Fw: [sdr-cube] Teamspeak tomorrow evening: "Schematic Capture and PCB Layout: Tools & Techniques"

Terry Fox tfox at knology.net
Tue Feb 14 00:23:09 CST 2012

Sent from wrong email account?

From: WB4JFI 
Sent: Tuesday, February 14, 2012 1:16 AM
To: tacos at amrad.org 
Subject: Fw: [sdr-cube] Teamspeak tomorrow evening: "Schematic Capture and PCB Layout: Tools & Techniques"

These sessions are usually pretty interesting, and the one tomorrow night (Tuesday) is something that I’ve been wanting to know more about.

From: George Heron N2APB 
Sent: Tuesday, February 14, 2012 12:09 AM
To: sdr-cube at yahoogroups.com ; njqrp at yahoogroups.com ; AQRP at yahoogroups.com ; Micro908 ; REFL3 ; NUE-PSK at yahoogroups.com 
Subject: [sdr-cube] Teamspeak tomorrow evening: "Schematic Capture and PCB Layout: Tools & Techniques"

Reminder for our regular Tuesday evening online session “Chat With The Designers” tomorrow at 8pm EST.  We’ll be discussing tools and techniques used for schematic capture and layout of pc boards ... http://www.njqrp.org/teamspeak/Feb%2014.html 

If you've been a homebrewer for any significant amount of time (or over the course of a number of projects), you probably have considered taking the route of making your own pc boards.  It is indeed a tempting prospect; and as you'll discover in this week's session, it is pretty straightforward and low risk.  And having done more that 30 projects over the last 10-15 years with design buddy N2CX, I’ve been pleasantly surprised by how my techniques and quality has improved with experience.  The main thing is to get started and "just do it", and the rest takes care of itself.

So this session is dedicated to the time-tested methods of taking that schematic from the back of a paper napkin stage, to that of a nice and reproducible page in electronic format, and then on to ultimately having a pc board fabricated and sitting on your bench.

What this session is NOT going to cover is use of some super expensive or overly complex, high-end schematic capture package with combined pc layout capabilities.  Most of us do not have the ability to invest that kind of money ($2,000 to $10,000) into such a tool.

We're also NOT going to cover the totally homebrew board fabrication process with photo resist, etchant, etc.  Some nice successes can results from this approach, and a number of good homebrewers have successfully used this method, but it's not conducive to creating multiples of the project for kitting efforts with your club, Boy Scouts, etc.

Along the way you'll find that people's preferences for these schematic and pcb layout tools fall into the "religious preferences" category. That is, many guys find a tool they like and then stick with it, defend it and promote it over all others.  This is surely the case with me, and it stems from a desire to not wanting to learn a new tool every time something new comes out.  My theory is: "If you know it and it works well for you, there's no need to learn and use something else."  (Sort of a derivative of "If it ain't broke, don't fix it.")  But if you haven’t yet settled on a tool, or if you are just getting started, the techniques that we’ll be describing might be just right for you.

So here in this session, we'll be overviewing some of the basic approaches; and we’ll have clearer examples and definitions based on the tool set that we use on a regular basis.

See you tomorrow evening from 8-9pm EST (0100-0200z) on our regular Teamspeak channel for “Chat With The Designers”. 

~George N2APB & Joe N2CX

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