Top positive review
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Excellent but becoming dated
on 19 January 2013
At some point I guess most electronics hobby folk want to prepare something better than point-to-point circuits so a PCB is in order. But then there's the proliferation of finding a PCB design software package which suits the pocket, that has a good bunch of features and is easy to use.
I have had a piece of such software (currently being used in Everyday Electronics) but found the library of components too limited. As I'm into micro-controllers I get a fair few bits from state-side (aka Sparkfun or Parallax). These guys use Eagle which has a free to use full package apart from limiting layers and board size. So I gave it a try and even following the Eagle getting started guide was finding it a little uphill.
This book is well structured and guided at a good pace between too much explanation and too jumpy. I could not get the example files on the included CDROM to open with my version of Eagle - but that really isn't a hindrance. It is probable time for an updated edition to be printed.
It pays to have the Eagle software running alongside the working your way through the book. Albeit a simple PCB design but I made a schematic PIC circuit with power supply regulator, crystal and capacitors in an evening (aka couple of hours). I got used to ripping up tracks and relaying them; working out which layers information was on. In the end I had a PCB design ready for printing. Sure - my pcb design certainly isn't professional but it would work.
I am still working my way through the book but m at a stage where I would rather spend an evening creating a schematic and pcb layout than tabulate all the ICs, R, C display pins and the cross connections; get the iron hot ....
I feel the book is at a good price point even though the CDROM seems unusable for Win7. It certainly gave me a guided route up the learning curve. The only shame is the book isn't so well known!