SparkFun Forums 

Where electronics enthusiasts find answers.

Questions about the BatchPCB service

Moderator: robacarp

I have made a few small pic microcontroller projects. I have one working and I wanted to make a few more. I didn't want to wire wrap :roll: them, so I am looking into making pcb's. I just started looking into the eagle program, and it is wierd to use. I'd get the hang of it after a while, but I am not in the mood to take on another project and learn a new complicated thing right now.... :lol: he he... Is Free PCB easier to use? What has to be setup with it for the output files to work with spark fun's pcb deal?

can anyone comment on their views on the two program? or have a better one in mind?

Also, would anyone be willing to make the files I need for getting these pcbs done? I could suppliy a schematic and all the details of what is what. This is just a question to see if anyone is willing to help. If anyone is, you can drop me a PM, to discuss details.

The design is not too hard.... centered around a pic 12f629.

Thanks in advace for anyhelp! :D
By DynamoBen
In my opinion, using FreePCB is much easier. Eagle is odd to say the least. I have tried using eagle on a number of occasions with limited success. (I'm in the same boat I don't want to teach myself something new) Within an hour with FreePCB I was created the board and had exported to CAM files. These CAM files are then submitted to sparkfun and then you’re done.

As far has having someone do it for you....I think its best if you give it a try. As you get more comfortable you will be able to create more complex projects. The hardest part is the more of an art than a science. :wink:
By nomad
ok, i will give freepcb a try. i am not that lazy of a person, it is just that my list of stuff to do get bigger everyday. when will it ever get smaller??? :lol:

i actualy prefeer doing stuff my self. :)

eagle is just , like you said, odd.


i'll see what i can get done this week, and maybe post up some results.... to see if i made any mistakes.
By moorejl
Eagle was so hard to use at first, I started to doubt myself as being computer literate. But I bought a book from the local Borders somthing like "Builid your own circuit board" by Al Williams and it got a lot easier.

If your going to do layout work on many projects, then bite the bullet and learn Eagle. It is very powerful and will reward you over time for the energy expended in learning it.

If your just trying a few things out, FreePCB sounds very intersting.

my two cents.
By meander
i stll vote for rimu pcb, it does everything i want it to
By DynamoBen
Ahhh but rimu is not Free. :(
By donblake
moorejl wrote:If your going to do layout work on many projects, then bite the bullet and learn Eagle. It is very powerful and will reward you over time for the energy expended in learning it.
I agree. The learning curve is somewhat steep and the GUI is not always intuitive. However, one of EAGLE's features that I would not want to do without is the automatic forward&back annotation. This keeps a schematic and PCB in sync and consistent with each other. I've done designs in the past where the schematic and PCB were maintained separately and have learned to really appreciate this capability.

By DynamoBen
Just for the record EagleCAD isn't technically "free"

The following limitations apply to the EAGLE Light Edition in general:

The useable board area is limited to 100 x 80 mm (4 x 3.2 inches).
Only two signal layers can be used (Top and Bottom).
The schematic editor can only create one sheet.

The Freeware version of EAGLE Light adds these limitations:
Use is limited to non-profit applications or EVALUATION purposes.

The Light version is $49
Last edited by DynamoBen on Wed May 04, 2005 12:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.
By meander
oh well i guess i didnt read the free requirement. sorry :oops:
By Caffeine
I like Protel, using 2004 at the moment, but at $10k for a license it's not exactly free...
By nomad
ok, i downloaded freepcb, and it doesn't seem too bad at first, but I am stuck.... Getting ICs down is easy.... but when it comes to resistors and capacitors, um.... i get lost. there is about 50 different number, and none have descriptions. which one do i choose? better yet, how do i easliy find out what parts to use?