EMRFD Message Archive 13500
Message Date From Subject 13500 2017-01-28 06:34:53 Adrian Scripcă Help needed - K3NHI sweep generator - pcb design Hello all,A while ago I started working on a W7ZOI spectrum analyzer kit and ran into the need of building more tools to test various aspects of the build. Time came when I needed a flexible sweep generator and while browsing the EMRFD yahoo group I ran into the K3NHI sweet generator. It seemed able to fulfill all my needs so I decided to go for it. I really wanted a PCB for it so I started capturing the schematic in KiCad. I also started designing the PCB but unfortunately PCB design is not among my strong skills so here's where I need your help: if anyone would care to help with the KiCad PCB design, I would be grateful. The project is available at https://github.com/benishor/k3nhi-sweep-generator73!Adrian, YO6SSW 13501 2017-01-28 07:50:33 John Lawson Re: Help needed - K3NHI sweep generator - pcb design Hi Adrian, although you prefer the PCB, I would encourage you to look at building it ugly. I was in on that project with Bob while he was designing it. The RF section in both of ours was built ugly. Even though we used a Radio Shack board for the sweeper part of the build, I as well as others have built that type of circuitry for Wes's SA, as an example, ugly also. The nice thing about building ugly is the ground plane and also if you made an error in your build, it's much easier the correct the error in that environment. Best of luck in your build as I know you will enjoy that Sweeper for your tests upon completion. 73, John K5IRK
Sent from my iPad
13502 2017-01-28 15:16:54 Frank Dinger Re: Help needed - K3NHI sweep generator - pcb design Talking "ugly construction" ,recently I bought from the online Chinese retailer Banggood a set of low cost tile hole cutters , diamond grit covered , sizes Diameter 6-8-10-12-15-16-18-20-22-30 mm.The smaller sizes are excellent for cutting islands in PCB material .Earlier I had one with a Diameter of 5mm ,from the GQRP Club store , but the above set provides more options ,be it that the shanks are Dia 6mm , hence one needs a workshop drill press to make the islands .Using a small drill press table vice for clamping the PCB proves very useful.Frank , GM0CSZ / KN6WHOn 28 January 2017 at 15:50, John Laws 13503 2017-01-28 15:33:05 blumu Re: Help needed - K3NHI sweep generator - pcb design I found the Club island cutter perfect for small islands.
For larger islands I use a sharp knife.
Query : Would such tile-cutters be a cheap option for mounting
valve bases in an aluminium chassis? Shipping and customs charges?
Hole punches are, of course, preferable, but not cheap.
On 28.01.17 20:59, Frank Dinger firstname.lastname@example.org [emrfd] wrote:
> Talking "ugly construction" ,recently I bought from the online Chinese
> retailer Banggood a set of low cost tile hole cutters , diamond grit
> covered , sizes Diameter 6-8-10-12-15-16-18-20-22-30 mm.
> The smaller sizes are excellent for cutting islands in PCB material .
> Earlier I had one with a Diameter of 5mm ,from the GQRP Club store
> Frank , GM0CSZ / KN6WH
13504 2017-01-28 20:26:48 AncelB Re: Help needed - K3NHI sweep generator - pcb design Can u link me to the schematic....RF PCB design requires certain
considerations....I have the AWRDE sim suite which might do a decent job
of the design b4 making the PCB.
I also make double sided PCBS for RF and have RODGERs Duroid on hand as
well as 0.8mm FR4
13505 2017-01-28 20:52:33 mosaicmerc Re: Help needed - K3NHI sweep generator - pcb design Ok, I dug up the schema...unfortunately I don't have the time to model all those components.
So I have to agree with the dead bug approach as the homebrew way to go.
13506 2017-01-28 23:59:14 Adrian Scripcă Re: Help needed - K3NHI sweep generator - pcb design Thank you John & all for your input! After reflecting on your answers I decided to go with ugly and leave the PCB for later.Many thanks es 73!Adrian, YO6SSW 13507 2017-01-29 00:45:27 Rod Re: Help needed - K3NHI sweep generator - pcb design Hi All,
Having done a lot of dead-bug projects, a recent project really needed a
I went from no pcb layout experience to doing a successful layout.
I started with Kicad, but found it simply too laborious. It was maddening.
I switched to Eagle, and was able to finish the job quite nicely.
Having recently started from zero and gone through the startup overhead
for both Kicad and Eagle, my vote is firmly in the Eagle camp.
Furthermore, there are a lot of Eagle component libraries floating
around. There have been instances where I could not find a library for
the component I am using- but I found components with compatible
physical package, logical functions, and pinout, and used them for the
YMMV; I hope this benefits someone who is just starting. I am glad I
went through the experience, and now I have a new skill set.
Best of luck to all,
p.s. I used a Chinese board house and was quite pleased, and at an
13508 2017-01-29 05:17:37 John Lawson Re: Help needed - K3NHI sweep generator - pcb design Hi Rod, congratulations for starting at the ground floor and being persistent to the end with that software experience. I'm sure that was a great learning experience. I suggested the ugly route to Adrian as I have more projects than I can count built ugly with great results including two Spectrum Analyzers that worked beautifully up 13509 2017-01-29 05:43:44 mosaicmerc Re: Help needed - K3NHI sweep generator - pcb design I must agree with Rod on using Eagle. I've been with it for 5 years now and it get's the job done.
I have a page on the mechanics of making the boards here:
PCB /SMT MAKER LAB @ Home
13510 2017-01-29 10:28:30 Frank Dinger Re: Help needed - K3NHI sweep generator - pcb design Frank , GM0CSZ / KN6WHPersonally I use punch hole cutters for aluminium.But because of low cost you can always try aluminium.2) Perhaps not OK for multiple aluminium cutting , but fine for drilling holes in PCB type of material, plastics ,woodRef tile hole cutters as supplied by Banggood :1) Free shipping ,no tax/import duty . 13511 2017-01-29 14:44:17 augustinetez Re: Help needed - K3NHI sweep generator - pcb design From experience with these hole cutters (mine were advertised as ceramic tile hole cutters), if you use them in anything heavy duty, they are basically a use once and throw away job.Fine for things like pcb islands and plastic enclosures.Oh and keep the speed low, they don't like being used at high speed.Terry VK5TM 13512 2017-01-29 16:25:37 Frank Dinger Re: Help needed - K3NHI sweep generator - pcb design Frank , GM0CSZ / KN6WHYes Terry , I agree ,when cutting islands in PCB material a low speed is most effective . I won't use them for cutting tiles or metal , but PCB and plastics is fine . I bought the set to make PCB islands larger than 5 millimetresThe set also offers an opportunity to make larger islands with concentric rings for soldering components, resulting in compact circuits. 13513 2017-01-30 04:47:31 Adrian Scripcă Re: Help needed - K3NHI sweep generator - pcb design Hi there and thanks for your input!I see many of you are Eagle-centric. I actually pondered a lot before getting started with KiCad. My reasons for choosing KiCad are:- it's free and open source which means it will continue to exist one way or another and you have complete control over what specific version you choose to install/use. Compare that to Eagle, say, which just got bought by Autodesk. One can never tell what's going to happen to the licensing of Eagle.- it is crossplatform, which means it runs and acts the same on all major user platforms (linux, osx, windows). Again, compare that to other products which just don't quite cut it. This means I can freely collaborate on designs with people running different operating systems without worrying at all about these details.- KiCad has built-in native Gerber export which works great for both sending fabrication files to a PCB manufacturer as well as fabricating your own PCBs on CNC or using press and peel or photo methods.- CERN people use it to design their tools. Need I say more?- did I also mention it is free and has no restrictions?All these make me believe KiCad has a great future ahead of it.73 and all the best,Adrian, YO6SSW 13514 2017-01-30 18:29:37 AncelB Re: Help needed - K3NHI sweep generator - pcb design Whatever tooling works for u is great.
But my PCB supplier accepts native EagleCad and I can do 3D
visualizations with an eagle plugin for housing fabrication assessment
and element14 is building out eagle footprint /schematic libraries for
its inventory..so if u select a part u have the foot print for it. Also
Eagle has a Freemium programme for hobbyists.
Autodesk is a known engineering company that creates well established
products and offer educational versions...which means Eng. grads will be
coming out with Eagle skill sets and drive demand for eagle.
13515 2017-01-31 19:05:06 Josh Luben Re: Help needed - K3NHI sweep generator - pcb design I don't think anyone should be afraid of doing pcb design. It is well
within reach for anyone who wants to go through the learning curve. That
is the problem, whatever one's choice Eagle or KiCad, there is learning
curve. Now more than ever with YouTube, the learning curve is reduced.
I started with Upverter a few years ago. Late in 2016, I started getting
nervous about Upverter's stability, and decided to jump to a desktop
EDA. Ultimately I decided to go with KiCad, knowing full well that Eagle
had some features that KiCad is missing. For me, this was a personal
choice because I could see exceeding the requirements of the free
version in a few years. For many people that would never be a consideration.
So here is some advice:
1. If you decide to jump into learning Eagle or KiCad, expect that
initial learning curve to be at least ten hours. I found after going
through that curve, that I could explain it someone in person and them
up and running in a two-hour sit down session.
2. Make lots of little pcb's that a cheap to try out layouts, part
footprints, vendors, etc. PCB's a cheap these days. oshpark brought a
lot of needed competitiveness and value to that service. Lately, I've
been using pcbs.io and I'm really enamored. I can order small pcb's,
receive four in the mail two weeks later and only be out of pocket $2-$4.