BirdStone Sound Project Design Tools
The BirdStone Sound Project uses a basic set of design tools for our projects. These design tools are available to any, and every, one at no cost.
We are using open source software when it is available. Sometimes we will make special exceptions to that preference, but for the most part, open source choices are still available.
It goes without saying, but this is the first item on the list. It is totally free, and available to you anytime and anyplace.
CADSoft EAGLE - Visit Site
This is one of our choices which is not open source. But, there is a free version availalbe. Eagle is the industry standard PCB design choice. This is the reason we choose to use it. When you decide to submit your design for manufacture at a board house, most every one of them will accept designs created in EAGLE. They will many times, also have a design rule file available to download which can be used in EAGLE to ensure that your design adheres to their manufacturing rules. Your designs can also be exported out of EAGLE and used to create your own boards by whatever etching method you choose.
To modify any of our designs after downloading them, you will need to use EAGLE. If you don't already have it, download it, and become at least basically familiar with it.
Arduino IDE - Visit Site
If you dabble in electronics, as a hobby or profession, you should be aware of Arduino. Arduino is an open source hardware prototyping development environment. When we design a project which requires digital control on I/O, we use Arduino based programming to accomplish that task. There is a myriad of Arduino tutorials available online, and the Arduino website has a great deal of good information with it.
To modify any of our control code, you will need the Arduino IDE software.
TinyCAD - Visit Site
TinyCAD is our program of choice for drawing schematics. Although, EAGLE has the ability to draw schematics, the schematic used to create our PCBs doesn't necessarily match the entire schematic for the project. For example, certain components will not be placed on the circuit board and there will only be connections on the circuit board, therefore you may not necessarily need all of the components listed on the schematic. This can be especially true if you are producing multiple boards for a single project. So, the board schematic and the overall project schematic can, and sometimes are, drastically different.
To modify any of our schematic files, you will need TinyCAD. In our project file bundle, there will be a PDF copy of the schematic as well as an editable copy of the schematic in TinyCAD format.
Adobe Acrobat Reader - Visit Site
You probably already have this software. If you don't, go ahead and get it because you need it for much much more than our project files. If you don't have it you've almost certainly heard of it.
To view documentation in our project bundles, you will need Adobe Acrobat Reader