I am trying to build an Arduino-controlled blimp and am in need of a very basic PCB. I am trying to learn EagleCAD to create a PCB that does the following:

  • Interfaces with the Arduino Fio: on the Fio, I have female Swiss machine pins soldered into all holes except the FTDI holes, where there are male pins. The PCB should have mount holes where I could solder in matching male Swiss machine pins, even though I won't be using all of them.
  • Uses this TB6612FNG Motor Driver 1A. I have male Swiss machine pins soldered onto this already.
  • Has 3 pins to plug in a servo.
  • The PCB itself should be 1.5"x2", with mount holes in the corners. I'll use standoffs here to attach to the rest of my vehicle.

The PCB is essentially nothing but traces and holes to solder in pins.

I guess some general guidelines or a "getting-started" type of tutorial would be nice, but I know this isn't really conducive to the SE system. I don't need to lay down parts in EagleCad like I said, it's literally just wires running to pads so I can solder in the right pins. But some tangible questions I do have:

  • What component would pin headers be under? How do I specify a specific number of pins for those headers?
  • I know the spacing on the TB6612FNG part linked above is 0.1" spacing per hole, and based on the EagleCad diagram it looks like it's 0.6" from row to row. Without creating this part from scratch, can I just specify that pads should be 0.1" apart and the rows 0.6" apart when creating the physical diagram?

Finally, I should note that I'm using the SparkFun parts library from their tutorial site; this library contains every single part SparkFun offers.

  • \$\begingroup\$ EasyEDA is easier to use and great for beginners. Also, Great Scott has a great video telling how to use it. \$\endgroup\$
    – Randomaker
    Commented May 13, 2021 at 12:41

1 Answer 1


Generic pin headers are in the "pinhead" library. For something like the breakout board with multiple rows of headers, you can just place them in the proper locations on the board layout.

That said, do you even need to create a PCB? Since everything is on .100 inch centers, you could just get a protoboard, and solder your connectors on with point-to-point wiring.

If you want to go to the trouble and expense of making a proper PCB, you may want to consider starting from the Fio design files and integrating the motor driver on-board. The connections will be more secure, and you will save the mass of the extra PCB.

  • \$\begingroup\$ I do have a protoboard (in fact, one from Radio Shack like you linked) and soldering/wirewrapping it to get it all right is a major pain. We'd like the H-bridge to be removable and not necessarily stuck on a particular vehicle. Plus it seems like a nice way to start learning how to use EagleCad. My plan was to etch the board at home; dunno how easy it would be to do it double-sided if I wanted to start from the Fio design. \$\endgroup\$
    – Dang Khoa
    Commented Sep 27, 2011 at 5:02
  • \$\begingroup\$ Ah. I had assumed you were going to order boards online. Double sided boards are possible at home, but naturally are more challenging than single sided. The Fio design would not be a very friendly introduction to the DIY etching process, given the difficulty of achieving the needed tight tolerances, plated holes, and solder mask at home. \$\endgroup\$
    – Theran
    Commented Sep 28, 2011 at 4:02

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