Software for making simple PCBs?

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outoftune

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I'd like to learn some type of PCB design software to make some simple designs, small adapter boards for different types of DIP to SOIC opamp adapters.

Is there a simple and ideally free software I can do this with? It will be used on a Mac.

most of the board would be a couple inches long / wide.

I know I could go all the way and get Eagle, but is there another program I should consider?
 

substitute

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I can't speak to the other software packages but learning eagle really isn't too bad, there's lots of tutorials on youtube and component libraries for just about anything you'll ever need.
 

echoplex

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KiCad hands down !
It's open source, it's available for mac and honestly its latest version pretty much can compete with eagle and the likes .. it's got phenomenal over the recent 3 years
 

abbey road d enfer

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I've tried KiCad. i was really wanting to like it, but I was instantly repelled by the simple fact that the Y-axis is downward! I posted about it on the forum and got slashed for daring to criticize the Holy Fathers of Open Source.
I continue to receive forum notifications and I see there are many problems related to wrong decisions at the beginning of this project. I'm not alone in thinking that it should be re-started from scratch instead of using band aids for the sake of downward compatibility.
But who am I to say...?
 

ruffrecords

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For simple PCBs I would recommend FreePCB:

https://www.freepcb.com/

No schematic capture  but for simple boards you do not need it. You can use something like TinyCAD for schematic capture and freePCB will import its net list.

It may sound limited but it is extremely easy to learn and use. I have used it for over 10 years for all my tube mixer and EQ projects.

Cheers

Ian
 

Whoops

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Don't know the crowd opinions, but personally I like a software that has "Auto Routing" tool.

I don't know if KiCAD or FreePCB have this tool, but Eagle has it
 

ruffrecords

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Whoops said:
Don't know the crowd opinions, but personally I like a software that has "Auto Routing" tool.

I don't know if KiCAD or FreePCB have this tool, but Eagle has it

Personally for audio work I would never use an auto-router. Maybe OK for fast digital boards or SMPSU and class D amps but for for regular analogue audio it is not the best tool in the box - your brain is.

Cheers

Ian
 

abbey road d enfer

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ruffrecords said:
Personally for audio work I would never use an auto-router. Maybe OK for fast digital boards or SMPSU and class D amps but for for regular analogue audio it is not the best tool in the box - your brain is.

Cheers

Ian
I use Eagle's autorouter all the time. Indeed there are things that must be ripped up and re-routed, but it's easy to focus on grounds and signals that must follow ground. My brain has ceased to be the best.  :)
 

ruffrecords

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abbey road d enfer said:
I use Eagle's autorouter all the time. Indeed there are things that must be ripped up and re-routed, but it's easy to focus on grounds and signals that must follow ground. My brain has ceased to be the best.  :)
For my mostly tube work I find my old brain is still the best. If I were using ICs and SMT I might well think differently. I occasionally give the auto-router a go but every time I look at the result I know I could do better.

And I have a pathological aversion to vias after spending many days back in the late 70s as a subcontractor soldering all the vias on some large PCBs for a computer system.
Cheers

Ian
 

abbey road d enfer

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ruffrecords said:
For my mostly tube work I find my old brain is still the best.
I agree 100%. Same for passive X-overs.

And I have a pathological aversion to vias after spending many days back in the late 70s as a subcontractor soldering all the vias on some large PCBs for a computer system.
That would hold if you made your own PCB's, but today you get PTH included. I don't like vias too much either, fortunately my old version of Eagle optimizes the number of vias.
 
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