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Online PCBs with parts, free PCB software.

Discussion in 'CAD' started by Pad2Pad, Apr 20, 2004.

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  1. Pad2Pad

    Pad2Pad Guest

    Hi All,

    You can now get custom PCBs online - with components! At the new you can easily design, price, and order custom printed
    circuit boards with components - at low cost. includes
    free PCB layout
    software. Please visit for details.

    James Smith
  2. Ben Bradley

    Ben Bradley Guest

    In a commercial crosspost to these groups:,
    Oh how interesting, this looks like a direct competitor to which has offered a similar service (but
    without any boardstuffing) for several years now. Perhaps the extra
    competition will bring down the cost of both of these services (but I
    hope not the quality, expresspcb's boards have always been good for
  3. David Knaack

    David Knaack Guest


    Has anyone given Pad2Pad a try yet? I've installed the software and
    checked it out and it seems pretty decent for the kind of simple hobby
    work I do. Much more polished than Eagle, which desperately needs some
    UI polish.

    The prices are pretty reasonable, much better than most of the domestic
    board houses, but still not as good as Olimex. But being closer is
    enough to get me to give them a try.

    Any experiances yet?
  4. Eagle is certainly lacking in that department. However, Pad2Pad didn't look
    like it had any facility for checking against a netlist? This quickly
    becomes a limiting factor, even with a dozen or so components. One really
    wants to be able to input a schematic and see whether the nets on the PCB
    match it.
  5. Alan Kilian

    Alan Kilian Guest

    I've used Eagle and Olimex for three boards so far, and other members of our group
    ( have used Eagle for more projects.

    I can't see any of us using a system that doesn;t start with schematic entry
    and electrical design rules checking.

    I haven't really had problems with Eagle's user interface either, so I can't
    comment on it.

    I did a project using 8 PICs and 2 motor drivers to implement a 4-channel
    PID motor control board, and got two PCBs for $28 from Olimex.

    Eagle and Olimex worked perfectly.

    (Also, I'm a Linux guy, so Windows software is unlikely to cut it for me)
  6. Pad2Pad

    Pad2Pad Guest

    However, Pad2Pad didn't look like it had any facility for checking against a
    Dear David,

    Pad2Pad does support checking of your design against netlist (Board |
    Design Rule Check), but in current version you have to input netlist
    manually (either by using Logical Connections tool or in Nets | Edit
    Nets dialog). Import of netlists will be introduced in posterior

    Pad2Pad customer support.
  7. Looks ok, but like ExpressPCB it looks like it is a program that is
    designed to only be used with that companies manafucturing facilities.
    In other words, there is no standard Gerber file generation so that
    you can take your design to other board houses. You are locked into
    using Pad2Pad for your board manufacturing and would have to generate
    the artwork a second time on another package if you wanted to go
    somewhere else.

    At least that is what it looks like to me with the few minutes I spent
    looking at it. If I am mistaken, I am sure someone will quickly
    correct me.

  8. Pad2Pad

    Pad2Pad Guest

    Dear Alan and Walter,

    Pad2Pad does support design rule check based on netlist (choose Board
    | Design Rule Check). Currently netlists can be created graphically by
    using the Logical Connection tool, or specified in Nets | Edit Nets
    dialog, or created automatically from traces. In one of the nearest
    updates Pad2Pad will also support import of netlists from other PCB
    design applications.

    Pad2Pad customer support.
  9. Thanks. Another thing you could do to entice potential customers would be
    to publish at least some sample prices on your web site. I'm disinclined to
    go to the trouble of downloading the software, learning it, and creating a
    sample board, just in order to find out whether your pricing structure is in
    line with my needs.
  10. Don Carroll

    Don Carroll Guest

    no Linux Version , then no good to me , I refuse to run MSWindows software

    get a Linux Version then we can talk , what is the max board can you do
    with your software
  11. Guy Macon

    Guy Macon Guest

    You *really* want to start saying "future versions" instead of
    "posterior versions" unless you want to get behind in your work.
  12. David Knaack

    David Knaack Guest

    I'm also using Eagle and Olimex for my projects, which are always small.
    Small enough that I can get a way with working without any kind of
    schematic capture or design rule checking, although I prefer not to have
    to do that, it is rather tedious.
    Its not really problems so much as just being a bit weird and opaque.
    I'm sure its like most CAD programs where those of you who spend hours
    working with it quicly become accustomed to it, but as rarely as I use
    it it always feels awkward and old.

    As a professional software designer myself, I'm probably just overly
    critical of interface design.
    Olimex rocks, I just wish they weren't so darn far away. The first time
    I got a board from them I had to pay UPS a $75 brokerage fee, 3x the
    board cost!

  13. Dave Baker

    Dave Baker Guest

    If it could import ExpressPCB boards then I'd start using it tomorrow. I
    dread having to convert my circuit layout across again. I think I will have
    to anyway though...

    I'm a bit confused with the component list. For example, I have to place an
    LM2676S-ADJ voltage regulator on the board, but trying to find a suitable pad
    layout for it has turned into a major task in itself.


    The email address used for sending these postings is not valid.
    All replies to the group please.
  14. Robert Baer

    Robert Baer Guest

    Get the data sheet; most have pad layouts on or near the last page.
  15. Dave Baker

    Dave Baker Guest

    Oh, I have that already - have the components & already have an ExpressPCB
    board made up & about 20 populated boards done & sold already. I'm looking
    for the proper pad layout on the list of available "components" in the
    Pad2Pad application. It's a strange component with 7 SMT legs at the bottom &
    a large pad at the back for the earth on the voltage regulator.

    The strange thing is that the Pad2Pad application looks almost exactly the
    same as the ExpressPCB application - I had to have a look to make sure it
    wasn't the same company when I first started up Pad2Pad. :)


    The email address used for sending these postings is not valid.
    All replies to the group please.
  16. Will your company accept Eagle files?

    I have no intention of learning a vender-specific PCB package
    merely to try it out.
  17. Stephan Rose

    Stephan Rose Guest

    Not only that but....what if that vendor ceases to exist one you're stuck with a PCB package that's essentially useless
    if it can't import and most importantly..export non-vendor specific

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