- When: Tuesday February 17th from 7:00pm to 10:00pm
- Where: Fourth Avenue Building Room 155 (this is the conference room just north of the PSU ECE office)
- Why: Learn EAGLE CAD to make schematics and layout boards.
Why EAGLE CAD?
We had to choose a CAD program for PSAS since we're doing our own PCBs. We wanted an open source PCB CAD program, but the current ones (gEda and KiCAD) are just not quite there yet (in our opinion). As it gets better, we'll probably do the switch to OSS, but for now it's just not tenable for our project.
EAGLE CAD, from http://www.cadsoft.de/, fits the bill in many respects:
- It's free for academic/non-profit use
- It works on Linux, Mac and Windows
- It's got great features, including forward/backward annotation, ground planes, sophisticated scripting, and an autorouter.
There are some big drawbacks, however:
- It's not open source
- The UI is crufty
- The free/non-profit license has some pretty severe limitations:
- The schematic editor can only create one sheet (although it can view many).
- Although the PCB and the trace area may be any size, all components must be placed within 100 x 80 mm (4 x 3.2 inches).
- Only two signal layers can be used (Top and Bottom).
We're mostly OK with these limitations. Note that there are (painful) ways to get around the board size limitation, such as overlaying Gerber files after the CAM step using GerberTiler, but in general we don't recommend it.
If you're going to come to the workshop, please do the following:
- Download EAGLE CAD from http://www.cadsoft.de/ and install it on your computer.
- Play around with it. Take the tour, go through the tutorial, or maybe even read the manual.
- Download the PSAS key bindings and install them into EAGLE. in each application (library editor, schematic editor, and layout editor) type 'script' and import our decent keybindings (TODO: POST HERE).
- Finally, if you do have a laptop, we'll encourage you to bring it for the workshop and follow along with us as we step through EAGLE.
Here are the workshop notes: EagleCadWorkshopNotes