- 8:30 US PDT
- 11:30 US EDT
- 17:30 CEST
- 21:00 IST (India)
This is the foundation to add support for native Altium import. Contributions are very welcome, because this is a quite some amount of work.
The work is mainly based on https://github.com/thesourcerer8/altium2kicad, which is an existing Altium Designer -> KiCad converter written in Perl. Because Altium Circuit Studio and Altium Circuit Maker uses quite similar file formats, I try to support them as well in one go.
My current workflow is to try to understand the existing code, and build a binary documentation of the Altium format using Kaitai Struct. This allows fast iterations, and tells me if something is parsed incorrect.
CNX Software has a nice blog post on how to build the development version of KiCad:
KiCad open-source EDA (Electronics Design Automation) suite software is now very popular, and many new projects are designed with the utility. AFAIK, some companies like Olimex switched all their new designs to KiCAD. But since many schematics and PCB layouts have been designed with other tools like EAGLE, Orcad Allegro, or Altium PCB design tools, it would be nice to be able to import those designs into KiCad.
This project will show you how to create a standalone application with the MappyDot Plus working as an I2C master with an I2C 7 segment display. This example can also be adapted for use with a wide range of different client I2C devices for standalone applications.
Once you have assembled the 7 segment display, you can now hook everything up as per the schematics below. Provided your battery supply outputs a voltage between 2.8 and 5 volts, you don’t need to use a voltage regulator to supply this project. Using 4xAA 1.2v rechargable NiMH batteries is perfect for this setup. If using 1.5V alkaline batteries, you should consider using a voltage regulator (or a diode with a large voltage drop) or opt for only 3xAA alkaline batteries.
Exciting news from the Adafruit team, they have started the Open Source Hardware certification process for a bunch of their boards:
Adafruit is an Open Source Hardware and Software company. To that end, Adafruit has begun working to submit many of their boards for certification by the Open Source Hardware Association. According to OSHWA:
“The certification program exists to make it easy for creators and users to identify hardware that follows the community definition of open source hardware maintained by OSHWA. Hardware projects that display the certification logo are licensed and documented in a way that makes it easy for users to use and build upon them.”
By registering their boards with OSHWA, Adafruit aims to ensure users that the products they sell are open-source, and easy to learn about.
Here are the boards that have recently been submitted:
- Adafruit Feather M0 Basic Proto
- Adafruit Feather M0 Adalogger
- Adafruit Metro M4
- Adafruit Feather M0 Express
- Adafruit Feather nRF52832 Bluefruit LE
- Adafruit Trinket M0
- Adafruit GEMMA M0
- Adafruit ItsyBitsy M0 Express
- Adafruit ItsyBitsy M4 Express
- Adafruit Feather M4 Express
- Adafruit HalloWing M0 Express
- Adafruit NeoTrellis M4 Mainboard
- Adafruit Metro M4 Express AirLift
- Adafruit Feather nRF52840 Express
- Adafruit Grand Central M4 Express
- Adafruit PyPortal
- Adafruit PyBadge
- Adafruit PyGamer
- Adafruit PyRuler
- Adafruit EdgeBadge
- Adafruit PyPortal Titano
- Adafruit PyPortal Pynt
- Adafruit ItsyBitsy nRF52840 Express
- Adafruit CLUE
- Adafruit Feather nRF52840 Sense
- Adafruit FeatherWing OLED – 128×32 OLED Add-on For Feather
- Adalogger FeatherWing – RTC + SD Add-on For All Feather Boards
- DC Motor + Stepper FeatherWing Add-on For All Feather Boards
- 8-Channel PWM or Servo FeatherWing Add-on For All Feather Boards
- NeoPixel FeatherWing – 4×8 RGB LED Add-on For All Feather Boards
- Adafruit 4-Digit 7-Segment LED Matrix Display FeatherWing
- Adafruit 14-Segment Alphanumeric LED FeatherWing
- Adafruit Ultimate GPS FeatherWing
- Adafruit 15×7 CharliePlex LED Matrix FeatherWing
- TFT FeatherWing – 2.4″ 320×240 Touchscreen For All Feathers
- Adafruit Mini Color TFT with Joystick FeatherWing
- Adafruit CRICKIT FeatherWing for any Feather
- Adafruit AMG8833 IR Thermal Camera FeatherWing
- Adafruit INA219 FeatherWing
- Adafruit TFT FeatherWing – 3.5″ 480×320 Touchscreen for Feathers
- Adafruit Prop-Maker FeatherWing
- Adafruit 2.13″ Tri-Color eInk / ePaper Display FeatherWing
- Adafruit ADXL343 + ADT7410 Sensor FeatherWing
- Adafruit 2.13″ Monochrome eInk / ePaper Display FeatherWing
- Adafruit AirLift FeatherWing – ESP32 WiFi Co-Processor
Keep an eye out for more updates on this process.
Last week’s meetup was nice to see and talk with other KiCad users. Let’s do it again this week.
This week, I’m happy to answer questions and I’ll be working through designing a KiCad version of the Medtronic OpenVentilator project (http://www.medtronic.com/openventilator 5). You may have heard that Medtronic (a multi-billion $ company) bought the company that cancelled the original gov’t contract 2 for low-cost ventilators in 2015 and then this week released a “kind of” open source version 3 of their current (not low-cost) ventilator.
In reality, they released scans of the schematics and some word documents for bring-up procedures. I’m going to see if we can turn the scans into a set of useful KiCad schematics + board files. This still doesn’t get to what’s needed to actually recreate more of these ventilators but it is a needed first step.
If you are curious about recreating designs from incomplete schematics, reverse engineering in KiCad or just want to hang out and chat, please stop by.
Then at 12:00 PM US PDT, Piotr Esden will livestream KiCad board layout:
Here is the record live stream:
Jump to around 48:00 to see this technique demonstrated: