For this week’s Hack Chat, we’re talking about trusting the autorouter. The autorouter is just a tool, and like any tool, it will do exactly what you tell it. The problem, therefore, is being smart enough to use the autorouter.
Our guest for this week’s Hack Chat is Ben Jordan, Director of Community Tools and Content at Altium. Ben is a Computer Systems engineer, with 25 years experience in board-level hardware and embedded systems design. He picked up a soldering iron at 8, and wrote some assembly at 12. He’s also an expert at using an autorouter successfully.
Friday, January 5, 2018 12:00 pm PST
- What new features are on the roadmap for 2018?
- What new features were developed since we chatted in January 2017?
- Under the hood- how KiCad development works
- How can a developer get started helping out?
Designing pcbs for assembly is easy, right? We just squirt all the footprints onto a board layout, connect all the traces, send out the gerbers and position files, and we’re done–right? Whoa, hold the phone, there, young rogue! Just like we can hack together some working source code with variables named after our best friends, we can also…
One common complaint we hear from most new KiCAD users relates to schematic and footprint libraries. The trick is to use just one schematic symbol and footprint library each with your project. This way any changes to the default schematic libraries will not affect your project and it will be easy to share your project with others without breaking…
Wayne’s slides are available on Google Drive:
Tomasz Wlostowski of CERN talks about the SPICE integration that was added to KiCad in 2016:
Maciej Sumiński walked through the KiCad source code:
PDF of the slides is available for download:
Bob Baddeley writes on Hackaday:
There are certain design guidelines for PCBs that don’t make a lot of sense, and practices that seem excessive and unnecessary. Often these are motivated by the black magic that is RF transmission. This is either an unfortunate and unintended consequence of electronic circuits, or a magical and useful feature of them, and a lot of design time goes into reducing or removing these effects or tuning them.
You’re wondering how important this is for your projects and whether you should worry about unintentional radiated emissions [..]
Another good guide is Michael Ossmann’s simple RF design rules:
SKiDL is very, very cool. It’s a bit of Python code that outputs a circuit netlist for KiCAD. Why is this cool? If you design a PCB in KiCAD, you go through three steps: draw the schematic, assign footprints to the symbolic parts, and then place them. The netlist ties all of these phases together […]
The source code is available on GitHub: