Author Topic: EAGLE vs Diptrace vs whatever...  (Read 23422 times)

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Offline skyjumper

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EAGLE vs Diptrace vs whatever...
« on: April 14, 2015, 07:24:36 AM »
I promise, I'm not trying to start a holy war. I have searched here and with Google but didn't find much side by side comparison.

I did a pretty major design using the hobbyist version of Eagle, which I paid for. I believe that was version 6.0 or 6.1. In general it worked well. What was good about it was that it seems every maker type place has Eagle libraries available for their parts, another guy who helped me with it had Eagle since its so popular and yet another guy was able to make libraries for me, again because its so popular. It also seems PCB houses or pool services accept Eagle brd files directly and make design check files available for Eagle.

The downside was that it had more than a bit of learning curve, it sometimes crashed and the autorouter was horrible, next to useless, at least for my project. I ended up paying someone else to route it for me. Further if I need to move beyond the hobby license its a bit pricy.

I'm now getting ready for another project, and wondering if I should cut my losses on what I paid for Eagle and move to something else. The fact that Eagle libraries are commonly available and that PCB pool services accept brd files and provide design check rules is a big advantage, but I would expect that Diptrace libraries are also available. PCB houses will always accept gerber files as well. But if not then this will make using Diptrace a bit more time consuming.

So I would appreciate thoughts of Eagle vs Diptrace, and thoughts about with other package I might consider. I guess my priorities are library support and a strong router.

Thanks very much!
 

Offline LabSpokane

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Re: EAGLE vs Diptrace vs whatever...
« Reply #1 on: April 14, 2015, 07:48:16 AM »
Look at proteus if autorouting is important.
 

Online Monkeh

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Re: EAGLE vs Diptrace vs whatever...
« Reply #2 on: April 14, 2015, 07:49:03 AM »
Eagle does not easily crash. You should likely not be autorouting..

Read the manual, take your time, Eagle works fine. And make your own libraries before you get a nasty surprise.
 

Online CatalinaWOW

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Re: EAGLE vs Diptrace vs whatever...
« Reply #3 on: April 14, 2015, 09:06:22 AM »
Eagle is one of the most widely used ECAD programs at the low price end.  You are more likely to find local help and sharing ability with it than with many others.  I know that the price doesn't seem that low, but it has a few less zeros than the big professional packages.

I don't find that Eagle crashes exceptionally often, but have seen it happen.  If you are already well up the learning curve you should probably stick with Eagle.  I will second Monkeh's comment about creating your own libraries.  You can use the parts you find in various libraries as a starting point, but you must check them.  It is way to common and way to painful to find the errors at fab time.

If you find the Eagle interface impossible you might try Autotrax DEX.  It has warts, but is usable and inexpensive.  I find the user interface clicks with me, sufficiently that it overcomes the main DEX deficiency which is a terrible user manual.
 

Offline LabSpokane

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Re: EAGLE vs Diptrace vs whatever...
« Reply #4 on: April 14, 2015, 09:18:23 AM »
I will say in Eagle's defense that it's Mac OSX distribution is very stable. I think I've had only one crash. It also runs well on limited hardware.

I also really enjoy the support one can get from places like OSH Park when submitting Eagle files directly. There will always be translation issues, so that matters.

Unlike the others, I find the poor footprints of most Eagle libraries to be a disappointment.

Eagle's rigid file location system is yet another disappointment. Yes, it's fixable with scripts, but why should I have to.
 

Offline zapta

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Re: EAGLE vs Diptrace vs whatever...
« Reply #5 on: April 14, 2015, 09:20:33 AM »
I don't find that Eagle crashes exceptionally often

Same here, it's very very stable (mac OSX) and I haven't encountered yet a correctness issue.

OP, it seems that you are not happy with Eagle. My advice to you then is try other packages and see what works for you. Creating library items is not that of a big deal and over time you will collect your own verified library (some say not to trust any library but your own). Also, not being able to upload Eagle layout files to PCBs manufacturers is not a big issue and gerbers are just fine.

I don't know if you plan to open source your design but if you do, it affects the considerations, open source designs that use free tools are more accessible and valuable.

Drain the swamp.
 

Offline PedroDaGr8

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Re: EAGLE vs Diptrace vs whatever...
« Reply #6 on: April 14, 2015, 09:46:47 AM »
Personally, I am a HUGE DipTrace fan. I found Eagle very frustrating for how I work. It just didn't feel natural to me at all. While DipTrace fit like a glove. DipTrace free version (non-profit lite) is a great way to get your feet wet with it. DipTrace is likely one of the easiest to make your own component libraries. if I can't find a part in a few minutes, I will just whip it together myself.

EAGLE has a lot of support, it is by far the most commonly used and it is that way for a good reason. I just find that it doesn't always resonate well with others. It's interface is clunky and difficult to navigate at times. That being said, it's very much personal preference. Some peopel love it and swear by it, others, like myself, hate it.

Give yourself time to play with both and see how it is for you.
The very existence of flamethrowers proves that some time, somewhere, someone said to themselves, "You know, I want to set those people over there on fire, but I'm just not close enough to get the job done." -George Carlin
 

Offline skyjumper

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Re: EAGLE vs Diptrace vs whatever...
« Reply #7 on: April 14, 2015, 10:17:06 AM »
Thanks for your comments everyone, they are much appreciated. I emailed Cadsoft to see how much it will cost to move from Eagle 6 to 7, and staying with Eagle is an option. I run it on Windows 7 and got myself into the hable if saving frequently. Maybe it was something about my files.

I'll check out Diptrace and AutoTRAX. AutoTRAX at $49 is pretty cheap, I'll see what it can do.


 

Online Monkeh

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Re: EAGLE vs Diptrace vs whatever...
« Reply #8 on: April 14, 2015, 10:19:04 AM »
Eagle 6 works fine, there's really very few reasons to upgrade.
 

Offline BloodyCactus

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Re: EAGLE vs Diptrace vs whatever...
« Reply #9 on: April 14, 2015, 10:46:25 AM »
I switched from Eagle to DT, I'm so much more productive in DT. For one thing it takes hours to make a part in Eagle, so I would go searching the net for something, finding it, then spending ages to try and verify what I found (Can never trust what you find!).

In DT, takes about 2 minutes to make a part, so easy its crazy. For me, this was a huge deal. Making parts in Eagle was like stepping into a MMA octagon to fight, its ridiculous. DT is so easy and nice.

The only thing I feel DT lacks for me is being able to redefine the keybindings, I hope it comes in the next release in a few months but I have no idea.

I would never go back to Eagle honestly.

I use on Linux, so Eagle was native, ran great, I never crashed it, DT uses wine, I never crashed it either so...
 

Offline Wilksey

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Re: EAGLE vs Diptrace vs whatever...
« Reply #10 on: April 14, 2015, 11:20:44 AM »
One of the major developments with Eagle 7.1 was the multi core auto routing engine, I don't often auto but it did seem to shimmy along when running a test case.

I have never had Eagle crash on me, I've asked it to do a lot of crap over the years, and it has been absolutely fine.

In terms of DT vs Eagle, well, that's a whole other can of worms you have opened up!

I use Altium and Eagle, almost daily, but have used other packages, I used to use Proteus in a previous life, I have tried DT, AutoTrax, I downloaded, and then removed it, it felt too heavy for me, massive tool bars etc, but that's not to say it isn't good, but read the forums, the owner is very arrogant, but apparently is quick to fix bugs.

I never got on with DT, but again, it is a good package, the only thing that seems to be missing feature wise over Eagle is high speed design, if you are not interested in differential pairs or length matching (though I've heard that is on their hit list of new features) then there is no reason not to try it, Proteus is an expensive package for example, and doesn't have high speed tools, bang for buck Eagle isn't bad, DT is even cheaper still, and it can import Eagle files I believe, it has native 3D rendering (useful for case fitments etc), I am used to Eagle so I am reluctant to move as it does everything I need it to do.

Something else that has come on a long way is KiCAD, free, open source, more frustrating to learn than Eagle, but you are free to use it as you wish.
 

Offline blueskull

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Re: EAGLE vs Diptrace vs whatever...
« Reply #11 on: April 14, 2015, 12:11:23 PM »
That depends. If you constantly play with high frequency, then maybe you need a real commercial package like Altium or Cadence.

If you only play with LF, and you can get used to Eagle or KiCAD, then the cheaper ones are always better.

Basically I am a hard core Altium fans, and I do USB3 and SFP+ things, so I chose AD as my productive package.
SIGSEGV is inevitable if you try to talk more than you know. If I say gibberish, keep in mind that my license plate is SIGSEGV.
 

Offline Karel

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Re: EAGLE vs Diptrace vs whatever...
« Reply #12 on: April 15, 2015, 04:20:25 AM »
You wrote that you already paid for V6. No need to upgrade to V7 at the moment.
Just download and install the latest V6 version which is 6.60 and you are fine.

We have a licence for V7 but we will stay with V6.60 till at least V7.30 is available.
Always wait till the bugs, introduced with new features, are fixed...
The difference between theory and practice is less in theory than
the difference between theory and practice in practice.
Expensive tools cannot compensate for lack of experience.
 

Offline skyjumper

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Re: EAGLE vs Diptrace vs whatever...
« Reply #13 on: April 15, 2015, 04:25:51 AM »
You wrote that you already paid for V6. No need to upgrade to V7 at the moment.
Just download and install the latest V6 version which is 6.60 and you are fine.

We have a licence for V7 but we will stay with V6.60 till at least V7.30 is available.
Always wait till the bugs, introduced with new features, are fixed...

I could do that... The incentive for V7 was the new routing engine...
 

Offline Karel

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Re: EAGLE vs Diptrace vs whatever...
« Reply #14 on: April 15, 2015, 04:29:51 AM »
The incentive for V7 was the new routing engine...

Forget the autorouter. There doesn't exist (yet) an autorouter that can beat the human brain.
It's not a chess game...
The difference between theory and practice is less in theory than
the difference between theory and practice in practice.
Expensive tools cannot compensate for lack of experience.
 

Offline LabSpokane

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Re: EAGLE vs Diptrace vs whatever...
« Reply #15 on: April 15, 2015, 04:51:41 AM »
I'm not going to argue that autorouting is a great solution, but I will say that Proteus' autorouter is fast and produces decent results. Much faster than Eagle.
 

Offline skyjumper

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Re: EAGLE vs Diptrace vs whatever...
« Reply #16 on: April 15, 2015, 05:28:57 AM »
You wrote that you already paid for V6. No need to upgrade to V7 at the moment.
Just download and install the latest V6 version which is 6.60 and you are fine.

We have a licence for V7 but we will stay with V6.60 till at least V7.30 is available.
Always wait till the bugs, introduced with new features, are fixed...

Hm, CadSoft does not seem to have older downloads on their site. At least not that I could find. I did find a download of 6.6 from other sites but I prefer to get it from them directly. Do they make older versions available?
 

Offline MarkL

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Re: EAGLE vs Diptrace vs whatever...
« Reply #17 on: April 15, 2015, 05:42:27 AM »
Hm, CadSoft does not seem to have older downloads on their site. At least not that I could find. I did find a download of 6.6 from other sites but I prefer to get it from them directly. Do they make older versions available?


Their URL naming scheme isn't hard to decode for any given version.  It's not guaranteed it will be there, of course, but it seems they've left at least 6.6.0 laying around:

  http://web.cadsoft.de/ftp/eagle/program/6.6/eagle-lin-6.6.0.run

  http://web.cadsoft.de/ftp/eagle/program/6.6/eagle-win-6.6.0.exe

  http://web.cadsoft.de/ftp/eagle/program/6.6/eagle-mac-6.6.0.zip


EDIT:  Also on their FTP server:

  ftp://ftp.cadsoft.de/eagle/program

« Last Edit: April 15, 2015, 06:08:01 AM by MarkL »
 

Offline skyjumper

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Re: EAGLE vs Diptrace vs whatever...
« Reply #18 on: April 15, 2015, 06:03:39 AM »
Thanks!  That worked.
 

Offline zapta

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Re: EAGLE vs Diptrace vs whatever...
« Reply #19 on: April 16, 2015, 12:17:05 AM »
I'm not going to argue that autorouting is a great solution, but I will say that Proteus' autorouter is fast and produces decent results. Much faster than Eagle.

I love auto routers. With eagle, I manual route ~30% of the nets (power and critical) and let the auto router do the rest. It's does better job than me figuring the topology of the traces.

What I am missing with eagle is a push and shove manual router. More important than streamlining the UI.
Drain the swamp.
 

Offline bookaboo

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Re: EAGLE vs Diptrace vs whatever...
« Reply #20 on: April 16, 2015, 12:46:31 AM »
I use diptrace and I'm quite happy with it, it's very easy and intuitive to use. Footprints in particular are a doddle. I had tried Eagle but it felt clunky and if I remember correctly was much more expensive.
I don't use an auto router so that feature is untried, I also don't have any designs that require high speed lines or impedance matching. ymmv.
 

Offline LabSpokane

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Re: EAGLE vs Diptrace vs whatever...
« Reply #21 on: April 16, 2015, 04:34:37 AM »
I'm not going to argue that autorouting is a great solution, but I will say that Proteus' autorouter is fast and produces decent results. Much faster than Eagle.

I love auto routers. With eagle, I manual route ~30% of the nets (power and critical) and let the auto router do the rest. It's does better job than me figuring the topology of the traces.

What I am missing with eagle is a push and shove manual router. More important than streamlining the UI.

We think alike on that one.  That's how I've been handling my PCBs with Eagle. The autorouter produces better results than the "rookie router."  My stuff is all low/no speed thus far, so it hardly matters.
 

Offline Wilksey

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Re: EAGLE vs Diptrace vs whatever...
« Reply #22 on: April 16, 2015, 06:02:25 AM »
I can if I have time and inclination route all the boards I do manually, however, I am lazy and I have deadlines that are given 3 months in the past so I tend to auto route the signal traces that I couldn't give two monkeys about, it works out good if you set it up correctly.

What I would say, is even if you auto route, you should practise even on non commercial stuff manually routing a board so you get into the habit of doing it as it someday you might need to do it manually.
 

Offline IanJ

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Re: EAGLE vs Diptrace vs whatever...
« Reply #23 on: May 30, 2015, 06:39:34 AM »
I have tried DT, AutoTrax, I downloaded, and then removed it, it felt too heavy for me, massive tool bars etc, but that's not to say it isn't good, but read the forums, the owner is very arrogant, but apparently is quick to fix bugs.

I tried AutoTrax, and gel'd with it straight away.....really loved the interface and the library management etc and started building my next project on it, even got a few things fixed in the app............But I returned to Eagle when I found you couldn't drop a via down to a pour and expect to see the unrouted net disappear, also the manual tracking abilities are very limited. The owner, well yes......he has his ideas on pcb design and won't budge even if Altium, Eagle, KiCad etc all work a different way. Not recommended at the moment. Shame.

Ian.
 

Offline ion54

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Re: EAGLE vs Diptrace vs whatever...
« Reply #24 on: June 26, 2015, 10:51:00 PM »
Here is, right from the horse mouth, version 6.6 of Cadsoft Eagle
ftp://ftp.cadsoft.de/eagle/program/6.6/eagle-win-6.6.0.exe
 


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