Free Electronic CAD woes.

Filed under: misc by tamber
21 July 2010 @ 02:34

As I ranted about previously, I’ve switched to KiCAD after hitting some frustrations with EAGLE. However, KiCAD does not have quite the array of component libraries that EAGLE does. One well-recommended library is a collection of all the EAGLE libs run through a well-recommended converter script. Unfortunately, it seems that the less-used parts (The SO-DIMM socket, for example), are horribly horribly mangled. The well-recommended script also seems to have destroyed the library I created for the Loongson (Which was my first clue that it might not work as advertised.). I don’t have the datasheet just to hand, but it is most definitely not right.

This is rather frustrating, because I now can’t trust any of the libraries without going through them and verifying all of them against the datasheets. I know I should be doing this anyway, but it’d be nice to have a proper library of parts that you can use to avoid re-inventing the wheel or screwing yourself over. (It’s not like SO-DIMM sockets are rare or anything.)

It’d be even better if this library of parts wasn’t locked into a proprietary format that requires incredibly expensive (Or incredibly limited) software to use. It seems, however, that CadSoft’s EAGLE is the Microsoft Windows of the EDA world. Everyone[1] uses it, so it’s reasonably safe to assume that someone can open a project created in it.

([1] Not actually everyone, but it feels like it at times.)

Maybe I’m getting annoyed over nothing, but it does annoy me a little that people complain if someone doesn’t release schematics or source-code for projects, but they’re happy to accept a closed BLOB? Okay, so maybe I am getting a little grouchy. =p

It obviously doesn’t matter until it bites you in the ass… And, for some reason, I want to wave a cane and start yelling at y’all to get off my lawn. Probably best I don’t have a cane or a lawn.

(And, for anyone who’s going to ask what I’m going to do about it. I’m going to try to fix the dimm library. Tomorrow… er, later today. :) )

Comment from Rasfunk 2011/03/30 @ 08:50:

Hello Tamber,

did you complete the SO-DIMM socket? Do you plan to share your work? I’d be interested in having a KiCad DIMM component.

Thanks, Rasfunk

BTW, which one is pink?

I haven’t finished the SO-DIMM socket; to be honest, I haven’t worked on it in a while. I have been working, however, on a DDR2 DIMM socket that will probably be finished a fair bit sooner. Of course, if you need the SO-DIMM socket, I’ll happily focus my attention on it. (I think it’s the footprint that I need to complete before it’s finished.)

Naturally, I do plan to share my work! When it’s in a usable state, I’ll be creating a git repo to contain it, as well as other parts. :)

BTW, which one is pink?