Author Topic: Ki-Cad tutorial  (Read 2647 times)

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Offline Melvang

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Ki-Cad tutorial
« on: Tue, 27 October 2015, 19:09:56 »
Would someone be willing to do a Ki-Cad tutorial centered around keyboards?

The biggest thing I would be looking for is the author of the tutorial assuming zero PCB design or Ki-Cad experience.  If someone here makes one, how to make footprints and such for common keyboard components with actual numbers would be amazing.

I ask because I have tried multiple times to learn that software, and I think I end up more lost each time I watch one.

Thank you in advance for any help here.
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Offline Oobly

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Re: Ki-Cad tutorial
« Reply #1 on: Thu, 29 October 2015, 09:19:15 »
+1. I keep opening it up, getting started and then... moving on to easier parts of my designs. Problem is I need to make ML modules for my projects and I just can't quite get my head around the process.
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Offline MOZ

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Re: Ki-Cad tutorial
« Reply #2 on: Tue, 03 November 2015, 07:45:36 »
Regack made one, it helped me get started with KiCAD

Offline SpAmRaY

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Re: Ki-Cad tutorial
« Reply #3 on: Tue, 03 November 2015, 07:47:59 »
Regack made one, it helped me get started with KiCAD
Whoa who is this guy! ; )

Offline zlittell

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Re: Ki-Cad tutorial
« Reply #4 on: Tue, 03 November 2015, 08:27:15 »
KiCad makes me want to murder people.  So does eagle though.  Spoiled by that altium life.  Can you link this tutorial I would like to at least look at it sometime.  KiCad makes me feel conflicted.  Its free so its easy for anyone to pickup and look at community made designs, but man does it seem clunky and frustrating.

Offline Melvang

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Re: Ki-Cad tutorial
« Reply #5 on: Tue, 03 November 2015, 09:18:14 »
I found the one that regak posted, but it is for an outdated version.  Sometime I will post some screen shots of some issues I am running into.
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Offline p1114501510

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Re: Ki-Cad tutorial
« Reply #6 on: Mon, 09 November 2015, 02:51:22 »
Maybe you can find some useful resources in the live pcb design thread. I hope that's the right name. Or you can use other softwares including Protel and AD.

Offline Joey Quinn

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Re: Ki-Cad tutorial
« Reply #7 on: Mon, 09 November 2015, 13:22:58 »
Hit me up if you want some pointers, also watch the making blinkey ki cad tutorial on YouTube.
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Offline Melvang

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Re: Ki-Cad tutorial
« Reply #8 on: Fri, 13 November 2015, 01:23:46 »
Well, I was mucking around in KiCad and apparently something just clicked.  Will post screen captures tomorrow sometime.  It was a simple 3x3 matrix, but gotta start somewhere.
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Offline Melvang

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Re: Ki-Cad tutorial
« Reply #9 on: Sat, 14 November 2015, 01:55:51 »
Thoughts?

117139-0

I know it isn't much to go on, and the diode probably isn't the best position, but my MX footprint doesn't have pads for in switch LEDs or diodes.  This is my next item on this. 

Figure out how to make new footprints. 

Next step after that is how to tweak the outline and add drill holes for mounting.
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Offline joey

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Re: Ki-Cad tutorial
« Reply #10 on: Sat, 14 November 2015, 02:31:49 »
I don't know if you could even solder the diodes in that position. Because they'd intefere with the bottom of the switches.

Looks good otherwise.

Offline kurplop

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Re: Ki-Cad tutorial
« Reply #11 on: Sat, 14 November 2015, 07:24:08 »
Good to see that you're making progress in Kicad. Maybe there is hope for the rest of us. :thumb:

Offline swill

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Re: Ki-Cad tutorial
« Reply #12 on: Sat, 14 November 2015, 12:04:32 »
Watching...  Also interested in a KiCad tutorial.

Offline Melvang

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Re: Ki-Cad tutorial
« Reply #13 on: Wed, 18 November 2015, 12:06:21 »
I have been make a lot of progress in this in the last few days.  Still some things to learn.  When I feel like I have this, I will uninstall, start from scratch and see about making a tutorial.

Would a slide show/series of pics or narrated video work better?

When I do the tutorial I will be covering everything from download, install, downloading footprints from virgin (courtesy of Komar), getting them to the new global library (reasons for this will be explained), make custom footprints, schematic generation for keyboard pcb, assigning footprints, and pcb generation including dimensions.
« Last Edit: Wed, 18 November 2015, 12:42:21 by Melvang »
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Offline cooldiscretion

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Re: Ki-Cad tutorial
« Reply #14 on: Wed, 18 November 2015, 13:07:49 »
Thanks, Melvang! KiCad is definitely on my list of 'things to learn'. I think most people that get more involved in building keyboards have dreams of designing their own or at a minimum
having the skill necessary to do so. This thread caught my eye. Can't wait to see some updates!

Offline sz42

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Re: Ki-Cad tutorial
« Reply #15 on: Wed, 18 November 2015, 15:54:58 »
Also watching this thread with interest.  Been meaning to devote some quiet time to learning KiCAD the next time I can find some quiet time which should be about never.

Offline Oobly

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Re: Ki-Cad tutorial
« Reply #16 on: Thu, 19 November 2015, 06:02:23 »
I think part of my problem with the program is that in order to layout my PCB I need to first make custom parts (ML switches), since they're not available in any library or download I could find. That process just stumps me.
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Offline joey

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Re: Ki-Cad tutorial
« Reply #17 on: Thu, 19 November 2015, 06:10:05 »
I think part of my problem with the program is that in order to layout my PCB I need to first make custom parts (ML switches), since they're not available in any library or download I could find. That process just stumps me.
Using the footprint editor is not that complicated in KiCAD. Just open it and start messing around. You can also open an MX footprint and try convert it. (I'm not sure how similar ML and MX are)

Offline kurplop

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Re: Ki-Cad tutorial
« Reply #18 on: Thu, 19 November 2015, 07:31:30 »

Would a slide show/series of pics or narrated video work better?


Either would be good. I think what you are most comfortable with will determine the best medium.

This is an important undertaking. Tutorials made by someone who recently learned a subject tend to not make assumptions about how much the beginner should already knows.

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Re: Ki-Cad tutorial
« Reply #19 on: Thu, 19 November 2015, 08:07:57 »
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Offline Melvang

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Re: Ki-Cad tutorial
« Reply #20 on: Thu, 19 November 2015, 08:52:21 »
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Trying to learn, or support?  Either way thanks.
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Offline Melvang

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Re: Ki-Cad tutorial
« Reply #21 on: Fri, 27 November 2015, 23:41:47 »
OK, so I am making some progress.  I know I don't have stuff labeled, but that's not a worry for me right now.  Does anything glare out as obviously messed up?

118521-0

Tips on trace routing would be great as well. 
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Offline Melvang

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Re: Ki-Cad tutorial
« Reply #22 on: Sat, 28 November 2015, 01:09:44 »
On top of this stuff, would anyone be able to show/teach me how to do the LED circuit for full keyboard lighting with options for Lock leds?
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Offline vvp

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Re: Ki-Cad tutorial
« Reply #23 on: Sat, 28 November 2015, 12:37:39 »
Use a dedicated LED matrix controller or build your own matrix:
https://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=68902.msg1646087#msg1646087
If that would lead to too much GPIOs then you can use even more multiplexing. Or a very simple modification is sourcing "row?" lines from a (serial-in, parallel-out) shift register. You need to select only one row at a time so simple shift register will work very well. You could source the "col?{rgb}" lines from a shift register too but in such a case get some quick ones which you can feed directly from the controller SPI ports. Sourcing col lines from simple shift registers will introduce brightness errors (if you do not get some which can disable parallel output). Using quick ones will mimimize the error. You can just organize the matrix so that it has much more rows than columns but this will limit the maximum duty cycle. Get very bright LEDs and it will not matter.

Offline Melvang

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Re: Ki-Cad tutorial
« Reply #24 on: Sat, 28 November 2015, 15:43:19 »
Use a dedicated LED matrix controller or build your own matrix:
https://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=68902.msg1646087#msg1646087
If that would lead to too much GPIOs then you can use even more multiplexing. Or a very simple modification is sourcing "row?" lines from a (serial-in, parallel-out) shift register. You need to select only one row at a time so simple shift register will work very well. You could source the "col?{rgb}" lines from a shift register too but in such a case get some quick ones which you can feed directly from the controller SPI ports. Sourcing col lines from simple shift registers will introduce brightness errors (if you do not get some which can disable parallel output). Using quick ones will mimimize the error. You can just organize the matrix so that it has much more rows than columns but this will limit the maximum duty cycle. Get very bright LEDs and it will not matter.

Thanks vvp.  I am planning in using a teensy 2.0++ for the controller on a breakout board for the full keyboard and don't need anything fancy like lighting effects, just on and off with option for separate lock indicators and considering a dial for brightness control.  Would this be best left to a separate driver circuit and just pull power from the Teensy/USB, or just drive it directly from the teensy? 

I will admit I have very little electronics knowledge.  I am willing to learn, just need to know what direction I need to head in.
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Offline vvp

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Re: Ki-Cad tutorial
« Reply #25 on: Sat, 28 November 2015, 16:05:45 »
Uff, so you want only one backlight for all keys not a separately controlled light for each key.
In such a case, just use one PWM output of your controller. The PWM will allow you to control the brightness. Maybe add a FET if the LED consumption would be more than what your GPIO pin can provide. You do not need LED matrix as it was posted in the link in my message. The LED matrix is needed only when number of LEDs needed is bigger than the number of GPIO pins you can dedicate to LEDs.

Whether to use a dedicated LED driver or not is only a question of how many spare GPIO pins you have and what is cheaper. If you have enough free pins then you do not need to add separate controller. If you do not have enough pins then it depends what is cheaper: adding e.g. shift register to the LED matrix or adding a dedicated LED driver.

Offline OldDataHands

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Re: Ki-Cad tutorial
« Reply #26 on: Mon, 30 November 2015, 21:06:14 »
This might be a relevant and/or helpful set of videos, although probably slightly
out of date as 4.0 was just released:

http://hackaday.com/2013/11/10/kicad-video-series-from-concept-to-manufacture/

Offline Melvang

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Re: Ki-Cad tutorial
« Reply #27 on: Mon, 30 November 2015, 22:36:18 »
This might be a relevant and/or helpful set of videos, although probably slightly
out of date as 4.0 was just released:

http://hackaday.com/2013/11/10/kicad-video-series-from-concept-to-manufacture/

Thanks for the link there OldDataHands.  I have watched most of those videos.  But for some reason, like I said, I was mucking around, and it just clicked for me.  Now I just need to work out some details pretaining to my design.  Mostly along the lines of board outlines, silkscreen on both sides of a footprint, and one other I want to work on which is combining the switch, diode, and trace from switch to diode into one footprint with silkscreen on both sides for flippable PCBs.  Plus I need to figure out the LED circuit both with software, and external hardware adjustable brightness.
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