Psykhaze

KiCAD Midibox Project

18 posts in this topic

Hi all ,
Was wondering about opening a KiCAD Section in the wiki? For tutorials , midibox libs etc...
where should i put it?
regards,
JK

Edit : A Frontpanel designer section could be useful too ?That's a soft that i think most of us use? Maybe create a "Softwares" Section? 

Edited by Psykhaze

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Everybody don't care about KiCAD, so let's delete this thread ^^

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Hi Psy

don't be psycho :happy:

I care about KiCad !!! but not sure a dedicated midibox wiki tutorial is useful, KiCad grow up more and more (tks to CERN)

and there is already lot of tuto/forum/help all around.

I don't see any "special" lib request for actual midibox project, 99% of component used is standard.

BUT for what I understand the wiki is open, so if you feel the need for this, you can start it :happy:

Best

Zam

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First I'd like to hear from the other PCB designers on the forum. What does Latigid On, Hawkeye etc use?

On a related note, I find it difficult to find PCB designs for the various projects. It would be nice if some index page of available designs existed that cross referenced to the projects.

On another related note, wouldn't it be grand to find a design for the Wilba CS so we could mod it.

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What does Latigid On, Hawkeye etc use?

Hehe, i only use veroboard, because that's the only PCB designer I can handle ;-).

(Sometimes if something good comes out of it, someone makes a PCB. Many thanks to Ilmenator and the TPD, this one went down in history :-). Still missing: Altitude with the promised MBLoopA PCB ;-))

But Andy surely has a few suggestions, he has a lot of hot boards in the making!

Many greets,
Peter

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Wouha, i was answering another thread and you answered while.=) cool to see that KiCAD is a point of interest !

That was a little troll , not to be psycho but to see if peoples are interested in the end.

As well as tomorrow i will get into PCB design with TR-606 BD/SD modules, i could in parallel  start filling a KiCAD Section on the wiki, SmashTV has made me an account.
Filling this section will allow me to make the point about what i know and what i don't.

My initial question was : Where to create this Wiki Section?

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32 minutes ago, mongrol said:

On a related note, I find it difficult to find PCB designs for the various projects. It would be nice if some index page of available designs existed that cross referenced to the projects.

That was my point about the KiCAD section. First, having a custom central shared midibox library would be a really good thing. Why?

That would avoid problems on default unconnected pins for example,or errors on footprints used (thanks to @Sauraen that explained me why he recreated his libraries each time due to some default pin errors on KiCAD librairies) .
A common shared library is a good thing. That allow peoples not to loose hours searching for the good footprint and selecting the wrong one or recreating pin layouts. And that will allow people to correct the library by parts if we are some to deal with.

To me, it sounds a bit essential and a good practice to do not loose time doing the things twice. If the Library part we all deal with at the start should be reduced, could be good =)
Maybe some peoples who find PCB Design too hard could get into it if they can open a specific KiCAD library with all components used in the midibox project at the current time, and check some right designed Video Tutorials (There is already a lot,but a midibox sized thing could be good)

I am wondering more and more about making some MidiBoxHowTo Youtube videos about KiCAD and FreeCAD . But my spoken english isn't as good as my writing... Text comments are ok? ^^

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yes text is ok.

the kicad standart library (on my linux...) is a bit confusing... some essentual parts are not logical to find with the filters (naming)

and the 7mm thruhole Resistors have no 3D body and so on...

anyway, except the library and its lack of a "real" search functions >>> kicad was easy to learn...ha, ok i havent started to draw a single trace on PCB-Editor

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I would just say, the dream of having a complete library for all your needs and just popping in the parts you need is very difficult to realize. At work we use Altium ($8000 per seat, private server, etc.) and we only barely manage this (using Subversion for library management). For every new board I work on there's at least half the parts which have to be made from scratch. And we have a strict policy that all the metadata must be complete, all parts must have correct 3D models, etc. before being used; so it usually takes longer to make the parts for a board than to lay out the board.

That said, maybe a guide to using KiCAD, with tips, would be helpful. There's nothing I haven't been able to do with the program, but there's a number of things for which I've needed extensive workarounds. I would be happy to contribute to this if someone else gets it going.

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Hi Sauraen!  
Knew was a good idea to tag you, your advice is always welcome =) happy you explain again to everybody the limits of trying making a library.
But there is components like IN/OUT Serial Registers wich are commonly used in many projects, was more thinking about it. Ok pin design isn't a big deal on it but that was for the principle.

I am trying a run on KiCAD tomorrow with BD/SD Section of the TR-606 . Thought it would be the right time to make the point with my knowledge by starting filling a wiki part (still don't know where to put it btw) and starting to work on some vids

Edited by Psykhaze

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Having spent many hundreds of hours on EAGLE, it's my go-to now. I can't attest to any of the functionality of KiCAD, but if it's the right style for you then go for it. Freeware EAGLE is fine for smaller 2-layer boards and has a tonne of parts that I haven't yet encountered errors on. You really have to go deep into making new packages though, and the interface and workflow leaves something to be desired. Once that learning curve is crossed it makes a lot more sense. For larger PCBs you need to think about one of the paid versions. I wish there was an intermediate pricing between the hobby and pro versions, but such is life.

Normally when I design things for MIDIbox I have the related schematics open on browser tabs. This way I try to maintain pin compatibility and functionality with the existing hardware whenever possible.

 

 

On the subject of "where are the PCB designs?" I'm currently in two minds about this. People who haven't gone through the process generally don't have a grasp of the time, energy and cost involved. Not only learning about (and perhaps paying for) the software, but all the research that goes into good design and getting the circuit to function, which after meticulous planning often requires a few board revisions. By no means am I accusing anyone here of having bad intentions, but I've seen numerous examples of people taking advantage of others' goodwill.

The MIDIbox SID has been a source of controversy in the past, with many unauthorised clones being built and sold. Also take a look at Mutable Instruments, where Olivier Gillet graciously shares all software and hardware under CC-by-SA. Some smell an opportunity and simply upload the gerbers to make a tidy resale profit for the minimal effort of a few emails and distributed shipping. The accessibility of professional PCBs has increased dramatically, mostly due to batching services that mean you can order as few as five (or less) at a time. IMO (and perhaps I'm a bit cynical) is that many of the people asking for design files have no intention of making derivative works (i.e. improvements in the sense of Creative Commons), but simply want the lower cost boards from China. As a designer and builder, I'd much prefer if people bought things via me as a means of supporting my work. With an online repository of design files, there's no separating the good and bad intentions.

In saying that, how do you put a value on the incredible software developed by (mostly) TK. and provided freely? Is it right for me to withhold designs for hardware I've tailored to his software projects, schematic fundamentals like SRIO chains etc., or prototype concepts like the MBProgramma of Hawkeye/jojjelito? I think that if I definitely knew I wouldn't have to rely on sales of hardware in this strange world where work isn't guaranteed -- and also that people had genuine intent to learn and improve upon others' work rather than taking the cheapest route to the bottom -- I would certainly be more comfortable with fully open sourced hardware. I'm still working on the answer to that :).

 

Sorry for the rant, and best of luck with KiCAD! 

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You pointed out something really interesting @latigid on .

Sharing the finished PCB Designs gerbers is to me not a good idea. Few peoples with no knowledge in electronics and interested only by business oportunities would be able to steal TK's work.
The DIY is not only about saving money , but understanding too, and sharing.

I think making this little Library with commonly used components (like serial registers etc) in various midibox projects is a better idea than sharing the all-ready PCB gerbers. KiCAD is to me a good Open Source alternative to eagle who could really fit for the midibox project, and avoiding the pain-in-the-a** library things would be cool. Sharing a little PCB design like a DIN/DOUT seems ok to me, but sharing like the PCB of Core32 seems to be a bad one.

I think it's better to let people produce their own PCB ; If  they have the tools like a library and access to video tutorials, nobody would have excuses.
DIY means Do It Yourself, isn't it ?


Today/these next days i am going to prepare a full KiCAD Tutorial from Schematic to PCB with BD/SD sections of the TR-606.
I will go at the same time through filling a wiki section . To me creating a new "Tools" section in MIDIbox Hardware Platform (MBHP) is thegood place to be

Edited by Psykhaze

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Just now, Psykhaze said:

Sharing the finished PCB Designs gerbers is to me not a good idea. Few peoples with no knowledge in electronics and interested only by business oportunities would be able to steal TK's work.
The DIY is not only about saving money , but understanding too, and sharing.

I think this is the main reason why design files aren't generally included on uCapps.

 

Just now, Psykhaze said:

I think making this little Library with commonly used components (like serial registers etc) in various midibox projects is a better idea than sharing the all-ready PCB gerbers. KiCAD is to me a good Open Source alternative to eagle who could really fit for the midibox project, and avoiding the pain-in-the-a** library things would be cool.

Are you referring to chip packages like 74HC595/165 etc.? Or more complete blocks? In EAGLE they introduced basic hierarchical design in the schematic editor, and now there's finally a way to clone repeated parts of layouts, even with routed traces. But in my experience, there's not a lot to be gained from having pre-existing blocks because every design has its own unique requirements. It's better to start with something very modular/flexible that can be reused in different situations.

 

Just now, Psykhaze said:

Sharing a little PCB design like a DIN/DOUT seems ok to me, but sharing like the PCB of Core32 seems to be a bad one.

I think it's better to let people produce their own PCB ; If  they have the tools like a library and access to video tutorials, nobody would have excuses.
DIY means Do It Yourself, isn't it ?

Ten or even five years ago, pro PCBs were much less accessible. From a DIY perspective, it was quite necessary to have layouts in order to mask, etch and drill boards, and that's why you'll see quite a few are single sided with jumper wires. The circuits themselves are very simple, perhaps reflecting this limitation.

Now with an EAGLE .brd file, anybody can generate gerbers or even send it directly to the fab. To me (again with a cynical view) that this is less about DIY and more an impact of our insta-gratification culture. Funnily enough, the Core carrier board isn't much more complicated than a DOUT, but it does represent time and effort spent by Tim/Smash TV, not to mention TK. who probably did the pin assignments in the first place.

 

 

 

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From my midibox partlist, the commonly used components are :
(i put modules they are used in and a mouser ref for each)

ICs :
-74HC165 - DIN - 595-CD74HC165EE4
-74HC595 - DOUT, TIA, SID, AINSER - 595-CD74HC595E
-74HCT541 - CORE32 - 595-D74HCT541E
-74HC00 - MIDIO - 595-CD74HC00EE4
-MCP6004 - OPL3-5V - 579-MCP6004-E/P
-MCP3208 - AINSER - 579-MCP3208CIP
-MOS4051 - AINSER - 595-CD74HC4051M96
-TLV5630IDW - AOUT_NG - 595-TLV5630IDW

Triacs:
-6N138 - MIDIO - 512-6N138M
-78L12 - SID - 512-LM78L12ACZ
-2N3906 - TIA - 512-2N3906TA
-BC547 - SID - 512-BC547BTA
-BC337 - CORE32 - 512-BC33740TA

DIP/DIL Sockets : 

- DIP 8 - MIDIO - 653-XR2A-0811-N
- DIP 14 - OPL3 , AOUT , MIDIO - 653-XR2A-1401-N
- DIP 16 - DIN,DOUT,TIA,SID,AINSER,CORE32 - 653-XR2A-1611-N
- DIP 20 - CORE32 - 653-XR2A-2001-N
- DIP 28 - SID - 653-XR2A-2811-N
- DIP 40 - TIA, AY - 653-XR2A-4011-N
- DIL 5x2 - ALL - 649-66953-005
- DIL 25x2 - CORE32 - 649-66953-025LF

Resistors (that are not 1/4W thing)

- 10? resistor network - DIN
- 220? resistor network - DOUT
- Pot 10k? - CORE32
- Pot 220? - AOUT_NG

I will start the KiCAD Lib from this list. And after making my mind , the best to start the KiCAD Tutorials is a full process from schematic to PCB with DIN/DOUT Modules and then increase difficulty by making the TR-606 BD/SD process

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I just made some basic Filling as well as i am new to Wiki syntax, i am a bit struggling to get the things where i want xD

I'll make a 4 parts video tutorial covering each 4 parts of the flow process I described .
i'll do it through a complete flow making DIN and DOUT PCBs from the start.

Please give feedback about this =)

Edit : Not on Topic but also also added a FreeCAD section in http://wiki.midibox.org/doku.php?id=basics
find it here : http://wiki.midibox.org/doku.php?id=freecad_an_open_source_software_for_technical_drawing

Edited by Psykhaze

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@Sauraen Dude , you made my day ! and beg my poor english xD

Edit : I just think later about it but maybe you already have designed some of the components i listed ? I'll try to reproduce them by myself anyway, but it was to compare in the end

Edited by Psykhaze
later idea

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