PCB Development

I mostly use KiCad for my PCB projects. It is free, does not have stupid limitations and it works quite well. Version 7.0 is a huge leap forward and promises a lot for the future releases. Moreover, it is an open platform that you can extend via Python. However, I am more and more drawn by Fusion360 Electronics (former “Eagle”) which promises to bring some cool EDA and mechanical design integration. This category contains some articles I wrote on the subject but not all of them. I have quite a large backlog that awaits publication.

How to use Matlab PCBReader objects

Recently I installed a trial version of the new PCB toolbox from Matlab. From Mathworks website: RF PCB Toolbox provides functions and apps for designing, analyzing, and visualizing high-speed and RF multi-layer printed circuit boards (PCBs). You can design components with parameterized or arbitrary geometry, including distributed passive structures such as traces, bends, and vias. […]

RF Proto Board v2.0 — arrived from JLCPCB !

RF prototype boards arrived today from JLCPCB. The service was, as always, very fast and flawless. Seems they have a direct arrangements with Customs because I was not required to pay anything. I ordered 100 pcs for a total amount of 157 euros, apx 1.57 euro per piece. This includes manufacturing and shipment via DHL. […]

Multipurpose RF Proto Board v2.0

This is a general purpose PCB that I designed in KiCad as a helper board for my Manhattan-style mounted RF projects. It allows connection via SMA connector (vertical or edge mount) and BNC. The two completely separated prototyping sections can be interconnected by using the SMAs in the middle or, if you want to save […]

KiCad 7.0 – Footprint does not match copy in library

Another one in KiCad 7.0. I work on a project these days and I face all kind of weird stuff in KiCad 7.0. While running DRC in PCB editor, I ran into a “Footprint [whatever footprint] does not match copy in library [whatever library]” warning: This seems to be related whenever the 3D file is […]

KiCad 7.0 – track has unconnected end

A lot of microscopic tracks that needed to be cleaned up in your KiCad PCB project might end up messing with your DRC report: You just need to select and delete the culprit, then DRC gets cleared: Hope this helps. Greetings !

KiCad Templates for Orange Pi Zero

KiCad templates for two different hat models for Orange Pi Zero boards can be downloaded from my GitHub repo. Two different KiCad templates can be downloaded in the same GitHub archive: one uncut, 46×48 mm exactly same size as Orange Pi Zero; the other one has some cuts for network and USB connector, to accomodate […]

AD8307 RF Power Meter II — boards from JLPCB

I ordered the boards for this project with JLCPCB in China. This is my first attempt of working with a professional PCB manufacturer and I am extremely pleased by the results.

AD8307 RF Power Meter

My first finished KiCad project is a prototype of a RF Power meter with input attenuation built around an Analog Device AD8307. An excellent tutorial about log amps can be read in March 1999 edition of Analog Dialogue. KiCad PCB: And the 3D rendering of the same PCB: The next step will be PCB ordering, […]

Boards for prototypes

For low frequency projects, a fast way to prototype is using a bare PCB and scratch some dividers that allow “manhattan” style prototyping. I am especially very fond of this prototyping technique and I believe that PCB design should be avoided in the early stages of prototyping. Jim Williams was an artist in such designs. […]