Author Topic: Open Hardware Schematic design and layout  (Read 10140 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline jwhitmore

  • Regular Contributor
  • *
  • Posts: 141
  • Country: 00
  • Software head strays into the Hardware.
Open Hardware Schematic design and layout
« on: November 10, 2015, 11:38:05 am »
At risk of starting a religious war I need to ask about this. :-(

I've been working on, what will to be an open Hardware design for quite some time. I started from scratch and unfortunately started with Eagle. To be fair eagle has worked really well for me but Open it ain't. There is an argument that a Hardware design ain't really Open if you release the design in Eagle, which I have to agree with.

That means I have to bite the bullet and move my designs to another design package and suffer the resulting learning curve. (One of the reasons I ended up on Eagle was that there was a good eBook on amazon that I could read on my kindle over a coffee and go through the whole process.) Now at risk of offending people the two that seem to get mentioned the most are gEDA and Kicad but there are a host of them:

http://www.electroschematics.com/2249/pcb-design-software/

I'm sure this has probably been asked a million times and answered a couple of million times as well but things change. There is a comment on that page I referenced that Kicad was unstable on Linux. I'll be using whatever on Linux so that pushes me towards gEDA but that comment was from a year ago. A lot changes in a year in an opensource project with legs. Actually most important feature of an OpenSource project is a helpful community.

OK there is no right answer to the question so perhaps I should just go with gEDA they're probably "same same but different"

I think this is called "rubber ducking" sitting down verbalising the problem leads to a resolution. Unless somebody have HUGE reason not to it's gEDA. Thank you all for your help.

John
 

Offline alexanderbrevig

  • Frequent Contributor
  • **
  • Posts: 590
  • Country: no
  • Musician, programmer and EE hobbyist
    • alexanderbrevig.com
Re: Open Hardware Schematic design and layout
« Reply #1 on: November 10, 2015, 11:43:44 am »
KiCAD was deemed the best option for the people at CERN, it may be the same thing applies to you. If you try KiCAD be sure it's the latest release and not the old one.

Good luck!

Online Andy Watson

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 1732
Re: Open Hardware Schematic design and layout
« Reply #2 on: November 10, 2015, 06:54:53 pm »
There is a comment on that page I referenced that Kicad was unstable on Linux.
Seems stable enough to me, but then I steer clear of the bleeding-edge stuff and only update to tried and tested releases.
 

Offline jwhitmore

  • Regular Contributor
  • *
  • Posts: 141
  • Country: 00
  • Software head strays into the Hardware.
Re: Open Hardware Schematic design and layout
« Reply #3 on: November 10, 2015, 07:04:47 pm »
Who is CERN?

Only joking ;-) and you can't argue with them folks over there so Yeah I'll go with kiCAD and see where that takes me. Already have it installed and reading the basics.
Thanks for the info
 

Offline mike_58

  • Regular Contributor
  • *
  • Posts: 114
  • Country: 00
  • LEGO playground
Re: Open Hardware Schematic design and layout
« Reply #4 on: December 19, 2015, 03:12:59 pm »
Hello,
There is quite a good reflow oven controller +Open surce - here : 
https://github.com/0xPIT/reflowOvenController/blob/master/README.md
with description and Eagle Cad drawings ....  Similar to this ... seams more simple and with Adafruit 1.8" TFT ...
 

Offline awallin

  • Frequent Contributor
  • **
  • Posts: 622
Re: Open Hardware Schematic design and layout
« Reply #5 on: December 19, 2015, 06:49:07 pm »

On a somewhat related note, what do people use for circuit simulation?

LTSpice is free, works under wine on linux, but the user interface is quite horrible.

NI Multisim is not free, works only under windows (?), but has a nicer user interface.

What about qucs, any good?
http://qucs.sourceforge.net/

other alternatives?
 

Offline zapta

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 6004
  • Country: us
Re: Open Hardware Schematic design and layout
« Reply #6 on: December 19, 2015, 10:48:14 pm »
If you can design it with the free version of Eagle than your design is open enough. This is what I am doing.
Drain the swamp.
 

Offline donotdespisethesnake

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 1016
  • Country: gb
  • Embedded stuff
Re: Open Hardware Schematic design and layout
« Reply #7 on: December 20, 2015, 07:27:29 pm »
Eagle free license has several restrictions, eg if you have plan on selling OSHW designs then you have to license it. https://oshpark.com/profiles/zapta - did you pay for a license?

Kicad still has some rough edges, and it is a pity that the developers are mostly a bunch of jerks, but it is fully usable. I see more people switching over to Kicad from Eagle (eg. Sparkfun,Adafruit,Dangerous Prototypes,Olimex), I think the CERN involvement has given a lot reassurance.

If you are starting out with a new OSHW project, it makes much more sense to use Kicad than Eagle.
« Last Edit: December 20, 2015, 10:13:27 pm by donotdespisethesnake »
Bob
"All you said is just a bunch of opinions."
 

Online Scrts

  • Frequent Contributor
  • **
  • Posts: 606
  • Country: lt
Re: Open Hardware Schematic design and layout
« Reply #8 on: December 21, 2015, 01:34:33 pm »
On a somewhat related note, what do people use for circuit simulation?

As you've mentioned: LTSpice and also TINA TI.
 

Offline zapta

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 6004
  • Country: us
Re: Open Hardware Schematic design and layout
« Reply #9 on: December 21, 2015, 03:04:03 pm »
Eagle free license has several restrictions, eg if you have plan on selling OSHW designs then you have to license it. https://oshpark.com/profiles/zapta - did you pay for a license?

I have a paid license but I use only the free version to make sure others can use the files freely.

BTW I don't sell any of my designs.
Drain the swamp.
 

Offline free_electron

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 7307
  • Country: us
    • SiliconValleyGarage
Re: Open Hardware Schematic design and layout
« Reply #10 on: December 21, 2015, 03:11:29 pm »
I'll probably get some flak for this , but : while CERN may be helping to develop KiCad , you can bet top dollar that NOTHING in that large hadron collider was made with KiCad ... Sure someone at CERN is using KiCad , just like someone at Nasa is using it, or someone at xyz is using it.

Just saying ...
Professional Electron Wrangler.
Any comments, or points of view expressed, are my own and not endorsed , induced or compensated by my employer(s).
 

Offline zapta

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 6004
  • Country: us
Re: Open Hardware Schematic design and layout
« Reply #11 on: December 21, 2015, 03:17:16 pm »
I'll probably get some flak for this , but : while CERN may be helping to develop KiCad , you can bet top dollar that NOTHING in that large hadron collider was made with KiCad ...

Why should they? The Arduino boards they use for the collider come with Eagle files.
Drain the swamp.
 

Offline c4757p

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 7805
  • Country: us
  • adieu
Re: Open Hardware Schematic design and layout
« Reply #12 on: December 21, 2015, 03:30:22 pm »
No longer active here - try the IRC channel if you just can't be without me :)
 

Offline analogNewbie

  • Contributor
  • Posts: 46
  • Country: cn
Re: Open Hardware Schematic design and layout
« Reply #13 on: December 22, 2015, 09:35:04 am »

On a somewhat related note, what do people use for circuit simulation?

LTSpice is free, works under wine on linux, but the user interface is quite horrible.

NI Multisim is not free, works only under windows (?), but has a nicer user interface.

What about qucs, any good?
http://qucs.sourceforge.net/

other alternatives?

http://www.mouser.com/MultiSimBlue/
 

Offline Cloud

  • Regular Contributor
  • *
  • Posts: 173
  • Country: si
Re: Open Hardware Schematic design and layout
« Reply #14 on: December 24, 2015, 10:11:33 pm »
KiCAD was deemed the best option for the people at CERN, it may be the same thing applies to you. If you try KiCAD be sure it's the latest release and not the old one.

Good luck!

Actually the latest KiCad stable release is very unstable and full of bugs. The 2013 stable version works the best for me :)
 

Offline timofonic

  • Frequent Contributor
  • **
  • Posts: 904
  • Country: es
  • Eternal Wannabe Geek
Re: Open Hardware Schematic design and layout
« Reply #15 on: December 27, 2015, 01:06:16 pm »
KiCAD was deemed the best option for the people at CERN, it may be the same thing applies to you. If you try KiCAD be sure it's the latest release and not the old one.

Good luck!

Actually the latest KiCad stable release is very unstable and full of bugs. The 2013 stable version works the best for me :)


Can you please provide more  details about your issues?
 

Offline Rerouter

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 4462
  • Country: au
  • Question Everything... Except This Statement
Re: Open Hardware Schematic design and layout
« Reply #16 on: January 08, 2016, 01:49:25 pm »
To be a stickler, the definition gives enough leeway to releasing the gerbers and schematic to being more than enough to modify or replicate in any software package, just not as easily as with the original design files and the knowledge to use the package.

I would say layout in what best suits you, if something needs specific structures. e.g. an antenna structure, then describe it on the schematic, If i was making something public, then schematic and Gerber should be enough, and to be honest you dont generally have to go out of your way about it,
 

Offline funkathustra

  • Regular Contributor
  • *
  • Posts: 150
  • Country: us
Re: Open Hardware Schematic design and layout
« Reply #17 on: January 11, 2016, 02:16:20 am »
I agree that KiCAD is the "true" open-source platform for making open-source hardware. However, it's still a bit of a novelty software package. Old versions are really stable, but lack basic features (push-n-shove routing, length tuning, etc). New versions have a ton of new functionality, but crash often.

Altium's CircuitMaker -- while itself not an open-source software package -- is built from the ground up for open-source hardware. It's completely free to download and use, and unlike Eagle's free version, you can do anything with your designs that you want (you're not restricted to noncommercial use, as free Eagle does).

It's cloud-based, so that means there's a huge library of shared parts ready to design with, and there's already hundreds of designs that you can download and contribute to.

Since it uses Altium Designer's codebase, it's obviously Windows-only (like most high-end CAD packages), but it runs well enough on virtual machines to be useful to people who run OS X or Linux.
 

Offline dmwahl

  • Contributor
  • Posts: 35
  • Country: us
Re: Open Hardware Schematic design and layout
« Reply #18 on: January 30, 2016, 03:10:24 am »
Why does open source hardware need to be created in open source software? Seems to me like open source just means you provide the source for anyone who wants to use it, not that the software used to create it is necessarily open. The Arduino hardware is released as open source, yet the design files are in Eagle.
 

Offline c4757p

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 7805
  • Country: us
  • adieu
Re: Open Hardware Schematic design and layout
« Reply #19 on: January 30, 2016, 03:30:34 am »
It doesn't need to be, but the mentality that leads to one tends to also lead to the other...

Personally, if I'm giving away a design, I want to really give it away, with a software package that is both very affordable (free!) and doesn't impose any artificial limitations. Just because I like those things, that's why I decided to give the design away in the first place ^-^

I'm sure that applies to plenty of other people doing open hardware too.

I'm not doing high-end CAD, I don't care if most high-end CAD packages are Windows only... I don't do cloud... etc etc...
No longer active here - try the IRC channel if you just can't be without me :)
 

Offline charlespax

  • Regular Contributor
  • *
  • Posts: 190
  • Country: us
    • Pax Instruments
Re: Open Hardware Schematic design and layout
« Reply #20 on: March 03, 2016, 10:43:55 am »
I look at what you're doing as two related, but separate projects. The first is getting your hardware project done. The other is learning KiCAD or other open source tool. I recommend continuing forward with your hardware project, focusing on getting it done. Learn KiCAD on the side or after your project is complete. When your hardware project is complete your first kiCAD project can be transcribing your Eagle files into KiCAD. With this approach you can get your hardware done without worrying about learning a new software package and you can learn a new software package without worrying about designing new hardware.

Making one project depend on the other will make your hardware project take longer. You may never even finish it. Life tends to increase in complexity and personal projects are one of the first things to flex out of the way. Get your hardware project done while you can.
 

Offline altaic

  • Supporter
  • ****
  • Posts: 45
Re: Open Hardware Schematic design and layout
« Reply #21 on: March 08, 2016, 01:18:06 am »
OS X user, here. I've been using KICAD off and on for years, and, yeah, it's got many UI/UX issues.

On a brighter note, however, wxWidgets now supports multitouch in the development build (v3.1), which will be included in the next stable release (v3.2). Even more interestingly, the KICAD guys seem to have patched in multitouch support to the nightly builds: http://downloads.kicad-pcb.org/osx/nightly/

There are still a few little control issues, but it's so much more useable now.
 

Offline b_force

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 1180
  • Country: 00
    • One World Concepts
Re: Open Hardware Schematic design and layout
« Reply #22 on: July 24, 2016, 10:28:48 am »
For me personally, the product itself matters.
By that I mean, don't let something like software limit your ideas!!
I rather have an awesome idea that is maybe even made in bootlegged software, but documented very well so other people can use it and maybe improve it, than no project at all.

It's about helping the community, not restricting it.
So, I personally don't get the whole fuzz.

From a practical point of view. Your project will be a bit more accessible if you use something like KiCad.
Another option is using different formats, so everyone is happy. From a design point of view that's only a pain in the butt.

It is sometimes a difficult compromise. I think KiCad is to limited, especially if you go for multiple layer boards with high density.
"If you can't explain it simply (or at all), you don't understand it well enough." A. Einstein

http://www.oneworldconcepts.com/ | http://www.soundprojects.com
 

Offline ebclr

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 1997
  • Country: 00
Re: Open Hardware Schematic design and layout
« Reply #23 on: July 24, 2016, 11:50:51 am »
As one option for Kicad for open source, and with the advantage to learn the basics if Altium since circuit maker is a simpler version of Altion based on the cloud , Who will help you to get a job  latter, you can register and use circuitmaker.com for free
 

Offline LukeW

  • Frequent Contributor
  • **
  • Posts: 673
Re: Open Hardware Schematic design and layout
« Reply #24 on: October 19, 2016, 05:05:30 pm »

On a somewhat related note, what do people use for circuit simulation?

LTSpice is free, works under wine on linux, but the user interface is quite horrible.

NI Multisim is not free, works only under windows (?), but has a nicer user interface.

What about qucs, any good?
http://qucs.sourceforge.net/

Qucs looks very tempting, although I haven't put the time into learning it properly yet.

Anything that can simulate microstrip filters and other distributed-element RF devices for free is extremely tempting.  :-+
 


Share me

Digg  Facebook  SlashDot  Delicious  Technorati  Twitter  Google  Yahoo
Smf