ing schematics and ExpressPCB for
creating printed circuit board diagrams that can be sent to ExpressPCB
for actual production of your custom-designed printed circuit boards.
ExpressSCH includes the basic
drawing tools you would expect plus
an extensive library of pre-built
components. Once you’ve snapped a
component to a wire, the two parts
will stay snapped together as you
move either of them around the
diagram. One of the features I liked
best was the ability to create my own
custom components on-the-fly (like
the SPNO solenoid in Figure 1) and
save them to the library for future
re-use. I can also share these components with other ExpressSCH users.
This program was actually created
as a pre-processor for creating
complex circuit board diagrams in
ExpressPCB, but I can see no reason
not to use it to satisfy my simpler need
for basic circuit and wiring schematics.
And if any of my projects evolve to
require a custom PCB, I’ll already have
the tools I need!
There were a few features that
could be improved:
1) Component alignment tools. The
user can snap the components to a
grid, but this can be tedious.
2) Multiple “Undo.” The current
version limits the user to undoing a
single previous command.
3) Colorful components! In the current
version of ExpressSCH, to paraphrase
Henry Ford, “The customer can have
any color component he wants, so
long as it’s black!” Actually, the user
has some control over the general
color scheme, but all the components
and wires have to be the same color.
ExpressSCH is an easy-to-use tool
that ought to be in every robot-builder’s
toolkit — and best of all, it is FREE! SV
Jay and Valerie Johnson are Big Bang Robotics and
have been designing, building, and fighting combat
robots since 2001.
ExpressPCB — www.expresspcb.com
Big Bang Robotics — www.bigbang
UPCOMING — September and October
Robothon Robot Combat 2007
will be presented by Western
Allied Robotics in Seattle, WA on
9/22/2007 at the Seattle Center's
Center House. Classes will be 3 lb
and 12 lb bots, using a double
elimination or round robin format,
following RFL Rules. No ICE or open
flames. Entry Fee: $40 for first 12 lb
robot. $25 for First 3 lb robot.
Additional robots are half price. Entry
fee discount for helping with arena
setup and take-down. Special entry
fee considerations for builders who
are under 18. Arena: 12 x 12 with
18” x 18” pit surrounded by 2” high
wall making it very difficult to
accidentally drive into it. Visit www.
Franklin Institute Robotic Conflict
will be presented by North East
Robotics Club in Philadelphia, PA on
Museum & NERC have teamed up to
host a 12 lb, 30 lb, and 30 lb
Sportman’s class event. Matches will
take place in a 16’ x 16’ wooden
floored arena. Registration closes on
9/17. Visit www.nerc.us.
will be presented by
Bots in Gilroy, CA on 10/27/2007.
This is open to Flea weights, Ant
weights, and Beetle weights. There
will also be a bot costume contest —
that’s right — you have to put a
costume on your fighting bot. The
costume contest will take place during
a break in fighting and the audience
will decide the winner. There will be
prizes for the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place
bot costume winners. Held at Gilroy
Hobby. Weigh-in starts at 10:00 AM
and fighting starts around Noon. The
entry fee will be $20 per fighting bot
with prizes for 1st , 2nd, and 3rd place
in each fighting weight class. For fight
rules, go to www.calbugs.com.
Robots Live! Hemel Hempstead,
9/1-2/2007. Event Location:
Sportspace Hemel Hempstead, Park
Road, Hemel Hempstead. Visit
UK Antweight Championships,
9/8/2007 in Luton Bedfordshire.
Event will host competitions in the
Flea (25-75g) division, Ant (75-150g),
and SuperAnt (150-250g) division.
Competition will be double elimination.
Roaming Robots Winter Tour
Round 1 — Doncaster,
9/15/2007 at The Dome, Doncaster
Leisure Park, Bawtry Road,
Doncaster, South Yorkshire. Visit
Roaming Robots Winter Tour
Round 2 — Portsmouth, 10/6-
7/2007 at the Mountbatten Centre,
Alexandra Park, Twyford Avenue,
Portsmouth. Visit www.roaming
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