1.4 Organization of This Book
This book is structured so that the material proceeds from the simple to the complex and from the fundamentally important to the esoteric. More specifically, the chapters in this book can be divided into five parts, each of which focuses on a different task or aspect of EAGLE.
Part I: Preliminary Introduction
The first part of this book provides essential information for readers new to circuit board design and EAGLE. Chapter 2, “An Overview of Circuit Boards and EAGLE Design,” explains what circuit boards are and how they’re manufactured, thereby establishing the vocabulary that will be used throughout this book. It also explains the overall circuit board design process with EAGLE.
Chapter 3, “Designing a Simple Circuit,” expands on this introduction and walks through the schematic design and board design for a simple amplifier circuit. This circuit isn’t intended to be manufactured, but the design process will be helpful to inexperienced readers.
Part II: Designing the Arduino Femtoduino
The second and largest part of this book centers on designing an Arduino Femtoduino. The Arduino family of circuit boards enjoys a great deal of popularity among amateurs and professionals, and Chapters 4 through 7 explain how to design one for yourself. Chapter 4, “Designing the Femtoduino Schematic,” explains how to create the schematic and Chapter 5, “Layout and Design Rules,” explains how to position the packages in the board editor.
Chapter 6, “Routing,” discusses the process of design rule checking and shows how to route the connections on the Arduino Femtoduino. Lastly, Chapter 7, “Generating and Submitting Output Files,” presents the Computer Aided Manufacturing (CAM) processor and explains how to generate the final artwork files for the Femtoduino. It also presents five different fabrication services that accept these files and deliver finished circuit boards.
Part III: Advanced Capabilities
The next part of the book covers two topics that go beyond regular schematic/board design. Chapter 8, “Creating Libraries and Components,” explains how to create custom components for EAGLE and walks through two designs. The first creates a symbol and package for a through-hole component and the second creates a symbol and package for a surface-mount component.
Chapter 9, “Simulating Circuits with LTspice,” delves into one of EAGLE’s newest and most interesting features: circuit simulation with LTspice. LTspice is a freely downloadable simulation tool that makes it possible to draw circuits, assign inputs, and simulate the circuit’s operation. By combining EAGLE and LTspice, designers can test a design before sending it out for fabrication.
Part IV: Automating EAGLE
The fourth part of this book focuses on automating EAGLE using scripts and program files. Chapter 10, “Editor Commands,” presents the EAGLE command language, which executes design operations in text. For example, the add command adds a new component to a schematic or board design, and the auto command launches the autorouter.
Chapters 11 through 13 explain how to write User Language programs (ULPs), which make it possible to examine circuit designs automatically. These chapters provide many useful examples that can simplify EAGLE usage and reduce time associated with the design process.
Part V: The BeagleBone Black
The last two chapters of this book focus on designing the BeagleBone Black. This advanced circuit board has six layers and hundreds of components, some of which have high-density ball grid array (BGA) pins. Though difficult to design, the BeagleBone Black has gained a significant following among programmers because of its extraordinary amount of computing power.
Example File Archive
All the designs, programs, and support files discussed in this book are freely available online. The archive is called eagle-book.zip and it can be downloaded from http://eagle-book.com.