Thursday, February 18, 2010

KIcad the Etch a sketch for Grown Ups --Yay

My MicroMendel needs Microstepping so it was time to Play wit Ki-Cad

For a long while I have been looking for a nice PCB package as I want on occasion to make the odd board or two.

I have tried a few. KiCad so far is the only package that has not frustrated me beyond getting further than a day or so of messing around.
It gave me this nice result for a single sided micro stepper design that I can etch at home.

The only struggle I had and still have was creating a thermal pad so far I can create it.

I can see it but if I try to Print it the thermal pads vanish from my board design..

So I will stick some tape down where my thermal pads should be before I etch the board.

So if any of you know how to do thermal pads that will print for etching in Ki-Cad please please let me know.

Note you see them on your design absolutely great!! Try any combination of printing or plottingng saving to file they Vanish one of the Two bugs I found the other is in the electrical test thing in the cct / Schmatic drawing program I always have an error showing. Seems that its a random error as its different any time you try to change the part of-the error that is not there as it moves some where else.

Special thanks must go to AK47, Nophead and Grael in the Forums who all suggested Ki Cad very pleased !
I will be etching this board shortly.
Next job I now have is to take 4 CA-42 Nokia leads and turn them into 4 Serial leads for my controller boards thus saving well over $80 - $100 as I believe a serial lead is $20 US.
So just one serial cable for me would be $20 + Air freight cost  + £8 import handling + %17.5  VAT
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