Author Topic: Proteus Reviews Wanted  (Read 12671 times)

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Offline LabSpokane

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Proteus Reviews Wanted
« on: April 10, 2015, 04:02:18 pm »
I'm seriously considering dropping the dime on Proteus. Before I do, I figured I'd see if anyone who's been living with it had some feedback about it. I tried the demo and it has its quirks. It won't let me generate gerbers so it's hard to truly fly before you buy.

Thoughts?
 

Offline Wilksey

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Re: Proteus Reviews Wanted
« Reply #1 on: April 10, 2015, 08:51:32 pm »
Depends on the package you opt for, but, Proteus is used in UK universities, it has some nice simulation features, the schematic capture is fully capable, and is very intuitive, creating parts etc is quite simple.

The layout tool "Ares" is missing some features for high speed design, but it is fully functional and is very easy to use.  I used it in industry on V7, I have used V8 for testing purposes, and it is not much different.

Overall a good package for the price (£4k for the "platinum" I think), the autorouter - meh, if you set it up correctly it will do a decent enough job, if you even use the AR, most don't, many will tell you it's a sin, I am an occasional sinner and it has produced workable results every time, then, most other packages have also.

Their support, though i've never had to use it, seems to be very good, they seem to have a dedicated team of support engineers and they answer quite quickly through their forums, they have a YouTube channel with various videos.

It has the usual 3D view, Gerber viewer, older graphics chips used to cause issues with drawing, not sure that is an issue these days.

IMO it is a mid level package, comparable for me to something like CadStar, and if I were going to recommend a PCB "food chain" it would go something like:
KiCAD -> DipTrace / Eagle -> Proteus -> Altium or OrCAD

KiCAD being free, but very very usable, DT/Eagle being low to mid range, i'm sure you can read the discussions on these on the forums, if you have a spare year to sift through all of the divided opinions! :)  Proteus is one of the best for simulation (of PIC's) and has a decent layout and capture tool, the only thing missing is as I say, high speed design, diff pairs, length matching etc, and Altium and OrCAD are on their own level.

Gerbers are simple to create with their CAM processor, if you post your project I am sure someone could if you needed it, create Gerbers for you.
 

Offline digsys

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Re: Proteus Reviews Wanted
« Reply #2 on: April 10, 2015, 09:35:47 pm »
I've been using it from just about it's 1st release, when it came on 51/4, then 31/2 floppies. I've done several 100 pcbs on it and still put out
25-50 a year nowdays. I've also used Protel from the beginning and got caught up in their cr@p. And on occasions used most other packages.
And I haven't found another one that would make me want to switch. What I like -
A very wysiwyg and straightforward interface, not constantly clicking through menus. Very easy parts creation and editing etc
It has never missed a beat or cr@pped out a layout on me, so I trust the netlist implicitly. Plenty of "high end" features, if I need them.
A very nice feel on how things snap and lock .. just a pleasure to use. A very fair pricing structure, with no penalty upgrades if needed.
In Wilkseys list, I'd put it a LONG way above Diptrace/Eagle, and on par with Altium (which has a lot of stuff that most people would never use IMO.)
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Offline Wilksey

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Re: Proteus Reviews Wanted
« Reply #3 on: April 11, 2015, 12:51:41 am »
To be honest, if it had the high speed stuff it would be a very close 2nd to Altium, but even KiCAD and Eagle and soon apparently DT will have high speed tools, if Labcenter put these into Proteus it would be a close 2nd in my opinion.

For mid - high PCB design capability, if you need high speed then choose Altium or OrCAD, if you don't and can afford it go for Proteus.

Truth is you will probably never use the full capacity of either Proteus or Altium for that matter.
 

Offline LabSpokane

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Re: Proteus Reviews Wanted
« Reply #4 on: April 11, 2015, 02:02:40 am »
Thanks. I definitely will not be using any package's full capacity. I'm mainly concerned about getting quality work out the door quickly without having to guess at workarounds or endlessly surf the Internet in hopes of finding an instructional trick to do something trivial - as seems the rule with Eagle.
 

Offline Wilksey

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Re: Proteus Reviews Wanted
« Reply #5 on: April 11, 2015, 02:52:28 am »
Well, without starting a debate (another one) about Eagle, it is absolutely fine, as long as you know and want to know how to use it.

Anywho, Proteus will not let you down in your ventures I am sure of it as it is a very capable and mature product.

If you have been using it before then you will know this, I think Labcenter might even offer a money back guarantee if you don't get on with it, or they might let you evaluate it a bit more indepth if you speak to one of their support team or sales guys.
 

Offline LabSpokane

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Re: Proteus Reviews Wanted
« Reply #6 on: April 11, 2015, 03:00:03 am »
Well, without starting a debate (another one) about Eagle, it is absolutely fine, as long as you know and want to know how to use it.

I agree. It's just an ease/speed of use issue. I am time-limited, so I'm willing to trade some cash for ease and speed.

I don't want a debate thread either. I will say I do enjoy the widespread adoption of Eagle. Being able to directly send OshPark one file is definitely a low-friction feature. And I do like that it is OSX native.

Anyway. Back to Proteus. How useful are the microcontroller and SPICE simulation? 
 

Online Alex Eisenhut

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Re: Proteus Reviews Wanted
« Reply #7 on: April 11, 2015, 03:38:36 am »
I'm seriously considering dropping the dime on Proteus. Before I do, I figured I'd see if anyone who's been living with it had some feedback about it. I tried the demo and it has its quirks. It won't let me generate gerbers so it's hard to truly fly before you buy.

Thoughts?

Well, maybe I watch too many old movies, but the expression "dropping the dime" means snitching on someone, from when a phone call cost a dime. I thought Proteus did something heinous.
 

Offline nctnico

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Re: Proteus Reviews Wanted
« Reply #8 on: April 11, 2015, 06:56:39 am »
I'm seriously considering dropping the dime on Proteus. Before I do, I figured I'd see if anyone who's been living with it had some feedback about it. I tried the demo and it has its quirks. It won't let me generate gerbers so it's hard to truly fly before you buy.

Thoughts?
Make 2 PCBs with it and then decide. The first PCB determines how easy (or not) the package works. The second PCB determines if the package is easy enough to remember how things should be done.
IMHO choosing a PCB package is like buying a pair of shoes. Everyone has a different 'taste', requirements and size.
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 

Offline LabSpokane

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Re: Proteus Reviews Wanted
« Reply #9 on: April 11, 2015, 07:37:51 am »
I'm seriously considering dropping the dime on Proteus. Before I do, I figured I'd see if anyone who's been living with it had some feedback about it. I tried the demo and it has its quirks. It won't let me generate gerbers so it's hard to truly fly before you buy.

Thoughts?

Well, maybe I watch too many old movies, but the expression "dropping the dime" means snitching on someone, from when a phone call cost a dime. I thought Proteus did something heinous.

Dropping some coin?  My excuse for the bad idiom is ... Well, I forget ...
 

Offline Wilksey

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Re: Proteus Reviews Wanted
« Reply #10 on: April 11, 2015, 08:32:00 am »
Very useful!

Takes a bit of processing power mind, but I have never had many issues apart from CCS C with Proteus, Mikro E and XC compilers all seem to work well for the PIC side at least, and the later versions of Proteus I believe can simulate Arduino Uno, which is of course just an Atmel 328p.
 

Offline Icchan

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Re: Proteus Reviews Wanted
« Reply #11 on: April 16, 2015, 08:15:18 am »
Proteus pretty much has most that one needs, except push and shove... and for many that alone could be a deal breaker. P&S saves huge amount of time when laying out the board.
I heard a small snippet of a rumor that they're working on interactive capabilities after 7.9+, but since they don't give out any kind of road maps or estimates when it could be available, it's a risk one has to take that they're not going to be there.

And the fact that one can't expand Proteus with High Speed design and layout tools after purchasing (no differential pairs in 2015.. the hell?) it doesn't expand with your company or job requirements.

So currently (unless they make progress fast) it is not something I would recommend.

Offline Wilksey

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Re: Proteus Reviews Wanted
« Reply #12 on: April 16, 2015, 11:13:34 am »
7.9?
It is not on 7.10 or 8 I can tell you for sure, you can download the demo for 8 and it is not present, nor is it on their "pro" package.
 

Offline Icchan

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Re: Proteus Reviews Wanted
« Reply #13 on: April 17, 2015, 05:54:26 pm »
7.9?
It is not on 7.10 or 8 I can tell you for sure, you can download the demo for 8 and it is not present, nor is it on their "pro" package.

Yes, after 7.9+ so it could mean when ever. But at least they say that they're trying to get one in... It's not in there yet though.

Offline Oric

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Re: Proteus Reviews Wanted
« Reply #14 on: April 05, 2017, 07:46:44 pm »
I have been designing PCB layouts for 20 years and have used Altium, Eagle, and EasyPC with no issues and very little training in the past. I am now having to use Proteus, and I have found to be difficult and convoluted, a very poor product to use. The GUI handling of components leaves me very frustrated as features (albeit little) are missing and the lack of key short cuts makes hard work of easy tasks. Never struggled with using a CAD package before. |O
 

Offline digsys

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Re: Proteus Reviews Wanted
« Reply #15 on: April 05, 2017, 09:06:19 pm »
Quote from: Oric
I have been designing PCB layouts for 20 years and have used Altium, Eagle, and EasyPC with no issues and very little training in the past. I am now having to use Proteus, and I have found to be difficult and convoluted, a very poor product to use ...
Nice entrance for a first post :-)  As I said at the start, been doing PCBs for 45yrs, when it was just tag-strips. I've also tried / used just about every package since as well,
and have the complete opposite experience. I fly through dozens of layouts a month, in some instances, and I've trained dozens of new users, with no gripes. as always, YMMV
Hello <tap> <tap> .. is this thing on?
 

Offline ebclr

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Re: Proteus Reviews Wanted
« Reply #16 on: May 03, 2017, 03:23:12 pm »
Proteus main problem is lack of libraries and import  export formats. Otherwise is well made, specially on simulation.

I believe that Altium or circuitstudio is a better option, for complex pcb, For DIP legacy stuff Proteus is easier to use
 

Offline DerekG

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Re: Proteus Reviews Wanted
« Reply #17 on: May 03, 2017, 03:30:59 pm »
I were going to recommend a PCB "food chain" it would go something like:
KiCAD -> DipTrace / Eagle -> Proteus -> Altium or OrCAD

I quite like Proteus having used it for work for 4 or so years now.

However I would put DipTrace (my preferred design package) on the same level in the food chain as Proteus. DipTrace has had high speed design capabilities for over 12 months now & unlike Proteus, you can export your schematics & pcbs (& netlists) to Altium via the PCAD export filter. If you design using Proteus, there is no way to export your files in a usable way for use with Altium.
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Offline Simon

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Re: Proteus Reviews Wanted
« Reply #18 on: May 07, 2017, 05:49:43 pm »
I have been designing PCB layouts for 20 years and have used Altium, Eagle, and EasyPC with no issues and very little training in the past. I am now having to use Proteus, and I have found to be difficult and convoluted, a very poor product to use. The GUI handling of components leaves me very frustrated as features (albeit little) are missing and the lack of key short cuts makes hard work of easy tasks. Never struggled with using a CAD package before. |O

I sort of get the gist of your frustration and what does need bearing in mind is that for some reason Proteus works in a completely different way to most other packages. I too found this frustrating at first but if you persevere you will learn how to use it. I bought the second-tier licence as I definitely wanted 3D CAD output and custom copper pours. The idea of generating components and footprints and managing the library from within the main schematic or PCB sections was quite the novelty but at the end of the day you get used to it and it saves you opening another window it's just a little bit hair raising at first to think that you are messing about with breaking down and putting symbols back together in the middle of your main design but at the end of the day it's okay and to a degree it means that you can be part way through drawing a symbol or a footprint and then just save your project and close it and know that the library part you are halfway through can be completed when you open it again.

Personally I found it easier to start from scratch with my own symbols and footprints. I have now got to the point where I have completely eliminated their libraries and retained only the essential files required which define things like pads and holes that are subcomponents of footprints and symbols. This is easily done as you can point software at any folder you like which contains libraries so you can initially run your own libraries in parallel until you decide you want to stop using theirs. They seem to have a love for Digi Key which might help people in America as a lot of parts are already in there with Digi Key codes. Personally I use Farnell although I always avoid using distributor order codes as these can change at random and get assigned to a completely different part which is not helpful to a subcontractor who suddenly orders an expensive contactor instead of a resistor. I have become partial to Farnell's own brand of resistors and ceramic capacitors as I figure they are no worse than anyone else's and it will get me less questions from a subcontractor when they can't get stock of a specific manufacturer of 0805 resistor when in reality as long as it is 1% and the same PPM I don't really care who made it.

As I said the workflow is significantly different to other programs. Coming from to trace and Kai CAD (which ended up driving me completely round the bend once they started changing library management every other new version) I did find it a bit strange. It does have its quirks for example if you want to stitch 2 planes together you don't use vias you have to use a through hole pads. So you put your first 1 in and assign it to layers, then you copy it or you "replicate it" which is essentially a pattern tool which is quite useful. What I did recently find was that if I want to delete any remaining vias having rooted a board please don't select as vias because they are pads.

To be honest the autoroutes is reasonable and it is not their product. It is something they sublicense. I found this recently when I contacted them to point out that putting a quad flatpack chip at 45° made it impossible to root because the auto router would not deal with 45° angles. The guy explained that it’s possible that the auto router does now have this feature but they need to upgrade their licence. At the end of the day anything that is very particular you should be manually routing. I find the custom copper pours very handy for just drawing thick traces for power of any particular random shape. Follow me around feature of the manual routing is also quite nice as you can just click on your starting pin and then move the mouse around the board and the trace will follow you around and create itself where possible and refused to wear it can’t allow you to find an alternate route. I rooted a board containing one microcontroller and necessary components for it to get power and drive a small H bridge in a matter of minutes or so for the traces that I would have used the auto router for.

What is very good is their support. To be honest the help files I find a bit hopeless and I am about to ask a question about Proteus myself on the forum but it does have to be said that they are very helpful via email or via phone. I have often rung them up and spoken to someone who talks me through a procedure over the course of 15 minutes which I think is excellent. Most other suppliers would probably not answer or in the case of dip trace tell you to get lost and that there is nothing wrong with their software (standard Russian response).
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Offline suku

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Re: Proteus Reviews Wanted
« Reply #19 on: June 09, 2017, 01:46:45 am »
Proteus just works! my favorite part is the synchronization between the schematic and the PCB is really quite smart... Also, the interface is easy to use and very responsive!
 

Offline ebclr

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Re: Proteus Reviews Wanted
« Reply #20 on: June 09, 2017, 02:30:42 am »
For simulation, proteus is very convenient, for PCB forget, can't import export libraries and files from other packages.

It's a closed system. If you want to be in your own world making yourself libs for each component since the available libs are very poor, and don't import export anything other than Gerber for fabrication.

If you are comfortable on this closed world is a usable tool, But...
 

Offline Simon

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Re: Proteus Reviews Wanted
« Reply #21 on: June 09, 2017, 02:57:26 am »
I have to admit I have gone and bought circuit studio as I began to get fed up with Proteus. Things in it are just so weired and convoluted. Yes libraries are a nightmare.
https://www.simonselectronics.co.uk/shop New stock now in of EEVblog Brymen 235 and uCurrent Gold, Now selling a selection of Probe Master probes
 

Offline suku

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Re: Proteus Reviews Wanted
« Reply #22 on: June 09, 2017, 06:35:45 am »
But it's super simple to create custom parts, the easiest I've seen so far...
 

Offline ebclr

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Re: Proteus Reviews Wanted
« Reply #23 on: June 09, 2017, 06:56:04 am »
"But it's super simple to create custom parts"

No simpler to get a component who will be available on a extense and big library of the other packages, also it's a bad practice since everybody will have a different version for the same component, You can use paint to make your circuits if you want to make custom things, there you have access to every pixel
 

Offline Simon

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Re: Proteus Reviews Wanted
« Reply #24 on: June 09, 2017, 04:15:57 pm »
The problem I found was that once you place a part you no longer know what it is as double clicking on the symbol yields nothing but the name of the part so I ended up with made names like "1K 0805 1%" which is disruptive to the schematic. what you want is "1K" then double click on the symbol and find out what it is. Yes you can setup links to datasheets etc but the whole thing is painful, a year later I still can't sit down and just design something.
https://www.simonselectronics.co.uk/shop New stock now in of EEVblog Brymen 235 and uCurrent Gold, Now selling a selection of Probe Master probes
 


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