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'[EE]: PCB layout tools considerations.'
2002\11\27@132637 by Mike Singer

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   Good morning (day, night, ...) respected PICList
passengers as well as not-less respected PICList crew
and even more not-less respected PICList  holder. :-)

   I have a question: How many man-hours would it
take to "home-brew"  some simple  PCB layout program
under MS Office or more precisely under MS Visio?

   MS Visio can draw schematics, I tried. I hope, there
are parts libraries somewhere on the Net for Visio.

   It could draw a board, I think, provided there were
appropriate "shapes" (MS Office term). Anyway, there
are tools for creating these shapes.

   These shapes could easily be organized into
collections (MS VB(A) term) accordingly to usual
PCB layout layers. So you could show / hide needed
layers.

   Autorouter also is not a big problem (I hope).
My linear optimizer has been working for years.
The math idea should work with the autorouter too.

   After been finished, the layout could be printed from
MS Office directly to PCB.  By that time, there is
a chance, The Black Alchemist (In a good sense. :o)
will reveal The Big Secret Of The Ink, we are waiting
anxiously.

   Dreaming up further (or farther - don't know: my
poor English is my pain), one could expect all the
libraries be placed on the PICList site as well as
VBA code, so one could start with downloading
shortest MS Office Visio file with some macros that
would do the rest: download only those components
that are needed for this particular PCB layout
application.

  Mike.

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2002\11\27@133852 by Bob Blick

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On Wed, 27 Nov 2002, Mike Singer wrote:
>     I have a question: How many man-hours would it
>  take to "home-brew"  some simple  PCB layout program
>  under MS Office or more precisely under MS Visio?

I think someone else did this already, they called it "Eagle". And they
managed somehow to remove the need for Visio and Office. There's a "free"
version at http://www.cadsoft.de

Cheerful regards,

Bob

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2002\11\27@134738 by G.Smith

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On 27 Nov 2002, at 20:28, Mike Singer wrote:

>     MS Visio can draw schematics, I tried. I hope, there
>  are parts libraries somewhere on the Net for Visio.

Please -no - don't even think about it.
A customer drew his pretty circuits (about 8 sheets) using Visio and was
surprised we would not create the PCB layout without re-drawing them all in
Orcad so we could get a proper netlist for the design.

A spanner is shaped that way for a reason - pliers are for women's use.


George Smith

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2002\11\27@135935 by Mike Singer

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Bob Blick wrote:
> On Wed, 27 Nov 2002, Mike Singer wrote:
> >     I have a question: How many man-hours would it
> >  take to "home-brew"  some simple  PCB layout program
> >  under MS Office or more precisely under MS Visio?
>
> I think someone else did this already, they called it "Eagle".
> And they managed somehow to remove the need for
> Visio and Office. There's a "free" version at http://www.cadsoft.de

   I have Eagle 4.09r2 installed on my computer.
   Roman has  a lot of ICs, but still makes his 2-trans regulator.
Many guys do their "home-brew" PCBs, while they could
order this stuff from PCB-houses.

The question was about "home-brew"  things.

  Best wishes.
  Mike.

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2002\11\27@140737 by Mike Singer

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George Smith wrote:
> On 27 Nov 2002, at 20:28, Mike Singer wrote:
>
> >     MS Visio can draw schematics, I tried. I hope, there
> >  are parts libraries somewhere on the Net for Visio.
>
> Please -no - don't even think about it.
> A customer drew his pretty circuits (about 8 sheets) using Visio and
was
> surprised we would not create the PCB layout without re-drawing them
all in
> Orcad so we could get a proper netlist for the design.
>
> A spanner is shaped that way for a reason - pliers are for women's
use.


  Thanks, George.

  It is a serious warning to me.
  I see I should think many times before digging into it.

  Mike.

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2002\11\27@144659 by Bob Blick

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On Wed, 27 Nov 2002, Mike Singer wrote:

>
> The question was about "home-brew"  things.

Sorry, I thought your first post was supposed to be humorous, I was
continuing the theme.

Cheerful regards,

Bob

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2002\11\27@155621 by William Chops Westfield

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>     MS Visio can draw schematics, I tried. I hope, there
>  are parts libraries somewhere on the Net for Visio.

Any drawing package can be used to lay out a PCB.  It's not worse than the
old "black tape on clear film" techniques that used to keep engineers with a
lot of experience employed doing little more than that...  It's not much
better, either...

There's enough freeware out there these days that you don't NEED to do that
anymore.  And it's pretty good, too.  (Thus all the traffic about Eagle...)

BillW

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2002\11\27@161245 by William Chops Westfield

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>> The question was about "home-brew"  things.

Visio is hardly "home brew" !  (I find this comes up a lot.  For one reason
or another, you want to develop a "cheap" something-or-other, and it turns
out that what is "cheap" can be highly "localized."  You can develop a PCB
layout methodology for Visio, but it's really only useful if you HAVE visio
(a $400+ software package.)  On the other hand, add-ons to Eagle are useful
to anyone with windows or linux...

BillW

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2002\11\27@165533 by Spehro Pefhany

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At 12:55 PM 11/27/02 -0800, you wrote:
> >     MS Visio can draw schematics, I tried. I hope, there
> >  are parts libraries somewhere on the Net for Visio.
>
>Any drawing package can be used to lay out a PCB.  It's not worse than the
>old "black tape on clear film" techniques that used to keep engineers with a
>lot of experience employed doing little more than that...  It's not much
>better, either...

If the board designs might be commercially produced it's just crazy to
use any method than can't directly produce Gerber file output.

The digitizers at the short run places I use are covered with dust,
they'll soon be out in the dumpster.

Best regards,

Spehro Pefhany --"it's the network..."            "The Journey is the reward"
RemoveMEspeffTakeThisOuTspaminterlog.com             Info for manufacturers: http://www.trexon.com
Embedded software/hardware/analog  Info for designers:  http://www.speff.com

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2002\11\27@171739 by Mike Singer

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Bob Blick wrote:
> On Wed, 27 Nov 2002, Mike Singer wrote:
>
> > The question was about "home-brew"  things.
>
> Sorry, I thought your first post was supposed to be
> humorous, I was continuing the theme.
>
> Cheerful regards

No, my first post was not humorous, it was stupid. :-)
Humorous was the second.

  Thanks for your response.
  Mike.

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2002\11\27@192552 by Mike Singer

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William Chops Westfield wrote:
> >> The question was about "home-brew"  things.
>
> Visio is hardly "home brew" !  (I find this comes up a lot.
> For one reason or another, you want to develop a "cheap"
> something-or-other, and it turns out that what is "cheap"
> can be highly "localized."  You can develop a PCB layout
> methodology for Visio, but it's really only useful if you HAVE
> visio (a $400+ software package.)  On the other hand,
> add-ons to Eagle are useful to anyone with windows or linux...

  Visio or not Visio; that's not the question. The idea
works under MS Excel and even under Word with
MS shapes. I have around me in my not so big town
hundreds of legal MS products. Who will blame
(and control) somebody for using at home copy of
such a thing for non-commercial "home brewing" ?
  In fact, the target of my post is not to rival Eagle.
Do I love or loathe MS I should admit MS Office is
a good platform to start developing different software,
internet-based included, due to built-in VBA.
  It's not so stupid idea to place all the data access
layer and business  logic rules on the PICList server
side, leaving the rest - client interface be based on
on client's MS Office, I think.
  Further, if the idea would work, it could be possible
to shift to IE or plain Win app on the client's side.

  Best regards,
      Mike.

----------------------------
02:20 a.m. - where is my half of our double bed.

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2002\11\27@194219 by Bob Barr

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On Thu, 28 Nov 2002 00:20:51 +0300, Mike Singer wrote:

>Bob Blick wrote:
>> On Wed, 27 Nov 2002, Mike Singer wrote:
>>
>> > The question was about "home-brew"  things.
>>
>> Sorry, I thought your first post was supposed to be
>> humorous, I was continuing the theme.
>>
>> Cheerful regards
>
> No, my first post was not humorous, it was stupid. :-)

Not really stupid, Mike. You were just attempting to do something
different with a tool that you have available to you. Just because an
idea wouldn't work out well doesn't make the attempt stupid, it just
makes it unworkable.


Regards, Bob

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