Designing Circuit Boards with No Circuit Knowledge

In summary, the conversation discusses the idea of using a computer program to design circuit boards without any prior knowledge of circuits. The participants share their thoughts, with one suggesting that designing circuits requires understanding and knowledge, and another recommending a BASIC Stamp Programming Kit as an easy approach for beginners. The use of CAD programs and simulators are also mentioned, but it is emphasized that they do not design circuits for the user and require some level of understanding of electronics. Ultimately, it is recommended to learn electronics in order to design circuits effectively.
  • #1
Serj
94
0
Is there a program for designing circuit boards that does not require knowledge of circuits? Were you can just specify what you want the circuit to do and the program designs the circuit board for you.
 
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  • #2
How would you specify what the circuit should do with no knowledge of circuits? Or put another way, what should the input to this program look like?
 
  • #3
It's hard to explain so i'll just give you a scenario.
You want a chip to run an electric motor for 10 rotations then stop. There is a small generater hooked up to the motor that produces a certain number of volts when the motor turns one rotaion. You tell the program you want current to flow through wires leading out of the chip (to the motor) until the chip receives a certain amount of current (from the generator). Then the computer designs the chip.
 
  • #4
Generators don't work like that, they are not water pumps.

If you want 10 revolutions you could implement a cam on the shaft and a microswitch that would feed into a 4017 decade counter and have it stop the output. The output could be controlled by a simple 555 chip. The output could be controlled by a simple transistor. A couple small caps and resistors and you have a circuit that would work with a tiny motor for $1.

There are countless other ways to do it too. Understanding how to design the circuit is part of the fun. If its a neat project you should be able to find someone in an EE program at a local university who would be willing to help out.
 
  • #5
than you, and yes it would be fun. But I'm only one person and it would take a very long time to design a more complex chip. That's why I was really hoping there would be a program for it.
 
  • #6
1) You're never going to be designing chips on a hobbyist budget. Integrated circuits are fantastically expensive when you're only making one or two units.

2) There are no computer programs which can understand input as vague as your description. If you cannot design the circuit, you will need a sentient engineer to design it for you.

3) Your completed circuit will most likely be composed of a number of commercially-available chips wired together.

- Warren
 
  • #7
what is the easiest program for designing circuits?
 
  • #8
Your brain is the principal instrument for designing circuits. For a circuit as simple as yours, there's no reason to use a computer program at all. It would take you longer to learn to use a CAD program than to just design the circuit by hand.

First, you'll need to find integrated circuits which do various jobs (like the 555, which is a timer), and read their datasheets to understand how they work. Then, you'll have to put a circuit together on a breadboard and see if it works.

Honestly, if you're looking for a magic bullet which will allow you to design circuits without ever learning any electronics -- good luck. There's a reason it takes years to become an electrical engineer, and there's no shortcut. What you're asking is similar to saying "I'd like to be a virtuoso on the violin, but I really don't like practicing. Can anyone give me a violin that just plays itself?"

- Warren
 
  • #9
That was just an example. I want to make cicruits far more complicated. Which is why I need a fancy program to help me do it.

What does CAD do?Can it do some of the calcuations for me?or atleast make the task easier?

They do have player pianos.
 
  • #10
The absolutely EASIEST approach to your problem (for you) is to buy a BASIC Stamp Programming Kit manufactured by Parallax. This is basically a standardized and simplified microcontroller interface intended for educational and hobbyist uses.

There is an entire chapter devoted to exactly what you are talking about; i.e. motor controllers. Infact, rotating a motor is as easy as typing in "Rotate Motor 10 times". Middle-schoolers can use them.

The kits go for about $80 and are even available at Radioshack.
 
  • #11
CAD (computer-aided design) programs help the designer by automatically checking for design errors, by making errors easier to see and correct, and by doing all the drudgery of drawing thousands of lines from device to device.

The programs don't help you design, however, they simply help you implement a design. You actually need more knowledge of circuits to use a sophisticated CAD program than you do to just design one by hand. They are not "automatic design" tools in any respect.

To give you an example, CAD programs will help you implement a circuit using a 555 timer IC. They will not, however, allow you to design with one without even knowing what one is.

The kind of electronics you're talking about designing are well within the grasp of a hobbyist with only a modicum of electronics knowledge. You really ought to just learn some electronics.

- Warren
 
  • #12
You can do reasonable simluations using something like SPICE. But you will need a good grasp of the concepts first.
 
  • #13
SPICE is a fine simulator, but it won't design anything for you -- the best it will do is help you refine a design. If you don't know what a 555 timer is, it's not going to suggest one for you.

- Warren
 

1. What is the purpose of designing circuit boards with no circuit knowledge?

The purpose of designing circuit boards with no circuit knowledge is to provide a user-friendly platform for individuals with little to no experience in circuit design to create their own functioning circuit boards.

2. Do I need any prior knowledge or experience in circuit design to use this platform?

No, this platform is designed for individuals with no prior knowledge or experience in circuit design. It provides step-by-step guidance and user-friendly tools to guide you through the process.

3. What kind of circuit boards can be designed using this platform?

This platform allows users to design a variety of circuit boards, including simple circuits for basic electronics projects, as well as more complex circuits for advanced projects.

4. Can I test my circuit board design before creating a physical prototype?

Yes, this platform offers virtual simulation tools that allow you to test your circuit board design before creating a physical prototype. This can save time and resources in the design process.

5. Are there any limitations to designing circuit boards with no circuit knowledge?

While this platform is designed to be user-friendly and accessible for beginners, it may not have the advanced features and capabilities that a professional circuit designer would utilize. It is best suited for simple to moderately complex circuit designs.

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