Hackaday Supercon – Chris Gammell : Improve Your Circuit Toolbox in KiCad

Chris Gammell at Hackaday Supercon:

Simple designs will save your next product if you know which circuits to piece together. Utility circuits practical for everyday electronics. Hackaday Superconference: The greatest gathering of hardware hackers, builders, engineers and enthusiasts on the planet returns. Streaming Live talks from our ‘Main Stage’ in Pasadena, CA. Visit for full list of talks and workshops : https://hackaday.io/superconference/

Hackaday Supercon – Chris Gammell : Improve Your Circuit Toolbox in KiCad

Creating KiCad Parts From A PDF Automagically

 

For anyone out there who has ever struggled finding a part for Eagle or KiCad, there are some who would say you’re doing it wrong. You’re supposed to make your own parts if you can’t find them in the libraries you already have. This is really the only way; PCB design tools are tools, and so the story goes you’ll never be a master unless you can make your own parts.

That said, making schematic parts and footprints is a pain, and if there’s a tool to automate the process, we’d be happy to use it. That’s exactly what uConfig does. It automatically extracts pinout information from a PDF datasheet and turns it into a schematic symbol.

via Creating KiCad Parts From A PDF Automagically — Hackaday

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Visual Schematic Diffs in KiCAD Help Find Changes

When writing software a key part of the development workflow is looking at changes between files. With version control systems this process can get pretty advanced, letting you see changes between arbitrary files and slices in time. Tooling exists to do this visually in the world of EDA tools but it hasn’t really trickled all the way down to the free hobbyist level yet. But thanks to open and well understood file formats [jean-noël] has written plotgitsch to do it for KiCAD.

via Visual Schematic Diffs in KiCAD Help Find Changes — Hackaday

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Advanced Techniques For Using Git With KiCAD

For most developers “distributed version control” probably means git. But by itself git doesn’t work very well with binary files such as images, zip files and the like because git doesn’t know how to make sense of the structure of an arbitrary blobs of bytes. So when trying to figure out how to track changes in design files created by most EDA tools git doesn’t get the nod and designers can be trapped in SVN hell. It turns out though KiCAD’s design files may not have obvious extensions like .txt, they are fundamentally text files (you might know that if you’ve ever tried to work around some of KiCAD’s limitations). And with a few tweaks from [jean-noël]’s guideyou’ll be diffing and merging your .pro’s and .sch’s with aplomb.

via Advanced Techniques For Using Git With KiCAD — Hackaday

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Open Hardware Summit 2018 badge

OSH Park is producing electronic conference badges for the 2018 Open Hardware Summit.  The hardware has been designed Alex Camilo, based on concepts from the ESP trINKet by Mike Rankin.  The badge features an ESP32 microcontroller and a 2.13″ E-Paper display.

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OSH Park shared project for the Rev 3 by Alex Camilo :

https://oshpark.com/shared_projects/8yeLK5gd

Order from OSH Park

a

b

We expect this to be the final revision.

Timeline:

It is ordered on Super Swift today and should be validated next weekend.  This will allow us to order the full quantity PCB panels in August 13th.  Assembly is estimated to be 10 business days from the day when all components and PCBs are received.

Rev 2 photos:

And for those interested, here is a link to a gallery:

https://photos.app.goo.gl/UhCUX7eRN38tAhsF7

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Terminal output on Rev 2 prototypes:

The Rev 2 prototypes have NodeMCU boards soldered on to the back to serve as a USB to serial adapter.

One of the Rev 2 prototype boards that Alex sent me has the default e-paper demo:

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The other has MicroPython installed! 🙂

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Resources for the 2018 Open Hardware Summit badge:

Open Hardware Summit 2018 badge

KiCad 6 development fundraiser

KiCad 6 Donation Campaign

The world needs a freely available tool for designing open-source hardware. Without it, designers do not have the freedom to share their work efficiently. KiCad is that tool, and you can help to develop it.

A stable release of KiCad Version 6 could become available very soon, so that everybody can profit from its enhanced features. With an extra 600 hours of expert development, this might become a reality!

Contribute to KiCad Version 6 with a donation and help us reach the goal of 600 hours of expert development that can make the new release available sooner than you think.

KiCad 6 development fundraiser