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Leon
01-18-2009, 12:22 AM
I've come up with a very simple single-sided PCB design for prototyping with the DIL Propeller:

www.leonheller.com/Propeller/Proto.gif (http://www.leonheller.com/Propeller/Proto.gif)

Leon

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Amateur radio callsign: G1HSM
Suzuki SV1000S motorcycle

Mark Swann
01-18-2009, 12:46 AM
Hi Leon,

Looks good to me.
I see only one regulator, which I assume to be 3.3 volts. What is your supply voltage?
I assume SW1 is the reset button, but what is CONN2?

I am very curious because I want to make my own PROP pcb too, and I have never done that sort of thing.
Are you using Eagle? I think I will start with Eagle for this effort.

Why did you choose to do only single-sided?

Mark

mynet43
01-18-2009, 01:26 AM
Mark,

I don't want to start the debate again but I'm an Eagle hater:)

I've designed quite a few circuit boards and learned several schematic/layout programs in the process.

I fought my way through the Eagle learning curve. It's the least intuitive program I've ever used. Sure, once you're familiar with it, you can get things done. But the learning curve is painful.

After trying quite a few, I finally happened upon my favorite, DipTrace. It's totally intuitive to learn, allows you to design schematics, parts, and board layout, all with an integrated and consistent interface, and is free! It also outputs standard Gerber files, which you can use with any board house.

www.diptrace.com/download.php (http://www.diptrace.com/download.php)

I've designed several complicated boards with it, including surface mount parts. It's never let me down.

I believe the free version allow up to 250 connections, which is enough for most small projects, all without any feature limitations. I've liked it so much I purchased the next step up.

Just my two-cents worth:)

Jim

Philldapill
01-18-2009, 01:47 AM
Bah! DipTrace?! Sure, use DipTrace if you want to make the most generic board possible, with no good ability to pull off some nifty routing or layouts...

Only meant in jest, Jim. I'm an Eagle person so it's my duty to talk trash. :)

Luis Digital
01-18-2009, 01:49 AM
Mark Swann said...
Hi Leon,

Looks good to me.
I see only one regulator, which I assume to be 3.3 volts. What is your supply voltage?
I assume SW1 is the reset button, but what is CONN2?

I am very curious because I want to make my own PROP pcb too, and I have never done that sort of thing.
Are you using Eagle? I think I will start with Eagle for this effort.

Why did you choose to do only single-sided?

Mark


From LD1117x3.3 Datasheet
Vin = 15 Max

CONN2 is Propeller serial port + Reset + GND

Leon
01-18-2009, 01:49 AM
Mark Swann said...
Hi Leon,

Looks good to me.
I see only one regulator, which I assume to be 3.3 volts. What is your supply voltage?
I assume SW1 is the reset button, but what is CONN2?

I am very curious because I want to make my own PROP pcb too, and I have never done that sort of thing.
Are you using Eagle? I think I will start with Eagle for this effort.

Why did you choose to do only single-sided?

Mark


Yes, it only has a single 3.3V regulator. A 6V supply will be fine.

CONN2 is the Prop Plug connector.

I use Pulsonix: www.pulsonix.com (http://www.pulsonix.com)

Single-sided boards are much easier to make at home. There are only a few wire links.

Leon

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Amateur radio callsign: G1HSM
Suzuki SV1000S motorcycle

mynet43
01-18-2009, 01:56 AM
I don't make generic boards:)

I'll hold the trash talk 'till it gets a little better.

Here's a pic of prop board with a qfn codec chip.

Jim

Leon
01-18-2009, 02:32 AM
I've just uploaded the schematic:

www.leonheller.com/Propeller/Propeller_2.pdf (http://www.leonheller.com/Propeller/Propeller_2.pdf)

I'll upload the artwork file when I've made one for myself and checked that it works OK.

Leon

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Amateur radio callsign: G1HSM
Suzuki SV1000S motorcycle

Jay Kickliter
01-18-2009, 03:06 AM
Leon, I like that the prototyping area is all on one side. I'm using the Parallax Proto Board. Having the chip in the middle is a bit annoying. I'm sure it makes sense in some way, but I don't really like it. No plans to sell any of these?

And as far as the Eagle debate goes. It's the only PCB software I know how to use, and took an entire weekend to get the hang of it. Now I'm dreading learning how to make my own libraries, once I do I'm sure it will seem obvious, but learning anything new with Eagle is a pain. I wish there some something better I could use with a decent UI, but Eagle is the only free/cheap one I can find for OS X that doesn't suck. One thing I do like about it is SparkFun has Eagle footprints for most of the stuff they sell.

Leon
01-18-2009, 03:36 AM
I think that Parallax wanted to provide as big a prototyping area as possible, without wasting any space, which is why they did it that way.

I could get a batch made, they'd be quite cheap. If you want to get a couple made for yourself I can let you have the Gerber and drill files. I'm making a few minor changes to the layout, and will make a board tomorrow for testing.

It could be turned into a double-sided PCB with PTH quite easily.

Leon

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Amateur radio callsign: G1HSM
Suzuki SV1000S motorcycle

Fred Hawkins
01-19-2009, 02:00 AM
mynet43 said...
I don't make generic boards:)

I'll hold the trash talk 'till it gets a little better.

Here's a pic of prop board with a qfn codec chip.

Jim
Jim,

I'm giving Diptrace a try (side by side with Eagle). First stump point: it doesn't have a propeller that I can see. Advice? Or better, a library file?

Fred

mynet43
01-19-2009, 02:05 AM
Hi Fred,

Thanks for giving DipTrace a try. The more people that try it the better:)

I have library files for all three flavors of the Propeller.

Which one/or all would you like.

I'll be happy to post it here.

Jim

Mark Swann
01-19-2009, 03:06 AM
mynet43 said...
Hi Fred,

Thanks for giving DipTrace a try. The more people that try it the better:)

I have library files for all three flavors of the Propeller.

Which one/or all would you like.

I'll be happy to post it here.

Jim
I am willing to learn diptrace. I leaned toward Eagle because SparkFun uses Eagle in theit tutorials.· I havn't done the tutorials yet, so please send any diptrace tutorials, of which you are aware, my way.

Please post all Propeller-related libaray files.

Thanks,

Mark
·

mynet43
01-19-2009, 04:10 AM
OK, here are a couple of files for the DipTrace library.

Put them in the LIB folder under c:\program files\DipTrace.

This library is called Surface_Mt.

It contains schematic and PC board layouts for both Propeller surface mount chips, as well as some other surface mount items.

It's been so long since I used the DIP version that I don't have the lib handy for it. If someone wants it, I'll find it or make a new one. It only takes a few minutes to make that kind of library.

Let me know if you have any questions or need help with the program.

Jim

mynet43
01-19-2009, 05:13 AM
Mark,

You asked about tutorials.

You can just go to the help menu and select "DipTrace Tutorial" and it takes you there.

Not too bad a tutorial.

Jim

Or here's the link: www.diptrace.com/books/tutorial.pdf (http://www.diptrace.com/books/tutorial.pdf)

mynet43
01-19-2009, 05:58 AM
OK, here's the DipTrace library for the DIP version of the Prop.

I couldn't find the old one, so I made a new one.

It uses a standard DIP-40 socket layout on the PCB, so it only needs one file.

I'm "pretty sure" it's OK.:)

Jim

kwinn
01-19-2009, 06:03 AM
I have tried several packages lately (Eagle, Kicad, and Diptrace) and Diptrace is by far the easiest to use most intuitive of them all. Have not had the time yet to see how useful it is but it looks promising so far.

Bob Lawrence (VE1RLL)
01-19-2009, 06:12 AM
There is a new version of Diptrace in progress. See the on-going post below for more info:

http://forums.parallax.com/showthread.php?p=776238

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Aka: CosmicBob

Fred Hawkins
01-19-2009, 08:45 AM
Thanks Jim.

Mark Swann
01-19-2009, 09:56 AM
Me Too. Thanks Jim.

mynet43
01-19-2009, 08:22 PM
OK guys!

I expect to hear how you're doing.

A couple of helpful hints for DipTrace.

1. Don't bother to use the autorouter. It works but isn't too helpful if you need different trace sizes, etc. I prefer to do it myself anyway.

2. When you save the Gerber files, you may want to rename them. No big deal.
I've used them with several board houses and they were always happy.
The drill size file is a separate function: file/export/NC Drill. This has to go with the Gerber files.

3. In the PCB layout program, DO use the Design Rule Check function, it's easy to set up and great for keeping you honest about the board house limitations, such as .008 limit between traces, etc.

Have fun and let me know if you have questons.

Jim

Fred Hawkins
01-19-2009, 10:38 PM
Eagle v Diptrace:

Diptrace apparently doesn't do millimeters, just inches.

Eagle has enough users·that have·generated a lot of tutorial videos on youtube.· (I searched on 'eagle pcb')· An example: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_l1PRYWCMgc

(that's a nice series. Chris has the complete set on Blip.tv with much better resolution: http://ece101.blip.tv/posts?view=archive&nsfw=dc·)

Diptrace has just three, and they're obscure.


Post Edited (Fred Hawkins) : 1/19/2009 5:46:44 PM GMT

mynet43
01-19-2009, 10:47 PM
Hi Fred,

DipTrace does millimeters fine. Just set the units to mm, view/units/mm.

My prediction: Even with the tutorials, Eagle is much harder to learn and not at all intuitive.

I've used Eagle, it's always a struggle to figure out how to do what you want. Maybe it's just me.

Not so with DipTrace. Consistent intuitive interface.

Keep me posted, I'm really interested in how it goes.

Jim

Ale
01-20-2009, 12:28 AM
If you have used old tools like autotrax and Orcad (from the 80s) Eagle is a huge step forward. I took me quite a bit to get to the point where I got some "product" out of it and stop thinking in the autotrax way. It has a very convoluted way of doing things, it needs work. I tried Protel some years ago... too much windows for me, no thanks. I exactly do not like the windows way of doing things.

mynet43
01-20-2009, 12:50 AM
@ Ale,

It sounds like you use Eagle, but you're frustrated with it.

Have you tried DipTrace? :)

Jim

Mark Swann
01-20-2009, 08:15 AM
@ mynet43,

Can diptrace import Eagle component libaries?

Mark

mynet43
01-20-2009, 10:14 AM
@ Mark,

Really good question. I've never done it but it looks like it's possible. The help file says you can import: schematics, PCB layout and Component Libraries from Eagle.

Here's what it says in the help section:

To import a Schematic file from Eagle, open it in Eagle, press "ULP" button, then select the "Eagle_to_DipTrace_SCH.ulp" program from C:/Program Files/DipTrace/Utils or another folder where you installed DipTrace, then in the save dialog box shown, specify name and location of DipTrace ASCII file (do not forget to define .asc extension).

Now close Eagle and open DipTrace Schematic, select File/Import/DipTrace ASCII and your .asc file.


To import a PCB Layout file from Eagle open it in Eagle, press "ULP" button, then select the "Eagle_to_DipTrace_Pcb.ulp" program from C:/Program Files/DipTrace/Utils or another folder where you installed DipTrace, then in the save dialog box shown specify name and location of DipTrace ASCII file (do not forget to define .asc extension).

Now close Eagle and open DipTrace PCB Layout, select File/Import/DipTrace ASCII and your .asc file.


DipTrace allows you to import Component Libraries from Eagle PCB using Eagle Script format (*.scr).

To make the script file, open library in Eagle, select "File / Export" from main menu, then "Script". You will be able to save the library as .scr file.

Now close Eagle and open DipTrace Component Editor, select "File / Import / Eagle Script (*.scr)" from main menu, then open your .scr file.

Keep up the good work.

Jim

shanghai_fool
01-20-2009, 10:40 AM
I purchased Diptrace as it was about $150 less than Eagle for standard editions. Of course, if you think you will need over 1000 pins then Eagle may be less expensive. I have had boards made with Diptrace and it worked out very well. The most difficult part of any CAD is the component creation. I'm not sure which is easier. You will probably have to make at least some of your own part symbols and component packages. Most can be done by copying and editing existing parts but some will have to be made from scratch.

Good Luck

Philldapill
01-20-2009, 11:06 AM
Jim, just FYI, I'm starting to be a convert after all...

mynet43
01-20-2009, 11:14 AM
@ shanghai_fool,

Thanks for the good feedback. I've made quite a few parts from scratch, including all three of the Propeller flavors.

It's definitely a little tricky the first time because you have link the pattern to the component.

If you start with nothing, then you have to draw both the component and the pattern. If you're using an existing pattern, like a DIP-40, then it's pretty easy. I just created a library for the 40 pin DIP Propeller. It only took about 15 minutes, including labeling all of the pins.

It's very intuitive once you do it a couple of times. If anyone wants to try it, feel free to ask for help.

Jim

mynet43
01-20-2009, 11:17 AM
@ Philldapill,

I just fell out of my chair.

I never thought I'd see the day.

Thanks for the feedback.

Jim

Ale
01-21-2009, 02:04 AM
I'm not frustrated with Eagle. But I should admit that it took me may hours to learn it, many. I needed to do the boards, or so I believed. In the end I had to drop the project but the experience served me well.

Leon
01-21-2009, 05:38 AM
I've just assembled most of my board and performed an initial test - the Propeller is recognised by the Propeller Tool. I couldn't find my 100 nF capacitors, so I didn't have any decoupling. I've just found them on the floor where the cat left them.

Leon

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Amateur radio callsign: G1HSM
Suzuki SV1000S motorcycle

Mark Swann
01-22-2009, 01:50 AM
@ mynet43,

I have some more diptrace questions, but instead of continueing hijacking Leons thread, I will move my questions to the Sandbox. I will post my questions after work.

Mark

Leon
01-22-2009, 02:19 AM
The board has now been completed and everything works, including the EEPROM. I'll put all the files together, upload them to my web site and mention it on Completed Projects.

Leon

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Amateur radio callsign: G1HSM
Suzuki SV1000S motorcycle

Mark Swann
01-22-2009, 04:34 AM
Leon said...
The board has now been completed and everything works, including the EEPROM. I'll put all the files together, upload them to my web site and mention it on Completed Projects.

Leon


Thanks. I will be looking forward to seeing what you did.

mynet43
01-22-2009, 08:59 AM
@ Mark,

Feel free to send questions to the SandBox re DipTrace.

There's a DipTrace thread there now.

Or you can send me a PM if that's easier.

Jim