Moving from TinyCAD schematic to PCB layout

When I have finalized my circuit diagram in TinyCAD, my next step is to devise a PCB layout. I believe that there may be software available to assist in this process.

What is it, and where is it?

Thanks




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Comments

  • I give a thumbs up to FreePCB, and for manufacture of those PCBs try https://oshpark.com/
    Release version of FreePCB is at FreePCB: freeware PCB layout software

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    FreePCB: freeware PCB layout software

    FreePCB: freeware PCB layout software
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    Latest and greatest version (the next release) of FreePCB (right of the presses) is at https://github.com/wdtj/freepcb/raw/mhp/InstallBuilder/FreePCBInstaller.msi
    I've been using this version for several weeks and it's stable.A? It also has an integrated installer that will save you a bit of hassle over the current version.


    ---
    Wayne Johnson,A?A?A?A?A?A?A?A?A?A?A?A? | There are two kinds of people: Those
    A? A? A? A? A? A? A? A? A? A?A?A?A?A?A?A?A? | who say to God, "Thy will be done,"
    A? A? A? A? A? A? A? A? A? A? A? A? A?A? | and those to whom God says, "All right,
    A? A? A? A? A? A? A?A? A?A?A?A?A?A?A?A?A?A?A? | then, have it your way." --C.S. Lewis


    On Thursday, February 15, 2018, 5:20:03 AM CST, pihanadesign@... [tinycad] wrote:

    A?
    When I have finalized my circuit diagram in TinyCAD, my next step is to devise a PCB layout. I believe that there may be software available to assist in this process.

    What is it, and where is it?

    Thanks



    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]




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  • FreePCB is your best bet. I have tried other software and I find
    myself going back to it. Every feature is at your finger tips or a click
    of a mouse.. and it works!
    Unfortunately there is no further development and it lacks some
    useful features (fonts, pictures, 3D, slotted holes...). For the vast
    majority of designs, it is the friendliest tool.

    Available at www.freepcb.com

    Pesc

    Sent from Notes Traveler

    > On Feb 15, 2018, at 8:45 AM, Wayne Johnson wdtj@... [tinycad] wrote:
    >
    > I give a thumbs up to FreePCB, and for manufacture of those PCBs try https://oshpark.com/
    > Release version of FreePCB is at FreePCB: freeware PCB layout software
    >
    > |
    > |
    > | |
    > FreePCB: freeware PCB layout software
    >
    > FreePCB: freeware PCB layout software
    > |
    >
    > |
    >
    > |
    >
    > Latest and greatest version (the next release) of FreePCB (right of the presses) is at https://github.com/wdtj/freepcb/raw/mhp/InstallBuilder/FreePCBInstaller.msi
    > I've been using this version for several weeks and it's stable. It also has an integrated installer that will save you a bit of hassle over the current version.
    >
    > ---
    > Wayne Johnson, | There are two kinds of people: Those
    > | who say to God, "Thy will be done,"
    > | and those to whom God says, "All right,
    > | then, have it your way." --C.S. Lewis
    >
    >
    > On Thursday, February 15, 2018, 5:20:03 AM CST, pihanadesign@outlook.com [tinycad] wrote:
    >
    >
    > When I have finalized my circuit diagram in TinyCAD, my next step is to devise a PCB layout. I believe that there may be software available to assist in this process.
    >
    > What is it, and where is it?
    >
    > Thanks
    >
    >
    > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    >
    > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    >
    >


    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
  • Actually there have been several of us working on FreePCB since the original author stopped.A? We've cleaned up a lot of the problems, and added a few new features.I've recently added a new installer as well as a built in printer task.
    Latest build is at https://github.com/wdtj/freepcb/raw/mhp/InstallBuilder/FreePCBInstaller.msi.


    ---
    Wayne Johnson,A?A?A?A?A?A?A?A?A?A?A?A? | There are two kinds of people: Those
    A? A? A? A? A? A? A? A? A? A?A?A?A?A?A?A?A? | who say to God, "Thy will be done,"
    A? A? A? A? A? A? A? A? A? A? A? A? A?A? | and those to whom God says, "All right,
    A? A? A? A? A? A? A?A? A?A?A?A?A?A?A?A?A?A?A? | then, have it your way." --C.S. Lewis


    On Friday, February 16, 2018, 10:54:12 AM CST, M F pescatore_04@... [tinycad] wrote:

    A?
    FreePCB is your best bet. I have tried other software and I find
    myself going back to it. Every feature is at your finger tips or a click
    of a mouse... and it works!
    Unfortunately there is no further development and it lacks some
    useful features (fonts, pictures, 3D, slotted holes..). For the vast
    majority of designs, it is the friendliest tool.

    Available at www.freepcb.com

    Pesc

    Sent from Notes Traveler

    > On Feb 15, 2018, at 8:45 AM, Wayne Johnson wdtj@... [tinycad] wrote:
    >
    > I give a thumbs up to FreePCB, and for manufacture of those PCBs try https://oshpark.com/
    > Release version of FreePCB is at FreePCB: freeware PCB layout software
    >
    > |
    > |
    > | |
    > FreePCB: freeware PCB layout software
    >
    > FreePCB: freeware PCB layout software
    > |
    >
    > |
    >
    > |
    >
    > Latest and greatest version (the next release) of FreePCB (right of the presses) is at https://github.com/wdtj/freepcb/raw/mhp/InstallBuilder/FreePCBInstaller.msi
    > I've been using this version for several weeks and it's stable. It also has an integrated installer that will save you a bit of hassle over the current version.
    >
    > ---
    > Wayne Johnson, | There are two kinds of people: Those
    > | who say to God, "Thy will be done,"
    > | and those to whom God says, "All right,
    > | then, have it your way." --C.S. Lewis
    >
    >
    > On Thursday, February 15, 2018, 5:20:03 AM CST, pihanadesign@outlookcom [tinycad] wrote:
    >
    >
    > When I have finalized my circuit diagram in TinyCAD, my next step is to devise a PCB layout I believe that there may be software available to assist in this process.
    >
    > What is it, and where is it?
    >
    > Thanks
    >
    >
    > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    >
    > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    >
    >

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  • Thanks folks. I'll have a very close look at that.
    Much appreciated

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  • That last link gets 404d.

    I went to your previous one and have downloaded an installer (freepcb_1200_setup.exe), an MSI (FreePCBInstaller.msi) and three update files
    freepcb_1359_combined_update.zip
    freepcb_1400_user_guide_pdf.zip
    freepcb_1400_user_guide_supplement.zip

    Which installer do I run and where do I unzip the other files?


    Thanks

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  • As the instructions say, install the msi, then overwrite the installed files with the files from the zips.

    Were you refering to the github URL giving 404?

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  • I had no trouble downloading the file at

    https://github.com/wdtj/freepcb/raw/mhp/InstallBuilder/FreePCBInstaller.msi https://github.com/wdtj/freepcb/raw/mhp/InstallBuilder/FreePCBInstaller.msi

    It installed and reports version 1.362-r355 if I am reading it correctly. I don't see small print well at all and have the scale factor adjusted up about 25% on my Windows 10 machine. FreePCB seems to ignore this setting so all the controls are still rather tiny and the print very hard to read. But it seems to work and opens a file I last touched in 2010.

    Maybe you were getting an error because you were including the period at the end of the URL. My link above doesn't have the period next to it. Give that a try.

    Rick C.


    ---In tinycad@..., wrote :

    That last link gets 404d.

    I went to your previous one and have downloaded an installer (freepcb_1200_setup.exe), an MSI (FreePCBInstaller.msi) and three update files
    freepcb_1359_combined_update.zip
    freepcb_1400_user_guide_pdf.zip
    freepcb_1400_user_guide_supplement.zip

    Which installer do I run and where do I unzip the other files?


    Thanks

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  • If you have any other questions, maybe you should post them in the FreePCB yahoo group? I don't want to pollute this group with too much extraneous posting about FreePCB.

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  • Thanks wdtj
    Yes, I was referring to the github URL getting 404d.


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  • Have been working with TinyCAD for > 15 years professionally and have been using KiCAD for the layout part since 2006. Works great.

    You just need a translator for the netlist.

    https://github.com/beischer/netconv https://github.com/beischer/netconv



    Magnus














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  • Thanks Magnus

    What's a netlist?

    I guess that question shows that I have no idea what this process involves. Here's another.
    "How do I establish on a PCB where to put the pin holes for (most especially) an Arduino UNO?"
    The UNO, as you probably know, does not conveniently fit the pin spacing of your standard breadboard. One set of eight pins is half-a-pin out of alignment.


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  • A netlist is a list of parts and the connections between them.A? This is generated from the schematic capture as parts and wires, then is used on the PCB to guarentee that all the wires you wanted are represented by a path.A? On initially importing into the PCB tool you will see pad layouts and lines (called ratlines) between each part's pads.A? You then "route" these rat lines and turn them into PCB traces.


    ---
    Wayne Johnson,A?A?A?A?A?A?A?A?A?A?A?A? | There are two kinds of people: Those
    A? A? A? A? A? A? A? A? A? A?A?A?A?A?A?A?A? | who say to God, "Thy will be done,"
    A? A? A? A? A? A? A? A? A? A? A? A? A?A? | and those to whom God says, "All right,
    A? A? A? A? A? A? A?A? A?A?A?A?A?A?A?A?A?A?A? | then, have it your way." --C.S. Lewis


    On Wednesday, February 21, 2018, 4:54:54 PM CST, pihanadesign@... [tinycad] wrote:

    A?
    Thanks Magnus

    What's a netlist?

    I guess that question shows that I have no idea what this process involves. Here's another.
    "How do I establish on a PCB where to put the pin holes for (most especially) an Arduino UNO?"
    The UNO, as you probably know, does not conveniently fit the pin spacing of your standard breadboard. One set of eight pins is half-a-pin out of alignment.

    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]




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  • Your typical breadboard pin sockets are on 0.1 inch centers. All components are placed on a PCB design by measuring the component pin dimensions and placing them on the design by those measurements. PCB layout is not limited to what breadboards can do. That's how they made the Arduino boards.

    Rick


    ---In tinycad@..., wrote :

    Thanks Magnus

    What's a netlist?

    I guess that question shows that I have no idea what this process involves. Here's another.
    "How do I establish on a PCB where to put the pin holes for (most especially) an Arduino UNO?"
    The UNO, as you probably know, does not conveniently fit the pin spacing of your standard breadboard. One set of eight pins is half-a-pin out of alignment.


    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]



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  • So you actually draw the footprint of the IC or whatever into the PCB layout manually and individually! Is there no way to import a library of standard part footprints, and to make a library of ones own of footprints you can't find anywhere else?

    I suspect that that's what a 'netlist' is about.

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  • A schematic consists of a variety of
    information. The components on a design contain
    a shape which is the image you see as well as a
    part number, a reference designator and
    optionally other information such as component
    value, wattage, voltage etc. The components are
    interconnected by lines with represent the tracks
    on the PCB or in the schematic are called
    "nets" Everything that is connected
    electrically is a single net. The net list is
    exactly that, a list of all the nets along with
    the component reference designators and pin numbers for each connected pin.

    The net list is not a complete representation of
    the design since the components also require a
    detailed description of the pads and component
    shape. This is indicated by a package type
    property attached to the component in the net
    list if included. if not included this
    information has to be added in the layout program
    after the net list in imported. So once the net
    list is imported and the package types added if
    needed, these package types can be looked up in
    the component library to obtain the detailed
    information about the size, shape and relative
    positioning of the pads for each package
    type The library also includes an outline
    showing how large the component is (sometimes
    they are larger than the pads) and silkscreen
    lines and writing of the ref designator and any
    other info you wish to appear on the PCB.

    There are many freely available libraries, but
    you can't assume they are fully vetted. There
    may be errors which will goof up your board. So
    never use a part from any library (including your
    own) without verifying it is right for your
    design. Even if it worked for someone else, that
    doesn't mean it will work for you.

    I hope this helps.

    Rick Collins


    At 08:18 PM 2/21/2018, pihanadesign@... [tinycad] wrote:
    >
    >
    >So you actually draw the footprint of the IC or
    >whatever into the PCB layout manually and
    >individually! Is there no way to import a
    >library of standard part footprints, and to make
    >a library of ones own of footprints you can't find anywhere else?
    >
    >I suspect that that's what a 'netlist' is about.
    >
    >[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    >
    >


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  • A good guide to designing printed circuit boards is EEVBlog's Dave Jones PCB Design Tutorial.A? There are a number of great EEVBlog videos on the subject on YouTube.
    Tutorial:A?
    https://www.google.com/url?q=http://www.alternatezone.com/electronics/files/PCBDesignTutorialRevA.pdf&sa=U&ved=0ahUKEwit3fGDy7jZAhUU92MKHSDCB-AQFggLMAA&usg=AOvVaw0975dOGlQr76_8vEkwjUKU
    null

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  • No, there is a footprint library and editor in the PCB layout programs.A? The netlist contains parts lists (including the package name).A? The layout program looks up the part footprint and places it on the board.A? You can then move the part footprints around.

    ---
    Wayne Johnson,A?A?A?A?A?A?A?A?A?A?A?A? | There are two kinds of people: Those
    A? A? A? A? A? A? A? A? A? A?A?A?A?A?A?A?A? | who say to God, "Thy will be done,"
    A? A? A? A? A? A? A? A? A? A? A? A? A?A? | and those to whom God says, "All right,
    A? A? A? A? A? A? A?A? A?A?A?A?A?A?A?A?A?A?A? | then, have it your way." --C.S. Lewis


    On Wednesday, February 21, 2018, 8:46:42 PM CST, pihanadesign@... [tinycad] wrote:

    A?
    So you actually draw the footprint of the IC or whatever into the PCB layout manually and individually! Is there no way to import a library of standard part footprints, and to make a library of ones own of footprints you can't find anywhere else?

    I suspect that that's what a 'netlist' is about.

    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]




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  • Thanks folks. I am starting to get some idea.
    My immediate focus is to finish and finalize the prototyping of my project. Then I will generate a TinyCAD circuit diagram of same. Then I will roll up my sleeves and get my mitts into the big black pot of PCB manufacture.

    Then, and someone once said, "I'll be back!"

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  • Where do you get the "KiCAD product number to footprint map file" parameter??


    Don - N9ZXS




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  • Where do you get the "KiCAD product number to footprint map file" parameter you use in the netconv program??


    Don - N9ZXS




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  • Giving you an example for 2 capacitors:


    In TinyCAD: Suggest that your cap library only consist of 2 symbols (one with just a cap and one with a cap and a + sign). Open the cap lib and open the normal symbol. Add a name for that symbol that is unique to you or to the whole world. From now on this name will be the product number for that specific cap. Let's say that you don't want to create your own part.no. now but instead use Digi-Key's numbers (quite unique and accessible world wide)


    Pick "399-1095-1-ND" as the name for the component. Set the description to "CAP CER 0.1UF 10V X7R 0603" (I copied this from the Digi-Key web). Add a parameter called "link" with the value "https://www.digikey.com/product-detail/en/kemet/C0603C104K8RACTU/399-1095-1-ND/411370" and choose not to show that value. Add a parameter "Value" and set it to "0.1 uF".


    Add as many caps you need using Digi-Key part numbers as your "Name" for that symbol. For the example, lets say that you added 10 names to the normal capacitor and that they all use 0603 foot print.


    Now you have your own lib with caps to use. One symbol with many names. A brilliant feature in TinyCAD.


    In KiCAD:
    As the cap in the example is a 0603 component, find a 0603 foot print in KiCAD. If you want to be sure that this symbol isn't changed in the future when updating KiCAD, copy it to your own KiCAD lib and save it as Don-0603 (otherwise just note the name KiCAD use for a 0603 foot print).


    Now you have to set up the map file for Netconv:
    Create a text file in Notepad with the text (I added one more cap for the example):
    399-1095-1-ND Don-0603

    490-9669-1-ND Don-0603



    Save the file to your disk. File name doesn't matter. Call it tinycad-to-kicad.txt if you like. You have only one file like this for all your components.


    Use TinyCAD to make the drawing:
    Open up a blank drawing.
    Search for a component to use by entering "0.1uF" in the search field. Pick 399-1095-1-ND from the list. Place the component on the drawing. Do the same but search for some other value or description that you entered to your lib. Place that component on the drawing.
    Draw some wires.
    Do a DRC to clear any errors.
    Make a standard TinyCAD net list.


    Start Netconv:
    Choose the TinyCAD net list.
    Chose the map file (tinycad-to-kicad.txt in the example above).
    Choose the output file. Use some name ending with .net. I prefer the same name as the KiCAD project name.


    Now you have a complete net list for KiCAD.


    Start KiCAD:
    Make a new project.
    Open the PCB editor.
    Import the net list you have created with Netconv.
    Move the components to the right place.
    Do a board outline.
    Draw the wires.
    Make manufacturing files.
    Done


    Note:
    When designing you can have all three applications open. Do change in TinyCAD, export the net list (use the default name and place). Press "Convert" in Netconv and import the updated net list in KiCAD.
    Repeat until your project is done :)


    Note:
    You use the same foot print for a 0603 resistor as for a 0603 capacitor, so when you need a new resistor in your project you just have to update the res lib in TinyCAD and add a line of text in the map file for Netconv. No update is needed in KiCAD.


    Note:
    With this setup, there are two uses of the output from TinyCAD:
    1. Net list for the layout.
    2. BOM for the purchase. Since we use a unique numer like 399-1095-1-ND you can just touch up the BOM from TinyCAD in any spreadsheet application and import the BOM to Digi-Key or other web sites.


    Hope this helps.











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  • TNX for the reply. That should help. Another question: Is there any way to do this with an existing netlist??

    Don - N9ZXS

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  • Just re-import the netlist into your PCB design.A? There will be a dialog asking what to do with new, removed, and conflicting items.A? You should probably save a copy of the original PCB as a backup because the results of a re-import can sometimes be drastic.


    ---
    Wayne Johnson,A?A?A?A?A?A?A?A?A?A?A?A? | There are two kinds of people: Those
    A? A? A? A? A? A? A? A? A? A?A?A?A?A?A?A?A? | who say to God, "Thy will be done,"
    A? A? A? A? A? A? A? A? A? A? A? A? A?A? | and those to whom God says, "All right,
    A? A? A? A? A? A? A?A? A?A?A?A?A?A?A?A?A?A?A? | then, have it your way." --C.S. Lewis


    On Friday, February 23, 2018, 7:36:12 AM CST, DSCHMITZ16@... [tinycad] wrote:

    A?
    TNX for the reply. That should help. Another question: Is there any way to do this with an existing netlist??

    Don - N9ZXS

    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]




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  • What you need is a place in your process where you tell the layout app (KiCAD in this case) the name of the foot print for every component in the schematics. Many people enter this information in the properties of every component. My process is a bit different as I don't want the possible human error of doing it in the component properties. Instead I do it in the component name so if I pick the right component and place it on the drawing in TinyCAD, I am 100% sure that there is only computer processing left to get the right foot print on the board.

    When you don't have unique component names in the lib, you can:
    - As in your question, edit the net list and change the name of the component to something that Netconv can translate to a foot print in the KiCAD net list. Note that the KiCAD net list is also a text file, but it is built in another way so manually making a KiCAD net list from TinyCAD information is not recommended.
    - If you have the schematics for you question, you can change the component name there (and not change it in the lib). Export a net list, run Netconv, and you are ready to import the generated net list into KiCAD.


    Magnus


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