Re: PCB CAD Options

From: Jim Brain <>
Date: Tue, 14 Feb 2017 11:58:18 -0600
Message-ID: <>
On 2/14/2017 10:02 AM, Francesco Messineo wrote:
> On Tue, Feb 14, 2017 at 4:51 PM, Jim Brain <> wrote:
>> I envy folks like Steve.  I didn't know either of the apps in 2004 but
>> learned EAGLE as it seemed the best choice at the time.  Now, I've gotten
>> very adept at the tool, but the tool has fallen somewhat out of favor.  I've
>> attempted to migrate, but I am simply too efficient in EAGLE, and it's hard
>> to justify using limited hobby time to learn a new tool when I can
>> immediately deliver something with EAGLE.  Thus, if you are just learning
>> PCB CAD apps, I think learning KiCAD is a better choice.  When KiCAD
>> supports back annotations, I'll try once again to migrate.
> what do you mean? It does support back annotations if we are speaking
> of the same thing.
EAGLE supports auto back annotations (if you change the name or 
technology of a component in the PCB view, it updates in the schematic 
view.  If you move a wire in the schematic view, it auto-updates in the 
PCB view.  I use this feature extensively to route CPLDs, having both 
views on dual monitors at once and watching how the CPLD pin placement 
affects possible routing options.

> I migrated from gEDA to KiCAD in a week btw, and all eagle libraries
> can be converted to KiCAD (I have a huge collection of such libraries,
> downloaded from somewhere) but I often prefer to make my own as I need
> them, since anyway it is often the best practice to check all
> dimensions, pinouts and so on before sending files to PCB farm.
> I think eagle libraries are tested and perfect, but why would I risk?
If we were in the same vicinity, I would be happy to challenge you to a 
"CAD-off" :-)  We can probably lay out the major footprints and 
placement in the same timeframe, but I know all the shortcuts in the 
tool to make tweaking of the design a breeze.  I both have less 
understanding of the KiCAD tool and also know that some of the shortcuts 
I use all the time are not in KiCAD at present.

However, regardless of tool, I agree with your assessment that using 
pre-built libs is a crap shoot.  On the other hand, who wants to spend 
all evening making footprints?  In this age of $20.00 for 5 prototype 
boards, it's often worth the risk to do a spot check and roll the dice.


> Frank
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Jim Brain

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Received on 2017-02-14 18:02:14

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