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Re: Noddy Keyboard Almost

Posted: Sun Oct 11, 2020 2:11 pm
by Derek_Stewart
Hi,

The freeRoute application is a Java file and needs the Java runtimes installed.

If this is not installed you can run the Java file: freeRoute.jar

Re: Noddy Keyboard Almost

Posted: Sun Oct 11, 2020 2:40 pm
by Ruptor
Derek_Stewart wrote:The freeRoute application is a Java file and needs the Java runtimes installed.If this is not installed you can run the Java file: freeRoute.jar
I loaded Synapse so I can use the GUI for package manipulation and searched for jre that showed it was not loaded so I installed it. Now I can run the .jar file where the java open option didn't exist before and have kicked off the autorouter :) however the layout editor software is still dead but who cares. :roll:
Thanks for your help. :)
Update: After 25 mins it finished with 38 vias but that run was just to check everything would actually work now I can look at the track widths, spacing, switch & connector orientations to get a better result. :)
I checked the switch I bought behind the rubber keyboard and even in the odd positions where it is pushed indirectly like space bar and enter keys it seems to work. The problem is not so much the force, where I feared the rubber membrane would collapse, it is more that the travel to press the switch is greater. An extra 1 or 2 mm on top of the switch even pressing against the rubber pad would make it pretty good and better than expected for my noddy keyboard. A lighter or squidgy switch would be even better and make it like a normal keyboard.
I have put the 9 & 11 pin connectors end to end on the side overhang instead of where the membrane ribbons came from at the top thinking I can use wires and take a loom around the bottom to the PCB connectors. Can you see any problems with that approach?

Re: Noddy Keyboard Almost

Posted: Sun Oct 11, 2020 5:05 pm
by NormanDunbar
Ruptor wrote:
tofro wrote:Your user name is a bad choice - it should be "rantor", not "ruptor" ;)

Not sure if your comment is nasty or joke sarcastic, perhaps you should be more explicit.


We are all nice here, we don't do nasty.

Sadly, the spoken word with it's inflection and nuances doesn't "port" well to the written word. I once worked in a software house where the Development Manager sent an email out to all developers (programmers as we called ourselves) it was entirely innocent, but 99% of the developers hit the effing roof! They took it completely the wrong way. The Dev Manager apologised for any misunderstanding and took everyone out for a decent meal and drinks at his own expense to apologise.

I've always tried since then, to ensure that nothing I say can be misconstrued (especially in texts or emails to my wife!) just in case. The problem is, what I think is completely innocent, someone else can be completely offended by.

HTH

PS. If anyone does get nasty - they get moderated. Which means I get to "rant and rave" - which happens also to be the title of my blog! :D


Cheers,
Norm.

Re: Noddy Keyboard Almost

Posted: Sun Oct 11, 2020 7:39 pm
by Peter
Ruptor wrote:Maybe it will come from Kicad eventually I am just not patient enough and can't afford the £10K or what ever it costs now from the commercial lot.

Almost no professional would still buy an autorouter today. There were times when autorouters had a some usage in the industry, but there was a massive decline, and the time of autorouters is practically over. Even for expensive CAD packages, autorouters are no longer promoted. More modern trends are better support for manual routing, e.g. improved "push and shove" functions to automatically move adjacent tracks, better high frequency support, etc.

Re: Noddy Keyboard Almost

Posted: Sun Oct 11, 2020 8:04 pm
by tofro
Ruptor wrote:
tofro wrote:Your user name is a bad choice - it should be "rantor", not "ruptor" ;)
FYI I was going to use Disruptor because I can disrupt pathogens successfully but decided on Ruptor because I didn't want to Dis myself. :lol:
Not sure if your comment is nasty or joke sarcastic, perhaps you should be more explicit. I won't bother posting any of my thoughts, trials or tribulations so what shall I post I ask myself. :?


Neither nasty nor sarcastic - just trying to be funny. Apologies if that wasn't clear.

(I was under the - maybe false - assumption that only Norm was allowed rants here ;) )

Tobias

Re: Noddy Keyboard Almost

Posted: Sun Oct 11, 2020 11:51 pm
by Ruptor
tofro wrote:Neither nasty nor sarcastic - just trying to be funny. Apologies if that wasn't clear.
(I was under the - maybe false - assumption that only Norm was allowed rants here ;) )
Perhaps if I had read it tomorrow I would have interpreted it differently and I don't see why any old fart can't be grumpy but perhaps not post the thoughts. :shock:
Vutrax was one of the companies being considered for an upgrade of the CAD house systems from memory still in business here but it looks cheaper now
http://www.vutrax.co.uk/pricing.htm
Attached is my chuck it and see what comes out autoroute that took 25 minutes. 8-)
I think having the connector on the side should work quite well with wires soldered directly in to the board and a loom to the two motherboard thin pcb connectors. Another idea was to use the 0.1" ribbon as on the microdrives soldered to the keyboard and poke stripped ends in to the motherboard connectors. My thinking is they are very stiff so might act as one piece but I prefer the simple individual wire method soldered to a filed thin Veroboard for each motherboard plug to hold the contact points in position rather than the ribbon stiffness.

Re: Noddy Keyboard Almost

Posted: Mon Oct 12, 2020 11:04 pm
by Dave
I will not use an auto-router. They don't understand the special requirements of routing against other signals, as they don't have a notion of the types of signals being carried beyond "power" "logic" etc. so they only route "technically correct" boards.

Now, what was this thread about again? :)

Re: Noddy Keyboard Almost

Posted: Sat Oct 17, 2020 10:54 am
by Ruptor
I am still learning how to get the best results out of Kicad. I put the mounting holes in to the above PCB at the rat nest stage and set different track defaults but Freeroute doesn't seem to see them or that is my impression because they are not visible and missing after importing the SES file. Something is different because the routing has a different via count that I assumed was due to the extra constraints but I am not sure. :? An autorouter that strips out the mounting holes is not a lot of use. Even if the holes didn't get transferred the pads on the copper layers should have. Since I don't have a clue why this happens it looks like I will end up hand routing the rat nest with mounting holes. :roll:
Have you done your cherry switch PCB Derek?

Re: Noddy Keyboard Almost

Posted: Sat Oct 17, 2020 4:13 pm
by Derek_Stewart
Ruptor wrote:Have you done your cherry switch PCB Derek?

I have done the schematic and PCB files, just need to route the tracks in the PCB file.

I tried freeRoute, which does the job, but I am having to alter the routing..Probably better to do the routing manually.

I have to check the dimensional positions of the switches.

This keyboard would require alteration of the QL case, probably a replacement for the Schon Keyboard.

I just need to replace the switch footprint to a microswitch to produce a keyboard that can be used without any case changes.

Do still a little work to do.

Re: Noddy Keyboard Almost

Posted: Sun Oct 18, 2020 1:37 pm
by Ruptor
A question about the existing membrane. Is it correct that vias are not required on a pcb because the original membrane has none and is on two layers or am I missing something? :? I suppose the membrane switches span the layers and that might be the answer.
Update: I just realise that since I have opted to use individual wires from the keyboard I can move the pins on the 9 & 11 way connectors about to get the optimum routing and reduce the via count. :)