PCB 3.0

Table of Contents

PCB version 3.0
PCB 3.0 Download
PCB 3.0 Installation
PCB 3.0 for Windows
Description of version 3.0 Revisions
Features of PCB 3.0
PCB 3.0 Tcl/Tk Command Reference

PCB version 3.0 printed circuit board layout tool

pcb is free software for designing printed circuit board layouts. It has many features and is capable of professional-quality output. It is available for UN*X operating systems, e.g., GNU/Linux, Mac OS-X, or Cygwin under Windows. pcb was orignally written by Thomas Nau of the University of Ulm, Germany, and is now maintained by harry eaton of the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, Laurel, Maryland, USA.

PCB 3.0 is a branch of the source code modified to operate under the Tcl/Tk interpreter. Most of the coding for PCB 3.0 was done at MultiGiG, Inc., Scotts Valley, California, by Tim Edwards, Paramesh Santanam, and (working from India, courtesy of SynApps, Inc.), Nishit Patel. The code base is a departure from the original PCB in that a complete Tcl command-line API was concocted for PCB, and the GUI re-written as a Tk script. For the first cut (version 3.0), a fair bit of effort went to ensuring that the GUI looks and acts as much like the original Xlib-based version.

Here is a screen-shot of Tcl-based PCB.

PCB version 3.0 Download

File Revision Size Date
pcb-3.0.98.tgz 98 (2633KB) October 1, 2013 at 3:00am
Git source download:
The Open Circuit Design Git repository may be used for downloads of the most recent PCB source. To use the git server, do:
git clone git://opencircuitdesign.com/pcb
git checkout pcb-3.0

CVS source download:
The Open Circuit Design anonymous CVS repository may be used for downloads of the most recent PCB source. To use the anonymous CVS, do:
cvs -d :pserver:anonymous@opencircuitdesign.com:/usr/cvsroot login
The anonymous CVS password is "anoncvs ".

After logging in, check out the PCB source with:

cvs -d :pserver:anonymous@opencircuitdesign.com:/usr/cvsroot checkout pcb-3.0
The module name is "pcb"; this module name may be used in place of the name "pcb-3.0" above.

Compiling and Installing PCB version 3.0

PCB 3.0 is beta code. Compiled normally (i.e., without the Tcl interface), it should compile and run like the long-standing standard versions 1.6 (beta) and 1.7 (alpha).

The Tcl/Tk-based version of PCB compiles and runs by default.

The compilation procedure should be immediately recognizable to anyone familiar with GNU autoconf:

make install

PCB version 3.0 for Windows

(to be done)

Revision information on PCB version 3.0


Photo Gallery!

Tcl/Tk Command Reference

Version 3.0 of PCB can be compiled as an extension of the Tcl/Tk interpreter, in which case every capability of PCB (at least, every one that we have thought of so far) is a Tcl command-line command. The GUI is built from a Tk script which executes these commands as callback functions from the menu items. The key macro and mouse button interface basically bypasses the interpreter and is unaffected.

For now, the list of Tcl command-line commands for PCB is in a text file: commands_sorted.txt. Hopefully I can get around to organizing and beautifying the list, and checking for correctness.

For questions regarding the Tcl/Tk-based branch of PCB, please contact: tim@opencircuitdesign.com
For questions regarding the original PCB code, please contact: harry.eaton@jhuapl.edu

Last updated: May 7, 2019 at 9:06am