Breakin Board for Just Add Sharks

Those who take an interest in such things will know that Just Add Sharks have released a new breakin board for replacing “standard” Leetro controllers with your own.

I produced the board to a design given to me by Martin from Just Add Sharks. The board should have been easy to knock up, but for the following reasons:

  • My preferred PCB design software is Eagle. The free version of Eagle.
  • The free version of Eagle is not for commercial use.
  • The free version of Eagle only has a board area of 100×80.

While the first reason is probably not much of a concern personally (I doubt Cadsoft will come after me for the footling amount of money I would make), the second limitation is an actual limitation.

I have previously blogged about whether to go for KiCAD or Eagle, but this job made the decision for me. KiCAD it was.

It was my first project in KiCAD, so I had a lot to learn. The main sticking point was around how libraries work, but that seems to be a common thing for new KiCAD users.

The only thing I had to actually ask about was how to hide silkscreen (or objects in general) on the PCB. Each component has a name and value on the silkscreen, but I didn’t need these things. How do I hide them? Well, the answer’s here. You toggle the visibility of the layer in the “Render” tab.

The only thing I wish I’d done was ask if I could put “PCB layout by James Fowkes” or something on the PCB. That would have been an indulgence, but a nice indulgence.

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