Monday, 28 November 2011

I designed a display PCB in Eagle

I am sorry for not posting more recently....Life sometimes is busy!

I have designed and laid out a printed circuit board for the chess clocks display section.  I used Eagle CAD although any decent PCB layout package would do.  I have to make an admission here.....I am not very good at PCB layout.  I do my best but it isn't something I'm good at.  Professionally I cheat and pay someone else to do it for me!!  Cheating I know...but easier and quicker in the long run!  I accept that I'm not going to improve unless I practice....Why do you think I'm doing this!!

I wasn't intending to discuss the different nuances in PCB layout or how to use Eagle CAD.  There are plenty of tutorials and information available online for this purpose and they will do a better job than I can at the moment.  I will try if people request it!

Here are some links to some Tutorials that I have read and think are reasonable:

http://www.eeweb.com/blog/paul_clarke/the-route-to-pcb - Paul Clarke's blog entry on EE Web

http://www.alternatezone.com/electronics/pcbdesign.htm - Dave Jones's from the EEVblog Tutorial

So here is the layout.  I used the schematic from the previous post and just connected all the wires together as best as I could.  I tried to make the PCB single sided but that didn't work so I have a few...jumper wires or I could make the board double sided.  It all depends on whether I can afford to have the board made professionally or whether I etch the board at home.  If I go for the home method I normally make my PCBS single layer....It's easier for me.

Here is the bottom layer:


And here is the top layer:


I have performed all the usual checks and I believe this design will work as required for my purposes.  Its at this point I should mention the design would be better with a 4 digit Seven Segment Display...that way all of the segments are in line and directly next to each other....As I don't have any of these I will use this layout.  For the mark II version I may well get some 4 digit displays!!

If someone were looking to get some 4 Digit Seven Segment Displays they could do worse than looking at these helpful and useful Vendors:

http://proto-pic.co.uk/4-digit-7-segment-display-kelly-green/ - Proto-PIC

http://www.sparkfun.com/products/9482 - Sparkfun

http://www.coolcomponents.co.uk/catalog/product_info.php?cPath=45_70&products_id=697 - Cool Components!

Thats it for now...Have fun and happy tinkering!