Category Archives: CAD/CAM

Ready for Kicad!!

At the TriEmbed meeting this coming Monday I’ll be asking if others are interested in joining a systematic self-study of Kicad.

I knew I’d be driven to this sooner or later, but the future is now, as they say. I’m working on a combination clock calibrator and frequency counter and find the design process dominated by the challenge of fitting the silly thing into a single Eagle schematic sheet.

The current rough cut of the circuit building blocks is the super-compressed schematic toward the bottom of the project page. This hodge podge of schematic symbols jammed together make it clear that the free version of Eagle is not up to expressing a system this large and complex. (Correction: I have a license for non-educational use, but just the cheap one that has the same size constraints as the free version.)

Update: A “Kicad Study Group” page has been added and at least a half dozen folks expressed interest in taking part.

Update: Nobody’s missed anything, time’s just run short this month.

Murphy’s Law of PCB CAD

I’m putting together some logic chips to make a couple of precision timing tools as part of a clock calibration project. The FIRST old TI chip I go to add to a new schematic in Eagle has no library support. If I had a nickle for every time this has happened… So I search for it and here’s the one hit at Element14:

“Hey, I’m a new user here, and pretty new to using Eagle Cad. I am looking for a dual 16 bit counter, and the chip that I’ve been using in my lab, and am using Eagle Cad to make a schematic.

Is there any library that includes the chip? Or is there any good alternative inside the existing Eagle Cad libraries?

74LV8154 is the chip I’m using, datasheet:

Thanks! <name omitted>

This is followed by one reply:


if you are new to EAGLE, it’s a good point to start your training by

creating your own library. You will have to learn it anyway in the long run.

 Best Regards, <omitted>

Folks, here is my reply to this: There will soon be an Eagle library item for this chip. I’ll gladly mail it to you after you deposit $100 in my Paypal account. Consider this extra special motivation for you to fully enjoy the learning experience of making your own component file as a cheaper option that will enrich your life and improve your character.

Sheesh. But seriously, it might eventually be worthwhile to create TriEmbed libraries. I have a handful of custom component descriptions that I trust and would be comfortable sharing. The additional value of this is that we might get feedback about how to improve them.