Valvers Open Hardware projects are developed with Open-Source Software.

Hardware Development

Schematic capture and PCB Layout are both taken care of by the truely excellent KiCad open-source PCB Design software. It’s worth looking at the official KiCad Home to see what KiCad is all about if you’ve not heard of it before. KiCad is available for Windows and Linux. It has been known to run on Mac, but I wouldn’t say it is maintained on Mac.

As KiCad is developed rather aggressively, it’s worth keeping up-to-date and running somewhere close to the latest version. The improvements that are coming with new file formats and the plugin architecture are more than worth the pain of using a very new version of the software. If you’re running Linux you can use Adam Wolf’s PPA to keep up-to-date. Otherwise if you’re on Windows you can build the latest testing versions yourself using the KiCad-WinBuilder script that I put together.

Using KiCad for Valvers Open Hardware Projects

Valvers open-hardware projects are under version control. The projects are hosted on Launchpad. Hardware projects require the Schematic and PCB project, but also depend on Schematic Symbols and PCB Footprints (or in KiCad terminology Modules). Therefore you’ll need to branch the main project and then branch the PCB Libraries project as a sub-directory.

To get the Valvers PCB Libraries project use:

[source]bzr co lp:valvers-pcb-libraries[/source]



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