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Vintage Computers Any vintage computer systems, calculators, video games etc., but with an emphasis on 1980s and earlier equipment.

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Old 18th Dec 2022, 6:01 pm   #861
ortek_service's Avatar
Join Date: May 2018
Location: Northampton, Northamptonshire, UK.
Posts: 1,541
Default Re: MK14 schematic revisions

I presume you'll then have to manually rename/renumber Eagles's top / bottom layers you've used for power & ground planes, so that the PCB Manufacturer knows they are to be the two inner (normally best to have inner layers as just one power or ground planes on each, without any signal tracks on these, to make following tracking while servicing much-easier) layers.
I'm not sure if Eagle produces any drilling drawing etc output, with layer-stack arrangement, but maybe they only need the individual Gerber-layer + drill files, and other things are manually entered. So probably can't use a single ODB++ file (if Eagle / they support this).

By adding some vias, if should still be possible to track it all on 2-layers, and just have the extra 2-layers of a 4-layer PCB to beef-up the power/ground tracking so may not rely on those alone, even if they can be obtained at no extra cost.
I recall, back in the 1980's, even thru-plating holes on a double-sided PCB could be more expensive / it wasn't something you could easily-DIY. So many D/S PCB's supplied for magazine projects etc required soldering on both-sides / manually pin-ing of any vias (With even Philips trying to save cost by dropping solder down these on early CD-player PSU boards, that later often failed in-use)

I have heard KiCad has had many improvements in recent years, and know a few people who normally use fairly-expensive Altium etc tools at work, who seem to got on well with KiCad for producing their own boards at home. With not many using Eagle much any more, with its limitations and expensive licensing costs for newer versions. KiCad will even import Eagle designs (but maybe only newer formats, and need to use a version of Eagle to convert).
Although Altium did also provide a free maker etc. version - Provided designs were kept open-source, held in a shared cloud store.

I do intend to finally have a go with KiCad soon myself - Mainly for drawing-up various misc. Rev-Eng'd schematics as don't want to be locked into proprietary file formats that you need to buy software to be able to even view, let alone make changes to. And there should now be quite an online library of ready-built parts for KiCad, like there was for Eagle, with many manufacturers now providing these for this.
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