Archive for March 2012

We have been working towards improving the modgen to the best of usability and features.
Today we have made a major milestone release with lots of capabilities and features in store.
Default screen for modgen
The following is a brief of what feature enhancements that have been made in this release:

  • Package generation now supported for SIP,DIP,CONN and QUAD
  • Automatic Name and Description generation for SIP connectors (Berg headers)
  • Picture based description of parameters for each package
  • DIP type - can be used to make both SMD as well as through hole packages eg. PDIP,SOIC,SSOP,TSSOP,MSOP,SOT23-6
  • CONN type - can be used to make dual row header and SMD board to board connectors also
  • QUAD type can be used to make QFP,QFN and rectangular packages
  • In the QUAD mode the rectangular packages such as CSP,LLCP types generally found in accelerometers can now be generated.
  • Automatic GUI adjustments as per the Package have been enabled
  • Converter Feature to help Mil to mm and viz. conversion
  • Support for Locking type SIP header generation

At present the unit scope for the software is 'mil' reason being Kicad encodes and stores, the co-ordinate and size data in 10s of Mils and hence we re also following the same. The only dependency we found was that this software needs Python 2.7 or higher.

Github: https://github.com/AdharLabs/Kicad-tools/tree/master/modgen

Your suggestions are welcome. We are still trying out some more features that might make this tool even better.

Here is a wish list:

  • Integration of Libgen to help in adding the PCB Package association using Footprint wildcards in the library symbols that are generated.
  • Optional multi package support for single Schematics library symbol
  • Automatic Description and Keyword generation for all the Packages supported in modgen
  • IPC-7351 standard footprint generation
  • Packages for Mechanical Holes, Testpoints, Fiducials, SOT23-3, and other Passive packages


We have developed a GUI based module generator for Kicad PCBnew tool in Python using Tkinter.
UPDATE: New Features(24-03-2012)!!

This tool support generation of Berg Stick connector called the Single Inline Package(SIP). The units supported are Mil. We plan to include the support for MM units. This tool also supports the famous "Sparkfun Locking" Trick for the connectors. The files generated have an .emp extension so that they can be imported into the Module Editor easily.

The code is available in GitHub:
https://github.com/AdharLabs/Kicad-tools/tree/master/modgen

We are still in process of completing the tutorial for this tool although its more or less self explanatory.
There are several features that need to be included and here is a to do list:
- Add mm units support
- Add picture for each footprint type
- Add support for Dual Row Connector and DIP packages
- Add support for QFP packages

Let us know your suggestions.

OpenSource Furniture

Monday, March 12, 2012
SketchChair is an open source software to prepare Laser cut furniture designs.
The Ponoko service can be used to manufacture these designs. In fact any laser cutting service can be used. The furniture designed in this software uses the jigsaw fixing technique in which pieces of planar components are fitted orthogonally to make a strong but light weight fixture. Have a look at the collection already prepared furniture:
For more info checkout - http://diatom.cc/sketchchair

Radioactive Orchestra by Isotopes

Sunday, March 11, 2012
Ionizing radiations transformed into music.
These radiations are emitted by naturally occurring isotopes such as C-14 in Human Body. Whey these isotopes decay to attain stable nuclear configurations they emit Xrays, Alpa/Beta particles or even gama rays. The frequency of this type of ionizing radiation when scaled down to audible range can be transformed into music. The periodicity can be transformed into tones and you have an song being performed by a bunch of them.
Checkout the Radioactive Orchestra online by selecting your favorite isotopes you can make your own song.

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