Eagle defeated!

I always had a terrible fear of Eagle, the PCB design software.  It’s been written by and for engineers, which is great if you are one, but as a beginner to PCB layout and design it’s horrifically opaque and counter-intuitive.

But it’s gotta be done, so I soldiered on and successfully produced a suite of gerber files for a little breakout board that I need for the motors.

And I think it actually worked!  It’s off to the PCB makers anyway, so that’s exciting.  Actually it turned out to be – like most things – pretty easy when you know how.  I am positive I have done something wrong, and these will come back twice as big as expected, or with the text reversed or something.

This is a tiny board that will accept the 2mm pitch ELCO 8283 connectors that are on the end of my motors, and present a set of 2.54mm pitch pins which is a much more useful kind of connector to have.  Current plans are to use this 22AWG ribbon cable with these IDC connectors on the ends to produce the motor wires.

Connector that looks like a little dragon

Didn’t really need a pic for that, but it’s so adorable I couldn’t resist it.  That shouldn’t be too onerous, and the mess and faff crimping the motor cables was always the main source of sore fingertips and misdirected rage for me in the past.   And they are a bonny colour too.

I plan to produce a variant of the motorshield that has 2.54mm pitch connectors instead of (as well as) the screw terminals currently on there, so I won’t need to make funky breakouts for the connectors on the motorshield end.  This is A Good Thing.  I’m gradually moving to a “designed” machine rather than a cobbled-together one.


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