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Asked — Edited
Resolved Resolved by Jeremie!

How To Design Custom PCB's

In my Inmoov project I need to develop some break-out PC boards for the signal lines and power to different parts of the robot.  I have seen others that have done this and would like to ask what they may of used to do the designing with?  I myself like working with Mac software but can also use Windows based products.  I am looking for the easiest to use program that is free to makers like us.   I have searched Google and found a lot of packages but not sure which one would be best for what I want to do.

If anyone has already done this and would be willing to share their work, it would be appreciated.

Thanks in advance.

FYI:  After I post this question I found this post "Pcb's In Larger Robot Builds". https://synthiam.com/Community/Questions/Pcb-s-In-Larger-Robot-Builds-4310

This has good information in it but it is a bit out dated and I am sure more options maybe available.


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Synthiam
#4  
Thanks I downloaded KiCAD and that looks like something I can figure out I hope.
#5   — Edited
I have never used the software but have heard nothing but good things about it.

https://easyeda.com/

You talked about break-out boards with signal and power.
Would these do for you?
They are servo power boards with a extra pin for the signal.
If so, let me know, I have several I'm not using.
My email is in my profile.

User-inserted image

PRO
Synthiam
#6  
That’s a board to power servos from a barrel jack - and that’s all. The 4th pin is just wired to the signal pin so you can connect it to a microcontroller.
#7  

Quote:

That’s a board to power servos from a barrel jack - and that’s all. The 4th pin is just wired to the signal pin so you can connect it to a microcontroller.
That is basically all I need DJ.  If I designed it I may change things around a bit and use other connector but in general those would work for me.
#8  
Herr Ball,  Thanks for hooking me up with these boards they should work perfect for me in my build.
PRO
Canada
#9  
Do you guys think this is something EZ-Robot should be selling? An external power adapter PCB for servos? I could likely make it happen.
#10  
Well in my opinion yes maybe in a few configurations.
PRO
Canada
#11  
Which configurations do you suggest?
#12  
Well I think we need more than just my input but here goes I like the 6 servo config but maybe a 4 servo board would also be good.  The goal most time is to supply power to servos other than using the power from the EZB's, and to provide improved wire management.   The thing that I feel is important is the cabling for the signaling is the key.  On a 6 servo board maybe use a 6 pin JST plug for the signal Connector and offer different length cables as options.  I may use a terminal type block for power rather than the plug style.
#13   — Edited
I'm surprised that more people don't use these servo power boards.
As smiller29 has stated, most people don't power the servos from the EZB and they would improve wire management.
This to me, seems to be an easy way to accomplish both task. 
I agree that they should come in different sizes.
On this particular style board you can use a servo cable turned sideways for the signal wires.
This is prefer by me as I make my own cables.
Also agree with smiller29 that a terminal block would be much better then having to buy a extra plug but amperage would also have to be taken into consideration when using one.

I question how many people would use them on EZ-Robots?
More for the DIYer's.

My 2 cents.

Hope I helped you here Jeremie.
#14  
Herr Ball Just wanted to post your boards in my build

User-inserted image
#15  
Well, they look real nice in there ...:D
That is one real nice lay-out.
Very organized.
You can see already how much thought you have put into this build.
Well done!
PRO
Synthiam
#16  
Wow that does look clean! I agree with herr ball, it’s well done. That bank of switches is a good find!
#17   — Edited
I just found this thread. Don't know how I missed it. 

I love the idea of having a board like this available. I always bypass the EZB when powering servos and DC motors. I'm ashamed to say that my wiring job has turned into a rats nest from designing and building additional parts of my robot on top of each other as I went over the years. Using something like would have made it easer to expand and keep my wiring less messy. 

@Smiller29, That is a beautiful wiring job. I'm jealous. LOL.

One thing to consider is that if using many different servos and motors that they may have different voltage needs. Offering different size boards may make it easer to send different voltages to different servos. However this can be easily managed by placing a BCC or DC  to DC power converter just before the servos. 

Also amperage needs to be considered. I'd request using components that could handle high amp levels. Make it somewhat universal to use from micro to super HD servos. I know this would cost more to produce and add to the price but it would be nice to have. Perhaps two different models. One for lower amps, one for higher amp demands. 

Just a few thoughts. Thanks for asking. It's wonderful that EZ Robot is open to new products like this!
#18  

Quote:

@Smiller29, That is a beautiful wiring job. I'm jealous. LOL.
Thanks Dave,  I love your B9 and trust me I am jealous of you build!!
#19  
LOL, thanks brother! The only good thing about the looks of my wiring inside the B9 is that it's all hidden. But it works! Electricity does not worry about beauty I guess. Still I wish I had the pre planning skills with my wiring that other builders like you have. I seem to get all excited and rush in and start building. I end up with a rats mess and too many wires and connections. On the up side this does tend to sectionalize the circuits and helps with troubleshooting if can follow the wires and I've managed to keep the wire colors consistent. 

I don't t have a lot of patience I guess. You're an inspiration.
#20  
Wow, looks very good. very clean. I like . I like those servo boards too. I use to get them from servocity. ALso have made a few on my own as well, pretty straight forward to make. I also really like that power switch bank.  nice job all around.
#21  
@RoboHappy

If you ever need any of the servo boards let me know I have some to sell.
My email is in profile.