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Robo Pi
(@robo-pi)
Robotics Engineer Moderator
Joined: 1 year ago
Posts: 1767
2020-02-20 7:48 am  

I finally finished a very short 8 minute video.   It's just the beginning of a KiCad instructional series that will most likely require a whole series of videos each one being from 30 minutes to an hour long.  I've just published this one to get some feedback on sound and video qualify.  Please give me some feedback on whether the qualify of this video is something you might find acceptable.

In the final video I plan on having an actual introduction with me talking into a camera explaining what the video will be about.  But then I'll move on to having a lot of screen capture instructions as shown in this test example.  This test video jumps straight into a screen capture KiCad tutorial. 

I'm also working on learning how to capture just the KiCad program screen instead of the entire computer screen as I did in this video.  I'm currently using Vokoscreen as my screen capture app.  I have limited computer power so there are limits to what kind of software I can use.   I also felt that it would be better not to bother trying to record my face as a video inset.  I don't see the need for that.

In any case, here it is.  Let me know if this is the sort of instructional video you might be interested in watching.  Thanks.

By the way, the intro screen and outro screen are recorded with my robot's voice.

It might take me a month or more to actually finish this video.  I'm just learning how to do all of this.  I am hoping to continue on to design an entire Arduino Mega shield with an Inertial Guidance System on it.  I imagine that this will become an entire series of videos.   But exactly when they will be completed is anyone's guess. ? 

 

DroneBot Workshop Robotics Engineer
James


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codecage
(@codecage)
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2020-02-20 1:45 pm  

@robo-pi

James this was actually very good!  Especially since it was your first attempt at this.  Can hardly wait for more.  Every Thursday?  ? 

Did you have a script you were working from, or was it all extemporaneous?  It seemed to me you were following a script, but if you weren't, then it is even better.

SteveG


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Robo Pi
(@robo-pi)
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2020-02-20 2:20 pm  
Posted by: @codecage

Did you have a script you were working from, or was it all extemporaneous?

No script.  It already takes enough prep time just to do it ad lib. ? 

I do have a plan before I start though.  This video basically represents what I would call "one clip".  The longer videos are going to be made up of a whole lot of short clips.

In this particular clip the idea was to just introduce an overview of KiCad.  I wanted to just stress the main features.  Specially the differences between the schematic and a PCB.  How one uses "symbols" and the other uses "Footprints".   I've already recorded more video on how to create symbol and footprint libraries.  Things are starting to move along slightly faster now that I have a lot of the fundamentals of video making sorted out.

I'm still having some technical difficulties.   I have fans running for heat.  So there is the constant background noise of the fans running.  I could turn them off when I record, but it gets cold in here pretty quick.  So instead I just let the fans run and then extract the fan sound out using Audacity.   The technical problem is that when I do this, the audio doesn't align with the original video perfectly anymore.   Not sure why that is.   Without having to worry about lip sync is isn't a major problem yet.  But that's something I need to figure out.  It must have something to do with the bitrate or sound quality that I'm exporting the final MP3 with.   I'll need to figure this out because I'd like the sound track to be the same exact timing after editing as it was before.

It's these little quirky technical details that can drive a person mad.

DroneBot Workshop Robotics Engineer
James


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codecage
(@codecage)
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2020-02-20 5:13 pm  

@robo-pi

You have put a lot of time and effort in to all of this James, and I for one, and I'm sure many others, really appreciate your efforts and want to commend you on a job well done!  Can't wait to see more.

And explaining the the concepts of symbols and footprints was a great thing.  Something I think a lot of other videos I have watched about KiCad have not stressed enough.

SteveG


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Robo Pi
(@robo-pi)
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2020-02-20 5:27 pm  

It's coming along pretty good today.  The one I posted in the OP was only about 8 minutes long.  It's currently up to 34 minutes long!  It's going to be at least an hour long just to get to a good stopping point.  All I will have done by that point is to have shown how to download the shield library.  Copy it over into a project library.  Modify the shield footprint.  And then create a multipart schematic symbol to represent that shield footprint.

An hour might seem like a long video, but it actually takes quite a bit to do all of this.   But it's well worth doing for anyone who might want to end up making several different Arduino shields.   Get good at making specialized Arduino shields and there could potentially be some money in it.   I'm going to need to make this pay for itself somehow.  I can't do this for free forever.  As much as I would like to, it's going to have to produce some income somewhere along the way.  Otherwise I'd be better off spending my time elsewhere.

I don't think I'll make much money, if any, from the YouTube videos alone.

In any case, this hour-long video on KiCad will just be Part-1 of an entire series for making an Inertial Guidance Shield for a robot.  Hopefully this will turn into a regular series and maybe get some followers.

Right now I really need to get this Audacity audio problem resolved.   I need to figure out why the exported audio from Audacity gets out of sync with the original audio?  This is causing me problems I just don't need.

I'm going to try messing around with Audacity today and see if I can figure out what's going on.

DroneBot Workshop Robotics Engineer
James


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codecage
(@codecage)
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2020-02-22 8:00 pm  

@robo-pi

Let's delve into Libraries, Symbols, and Footprints a little deeper.  Especially the library topic.

I know the MEGA shield you designed included your project specific libraries, but I've had a devil of a time trying to get your KiCad project to load and function without errors, and I think it is all related to paths to libraries that exist on your setup that don't exist on my setup.  I'm digging through that today (now that I have finished Paul's lesson today on the Jetson Nano AI series) but not making a lot of headway.

Even the documentation on KiCad's own website is less than understandable, at least to me, about maintaining and managing libraries in the symbol and footprint world.  While I have been wading through their documentation, every line or so references a link to another place for more info on that topic, which references still another, then another, until you get lost in a maze of interrelated mumbo jumbo.  I wish there was a concise explanation of all of it.  I know with experience, and the mistakes made while getting that experience, it will all become clearer.  I'm just anxious to get there! ? 

SteveG


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Robo Pi
(@robo-pi)
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2020-02-22 9:28 pm  

I just finished the first KiCad video today.  It's now over an hour long.  And probably pretty boring.

I had a lot of problems while making this video and had to take countless retakes due to technical problems.  I'm not even sure the final video is any good, I just rendered it last night and I haven't actually watched it yet.

In any case, after I watch it and make sure it turned out ok I'll upload the entire thing to my YouTube channel. With any luck that might happen by tomorrow.

Posted by: @codecage

I know the MEGA shield you designed included your project specific libraries, but I've had a devil of a time trying to get your KiCad project to load and function without errors, and I think it is all related to paths to libraries that exist on your setup that don't exist on my setup

I wonder why Mike didn't experience any problems?   He seemed to have been able to make the Gerber files and have the boards made up without a hitch.

I'll need to look into the problems you're having.  Maybe you just need to add those project libraries to your library manager?  I don't know.  We'll figure it out.  I'm making lessons on KiCad, but I really don't know what I'm doing either.

Probably not the best way to start off a YouTube channel. ?

I was going to put into the video a live scene at the beginning with me explaining that I have no clue what I'm doing.  But the thing is already over an hour long so I thought I better quit for now, and just move on to starting part 2 of the series.   This whole project is done in part to gain experience with KiCad, and with making YouTube videos.   So it's all a learning experience for me.  They say the best way to get a channel started on YouTube is to "just do it", and don't get bogged down with trying to get everything perfect or you'll never get started.  They claim that it's better to publish mistakes and get the channel started and just improve it over time with experience.   Maybe some day in the far future I can do, a "New KiCad tutorial" where I actually know what I'm doing. ? 

DroneBot Workshop Robotics Engineer
James


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Robo Pi
(@robo-pi)
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2020-02-22 11:34 pm  

I just watched the finished video and there's a section of video missing.  I'll need to find that missing section and edit it in.  It's a never-ending nightmare. ?

DroneBot Workshop Robotics Engineer
James


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codecage
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2020-02-22 11:54 pm  

@robo-pi

I think, but not positive, that the Gerber files can be generated.  I'll have to try it myself.

SteveG


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Robo Pi
(@robo-pi)
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2020-02-23 8:28 am  

Ok, here's the entire video.  It's an hour and 16 minutes long.  It could be made a lot shorter by using some strategic editing and adding fast-forward video in various places. I'm leaving it as-is for now.   It's not only to be very interesting unless a person is interested in learning about KiCad and specifically learning how to make a specialized Arduino Shield.  Although, I'm planning on this becoming a series where I build an entire Inertial Guidance System for maintaining a stable robot path.   I'm hoping to have a separate series where I actually build and program the IGS as a prototype.   I'm thinking long-term as I create this channel, so everything I'm doing now I can send people back to watch these at a later date. ? 

In any case, this is my first attempt at making a YouTube instructional video.  It contains a lot of mistakes and I spent well over 8 hours on it today, just getting it all finished, rendered, and uploaded to YouTube.  I sure hope I can streamline that process as I get better at this.

Anyway, here it is.  It's just Part 1 of a larger series,... hopefully.   If you already watched the one in the OP of this thread you can pick up at around 8:20.

DroneBot Workshop Robotics Engineer
James


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Spyder
(@spyder)
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2020-02-23 1:11 pm  

@robo-pi

Wow !

Great job !

My limited capacity for comprehension almost understood it


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codecage
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2020-02-23 1:35 pm  

@robo-pi

I really liked it James!

Although a different approach to getting the schematic created than I've been doing.  I'll have to consider your approach though to see if I want to modify my method of schematic creation.  As always, there are umpteen different ways to skin a cat.  Figuratively speaking that is, as I'm really going to skin one of my own kittens. ?  

SteveG


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codecage
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2020-02-23 1:47 pm  

@robo-pi

By the way the gerber files can be created with what you provided, it's just trying to load the symbol or footprint libraries that I get the errors.

I'll send along a document that I think points out what the issues are and maybe a methodology for prevention in the future.  It might be a few days before I get that done as I'm trying to cleanup some missteps I've taken in the past that would have led to the same types of errors if I had shared a project as well.

You video pointed me to a way to make project specific symbols and footprints that I was having some issues with, but I still need to find out how to use 'import' and 'export' in the process of creating my own symbols and footprints.

SteveG


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Robo Pi
(@robo-pi)
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2020-02-23 2:02 pm  
Posted by: @codecage

As always, there are umpteen different ways to skin a cat.

Absolutely!   And I'm no expert to be sure!  I'm just sharing what I do for whatever it might be worth.  It might be helpful for someone who doesn't know how to use KiCad. 

By the way, this video was already 1 hour and 16 minutes long!   And I had to skip over a ton of pointers and tips I wanted to mention.

You asked me if I have a script.  The answer is no, but I do have a make-shift rule.   Try to focus on what needs to be said and don't get side-tracked off onto tangents.   And it's a good thing I made that rule  before I started or this thing would have been more like four hours long!

Although I'm sure with some good editing skills and a little bit of fast-forward here and there, it could probably be cut down to about half an hour.   Like when I was naming all those pins I could have just explained the first couple pins and then just fast-forwarded through all the rest.   I really wanted to do that but I didn't want to spend the time to have to edit it.    Going back in and selecting which parts you want to play at fast speed is a labor-intensive editing task.   So I figured I'd leave it up to the viewers to fast forward over the boring parts. ? 

DroneBot Workshop Robotics Engineer
James


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VE1DX
(@ve1dx)
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2020-02-23 7:24 pm  

@robo-pi

Well done, James!  I just realized how much I don't know! Kudos for putting this together and thanks for the introduction to KiCAD. I watched the entire video and it was time well spent. ?

Paul VE1DX


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