Posts Tagged ‘pcb’

We have oscillation! Buffered VCO from Experimental Methods in RF Design


To begin playing with RF I need a signal source, so I built a buffered VCO from Experimental Methods in RF Design[1]. It took a few tries to get a barely functional toner transfer with my clothes iron, so I’m thinking of using UV next time.


I’ll have to look into that saturation at the top of the signal. Also the tuning range is quite narrow (the original design tuned over 50kHz), but I’ll know for sure once I finish the analog front end for my frequency counter.

[1]W. H. Hayward, R. Campbell, and B. Larkin, Experimental Methods in RF Design, Revised 1st Edition edition. Newington, CT: Amer Radio Relay League, 2009.

Automatically place footprints to match schematic in Kicad


When you first start Kicad’s PCB editor pcbnew and read a netlist, all of the components are piled up in one place. I wrote a script that takes the schematic and pcb files and moves the footprints to match their placement in the schematic. This is a nicer starting point to route your PCB. To run it, just download the script and drag your project into the script icon (more detailed instructions in the link above).

schematic pcb

You do need to open pcbnew and read the netlist in order to generate the initial .kicad-pcb file.