May 2017 21
Organization for Nuclear Research. That is the same
organization that built and runs the Large Hadron Collider.
I’ve downloaded the Mac version (that’s my preference)
and started exploring. It seems as though there are
still things that are not mature, but it has real promise.
My biggest concern is the parts library. While drawing
schematics for this column doesn’t require many different
parts, occasionally I need some unusual thing like an XLR
connector. If it’s not there, I’d have to create the part. Over
the next few weeks, I’ll be running more trials with KiCad.
You can find KiCad at http://kicad-pcb.org.
Getting back to Eagle, once I have entered the
schematic, I simply print that to PDF. This produces a
vector graphic version of the schematic. The advantage of
vector graphics is that it can be scaled to high resolution.
Vectors specify origin, direction, length, and pen type (and
a few more things).
Creating a higher resolution image from that type of
specification is just a matter of multiplying some numbers
— well, actually an affine matrix — and then creating a
raster image. The editors of Nuts & Volts can then print
them nice and large. NV
Great answers come from great questions.
Many times when you have a question about a circuit or technology, you can find lots of answers on the Internet,
but which ones are right? A surprising number of things out there are either incomplete or flat-out wrong! Just because
you click on a link and up pops a schematic that someone posted, that doesn’t make it either correct or the right circuit
for what you want to do.
The Nuts & Volts Q&A column is the way to get your questions answered and find out how to do it from a trusted
Kristen has more than 35 years of experience with circuits, software, systems, and radio. She knows both the theory
and the practical side of making things that work. There’s no question that’s too simple or too complex. Even ask her
why something does what it does.
She will do her best to give you an answer that will help you be a better hobbyist, engineer, or experimenter. Plus,
the question you send could help someone else who has a similar problem to solve.
So, take advantage of this resource and send your questions to Kristen today at Q&A@nutsvolts.com.