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MortySmith
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Software used for stripboard/perfboard diagrams

Sun Jun 20, 2021 11:08 am

Hi,

Could anybody tell me what software is used for the stripboard/perfboard diagrams, esp. for Mike Cook's articles?
I wouldn't be surprised if it was some combination of Illustrator and Photoshop with some sort of templates.
They look really nice.
I usually use diylc for mine, but was just curious as to what magpi uses.

M
"Sometimes science is more art than science, Morty. Lot of people don't get that." - Rick Sanchez

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scruss
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Re: Software used for stripboard/perfboard diagrams

Sun Jun 20, 2021 7:28 pm

Mike's on here sometimes as GrumpyMike. Given how long he's been doing this, it's almost definitely not any of the usual suspects.
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MortySmith
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Re: Software used for stripboard/perfboard diagrams

Mon Jun 21, 2021 2:57 pm

scruss wrote:
Sun Jun 20, 2021 7:28 pm
Mike's on here sometimes as GrumpyMike. Given how long he's been doing this, it's almost definitely not any of the usual suspects.
Thanks, scruss. I'll look out for him.
I've seen him in the Arduino forums too. :)
Mike's articles are probably some of my favourites in MagPi (shhh... don't tell anyone, especially Mike ;-))
"Sometimes science is more art than science, Morty. Lot of people don't get that." - Rick Sanchez

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lucyhattersley
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Re: Software used for stripboard/perfboard diagrams

Fri Jul 09, 2021 9:25 am

We typically use Fritzing for our breadboard diagrams and the design team sometimes tweak the files in Adobe Illustrator to clean them up.

I've asked Mike to confirm what he uses to create his original images.

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Re: Software used for stripboard/perfboard diagrams

Fri Jul 09, 2021 9:49 am

Could anybody tell me what software is used for the stripboard/perfboard diagrams, esp. for Mike Cook's articles?
I use MacDraft P.E. We are up to version 7.0.3 now.
In the very early days I used MacDraw and changed over to MacDraft when apple abandon MacDraw.

It is just a general purpose 2D drawing package, but once I draw a component I can create a library version so I can drag it out when I want to reuse it. So the schematics are quite simple to make and I can put the Pins anywhere on an IC to simplify the wiring. That is have the minimum number of crossings and right angle bends.

I use the same for the strip board layout. Here I have some standard front and back boards, I drew previously but I have to add or remove rows and holes to make it the size for the project I am going to make. The use of grouping and ungrouping makes it quite easy to do.

The thing I really like about it is that once I have a component or group I can duplicate it, then manoeuvrer it into place and then subsequent duplications (cmd and D) apply the same offset. So on the strip board for example, once I get the length of strips I want, I group that and just duplicate it however many times I want rows on the board.

I export the final diagrams as a PDF for submitting to the magazine, that way they can be reproduced at any size while not affecting the resolution.

I use this software for all my other diagrams, and now there is a PC version available if you are that way inclined.

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Re: Software used for stripboard/perfboard diagrams

Fri Jul 09, 2021 12:17 pm

We use Fritzing on the Pico example documentation. I'd never used it before, and got on quite well with it. It also has some good features for PCB layouts which I recently discovered.
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MortySmith
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Re: Software used for stripboard/perfboard diagrams

Fri Jul 09, 2021 9:31 pm

Grumpy Mike wrote:
Fri Jul 09, 2021 9:49 am
Could anybody tell me what software is used for the stripboard/perfboard diagrams, esp. for Mike Cook's articles?
I use MacDraft P.E. We are up to version 7.0.3 now.
In the very early days I used MacDraw and changed over to MacDraft when apple abandon MacDraw.

It is just a general purpose 2D drawing package, but once I draw a component I can create a library version so I can drag it out when I want to reuse it. So the schematics are quite simple to make and I can put the Pins anywhere on an IC to simplify the wiring. That is have the minimum number of crossings and right angle bends.

I use the same for the strip board layout. Here I have some standard front and back boards, I drew previously but I have to add or remove rows and holes to make it the size for the project I am going to make. The use of grouping and ungrouping makes it quite easy to do.

The thing I really like about it is that once I have a component or group I can duplicate it, then manoeuvrer it into place and then subsequent duplications (cmd and D) apply the same offset. So on the strip board for example, once I get the length of strips I want, I group that and just duplicate it however many times I want rows on the board.

I export the final diagrams as a PDF for submitting to the magazine, that way they can be reproduced at any size while not affecting the resolution.

I use this software for all my other diagrams, and now there is a PC version available if you are that way inclined.
Hi Mike.
Thanks for the response. That's very informative.
I figured you'd be using something like a 2d design package.
I've been using diylc for a lot of my stripboard designs. It's a nice piece of software, bancika does an amazing job keeping it updated with the features people suggest.
You do an amazing job with your diagrams. They are always easy to follow. In fact, I've used some of your diagrams as inspiration when I've laid out some of mine. I noticed a few little layout tricks in your diagrams which have come in handy when routing stripboards.
I could probably do something similar with say, Inkscape if I were able to draw decent components :-D

Your articles are very informative. I've read some of your posts on the Arduino forums too, and they have been very useful during my many forays into programming and designing stuff using the Uno and Pro-Micro.
"Sometimes science is more art than science, Morty. Lot of people don't get that." - Rick Sanchez

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MortySmith
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Re: Software used for stripboard/perfboard diagrams

Fri Jul 09, 2021 10:09 pm

jamesh wrote:
Fri Jul 09, 2021 12:17 pm
We use Fritzing on the Pico example documentation. I'd never used it before, and got on quite well with it. It also has some good features for PCB layouts which I recently discovered.
Hi jamesh.
I've used Fritzing a bit in the past. I found the interface was a bit clunky back then, and the diagrams it produced seemed to get scrambled unless I was very careful when doing them. I There were some serious stability issues too; it would crash at the most inopportune times.
It has probably improved immeasurably in the three or four years since I last used it though.
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Re: Software used for stripboard/perfboard diagrams

Sat Jul 10, 2021 10:01 am

MortySmith wrote:
Fri Jul 09, 2021 10:09 pm
jamesh wrote:
Fri Jul 09, 2021 12:17 pm
We use Fritzing on the Pico example documentation. I'd never used it before, and got on quite well with it. It also has some good features for PCB layouts which I recently discovered.
Hi jamesh.
I've used Fritzing a bit in the past. I found the interface was a bit clunky back then, and the diagrams it produced seemed to get scrambled unless I was very careful when doing them. I There were some serious stability issues too; it would crash at the most inopportune times.
It has probably improved immeasurably in the three or four years since I last used it though.
I presume it has as I did not encounter any issues with it.
Principal Software Engineer at Raspberry Pi (Trading) Ltd.
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Grumpy Mike
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Re: Software used for stripboard/perfboard diagrams

Sat Jul 10, 2021 1:53 pm

I noticed a few little layout tricks in your diagrams which have come in handy when routing stripboards.
Good, although I have been laying out stuff for years now that, what ever they are, I don't really consider them to be tricks, but just what comes natural.

Basically I have this attitude that the strips should not dictate the layout, too many people fuss about this too much and they end up not doing anything because they can't route it to their satisfaction. I believe that all chips should be mounted the same way round. But the actual placement should be that so the majority of the connections ( wires ) don't have to cross over the chips to get where they are going. Of course there is always going to be an exception or two.

When I left school at the age of 16 in the 1960's, I went to work for a small electronics manufactures. I first got to work in the special products department, where we produced a limited number of bespoke products for industrial control, based on a fixed chassis. The special bit was a 2" square by 3" high black plastic module with an octal valve base. It would, at a pinch, fit two small pieces of strip board on it. The engineer would sketch out a circuit and it was my job to get it to fit into this fixed module on strip board. Thinking about it now it was quite a baptism of fire at that age with no training at all. So i did develop a number of space saving techniques there. Like stand up resistors on end when things got tight.

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scruss
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Re: Software used for stripboard/perfboard diagrams

Sat Jul 10, 2021 5:03 pm

Thanks for the insights, Mike. I'd suspected that your diagrams were hand-made in a general drawing package, rather than using a circuit-specific CAD package. They're always very clear about what everything is, and where it should go.

Fritzing makes pretty pictures, but it's a huge, slow package. Developing new Fritzing parts is an exercise in frustration. The current version of Fritzing doesn't even have a part editor. The future of the package seems uncertain: it's barely maintained, and the original core developers seem to have gone away. Fritzing is also terrible for stripboard planning: it assumes you'll be going from breadboard to custom PCB.

VeroRoute seems bearable, but might not compile/run too well on a Raspberry Pi with all its Qt5 dependencies.

I can make pretty schematics with KiCad, but somehow none of the wires want to connect. There's some detail I'm missing to make that step. At least that's something that Fritzing gets right: put a wire near another wire, and it will join.
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