Author Topic: Is the latest Eagle any better at differential routing?  (Read 3430 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline rx8pilot

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 3264
  • Country: us
  • If you want more money, be more valuable.
Is the latest Eagle any better at differential routing?
« on: December 10, 2017, 09:00:06 am »
I have been using Eagle for a few years - my latest version is 6.5. In general - I hate Eagle in nearly every way I can hate a piece of software but I cannot afford the time or the money to switch at the moment. I have a well setup library and a growing list of ULP's that tie my manufacturing systems together. Setting that up again is worse than dealing with Eagle for design (at least for now).

One of my biggest challenges is designing high-speed PCB's with various types of transmission lines where the geometry has to be very specific. Differential pairs are a total nightmare to route accurately. This is especially true when you need to make small changes after you manually get a pair routed.

I don't like the new subscription-only model, but will gladly push that aside if I can more easily route high-speed boards. Does anyone have any experience with this type of design using the latest version of Eagle. I have not yet found any videos or articles covering this topic.
Factory400 - the worlds smallest factory. http://www.youtube.com/c/Factory400
 

Online KE5FX

  • Frequent Contributor
  • **
  • Posts: 878
  • Country: us
    • KE5FX.COM
Re: Is the latest Eagle any better at differential routing?
« Reply #1 on: December 10, 2017, 02:17:58 pm »
The MEANDER function in version 7 seems to work well enough once you grok it.  I assume it was the same in V6. 

The autorouter doesn't support differential pairs even in the current Autodesk release, so there's no incentive to upgrade in that regard.
 

Offline MarkL

  • Supporter
  • ****
  • Posts: 1297
  • Country: us
Re: Is the latest Eagle any better at differential routing?
« Reply #2 on: December 10, 2017, 02:21:35 pm »
I'm not sure how sophisticated your differential routing requirements are, but I've been using differential routing (with automatic meander) in 7.2 with no issues.  However, my needs are fairly simple with 10/100 ethernet and HS USB.

According to the release notes, those features were introduced in 6.0.0.

In case you were unaware of the feature:

The basic procedure is to set up the signal names so the pair ends in _P and _N, create a class that defines the trace spacing and the width, and then add the signals to that class.  When you click on one of the signals to route it, it will route both of them at the same time with the defined class characteristics.  You can also go back and do symmetric or asymmetric meandering to match the lengths, if needed, with the meander command.

There's a good description in the manual and the on-line help.

I'm in the same predicament.  Eagle is dead to me.  Looking to try Kicad.
 

Offline rx8pilot

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 3264
  • Country: us
  • If you want more money, be more valuable.
Re: Is the latest Eagle any better at differential routing?
« Reply #3 on: December 10, 2017, 03:24:47 pm »
I have tried the meander tool and it is comedy gold. A truly fiddly thing.

On 5-10Ghz traces - I have to radius the corners. Since doing that during the routing is nearly impossible, I have to manually add a radius to each bend. Meh, whatever, I can get past that. What really makes it useless (unless I am missing something) is trying to push that trace around later. They become just regular traces and the rounded corners go crazy.

In KiKad - is it possible to push and edit a previously routed differential trace and maintain the correct geometry? Is the equivalent of the meander tool have any real control?
Factory400 - the worlds smallest factory. http://www.youtube.com/c/Factory400
 

Offline hermit

  • Frequent Contributor
  • **
  • Posts: 440
  • Country: us
Re: Is the latest Eagle any better at differential routing?
« Reply #4 on: December 10, 2017, 05:25:21 pm »
Looking to try Kicad.
It is in feature freeze at the moment with a new version due out soon so if you haven't started don't get too far. ;)  Decent forum help available.
 

Offline latigid on

  • Contributor
  • Posts: 18
  • Country: de
Re: Is the latest Eagle any better at differential routing?
« Reply #5 on: December 11, 2017, 01:54:38 am »
I had no joy with differential traces in EAGLE 7.x. I just have a few short runs of USB, so nothing too strenuous, but I thought it best to try and match them. I never paid for the autorouter, so I'm not sure if the meander tool works.

RUN LENGTH x y , where x and y are the signals to match, then meandering manually with MITER or MOVE works albeit crudely.
 

Online rachaelp

  • Supporter
  • ****
  • Posts: 130
  • Country: gb
Re: Is the latest Eagle any better at differential routing?
« Reply #6 on: December 11, 2017, 05:19:58 am »
I never paid for the autorouter, so I'm not sure if the meander tool works.

The MEANDER command is just a regular board command, it's not part of the autorouter so you should be able to use it.

Best Regards,

Rachael
I have a weakness for Test Equipment so can often be found having a TEA break (http://www.eevblog.com/forum/chat/test-equipment-anonymous-(tea)-group-therapy-thread/)
 

Offline rx8pilot

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 3264
  • Country: us
  • If you want more money, be more valuable.
Re: Is the latest Eagle any better at differential routing?
« Reply #7 on: December 11, 2017, 06:02:19 am »
Is Altium the closest step to having routing tools for differential routing? If I have a design where I have to run a bunch of lines, it will consume nights and weekends.  :--
Factory400 - the worlds smallest factory. http://www.youtube.com/c/Factory400
 

Offline Deridex

  • Regular Contributor
  • *
  • Posts: 147
  • Country: de
  • IMHO
Re: Is the latest Eagle any better at differential routing?
« Reply #8 on: December 11, 2017, 04:01:14 pm »
Is Altium the closest step to having routing tools for differential routing? If I have a design where I have to run a bunch of lines, it will consume nights and weekends.  :--
I think the Circuit-Studio can also handle differential pairs, but i'm not 100% sure.
 

Offline Bassman59

  • Frequent Contributor
  • **
  • Posts: 899
  • Country: us
  • Yes, I do this for a living
Re: Is the latest Eagle any better at differential routing?
« Reply #9 on: December 11, 2017, 04:29:00 pm »
In KiKad - is it possible to push and edit a previously routed differential trace and maintain the correct geometry? Is the equivalent of the meander tool have any real control?

In Kicad, yes, you can push previously-routed pairs and they maintain their geometry. Dunno about curved traces, though.
 

Offline rx8pilot

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 3264
  • Country: us
  • If you want more money, be more valuable.
Re: Is the latest Eagle any better at differential routing?
« Reply #10 on: December 11, 2017, 04:31:55 pm »

In Kicad, yes, you can push previously-routed pairs and they maintain their geometry. Dunno about curved traces, though.

Well - that is a step up from Eagle!
Factory400 - the worlds smallest factory. http://www.youtube.com/c/Factory400
 

Offline macegr

  • Regular Contributor
  • *
  • Posts: 76
  • Country: us
Re: Is the latest Eagle any better at differential routing?
« Reply #11 on: December 12, 2017, 03:39:06 am »
KiCAD doesn't have curved traces at all, which does really hurt.
 

Offline ahbushnell

  • Frequent Contributor
  • **
  • Posts: 275
  • Country: us
Re: Is the latest Eagle any better at differential routing?
« Reply #12 on: December 12, 2017, 03:18:58 pm »
Is Altium the closest step to having routing tools for differential routing? If I have a design where I have to run a bunch of lines, it will consume nights and weekends.  :--
I think the Circuit-Studio can also handle differential pairs, but i'm not 100% sure.
It does handle diff pairs.
 

Offline rx8pilot

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 3264
  • Country: us
  • If you want more money, be more valuable.
Re: Is the latest Eagle any better at differential routing?
« Reply #13 on: December 13, 2017, 02:35:45 pm »
Altium is doing a $495 deal for Eagle users. Wonder if now is the time to bail out of Eagle.

Short and misplld from my mobile......

Factory400 - the worlds smallest factory. http://www.youtube.com/c/Factory400
 

Offline H.O

  • Frequent Contributor
  • **
  • Posts: 568
  • Country: se
Re: Is the latest Eagle any better at differential routing?
« Reply #14 on: December 14, 2017, 04:29:03 am »
Quote
Altium is doing a $495 deal for Eagle users. Wonder if now is the time to bail out of Eagle.
Are you saying EAGLE users can now get Altium Designer for $495 (!?) or is it the Circuit Studio deal you're referring to?
They've been selling that (Circuit Studio) for $495 for quite some time now (EAGLE license or not), at least since Mars -17.
 

Offline rx8pilot

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 3264
  • Country: us
  • If you want more money, be more valuable.
Re: Is the latest Eagle any better at differential routing?
« Reply #15 on: December 14, 2017, 04:57:01 am »
Quote
Altium is doing a $495 deal for Eagle users. Wonder if now is the time to bail out of Eagle.
Are you saying EAGLE users can now get Altium Designer for $495 (!?) or is it the Circuit Studio deal you're referring to?
They've been selling that (Circuit Studio) for $495 for quite some time now (EAGLE license or not), at least since Mars -17.

Sorry, I was not clear....just CS.

The page indicates it is only available to Eagle users *FOR A LIMITED TIME* (not sure how they would verify). Either way, CS seems like an upgrade from Eagle overall. My biggest fear is an unknown learning curve. As much as Eagle annoys me, I know it well and have a library that is tied into my MRP and assembly. My guess is that moving over would be a considerable effort.

At the moment - I am a few mouse clicks from design to having the pick and place machine programmed. Not sure what I would have to do with CS to get a similar result.

Factory400 - the worlds smallest factory. http://www.youtube.com/c/Factory400
 

Offline H.O

  • Frequent Contributor
  • **
  • Posts: 568
  • Country: se
Re: Is the latest Eagle any better at differential routing?
« Reply #16 on: December 14, 2017, 05:47:55 am »
I'm not doing nearly as advanced stuff as you but I was fairly fluid in EAGLE.
However, when they went subscription (after "promising" not to) I went to Circuit Studio. I jumped on the "limited" offer of $495 back in Mars/April, have barely used it though but it has imported EAGLE schematics, PCBs and libraries when I've tried. I suggest you download the trial and just open one of your EAGLE boards and see how/what it does.

As far as all the custom scipts and ULPs, I'm not sure CS has that capability - at all. I'm sure some will argue you don't need it (or should not need it) but we all know that's a nice thing to have in EAGLE.
 

Offline rx8pilot

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 3264
  • Country: us
  • If you want more money, be more valuable.
Re: Is the latest Eagle any better at differential routing?
« Reply #17 on: December 14, 2017, 06:55:21 am »
I'm not doing nearly as advanced stuff as you but I was fairly fluid in EAGLE.
However, when they went subscription (after "promising" not to) I went to Circuit Studio. I jumped on the "limited" offer of $495 back in Mars/April, have barely used it though but it has imported EAGLE schematics, PCBs and libraries when I've tried. I suggest you download the trial and just open one of your EAGLE boards and see how/what it does.

As far as all the custom scipts and ULPs, I'm not sure CS has that capability - at all. I'm sure some will argue you don't need it (or should not need it) but we all know that's a nice thing to have in EAGLE.

Just downloaded the trial. 10mins later it had imported one of my Eagle projects perfectly - stunned. They clearly saw the value in developing transition tools.

A bit lost in the interface so I will read/watch the getting started stuff. It instantly feels like I just went from a 1990 Honda Civic to a brand new BMW. Hopefully, it won't take long to be able to test the differential routing tools.
Factory400 - the worlds smallest factory. http://www.youtube.com/c/Factory400
 

Offline Fire Doger

  • Regular Contributor
  • *
  • Posts: 99
  • Country: 00
  • Stefanos
Re: Is the latest Eagle any better at differential routing?
« Reply #18 on: December 14, 2017, 07:04:19 am »
CS has output job too, which can export much more than Gerbers and P&P with a few clicks
As an old Eagle user and now AD I had some hard time to jump, it took me 2 weeks to layout something meaningful. CS is more friendly than AD and you look more experienced than me when jumped so I guess in 1 week you will be up n running. Setting templates, output jobs, default rules etc may take some time and hundred of new shortcuts.

Scripts are used in special occasions like importing image, drawing spirals etc

You should definitely try CS but be prepared to spend some time to explore it before trial expires.

I bough a couple of courses from Fedevel Academy. He has some videos (1h long ea) in Youtube about high speed (parts from courses) and a cheap (10$ on sale day) course in Udemy designing from scratch and generating all documents. (links below)
Also DDR, multilayer, rules etc are available but all of them are for AD, I haven't checked CS to confirm if they are 100% same but you can check them out to take a sample of workflow in Altium kind EDA and maybe they will help you out be up n running faster.
Have fun :)

http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJQkHVpk3A8bgDmPlJlOJOA
https://www.udemy.com/learn-to-design-your-own-boards/learn/v4/overview
https://www.fedevel.com/academy/
« Last Edit: December 14, 2017, 07:06:27 am by Fire Doger »
 

Offline Macbeth

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 2414
  • Country: gb
Re: Is the latest Eagle any better at differential routing?
« Reply #19 on: December 14, 2017, 07:11:51 am »
You can try CS free for a month. Admittedly that means nothing compared to the time and effort involved in learning it. However I found it much easier than KiCAD - the schizophrenic KiCAD GUI seems to be something nobody wants to address.

As it happens my CS expired a few days ago. There is no need for the cloud connection, it still runs standalone, and what surprised me was I expected the Cloud services like Altium Vault to be closed to me but it's still working.

Having said that my PCB design is pretty much hobby 1 or 2 layer etch at home stuff. CS is wasted on me but I won it in the EEVBlog comp last year. Differential pairs are not something I've had to deal with yet.

Just run CS trial in a VM and sign up for another new trial if you don't have the time in the month to evaluate/learn it. I imagine the $495 price is peanuts if you decide to go for it commercially.
 

Offline rx8pilot

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 3264
  • Country: us
  • If you want more money, be more valuable.
Re: Is the latest Eagle any better at differential routing?
« Reply #20 on: December 14, 2017, 07:57:38 am »
I imagine the $495 price is peanuts if you decide to go for it commercially.

True - the $495 is a marginal component of the decision. The past month has been rapid-fire design which is unusual for me. My guess is if the learning curve is anywhere close to a week to become functional - that is worth it. I watched many of the videos to get a sense of the capability. Without too much surprise - it seems to be ridiculously better than Eagle. It will also provide a simple skills transition to AD if I go that far. 

What I have figured out in an hour (not mastered, just discovered)

Works with my space mouse - AMAZING
3D view!!!!!
Flip PCB to the back side.
push/shove routing
obstacle avoid routing
multi-net routing
easy creation and editing of diff pairs
dead simple import of my Eagle data

This is looking pretty good so far and I was only hoping for a step up in differential routing.
Factory400 - the worlds smallest factory. http://www.youtube.com/c/Factory400
 

Online rachaelp

  • Supporter
  • ****
  • Posts: 130
  • Country: gb
Re: Is the latest Eagle any better at differential routing?
« Reply #21 on: December 14, 2017, 08:11:14 am »
Flip PCB to the back side.
push/shove routing
obstacle avoid routing
easy creation and editing of diff pairs

To be fair to EAGLE, as of 8.5.0 and the inclusion of Push & Shove, which was released yesterday, over the last few releases Flip PCB view (8.4.0) and obstacle avoid routing (8.1.0?) are all now available, and EAGLE has done creating of diff pairs for a while. Granted editing isn't ideal, it could definitely use some more polish there. Also in 8.4.0, SPICE simulation was integrated into EAGLE with the inclusion of the ngspice engine. So, regardless of what people think of Autodesk, EAGLE is progressing faster than in has for an awful long time.

With regards to the SpaceMouse, I wish it had proper native support. I have managed to get it to work to a point in EAGLE (on macOS) but it's far from perfect.

If CS works for you and you are happy with it that's great. EAGLE isn't for everybody with the subscription licensing, but then CS isn't for everybody either. To be fair I have never used Altium products, I have used DxDesigner, OrCAD, and some older Mentor Graphics products too. Compared to all those, once I learned (and I mean really, properly, thoroughly learned) EAGLE I became far more productive than in any of those tools.

I suppose I should install CS in a VM and get a trial license so I can have more understanding of what it offers....

Best Regards,

Rachael
« Last Edit: December 14, 2017, 08:21:15 am by rachaelp »
I have a weakness for Test Equipment so can often be found having a TEA break (http://www.eevblog.com/forum/chat/test-equipment-anonymous-(tea)-group-therapy-thread/)
 

Offline rx8pilot

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 3264
  • Country: us
  • If you want more money, be more valuable.
Re: Is the latest Eagle any better at differential routing?
« Reply #22 on: December 14, 2017, 08:53:06 am »
I am very impressed with the efforts being put into Eagle - but I believe it is a long road to success considering the starting point.

I did download the trial of the latest Eagle to have a play but have not installed it yet. I won't have an opinion formed about which way to go for a bit, but spending just an hour with CS has me laughing at Eagle, even with all the latest improvements.

Factory400 - the worlds smallest factory. http://www.youtube.com/c/Factory400
 

Online KE5FX

  • Frequent Contributor
  • **
  • Posts: 878
  • Country: us
    • KE5FX.COM
Re: Is the latest Eagle any better at differential routing?
« Reply #23 on: December 14, 2017, 08:55:35 am »
What are the CS file formats like?  The one thing that EAGLE did right, the thing that makes it hard to switch away from, is their XML format. 

I'll go so far as to say I'll never again adopt a CAD tool that doesn't use a human-editable text-based format. 
 

Offline rx8pilot

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 3264
  • Country: us
  • If you want more money, be more valuable.
Re: Is the latest Eagle any better at differential routing?
« Reply #24 on: December 14, 2017, 09:05:01 am »
What are the CS file formats like?  The one thing that EAGLE did right, the thing that makes it hard to switch away from, is their XML format. 

I'll go so far as to say I'll never again adopt a CAD tool that doesn't use a human-editable text-based format.

Not sure, but I have also never made any real use of Eagle's XML format either. How do you see that as a feature?
Factory400 - the worlds smallest factory. http://www.youtube.com/c/Factory400
 


Share me

Digg  Facebook  SlashDot  Delicious  Technorati  Twitter  Google  Yahoo
Smf