Since I have new incentive to learn to use the KiCad electronic design suite, I thought I should start with a small project. Something worth doing, but small enough that I can focus on the tool rather than the project. Also something that wouldn't cost much to re-spin if I screwed it up.
One of the first that came to mind is a test board to drive the Noritake-Itron DS2029H Vacuum Fluorescent Display (VFD). The connections to this display are a row of flat fingers along the top edge, kinda like an integrated circuit, as you can see in this photo:
I'd just plug this thing into my solderless breadboard except for one thing: the fingers have a 2.00mm pitch, not the 2.54mm pitch of my breadboard. Bummer.
I'm weighing two options for PCBs. I could make a board that mates with these fingers and connects them to pins on 2.54mm (0.1 inch) centers. Then I could wire test circuits on a solderless breadboard. The other is a complete VFD test board supporting a PIC, a USB serial interface, and the 5V-to-36V boost regulator needed to drive the VFD anode. Right now I'm leaning toward the latter.
How does the title of this posting figure into this? Keep reading...