online design sites

A project log for Over-engineered LED strip controller

Way too much stuff to light my garage MY way.

WJCarpenterWJCarpenter 08/19/2017 at 21:290 Comments

Despite the fact that I was once a software guy working on a tiny piece of a gigantic in-house EDA suite, I've never really spent any time designing something in a real EDA environment. So, prompted by 's series, I set out on a quest to do that. My plan was to limit myself to the online EDA tools for now.

I started at and got about half-way through the schematic. I became unhappy with it for reasons that I now honestly cannot remember. I think I was having trouble finding things in the parts library or something.

Anyhow, I started over at Maybe if I were a practicing EE things would be a lot more clear, but I found it fairly difficult to grasp all the "easy" things they were trying to tell me. It doesn't help that there are many busted help links. It was painful, but I stuck with it and actually got all the way done with the schematic. That included making a schematic symbotl for a D-duino-32 V2 (, more about that in a separate log post). 

Now comes the time to push a button and get a PCB layout. A couple of my schematic parts don't have footprints. That's when it became pretty frustrating. There is an editor for making PCB footprints, and I know the exact size of the D-Duino-32.  It's mostly a rectangle with rounded corners. I wasted a lot of time trying to just get the rectangle part with the correct dimensions. I don't mean the correct dimensions plus-or-minus a few tenths of a millimeter. It would have been awesome to have a property sheet so I could just type the numbers, but I had to (try to) do it tediously with a drawing tool. Maybe there is a way to do this that is a whole lot easier, but I refer you to my previous comment about busted help links.

I plan to check out one more site ( If that doesn't fill me with bliss, I'll probably go back to