Author Topic: Orcad compared to others?  (Read 16887 times)

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Offline MadModder

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Orcad compared to others?
« on: March 02, 2012, 07:54:20 AM »
I've used Orcad capture cis and Orcad layout+, and later on pcb editor. It works pretty well, but there are some small annoyances I think.
I'm wondering if someone has used both orcad and altium designer, that Dave uses, and has an oppinion on which they prefer. Maybe even diptrace. And why. :)
 

Offline Write_to_Smokegenerator

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Re: Orcad compared to others?
« Reply #1 on: March 02, 2012, 06:42:04 PM »
I had the pleasure to do a PCB with OrCad, years ago, unfornatly I don't have the money for the altium Designer  :P so i can't say anything. But PCB Desgin with OrCad was not that bad compared to Eagle.
If you have the opportunity to do sometingn with alt i would suggest you try it out.

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Offline elmohandis

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Re: Orcad compared to others?
« Reply #2 on: May 24, 2012, 11:51:37 PM »
From what I have seen, Altium is still the best package is the way that Schematic and PCB layout are both integrated into the same tool. Most of the other (even expensive) tools still carry on historical roots and the two tasks are sort of decoupled into different packages within the suite (whether it be Cadence Orcad/Allegro, Mentor PADS, or the others).

I really see Altium as way ahead in both the integration and user friendliness it offers. The weak point in it however is signal integrity analysis. It is based on some rules of thumb and is not comparable with the more advanced signal integrity tools offered by Allegro and Mentor Hyperlynx. Designing in Altium and trying to use the Hyperlynx for SI analysis is also not very straightforward since export/import is not really perfect. I have seen issues with the board stackup not being exported, in addition to missing passive component values after import.

The advantage of working with native Cadence or Mentor Graphics tools as I see it is the full compatibility with their SI tools. If you do not care about SI analysis, Altium is definitely the way to go. (I dare say it is even the way to go if you DO care about SI issues, if you can live with simplified SI analysis.

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Offline free_electron

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Re: Orcad compared to others?
« Reply #3 on: May 25, 2012, 12:43:50 AM »
Orcad is an 'has been'
It used to be the ferrari.... When there was nothing else.
The first windows version was crummy.. Especially compared to what protel did.
Things rea
Ly changed with protel 99se. This was about the period where cadence bought orcad. And then it all went to snot. Prices shot up and nothing was really done woth orcad as cadence was too busy with their real breadwinner : ic design tools.

A couple of years ago we got a 'dear john' letter.  Orcad is dead. Please move to expedition. There is still orcad schematic but pcb is gone. Game over. And at 20k$ for a schematic licence.. No thanks. It isnt even integrated with pcb. Cant do cross probing... Ill go with the 6.5k$ altium thank you very much.

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Offline ml-eng

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Re: Orcad compared to others?
« Reply #4 on: May 25, 2012, 04:29:55 AM »
I suggest Pulsonix, the user interface I much better than the Altium interface. Unfortunatly it is quite expensive.
 

Offline MentorGraphicsPCB

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Re: Orcad compared to others?
« Reply #5 on: March 21, 2013, 07:45:53 AM »
Since this post thread began, Mentor Graphics has released HyperLynx 9.0. Check out the announcement on our blog or our YouTube channel dedicated to HyperLynx:

PCB Design Software & Tools Blog
http://www.mentor.com/products/pcb-system-design/blog/post/introducing-hyperlynx-9-0-fastest-time-to-accurate-results-64562b8b-716c-48dd-a511-7acae8d430f0?cmpid=7833

HyperLynx PCB Analysis YouTube Channel
http://www.youtube.com/user/MentorGraphicsPCB
 

Offline jeroen74

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Re: Orcad compared to others?
« Reply #6 on: March 21, 2013, 08:26:47 AM »
I have been a long time user of Orcad Capture and Layout too, from V6.x up to V10.3. It has a couple of weird things, but I got used to them. I think the old stuff worked pretty well.

At my new job they have no CAD package at all, as they outsourced everything. No decision has been made yet whether we'll move to do PCB things ourselves or keep it being done by third parties; after all, no big changes or developments are planned.

Anyway, I had to design a simple PCB so I decided to give DipTrace a try. I'm not too excited by it at all really :-/ The schematic editor cannot even do 45 deg lines I found out today! And both Schematic and PCB never do what I want, so they constantly annoy the hell out of me; mainly moving around lines/traces and components is an annoying exercise as it always seems to select exactly what I do not want to select. I guess it's just difficult to adapt after using another package for so long. I also don't like the unpolished looks of the schematics. Even Orcad/SDT looked better in the 1990s...

Though, I think with a bit more of development, DipTrace is a promising package.
 

Offline Gall

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Re: Orcad compared to others?
« Reply #7 on: March 22, 2013, 04:32:28 AM »
Orcad is heavyweight and inconvenient even for simple tasks (especially for simple tasks). I don't use it anymore.
The difficult we do today; the impossible takes a little longer.
 

Offline AndyC_772

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Re: Orcad compared to others?
« Reply #8 on: March 22, 2013, 05:13:23 AM »
Ok, this is a really old thread, but...

I don't get the problem with Orcad, I find it easy to use, and of course, extremely capable. My only complaint is that a few of the capabilities which I really feel it should have are only available in the expensive CIS variant. Having used it at work for years, buying a copy for myself when I set up my own business was a no-brainer.

Orcad Capture plus the standard edition of PCB Designer (a feature-restricted version of Allegro, but with no artificial limitations imposed on board size or complexity) is about £2000. (Not sure where the $20k+ figure came from, it may well be the cost of one of the more upmarket licence options, but PCB Designer Professional is still only a fraction of that).
 

Offline Neilm

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Re: Orcad compared to others?
« Reply #9 on: March 22, 2013, 06:02:56 AM »

Orcad Capture plus the standard edition of PCB Designer (a feature-restricted version of Allegro, but with no artificial limitations imposed on board size or complexity) is about £2000. (Not sure where the $20k+ figure came from, it may well be the cost of one of the more upmarket licence options, but PCB Designer Professional is still only a fraction of that).

Sounds like the CIS package with some options. Things like the PSpice simulator are a lot extra

Neil
Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the the universe. - Albert Einstein
 

Offline AndyC_772

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Re: Orcad compared to others?
« Reply #10 on: March 22, 2013, 06:49:18 AM »
Capture + PSpice has an rrp of £3995; it was on special offer last year at half that. I think the $20k must be for Allegro.
 

Offline VanitarNordic

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Re: Orcad compared to others?
« Reply #11 on: March 31, 2013, 12:21:07 AM »
Orcad is not user friendly at all. for every adjustment or small edit you have to go through complex process. Specially PCB editor. I give thumbs up to Altium. My personal opinion.

Offline EngPhoeNIX

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Re: Orcad compared to others?
« Reply #12 on: April 12, 2013, 11:35:40 PM »
Altium is the BEST
 

Offline peter.mitchell

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Re: Orcad compared to others?
« Reply #13 on: April 12, 2013, 11:54:01 PM »
I recently did my first (and last[ish]) board with orcad, i really am not impressed. It is almost as annoying as kicad :P
 

Online nctnico

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Re: Orcad compared to others?
« Reply #14 on: April 20, 2013, 05:39:11 AM »
I have been using Orcad capture CIS for >10 years and Orcad layout for several years (I was able to buy a license relatively cheap). It has some quirks but it works really quick for creating schematics and PCBs. The CIS option and a parts database is a must have. With those creating a bill of materials without errors / manual labour / correct part numbers is just a mouse-click away. A big advantage of Orcad layout is that it has spread-sheet like entry for lots of things. Putting components somewhere at a certain angle is a matter of typing the coordinates and angle.

I've also used Layo1 for a long time but its cumbersome compared to Layout. The MS-DOS version worked great but the Windows version not so much. Recently I had to make some changes to a design made in Layo1 but I opted to redo the whole PCB in Layout to get the work done faster.

I have used Altium for two projects but I found it very obfustigated even though I'm a former Protel Autotrax user. Altium is probably the only software package for which I really needed the manual to get going. I've also used Geda and PCB under Linux but I found using PCB challenging because the net names are not attached to the traces. Out of curiosity I have tried several other free packages including Kicad but with most of them drawing traces wasn't easy.

I've never used Eagle although I did consider buying it. From what I've read the copy protection scheme could damage files or render files useless even if you are a paying customer. I can't have that so I didn't took the chance and paid for Orcad.
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 

Offline jeroen74

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Re: Orcad compared to others?
« Reply #15 on: April 20, 2013, 05:56:36 AM »
I used Layo1 too, must only be known to us Dutch people :) The version I used back then did not even have copper pours, only a cumbersome polygon fill, that was not editable. This was in the mid-90s.

I tried FreePCB a few years ago out of curiosity. No idea what became of it.
 

Offline free_electron

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Re: Orcad compared to others?
« Reply #16 on: April 20, 2013, 08:45:32 AM »
there WAS (not the use of past tense) nothing wrong with OrCad. For years it was the reference for PC based schematic and PCB design. Sure there was Viewdraw and Ariadne and Pads and Hiwire and Smartwork (yikes..) and Tango and Layo and Ultiboard and Vanguard and Daisy and Circuitmaker and others.

but somewhere along the line they fumbled the ball a bit and Protel came to be ( out of frustration with OrCad's lack of support and willingness to listen to customers demanding some features )

by the way, OrCad = Oregon Cad. They were based in Oregon.

And then the move from dos to Windows happened and EVERYONE , apart form protel , was late. Protel was the first.
They were also the first to have schematic link realtime with PCB. And then the world exploded.... everyone was all of a sudden 'borging' everyone else. Some of the big boys stepped in like Cadence.
Cadence borged OrCad for 2 reasons
1) the existing user base
2) the Masstek router technology embedded in OrCad

Cadence then drove the development straight into the wall , through the wall and into the drink... subsequent releases (post OrCad, so Cadence release) began being troublesome , buggy and brought nothing really new. To the point that somewhere mid 2000's every OrCad user got a 'Dear John' letter... basically telling everyone to get screwed , move to their higher end pcb tools and orcad was just going to be schematic with little development and a stalled pcb section. The price went through the roof at that time. OrCad layout is gone , and the shematic front-end is old , crusty and badly supported. At this point the whole orcad system is just a collection of loose programs tied together with some scripts , spit and ducttape. it still feels like it is 1999 ...

They call this sort of CAD tools the 'shrinkwrap' CAD. meaning it is sold in a cardboard box sealed in plastic schrinkrap. ust like any other software you find in a computer store.
the big players (Cadence, Mentor , Zuken )are not used to , and don't work like that. you buy a yearly licence to run ( not an update fee like altium , but a real licence to run. don't pay means you can't run it. some tools you even pay by the run hour or number of processor cores running it.

Cadence and Mentor ( they borged PADS) thought their way into the schrinkwarp market would be easy. simply borg these companies, make some extentions to their existing tools to glue it together. they miscalculated grossly... the audience is totally different, and also the way the audience works is totally different. very quickly the support for the schrinkwrap tools became a burden that was draining profits.. that's why cadence killed off the layout in favor of their higher end in-house tool.

Ultiboard was one of the companies that held out the longest. Eagle is a relative newcomer. There was a german company that held out for a long time as well. EdWin. that was it.

but they all fell by the wayside. some are still around but make those 'pcb maker' tied-in tools. many a pcb maker now gives you free cad software that, of course, can only generate output they can read. that's where things like Tango and a lot of others ended up.

The open-sauce stands nowhere. their performance is even weaker than eagle. Hopefully with the effort injection from CERN that will change.
and then there is the whole borging going on by the likes of digikey and element14 and mouser ( all three now have their tools)

And then there are the web-based design tools, which are still in their infancy ... diaper stage... The kind of diaper that hasn't been changed in a while and leg openings are starting to fray and show brown spots...


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Online nctnico

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Re: Orcad compared to others?
« Reply #17 on: April 20, 2013, 08:59:47 AM »
No thanks for reminding me about Ultiboard & Ulticrap. Shudder. Edwin was also some dopey attempt at a CAD package. But I shouldn't complain. The first software I made money with was a PCB design tool for MSX2 home computers.
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 

Offline free_electron

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Re: Orcad compared to others?
« Reply #18 on: April 20, 2013, 09:02:23 AM »
Ultibrol...
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Offline jeroen74

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Re: Orcad compared to others?
« Reply #19 on: April 21, 2013, 01:55:21 AM »
Anyone remember SmartART? I guess one of the first DOS based PCB programs. With a command line and it used wind-direction orientation. (e.g. west to go left, north to go up).
 

Offline free_electron

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Re: Orcad compared to others?
« Reply #20 on: April 21, 2013, 02:15:48 AM »
Anyone remember SmartART? I guess one of the first DOS based PCB programs. With a command line and it used wind-direction orientation. (e.g. west to go left, north to go up).
SmartWork , not smartart. later became HiWire. Made by winTek. ran under dos

yep.

dip 40 600 e   

gave you a 40 pin dip 600 mils rowpitch drawn from bottome left to bottom right ( pin 1 was bottom left corner. so the body was extended eastward ( north being top of the screen )

f1 place pad
f2 remove pad
f3 place track
f4 remove track
f5 toggle wide/ narrow

Smartwork was the ONLY program that would automatically shave Ic pads so it could place a track between them. !

i made lots of boards with that thing... 320x200 resoltion on CGA... later they had an EGA version (640x400)

those were the days.. (grampa mode)
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Offline free_electron

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Re: Orcad compared to others?
« Reply #21 on: April 21, 2013, 02:20:04 AM »
just found this one. from New-zealand. looks like a Protel for windows clone...

http://www.hutson.co.nz/rimupcb.htm

and dirt cheap !  maybe worth playing with
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Online nctnico

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Re: Orcad compared to others?
« Reply #22 on: April 21, 2013, 07:29:12 AM »
I wouldn't bother. Read the Q&A: http://www.hutson.co.nz/rimupctn.htm
The smallest grid is 0.1mm. That is way to big for modern PCBs.
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 

Offline cwz

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Re: Orcad compared to others?
« Reply #23 on: April 29, 2013, 01:39:53 AM »
As was mentioned already on here, OrCAD doesn't really exist as OrCAD any longer.  It's been absorbed into Cadence SPB.  OrCAD Capture is still around, and with 16.6, Cadence has finally done a pretty decent facelift on it.

In terms of stacking it up to other tools, it compares against some, but for others, it's a bit more apples & oranges.  In the US at least, it's fairly the industry standard.  When you find schematics or part libraries distributed from vendors, they are most often in OrCAD format.  The layout editor, Allegro, is also somewhat the defacto standard for higher end designs.  People complain a lot that Allegro has a steep learning curve, which is probably a fair statement.  These products compete with the offerings from Mentor (PADS, BoardStation, Expedition).  They are expensive, but for the markets that they're intended for, the price isn't really a huge issue.

Altium seems like a nice tool, but I haven't run into it a ton.  Protel 99SE had a reputation for being nice looking but very buggy.  Having never really used it, I can't confirm or deny that.

Eagle seems to be more a tool aimed at hobbyist level designs.
 

Offline Neilm

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Re: Orcad compared to others?
« Reply #24 on: May 31, 2013, 04:23:16 AM »
I'm forced to use it at work and hate it. One level of undo? Even selecting stuff on screen is tricky. Parts library management is terrible.

One level of undo? What version are you using? I use OrCad capture 16.5 at work it has at least 10 levels.

Neil
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