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From: email@example.com (Jeff Walther)
Subject: Re: How to make/solder a circuit fast?
References: <firstname.lastname@example.org> <email@example.com>
Organization: Illuminati University
NNTP-Posting-Date: Thu, 19 Sep 2002 17:30:32 CDT
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Date: Thu, 19 Sep 2002 22:30:32 GMT
In article <firstname.lastname@example.org>, me wrote:
> On Thu, 19 Sep 2002 06:55:28 GMT, email@example.com (Jeff Walther) wrote:
> >If you've never had a board made, the details of finding design software,
> >learning to use it and learning to output Gerber files can be a minor
> >headache. It's really not that hard but it feels a little intimidating if
> >you're not familiar with it.
> Yah, I just found that out today. Apparently there is a local service
> that does do something like this, but the costs double if I can only
> produce a picture and not a Gerber file. :(
> While I go and try to find a freeware Gerber pot, can anybody please
> point out which ones would be easier to use for basic stuff? Thanks!
You're probably not a Mac user, but I love Osmond PCB. It's available for
68K, PPC and OSX users and so far it is free. The developer is still
offering it as a free download, I guess because he feels like it's still
beta. But it works really well.
The only problem I've run into is that if you have duplicate named parts
(not an easy thing to accomplish) sometimes it can't read your design file
when you go to reopen it, but it fails giving a line number and you can
use Goto in Word's edit menu to go to that line number in the file and
edit the offending part.
When you're ready to export Gerber, you just choose Export:Gerber from the
The program is also well documented with a PDF users guide and a
tutorial. I find it very easy to use.
The only other complication is that most shops want your Gerber files
Zipped. You can either transfer them to a PC or use something like ZipIt
to zip them on the Mac. That's what I did with my last board design and
the board house didn't have any problem with my files at all. At least, I
got my boards back with no comments or complaints from them.
With the board you're doing, you could probably find an old SE30 on a
trash heap and design the board using Osmond PCB 68K.
A friend will help you move. A real friend will help you move a body.
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