AKA - The Frequency Marker Project


One of the biggest hurdles for any DIY pcb projects is the complicated learning and operating procedure of the CAD programs that are used to draw the art with.
This is not so bad when the board is big and complicated which justifies the time and effort in the design stage , but what about a simple circuit of say , 5 to 20 components. ?
It is with small circuits that CAD become a big waste of time , you spend more time on the computer than making the board and installing the parts .... it's very annoying.

The other day (2006?) I had the necessity to build a small crystal controlled frequency marker.
It is a simple circuit to make , especially as it has a low parts count and no inductors to wind.

Thinking about the artwork I decided to try a shortcut in the usually complicated process with an alternative to the normal way I make the board artwork --  it went like this.

Firstly I grabbed some 5mm grid drawing paper and following the schematic worked out where I wanted the copper tracks to be placed.
I drew it at double size to make it easy as most components have leg spacings in multiples of 2.54mm.
After I was happy with what I had drawn I took a picture of it with my digital camera.
Almost any digital camera can be used but it is better if it has a good macro setting.






Following uploading it into my computer and downsizing it a little bit to about the size that you see here , which makes it easier to work , with I started to color in the shaded track areas with blocks of black.
These blocks are made with the rectangle select tool that is found in most simple ¨paint¨ type computer programs.
Round pads can be colored up by filling circles in a similar manner.
I didn't need to do any freehand drawing , although that too is easy if required.