Hayling Island

Hayling Island

Friday, September 14, 2018

KiCad .. !

Well, kind of getting used to it. Thought I would design something and do a layout .. so here is the schematic. This is a good ol' PTH (that's Pin Thru Hole for those of you who are not suffering from the effects of age on the eyes, and can use SMT devices without a stereo travelling microscope) design of an MSF Receiver. MSF is the time signal broadcast from the National Physics Lab. now from somewhere in Cumbria at 60KHz. So a simple receiver with an external ferrite rod and MW coil feeds into a simple circuit to recover a digital signal.

.. and here the layout!

It's really good. Functionality is good - of course it is very different to Eagle, and finding ones way around the menus while adopting a new workflow ..  but it performs well, has some really useful features and quite a few bits I like a lot.

Now there are a couple of things I don't like about KiCad, but getting used to them.

1) No curved traces! Really, guys. My signature curvy traces no more?
2) No embedded autorouter. Well, to be honest I can route well enough and quickly enough not to worry me. The push/shove router works very well, and you can buy plug-in autorouters, but I am talking myself out of them at the mo.

I like the decoupling of the component from the footprint used. It makes the schematic more of an abstract representation of the function of the circuit rather than a particular instance - which helps the mind to keep open.

Just in case you were wondering what I do at work ..