Eagle PCB Tip: Pin and Gateswapping
To optimize board routing, there are times that interchanging pins or gates is necessary. Recent article on Dangerous Prototypes gives us a full description and procedure to make this happen in EAGLE.
Eagle Tip: Gateswap and Pinswap tool - [Link]
Surprisingly often, I find myself wanting to import vector images into eagle, and have them appear as polygons – usually for silkscreen. Whilst importing vectors as lines is practical – although ridiculously awkward – up until now I haven’t found a single practical way to import a vector drawing as polygons.
Importing SVG images as polygons Into Eagle - [Link]
Pittsford, NY, USA: Saelig Company, Inc. (www.saelig.com) has introduced the ABI BoardMaster 8000 PLUS –a unique, versatile, self-contained, and easy-to-use PCB test system. The BoardMaster 8000 Plus is a comprehensive set of test instruments, complete with built-in PC, for testing and fault-finding on almost any kind of PCB. Incorporating a full range of test instruments in one compact box and offering a variety of available test methods, the BoardMaster 8000 PLUS provides a cost-effective standalone solution for electronics faultfinding across a wide range of industries.
BoardMaster 8000 PLUS is an integrated package of high specification instrumentation controlled by sophisticated but easy to use software. The hardware is installed in a rugged transportable case that also contains a high-specification, Windows™ PC. The BoardMaster 8000 PLUS is based on a modular system which can be customized for specific applications, and its software can be configured to guide users step-by-step through a test procedure, with custom-annotated picture images, instructions, and attached datasheets to give quick Pass/Fail results. This is much faster and more economical than using traditional oscilloscope and metering and other bench test methods. Read the rest of this entry »
Here’s a tutorial on how to automatically generate Eagle parts from manufacturers’ BSDL files. These files are available from some manufacturers and include tables listing pin names and numbers. [via]
Simplify Eagle library part creation from BSDL files - [Link]
FidoCadJ is an easy to use graphical editor, with a library of electrical symbols and footprints (traditional and SMD). It aims to be an agile and effective small EDA tool for hobbyists. FidoCadJ stores its drawings in a compact text format, practical for the copy and paste in newsgroups and forums: this has determined its success on the Usenet and in numerous communities. FidoCadJ is multi-platform and runs on MacOSX, Linux and Windows
A multiplatform vector drawing program with a complete library of electronic symbols. Schematics and drawings are stored in a very compact text format. There is no netlist concept behind the drawings (so no simulation here, sorry!) but this allows a great graphical flexibility and ease of use, making FidoCadJ the perfect tool for exchange sketches in forum and newsgroup discussions with a few clicks. Drawings can be exported in several graphic formats, such as pdf.
FidoCadJ – Simple and intuitive 2D vector drawing for electronics and not only - [Link]
SMD solder paste stencils are used to accurately “print” a thin layer of solder paste onto a PCB on which the components are placed before reflow soldering. The “printing” is done in a method similar to screen printing, where the solder paste is squeegeed through a 4 mil thick, stainless steel stencil onto the PCB.
This is all well and good, but commercial stencils are expensive, and are massive overkill for prototype boards. Here is a method for producing a “good-enough” stencil using aluminium sheet via a method similar to PCB production via the UV photosensitive film method.
Home-made solder paste stencil - [Link]
New aluminium profiles in our portfolio will help you to apply LED strips or other linear LED light sources.
LED strips or PCBs with LEDs are in fact only a semi/product, which should be in the most of cases mounted into an appropriate profile. Two new aluminium profiles are excellently suitable for this purpose, with the possibility to buy a transparent or semi/transparent plastic cover.
Advantages / Features:
- ideal for LED srips and mid-power LEDs
- suitable for panels and for furniture
- usage without or with embedding
- 1m long
- aesthetic and safe solution
● Profile ZH-9099/1000 is suitable to be embedded into panels, furniture and similar.
● Profile ZH-9460/1000 is ideal for installation without embedding – on a surface. That´s why it features somewhat higher cooling properties.
Both types are anodized (natural elox) and they can be equipped with termination profiles and transparent plastic covers. Transparent cover transmits almost 100% of light, thus almost not affecting the luminous flux from LEDs. Semi-transparent cover transmits 75% of light and provides a soft diffused light. In case of interest in these heatsinks, high-power LEDs or LED strips, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Comfortable and safe installation of LED strips with new profiles – [Link]
Many users often request if there are any tools that can simplify library part creation. Make-symbol-device-package-bsdl.ulp is one of those tools, it can parse a BSDL file and automatically create a part for you, device, symbol, package everything in just a few clicks. It’s one of the more sophisticated ULPs that ship with EAGLE and can be used to speed up part creation especially with high-pin count components such as FPGA and large microcontrollers. Most manufacturers such as TI and Microchip provide BSDL files for their parts. This is also one of two ULPs that come with a manual you can find it in the doc folder of your EAGLE installation. [via]
Eagle Quick Tip: Simplify library part creation - [Link]
Our dear friend Vassilis notes an easy way to trim ground fills on EAGLE PCBs. This tip is really helpful if you would like to prevent ground to be filled on small areas without having to add a new polygon.
Normally, if we like to add a ground plane on a PCB we use a polygon named GND and then empty space is filled with copper attached to GND net (keepout distance from traces, pads etc can be adjusted). In most cases you will notice that copper is filled in areas that we would not like to be filled. A solution to this is to add a polygon on tRestrict layer to prevent copper to be added on that area. This solution works nice for relative large areas of board.
Another way to prevent ground to fill a small area is to use a wire on tRestrict layer placed in such a way to “cut” the ground filling path. Using such wires on the above PCB give us better results as you can see on the screen below.
Jianyi Liu wrote a tutorial on PCB fabrication at home. He states: [via]
A few years ago, I started experimenting with homemade prototype PCBs as an alternative to professionally fabricated PCBs from board manufacturing company. My company was flexible enough to give me some resources and time to explore the subject matter. What I discovered was that with a small initial investment, you can make reasonably high quality two sided boards. In addition, all the equipment needed was easily accessible. I’ve decided to put my findings into this guide. Hopefully some of my fellow hobbyists will find the information useful
DIY PCB tutorial - [Link]