Printed circuit boards

I am looking to make a few PCBs for my project .

(Just an ardunio pro mini and a small wireless module and some headers)

What software do people recommend and is their a cheap way of making them?

I use the free version of eagle, but fritzing also includes a PCB design tool these days. If you know someone with a CNC cutter, they could cut the boards for you, otherwise there are places like seeed and dirtypcbs you can get boards made cheaply with. Seeed can take ages though, and I’m yet to use dirty PCBs, so not sure on their times. I’ve also heard good things about PCB zone in nz, but I haven’t uses them, and they cost a fair bit more than seeed.

The turn around for seeed is ok if you pay the extra and go express
shipping. (~2 weeks)

A other option is Mitch but he doesn’t have a nice way to push button
recive boards.

Don’t touch frizing, it is too easy to make mistakes as there is no link
between the schematic and the PCB.

Eagle is ok and I have been using it until recently when I switched to
I am presently placing a class together for people to learn the ways of the
Altum, it is also installed on some computers at HSBNE.

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Tutorials for Altium sound awesome!
As for what I use, I’d recommend kicad. It has an excellent tutorial PDF that has you going in about 30min.
The libraries are a bit lacking but it doesn’t have any restrictions on PCB size like eagle does.

I have now done a board and schema using eagle.

Having never designed a board before I am wondering if anyone could have a look at it? is the sch and brd file

Eagle isn’t my preferred tool, so I can’t give detailed notes, but I think it needs a lot more work. (it’s great you’re having a go, though!)

Many of the connections on the schematic seem to have been made implicitly by changing assigned nets instead of explicitly drawing wires or assigning visible net labels to each segment. I should be able to see exactly where each connection goes just by looking at the schematic, without opening a properties dialog for each wire segment.

Drawing wires through schematic symbols is messy and makes it harder to see what is going on. Either route wires the long way around or use (visible!) net labels.

The ring for each power net on the board layout is a bad idea electrically, get rid of it. Make the nets as short as you can, at least to begin with, and absolutely avoid loops - otherwise you’ve got yourself an antenna. Learn how to use the polygon fill tool and do a ground fill on each side.

Look at existing schematics and board layouts, and try to make yours look similar.

Use net labels
Use Signal Parts (+5V, +3V3, GND)
It makes the design easier to read and when printed is traceable.

Try to avoid 90 degree bends in tracks, these can pose a problem during the etching process.
Though the tracks in question are thick and a little over etching shouldn’t cause you any grief.

Use Polygons for ground and power planes.

I have done some work to show you but have left most of it to you to clean up :smile: