Electronic Projects

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Decades of professional system/software engineering and lots of real-time/embedded work have provided great background to various personal projects over the years.

Now, armed with the Eagle schematic/layout tool and with some really cheap printed circuit board fabricators, I'm executing projects in etch rather than wirewrap. The navigation links to the left go to various categories of projects, some of which have the design files posted for use by others.

For the Eagle software: http://www.cadsoftusa.com (operates on Windows, Linux, and Mac). There is a Light, Standard, and Professional edition. The Light edition is limited to a single schematic sheet and a maximum PCB size of 3.2 x 4 inches. If you want freeware for non-commercial use, download the light edition and select Run as Freeware when first operating (the freeware option is not obvious on the website).

For small size, small quantity printed circuit board fabricators (2 layers with silk screen both sides):

  • http://batchpcb.com ($10 fee plus $2.50/square inch, plus shipping/mailing). They group projects together on a larger panel, forward to a Chinese fabricator, and redistribute the panel subprojects on return.
  • http://iteadstudio.com/store/ (current special $13.90 delivered for qty 10 5cmx5cm boards). They are the direct frontend for a Chinese fabricator, product is mailed to you from China.

To view the Gerber design files before sending off to a fabricator, I use ViewPlot, a free viewer for Windows.

Embedded microprocessor tools:

  • for Atmel 89C series (8051): AT89LP Developer Studio
  • for 8051: MetaLink ASM51 assember, used with Visual Studio projects on Windows Vista (uses NMAKE files to apply the ancient ASM51 DOS assembler)
  • for PIC: Microchip MPLAB v8.70 and PICkit 2.61 (PICkit2 h/w)
  • a very old Xeltek Superpro/L EPROM/device programmer (DOS software) with a Win98 machine host
(and some other old tools that require Win98 or DOS)

U.S. parts vendors for personal projects: (web presence, good technical info, will take small orders from individuals, regular industrial distributorships) For the UK, Premier Farnell is the top level corporate owner of Newark, use http://uk.farnell.com.

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Copyright 2011-2012, E. Kroeker. All rights reserved. Contact with remarks or questions.