Eagle and KiCad

I’m finally getting back into designing boards.  I just ordered some test boards from OSHPark.  Love that site and there low minimums and affordable pricing.

I have been working with Wemos D1 Mini units and need to build a carrier board that supplies power and holds other components.  I drew up the pin outline in Eagle and sent it off to make sure it’s right.  I find this saves alot of aggravation when drawing my own parts.

Now that I’m designing PCB’s I figured I should look at an upgrade of Eagle.  Ruh Roh!  Autocad bought them.  Autocad makes nice stuff, but the baby from the marriage of CadSoft and Autocad is likely to need time to grow up.  They seem to have stopped selling Eagle and are talking about something new.  Branding and messaging is a mess and there is annoying pop-up all over Cadsoft’s site.  Messy Marketing makes it look like a Walking Dead website.  🙁

Well, that’s as good of an excuse as any to survey the field and see what’s out there.  Altium seems okay, but I’m not ready to throw $1k at it and I don’t want a product filled with gotchas and fish-hooks trying to upsell me.  I already have Quick(sand)books for that.

Enter KiCad.  It’s open source, GitHub friendly, and has a huge number of users.  It’s also multi-platform.  The price is right, just bits from Comcast which are $120 for 1 TB/mo.  300MB later, I run the installer.  There are some features to be desired, like auto-update.  It has it’s own set of vexing issues, but the documentation and YouTube videos are really good.  There are a number of things that are fundamentally easier to do… such as part design/layout.  Other things are awkward at best, such as the inability to set defaults or work with Design Rule files for various fabrication houses.    One particular nice thing is that Eagle was always picky about design scale i.e. units/millimeters and was notorious for leaving wires disconnected.  KiCad seems to have a more intelligent UI that avoids this issue while being far easier to share design files etc.

Like all PCB design tools, learning curve is a modest description…. I prefer to call it a learning cliff.

Orange Pi Setup Video

I completed my video editing and have created a video to help you get up and running with an Orange Pi Zero.

This video rolls up everything I’ve figured out in the last 30 days to help you get out of the box, configured, and video and wifi running.

You’ll need Armbian’s Debian Jessie distro on an SD Card.  Get it here

Configuring OctoPrint on an Orange Pi Zero – using Armbian Debian Jessie Distro

This is the second half of setting up an Orange Pi Zero.  These are the steps I followed to configure Octoprint.  I’m annoyed that it has to be started manually, but it does work and stay running.

—- OctoPrint Config —- (adapted from http://www.orangepi.org/orangepibbsen/forum.php?mod=viewthread&tid=594)
**add user and configure permissions
sudo adduser octoprint
sudo usermod -a -G tty octoprint
sudo usermod -a -G dialout octoprint
sudo adduser octoprint sudo
sudo visudo

**clear password for user
sudo passwd octoprint -d
** install packages
sudo apt-get install python-pip python-dev git python-setuptools psmisc

set memory on Python otherwise you can have issues: (or create 256M of swap, see above)

sudo su octoprint

** setup pyserial
cd ~
wget https://pypi.python.org/packages/source/p/pyserial/pyserial-2.7.tar.gz
tar -zxf pyserial-2.7.tar.gz
cd pyserial-2.7
sudo python setup.py install

** Obtain Octoprint
cd ~
git clone https://github.com/foosel/OctoPrint.git
cd OctoPrint
sudo python setup.py install

exit (stop being SUDO)

cd ~/OctoPRint (you should still be there, so this is just in case you did something else)
./run (it should start)


Setting up a Orange Pi Zero using an Armbian/Debian Jessie distro

Here are my notes on building the initial config.

Orange Pi Zero Build Docs
** find it using IPscan etc…. ssh to it and add:
Sudo nano /etc/modules

simply add tv to the last line of the file, exit and save ofcourse

shutdown -h now -r (reboot) to bring up the terminal

** then run these via ssh or terminal

apt-get update
apt-get upgrade
apt-get install localepurge (set to all 3 US)
apt-get install mailutils
apt-get install libsasl2-modules
apt-get install postfix
– nano /etc/postfix/sasl_passwd
-[smtp.gmail.com]:587 username@gmail.com:password
-chmod 600 /etc/postfix/sasl_passwd

postmap /etc/postfix/sasl_passwd

nano /etc/postfix/main.cf
relayhost = [smtp.gmail.com]:587
smtp_use_tls = yes
smtp_sasl_auth_enable = yes
smtp_sasl_security_options =
smtp_sasl_password_maps = hash:/etc/postfix/sasl_passwd
smtp_tls_CAfile = /etc/ssl/certs/ca-certificates.crt

service postfix restart

Setup additional Swap:https://www.cyberciti.biz/faq/linux-add-a-swap-file-howto/