I am new to this forum and I need some help.
Where I can find someone or a website to help me design a PCB based on an existing kicad project? The project it’s not mine, it’s posted public on “git”, but it’s complet with schematics, component footprint, etc.
I simply can’t do it, it’s to complex for me.
I am willing to pay a fair price for the job, so any help is much appreciated.
Since the project is public why not post its Github URL here so we can have a look? You say it’s a KiCad project so maybe the author has already made a PCB and all you have to do is generate Gerbers to send off for manufacturing. Or maybe there are already Gerbers in the Github repo.
Please take a look and let me know if it’s already made … I didn’t know what to look for and no way I would know how to generate the Gerbers and how to check it if it’s usable …
Thanks in advance.
It’s an interesting situation. The schematic (.sch) is there, and there is a board (.kicad_pcb) but it is empty, only contains the header. So it looks like the author only used the schematic drawing capabilities of KiCad and didn’t actually generate a board, or if they did, didn’t want to publish it.
So if you want to make a board out if it, you’ll have to learn to do that yourself.
On the other hand, it looks an ATmega 1284A was used, this is a MCU with more memory than the usual 328, see comparision here: https://sepzed.wordpress.com/2014/03/15/arduino-on-1284p-and-1284-non-p-version/ and the Arduino IDE was used to program it. You could avoid building a board by buying an Arduino-like board with the 1284A (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Arduino_boards_and_compatible_systems), and connecting what appears to be various sensor and relay modules to it with wires.
Then of course there is the firmware, I didn’t look to see if that’s in the repo.
The HB-UNI-Sen-POOL.kicad_pcb file is only 51 bytes, so as retiredefline already mentioned it looks like a PCB was never designed.
If you look in the “Images” directory there is:
For simple projects which are only made once it is hardly worth it to design a PCB.
Yes I saw this, but I am the type of guy who likes everything to be “like factory” so I will take may chance.
As a mather of fact, I have a bunch of friends/clients who would like to implement this project in the smarthome system, so I will not make only one PCB. I am a pool contractor so maybe in future some of my clients would like to have something like this.
One thing you should realise is that if you try to turn that schematic into a PCB, it will want footprints for all those sensor and relay modules, whereas in the original design they were off-board. Obviously the author drew the schematic to document the circuit, not to fabricate a PCB. So when you remove or use the # trick to ignore those modules, there isn’t much left on the MCU board. Probably the same as an off-the-shelf dev board.
From what I saw when I tryed (faild ) to design the PCB in KiCad, I could find all the footprints when I imported the parts from schematic. Maybe I got it all wrong, but I think they are all available in the project.
It’s not a question of whether the footprints are available but whether you really want to put everthing on the same board. Some are sensors which should be placed close to what you are sensing. And that relay, if it’s switching mains voltages, you need to take more care with the PCB design.
Edit: In case it’s unclear to you, 1 KiCad project = 1 board.
Yes, for me it’s more then OK to have all the components on the same boards, except the 2 Gravity interfaces wich are connected with wires, and the rest of the sensors are connected also with wires. The “module” only reads values from sensors and sends the values a central control unit, and from there I can trigger other relays to control peristaltic pumps and circulation pumps. The two relays are not for power, they switch between two measurements (PH and ORP sensors), so no “mains” trough the PCB itself.
Two things I noticed about the footprints:
- The ISP header is 1x6, but it’s more traditional for it to be 2x3.
- U4 is surface-mount, while everything else on the board is through-hole.
I have no problem correcting those issues, but I need to find someone to design the pcb for me, because for me, as a absolute beginner in KiCad is like swimming in the ocean without actually knowing how to swim…
I’ll say it again. Given that in the photo most of the modules are off the main board and connected by wires to it, and the main board has little more than the MCU and some pin headers, why not buy an off-the-shelf 1284A board?
The 2 module from te left side are the sensor interfaces and they are not in the schematic, only the connectors and the part with the 2 relays (to wich the interfaces connect) wich can be on the same board with the MCU. The author made the project with what he had arround, but that doesn’t mean this is the only way it has to be done.
Firstly looks relatively simple at first glance, If it were me I would sit with Kicad and check through and tidy up the schematic, is there a .SCH file for download ? if so I am prepared to look at it but I am not familiar with GITHUB so how do I get a copy of the schematic to begin a new project in Kicad please?
Yes the best place to start is the .SCH file for this schematic that I can put in Kicad and orient myself
I dont see any Gerber’s the PCB has not been made.
I was playing around with it last night and tried positioning the footprints. I haven’t routed any tracks yet. Not sure if this would be a useful starting point for you.
pcb.zip (993.2 KB)
Thanks for giving it a try. I will atach the file from github.
HB-UNI-Sen-POOL.sch (28.5 KB)
It’s a start for sure, thanks