Designing a circuit with (Pt 1)

As an electronics hobbyist, I have always wanted to design and make my very own PCBs (Printed Circuit Boards), now traditionally this would have involved lots of nasty chemicals, printing, laminating, ironing and developing with success never guaranteed. But now you can design your very own high-quality circuit boards from the comfort of your own web browser and for free with and have them made professionally for mere dollars by JLCPCB!

Anyway, in this post I outline the basics of designing a simple circuit schematic and PCB using, a web-based schematic/PCB editor from the JLCPCB/LCSC family of websites. While the app is probably not as advanced as packages such as KiCad, Eagle or Altium, I believe it provides a great start for the novice designer or hobbyist. Having used both EasyEDA and JLCPCB myself, I feel I can definitely recommend them.

Creating the new project schematic

Before I can start designing my PCB I have to first create a schematic (and a working prototype of course) So, having logged in to EasyEDA, I create a new project from the home screen and click the ‘create project’ button.

You can pan around the schematic by holding right click and dragging the mouse. Use the scroll wheel to zoom in/out.

Placing my first components

I started by placing a L7805 voltage regulator from the components list on the left panel. Scrolling down I selected the L7805 and left-clicked onto the schmatic canvas. You can place multiples of the same component by continuing to left-click. To cancel placing components, right-click the schematic canvas.

Adding a voltage regulator to the schematic

Changing component values

The capacitor I placed shows a value of ‘1u’ or 1 microfarad, which is not the value I want. To change the value, left click the capacitor symbol and change the value in the pane on the right of the screen, in my case 100u or 100 microfarads.

Wiring my components together, adding some power

A schematic doesn’t just describe the components in a circuit, it should also show how they’re connected together! From the ‘Wiring Tools’ toolbox, click the ‘Wire’ icon, you’re now able to create connections. Hover the mouse pointer over a component pin then left-click. Carefully move the pointer across to where you want it to connect to and click again, the wire will be connected between the two pins of the two components. Right click the final connection pooint to cancel wire mode. If you need to create a path for the wire, use left-click to create junctions, but do try to keep all connections as straight and short as possible.

Changing component footprints