Author Topic: Board Layout Check  (Read 5685 times)

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Offline tedfs3

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Board Layout Check
« on: Fri, 19 April 2019, 10:22:41 »
I hate to ask but honestly don't know how else to get help or answers. Seriously considering hitting someone up on Fiverr to make sure this is done right.

Trying to make a left handed version of null's design here: https://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=97883.0

Starting from zero and am trying to learn as much as possible during the process. I've started over several times and think I'm close to something that will work.
Problem is, I still honestly have no idea what I'm doing and don't know if everything is right or not. Just need some pointers or help.
Tried out FreeRoute and it seems to be doing okay, save for some tracks too close to pads. Need to learn how to change that.

Working on fixing the USB Mini symbol and footprint, as I now see it's probably wrong after looking at the Molex data sheet.

If anyone has some free time, the KiCad project is on GitHub here:https://github.com/Tedfs3/104LH_v3.3

There are two versions of the board right now. One with minimal traces ( v3.3 ) and one done with FreeRoute (v3.3.1 )
217608-0
« Last Edit: Fri, 19 April 2019, 10:28:51 by tedfs3 »

Offline equalunique

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Re: Board Layout Check
« Reply #1 on: Fri, 19 April 2019, 10:55:45 »
I will join if you decide to run a GB!

Your knowledge of KiCAD is by far greater than mine. I have been wanting to take the time to learn, but have been putting it off. Sorry, I wish I could help!

It looks like you have made quite a lot of progress. How did you for example tell KiCAD to place all the switch footprints exactly how they would need to be placed for your layout? Is there a plugin to import KLE files?

FYI, the reason I was interested in null's project is the PCB controller for the Filco I bought for my girlfriend's Galaxy Class keyboard got damaged. She's left handed, so might even be happier with this design you have going on here. Your design would however require a custom case, so perhaps some DXF files to laser cut a sandwich style case are in order? I'll try designing some using the KiCAD files.

I can also see the ergonomic benefit if like most users you use your right hand for mouse control, since the shorter distance between the home row and the mouse means faster transitioning. Also since most people are right handed, a lot of folks over-use their right hands anyway, so giving the left hand more stuff to do could also lead to a healthier balance. Personally I just switched to using my left hand for mouse control, which helped me with all of the above problems, but really has held me back from any PC gaming.

Anyway, I can at least confirm for you that when I open your project in my KiCAD installation, it opens successfully. That's about all I know how to do at the moment.

Sent from my LG-H918 using Tapatalk
« Last Edit: Fri, 19 April 2019, 10:58:51 by equalunique »

Offline tedfs3

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Re: Board Layout Check
« Reply #2 on: Fri, 19 April 2019, 11:05:28 »
null had footprints for each size of key used on most boards in his design, so I took advantage of that. Often looking at his design and measuring gaps, sizes etc to make sure that everything was the same measurement wise. Also made use of the Move Exactly tool in KiCad to get everything lined up right. If you go to his post I linked to, you can follow his link to download his KiCad project. It's been the only way I've been able to get this far.

There are a ton of free videos to learn KiCad on YouTube. Contextual Electronics has some nice ones and I have been watching those. I even bought a course on Udemy to learn KiCad 5 when it was on sale.

Odd thing is, I'm not even left handed but I do work in spreadsheets quite a bit. I honestly think having the numpad on the left side would make more sense ergonomically. It would allow me to keep my right hand on the mouse if needed and avoid the long, left handed crossover when needing to use the mouse and numpad at the same time.

ETA: After this is production worthy, I'll have to learn how to make a plate for it. Hopefully that is a quicker process.
« Last Edit: Fri, 19 April 2019, 13:57:21 by tedfs3 »

Offline tedfs3

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Re: Board Layout Check
« Reply #3 on: Fri, 19 April 2019, 17:10:43 »
Running into this issue I don't understand with the back copper fill.

Why are these gaps here and why do they not fill in even when I make another filled zone to cover them ?


Offline tedfs3

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Re: Board Layout Check
« Reply #4 on: Fri, 19 April 2019, 22:14:03 »
Figured that mess out and cleaned up the repository a bit.

Still have no clue what I'm doing or if it's electrically correct.

Offline Blitzschnitzel

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Re: Board Layout Check
« Reply #5 on: Sat, 20 April 2019, 06:34:39 »
I am guessing your copper between the traces is connected to ground. The gaps are areas where no connection to ground can be made. You can fill them by hand if you want for aesthetic reasons.

Offline tedfs3

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Re: Board Layout Check
« Reply #6 on: Fri, 10 May 2019, 23:26:49 »
Ordered the original v3 PCBs to check out and see if they work. Total cost for 5 boards, shipped to me in less than a week, was under $31 US. Free shipping via DHL with some promotion or something.
It absolutely blows my mind the world we live in today. Being able to have something custom made from, literally across the globe, and in your hands in less than seven days.

I'm in the middle of sorting out to move and have no idea when I'll be able to check if these things actually work or not. This isn't a simple 1 hour build.
If anyone wants to try their hand at their own and see if they work, the repository has been updated with the most recent changes.
https://github.com/Tedfs3/104LH_v3.3

Next hurdle is to figure out how to design a plate since the layout doesn't quite match plates built from KLE layouts.

Offline MatchstickMan

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Re: Board Layout Check
« Reply #7 on: Fri, 10 May 2019, 23:59:11 »
Ordered the original v3 PCBs to check out and see if they work. Total cost for 5 boards, shipped to me in less than a week, was under $31 US. Free shipping via DHL with some promotion or something.
It absolutely blows my mind the world we live in today. Being able to have something custom made from, literally across the globe, and in your hands in less than seven days.

I'm in the middle of sorting out to move and have no idea when I'll be able to check if these things actually work or not. This isn't a simple 1 hour build.
If anyone wants to try their hand at their own and see if they work, the repository has been updated with the most recent changes.
https://github.com/Tedfs3/104LH_v3.3

Next hurdle is to figure out how to design a plate since the layout doesn't quite match plates built from KLE layouts.

I just did my first prototyping round ever in the last month and I had the same reaction. Design something from scratch, have it built, in your hands, and doesn't cost a fortune!

Also, this project is awesome. Left-hand numpad is 100% my aesthetic...
Current Projects:
- MW-01 -- Left-handed Numpad
- Full Split (Currently on hold)