New software: Cadsoft EAGLE PCB

In order to bring my prototypes to the next stage, some professional software is needed. Enter Cadsoft’s EAGLE PCB. A fully-featured schematic and printed circuit board layout and design program, it comes bundled with an extensive library of devices and components from all the major manufacturers. Any parts that are not included are easily designed using a three stage process: schematic symbol, package layout, and device connections to tie the first two together. Although EAGLE has a bit of a learning curve, it’s quick and powerful once you develop an appreciation for the EAGLE way. Special thanks to Warren Young aka Tangent for his clear & succinct EAGLE tutorial videos.

Here is my first stab at a schematic diagram, including two of my own EAGLE components. A brilliant short-cut with EAGLE is the ability to borrow from existing symbols & packages, making for quick custom parts.

First EAGLE schematic using the SPV1040 & LTC4071 as the power portion of a solar harvesting wireless sensor platform.

While overall I have enjoyed my time with Cadsoft EAGLE PCB, it does leave a significant bit to be desired in the UI scaling department. Given my HiDPI display, EAGLE doesn’t support scaling of its icons and static help text, leaving me squinting whenever I consult the help function. Thankfully the text command shortcuts make fumbling for the tiny icons a rare ordeal.

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Filed under Battery power, ICs, PCB design

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