mm; grid .25 4 on'
    assign A+v 'grid mm; grid .125 8 on'
    assign A+c 'grid mm; grid .05 20 on'
    assign A+d 'grid mm; grid .1 10 on'
    assign C+z 'grid last'
    assign C+X 'grid default on'
    assign A+X 'grid .1 10 on'
    set width_menu .086 .076 .066 .056 .050 .040 .032 .028 .024 .020 .016 .012
    ..01 .008 .006 .005;
    set smd_menu 0.012 x0.00 0.016 x0.008 0.024 x0.012 0.024 x0.086 0.032 x0.016
    0.04 x0.02 0.05 x0.025 0.055 x0.028 0.066 x0.032 0.07 x0.036 0.076 x0.038
    0.086 x0.042 0.1 x0.05;
    set diameter_menu .155 .143 .132 .12 .112 .108 .104 .100 .096 .092 .090 .086
    ..082 .075 .0675 .052;
    set drill_menu .028 .032 .033 .035 .036 .040 .043 .0465 .0472 .051 .055 .060
    ..0635 .067 .072 .076;

    sym:
    assign C+A 'grid in; grid .05 2 on'
    assign C+q 'grid in; grid .025 4 on'
    assign C+s 'grid in; grid .0125 8 on'
    assign C+w 'grid in; grid .00625 16 on'
    assign C+d 'grid in; grid .003125 32 on'
    assign C+e 'grid in; grid .0015625 64 on'
    assign C+f 'grid in; grid .00078125 128 on'
    assign C+z 'grid last'
    assign C+X 'grid default on'
    set width_menu .01 .086 .076 .066 .050 .040 .032 .028 .024 .020 .016 .012
    ..01 .006 .005;

    brd:
    assign C+A 'grid in; grid .025 2 on'
    assign C+Q 'grid in; grid .0125 4 on'
    assign C+s 'grid in; grid .00625 8 on'
    assign C+w 'grid in; grid .003125 16 on'
    assign C+d 'grid in; grid .0015625 32 on'
    assign C+e 'grid in; grid .00078125 64 on'
    assign A+m 'grid mm; grid 1 1 on'
    assign A+n 'grid mm; grid .5 2 on'
    assign A+b 'grid mm; grid .25 4 on'
    assign A+v 'grid mm; grid .125 8 on'
    assign A+c 'grid mm; grid .0625 16 on'
    assign A+d 'grid mm; grid .03125 32 on'
    assign A+e 'grid mm; grid .015625 64 on
    assign C+z 'grid last'
    assign C+X 'grid default on'
    set width_menu .1 .08 .06 .050 .048 .040 .0375 .03 .025 .024 .020 .015 .0125
    ..01 .008 .006;
    set diameter_menu .155 .143 .132 .12 .112 .108 .104 .100 .096 .092 .090 .086
    ..082 .075 .0675 .052;
    set drill_menu .028 .032 .033 .035 .036 .040 .043 .0465 .0472 .051 .055 .060
    ..0635 .067 .072;

    sch:
    #grid alternate .0125 16 on;
    assign C+A 'grid in; grid .05 2 on'
    assign C+q 'grid in; grid .025 4 on'
    assign C+s 'grid in; grid .0125 8 on'
    assign C+w 'grid in; grid .00625 16 on'
    assign C+d 'grid in; grid .003125 32 on'
    assign C+e 'grid in; grid .0015625 64 on'
    assign C+f 'grid in; grid .00078125 128 on'
    assign C+z 'grid last'
    assign C+X 'grid default off'
    set width_menu .01 .086 .076 .066 .050 .040 .032 .028 .024 .020 .016 .012
    ..01 .006 .005;

    ################################
    # PERSONAL NOTES
    # use .0675 diameter for DIP pads *** cha dia .0675 ***
    # use .052 dia for TO92 transistor-inline pins (long shape) *** cha dia
    ..052 ***
    #end


    With best regards, Brett Holden. E-mail:
     
  18. Marra

    Marra Guest

    Eagle is just so way out of date it is almost unusable.

    It reminds me a lot of early EasyPC.
    But easyPC has moved on by miles.

    Eagle is still stuck in the days of DOS and thast probably where it
    originated.

    I would go for a modern Windows package.
    There is usually something on ebay for a few pounds.
     
  19. Joel Koltner

    Joel Koltner Guest

    GEE, MARRA, COULD YOU SUGGEST A TITLE???

    I bet I can guess what you'll say...
     

  20. Is it burnt to a mini CDROM, and packed in a recycled Hormel
    "Shoulder of Pork And Ham" can?

    --
    Service to my country? Been there, Done that, and I've got my DD214 to
    prove it.
    Member of DAV #85.

    Michael A. Terrell
    Central Florida
     
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