I don’t have a GitHub account. I can’t get any files to load. I get: “Error loading schematic” in standalone mode. I can’t load the schematic from the project, either.
I’m running KiCad 6.0 on Linux Mint. I’m not extremely familiar with version 6 compatibility.
You need to click on
<> Code on the top left, and then select
Download ZIP on the green
Code button on the top right (or use git & clone). Open the
*.pro file after unzipping. Unfortunately, it also includes some GBytes of video (I don’t know what they were thinking to put all in a single repository)…
Yeah, downloads only the 1st GB. I guess better to stay away from something like that… Well, I’m out (probably more bad surprises there)…
Maybe @paulvdh has a better idea below…
Please don’t ask me, but if you did I would recommend you to steer away from that project.
It starts with that the guy who made id did put some 20 different projects in a single git repository, and that is a very bad practice. The git repository is also called “Projects”, which means I just would not be able to find it after its’ been sitting on my SSD for a week or so.
but anyway, I did a:
git clone https://github.com/MicroCoreLabs/Projects.git
That was a 1.2GiB download. It has all the backup files and other garbage in the git repository, and that is my second turn off, and an indication that he either does not know much about git, or just does not care.
After that I opened the schematic for the mclz8 project in KiCad.
The project had to be “rescued” because a 3V3 power symbol was renamed to some “Power_3V3”. A little frown, but not biggie on itself. After that the schematic opens.
It is a single sheet schematic, full of global labels, and without any wires drawn. It looks like:
Next thing is that there are not any decoupling capacitors in the project. This is the next big red flag. The rest of the PCB is also just sloppily thrown together. It’s a 4 layer PCB, with barely a GND plane. All tracks are 6 mil ( 0.15mm) thin, which is … probably all right for a 4 layer PCB (4-layer PCB’s are usually made with a higher resolution process, (which is part of the extra expense) and 6 mill is probably all right for a 4 layer PCB.
I have not looked at any of the source code (I have done some programming myself) or to the FPGA code (I decided to not start with FPGA’s, my attention is already spread too thin). But if the Git repository and the KiCad schematic is any premonition of the rest, then just yuck.
And while typing this, I see that franzee has a similar feeling about this project…
So continue at your own risk.
Thanks for the insight, guys! Yeah, I had JLCPCB whip up a few boards for me. I haven’t invested much time into it, and it’s already a dog. I wanted something simple to manually turn lines on and off in a z80 socket and, and it’s already been more trouble than it’s worth.
You don’t need a Github account to clone a git repository. If you have installed git, you can clone the whole thing in one go with the line I posted (But it’s still a 1.2GiB download).
Maybe I was a bit too harsh. The schematic & PCB is relatively easy to cleanup with a bit of effort. I suggest you start with cloning it and then have a look at the source code. If it looks somewhat reasonable, then it may be worth it to put some time in it, but if it’s the same mess as the PCB… then draw your own conclusions. If you spend half an hour of looking at the sourcecode, you should have enough overview to decide whether it’s worth some effort.
Paul, you did a great job! Thanks!
Git has a feature for doing sparse checkouts and github implements it. Here’s a tutorial from github:
But yes, dumping everything in a monorepo was a thoughless thing for the developer to do. One of the worst I’ve seen was a repo full of PIC projects all contributed by different people. I had to use the SVN checkout feature of github to extract the one project I wanted.
I have used this to download just a folder (and subfolders) from a git repository, there are some other version around, but this one has worked for me.