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Offline Simon

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Questions about Proteus
« on: March 13, 2016, 08:24:28 pm »
I'm thinking of buying Proteus but I'm a bit confused about the limitation of power planes. If I'm doing a power design where it makes sense to have a number of copper pause to carry high currents or to act as heat sinks this is mean I will not be able to do them? I would have thought the limitation on the pin count is already sufficient to stop people doing designs that are too complex.

I'm also wondering about how we library management system works. I use more than one computer to do my work a home PC and my laptop which lets me do work on the go. With one licence would be limited to one computer? How would 2 different computers be able to access the same library files? At the moment are you KiCAD and I put all of my libraries in my dropbox so they are accessible from both computers.
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Online jpb

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Re: Questions about Proteus
« Reply #1 on: March 14, 2016, 01:26:58 am »
I'm thinking of buying Proteus but I'm a bit confused about the limitation of power planes. If I'm doing a power design where it makes sense to have a number of copper pause to carry high currents or to act as heat sinks this is mean I will not be able to do them? I would have thought the limitation on the pin count is already sufficient to stop people doing designs that are too complex.

I'm also wondering about how we library management system works. I use more than one computer to do my work a home PC and my laptop which lets me do work on the go. With one licence would be limited to one computer? How would 2 different computers be able to access the same library files? At the moment are you KiCAD and I put all of my libraries in my dropbox so they are accessible from both computers.
I would like to know the answers to these questions as well. (I'm looking at Proteus and trying to compare to Diptrace, Eagle, KiCAD).

The power plane thing seems to be a major limitation though - I think it means you can't do things like having guards around pins (except as perhaps tracks) and you can't choose to use coplanar wave guide. You wouldn't be able to reduce capacitance with cutouts beneath key components and I suspect there are other things I might want to do and suddenly find myself stuck.

The pin limitation is reasonable, if you want a more complex circuit you pay a bit more to increase from 500 to 1000 but if you're on the base version at £150+VAT~£180 and find you do need cutouts then you have to fork out about four times as much (£595+VAT ~£720) for the level 2 version. This is the main thing that is currently preventing me going the Proteus route.

Of course these costs are trivial for commercial use, but for someone like me - a keen amateur/hobbyist I can justify 2 or 3 £100 but when it starts to look like £1000 plus ongoing costs if you want to keep up with newer versions then it is unaffordable.

The trouble is I just don't know if the power plane thing is a real problem or something that can be worked around.

An example of a possible problematic layout is that of Figure 2 of the LT3081 data sheet:
http://cds.linear.com/docs/en/datasheet/3081fc.pdf
« Last Edit: March 14, 2016, 01:34:42 am by jpb »
 

Offline Simon

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Re: Questions about Proteus
« Reply #2 on: March 14, 2016, 01:30:42 am »
I'm not sure if there is a limit on the amount of layers you can use. I think it's one power plane per layer whereas initially I was worried they were saying only one power plane. Yes it could become a problem where you want say a digital and analogue ground plane on the same layer. My designs at the moment are not too complex and as I am looking to make money with them I don't mind paying some money but I don't want to get locked into a software that is then going to be very expensive to get to do what I want. I'm also wondering about how the libraries are organised. I think I need to give them a ring. It's also not clear what they mean by 3-D viewer availability. I have 3-D CAD I don't need a 3-D viewer but I need a 3-D model which is a different thing. Dip trace is a bit cheaper although there 3-D modelling capability is an absolute joke because it cannot cope with external models I usually just fall over.
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Online jpb

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Re: Questions about Proteus
« Reply #3 on: March 14, 2016, 01:41:04 am »
I am more concerned with say guarding voltage references - these might be very simple circuits but you want to prevent stray current/conduction as in
the LT3081 example that I added as an edit to my earlier post after your reply (a case of crossed wires).

Reading these forums and looking at the various offerings I'm in a bit of a conundrum.

DipTrace users seem a little unhappy with it and the pace of progress/development.
Eagle people either love it or hate it and it is going to the web in the latest low cost version which I don't want to do.
KiCAD, like all opensouce stuff (and I use a lot of it) is liable to be a bit inconsistent - some bits very good and other bits neglected.

Finally Proteus is a bit more expensive and has difficult to assess limitations on the "cheaper" versions.
« Last Edit: March 14, 2016, 01:45:37 am by jpb »
 

Offline digsys

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Re: Questions about Proteus
« Reply #4 on: March 14, 2016, 01:52:45 am »
To answer a couple questions -
Licensing is pretty well done. You can install on as many PCs as you want, but only 1 can run at a time. It checks your local NW to see if another instance is active.
It also "registers" you on the Internet, IF it can make a connection. IF one of the PCs can't access the Internet, you get a warning, but good to go.
Not sure how long you get, but I've had a couple running for a few hrs, by accident, our NW had died. It will simply shut 1 of the sessions down, once it figures it out :-)
Edit: The pin limitation is on the # used in the Netlist. There are ways to get around this, worst case, smaller sections. There is a lot of detail somewhere, I think on
these forums.
« Last Edit: March 14, 2016, 01:54:49 am by digsys »
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Offline digsys

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Re: Questions about Proteus
« Reply #5 on: March 14, 2016, 02:18:50 am »
I have heard of power plane limitations on the base version, but I don't believe there is any # layer limit. Only the # netlists.
I personally hate power-planes, I've seen more failures from power planes than shoddy routing. If I need guards, I run the usual guard tracks, driven or passive.
That way I can optimise the type of guard for each signal type. In most cases, in my type of work, good layout / decoupling etc eliminates the need for a true power
plane. I have used them in rare cases, usually DGPS etc. There ARE definitely times you have to use them, but I see too many designs that just have them in because
everyone else is doing it. YMMV.
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Offline Wilksey

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Re: Questions about Proteus
« Reply #6 on: March 14, 2016, 10:29:44 am »
Proteus has 3D view like KiCAD, it can generate .STEP, .IGES and .STL for MCAD, for 3D models, you can specify geometry within the editor, or load .STEP / .IGES files, for mechanical model, for visual model, you can import vml / 3ds etc.

Libraries, you can customise the library folder, so you can add your c:\users\xxxx\dropbox folder for example and create libraries in that folder, separately and share them for example.

We have a licensed version, but don't really use it much any more.
 

Offline Simon

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Re: Questions about Proteus
« Reply #7 on: March 17, 2016, 07:00:11 pm »
ok I bought the basic version. In one word useless: The power plane limitation literally means power. I can only connect a plane to GND...... so so useless for SMD work. I'm struggling to create a manual plane for heat sinking with thick traces but to be fair need to look at setings first before i rule on that.

But so far looks like this is only any good if you shell out £720
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Online jpb

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Re: Questions about Proteus
« Reply #8 on: March 18, 2016, 08:01:58 am »
ok I bought the basic version. In one word useless: The power plane limitation literally means power. I can only connect a plane to GND...... so so useless for SMD work. I'm struggling to create a manual plane for heat sinking with thick traces but to be fair need to look at setings first before i rule on that.

But so far looks like this is only any good if you shell out £720
Can you have multi-layers and use vias? Though this would require a 4 layer board presumably. Sorry to hear that you seem to have wasted your money, though I'm glad for the warning.

I really don't understand why they've chosen this drastic limitation and then made it such that you have to go 3 price levels up to get around it. I find it frustrating because I'd like to support a UK company but they seem not to want business from anyone on a budget (hobbyists/small businesses etc).

I suspect they chose the power plane constraint when most boards were through hole and have just stuck with it since.
 

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Re: Questions about Proteus
« Reply #9 on: March 18, 2016, 06:47:09 pm »
The software is clearly throughhole oriented in it's limitations.  But it seems quite nice so far. The plane/copper pour limitation is barking mad, it's either "vcc" or "gnd" and you only get one power tag which is also mad, I have a small design with 3 supply voltages in it so having a VCC1, VCC2, VCC3 beats running lines all over the drawing. there may be other ways around it I've not discivered yet.

Nice software, it's just that they are so protective of it no one will get to urchase it and appreciate it.
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Re: Questions about Proteus
« Reply #10 on: March 21, 2016, 08:23:57 pm »
Hm, new problem, how do I make manually placed via's attach themselves to the nets of the planes I have "dumped" them in.
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Offline Labcenter

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Re: Questions about Proteus
« Reply #11 on: March 24, 2016, 09:56:38 pm »
Hi All,

We received an e-mail in support on this earlier this morning and I thought it might be worth replying in general to the issues raised here.

The limitation with planes/copper pour is a single flood fill per layer. It's not limited in terms of which nets you can attach. For example, you may have a +5V and a +3.3V as well as a GND. Basically, any named net will appear in the combo box for assigning to the copper pour. A net will be named either by virtue of being connected to a named terminal or via a wire label making the assignment.

So, to have split planes on a single layer (e.g. AGND and DGND) you need to have advanced feature set, otherwise you are fine.  Here's some more detail :

In Proteus, vias are treated as transient objects so they pick up the net to which they are tracked our routed. This connectivity is re-scanned and refreshed when the netlist changes, the project re-opened etc. Stitching to a zone is therefore done with pads. Place a pad, edit and assign to net. Then, either replicate or block copy as required. The clearance will default to that specified in the edit zone dialogue but can be overriden in the pad dialogue itself.

Stitching pads (and vias in general) do not contribute to a pin limitation. As discussed above, this works purely on pins in the netlist.

Licensing is, as previously mentioned, user based. No problem with a single user installing on laptop  and desktop for example.

I hope this answers some of the questions raised.
Labcenter Support.
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« Last Edit: March 25, 2016, 06:39:59 am by Labcenter »
 

Online jpb

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Re: Questions about Proteus
« Reply #12 on: March 27, 2016, 05:37:50 am »
Thank you LabCentre for responding with some answers.

Though from my point of view, as a potential purchaser on a budget, the key question is how restrictive is the power plane limitation? And the answer seems to be very - given any need for mixed digital and analogue circuits, of surface mount or creating island and guard planes (though there may be work-arounds) or CPW.

The related question is how much do we need to pay to avoid the restriction and the answer to that is the need to go to the third level up and pay approximately £720. This is not a lot to a largish commercial concern but it essentially is too high as a cost of entry for hobbyists or even small companies that don't produce a lot of boards.

It will be interesting to get further feedback from Simon regarding the level 1 constraints, but I personally think it is not good customer relations to impose constraints that are difficult for new buyers to assess. The pin count constraint makes sense and the idea of buying in at 500 pins and then paying more if more are needed seems fair and reasonable. But the power plane constraint is hard to assess until you need to use the software (when it is too late) and the cost of removing it is high (£180 to £720 is a factor of 4 times).
 

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Re: Questions about Proteus
« Reply #13 on: March 27, 2016, 07:23:52 pm »
It will be interesting to get further feedback from Simon regarding the level 1 constraints, but I personally think it is not good customer relations to impose constraints that are difficult for new buyers to assess. The pin count constraint makes sense and the idea of buying in at 500 pins and then paying more if more are needed seems fair and reasonable. But the power plane constraint is hard to assess until you need to use the software (when it is too late) and the cost of removing it is high (£180 to £720 is a factor of 4 times).

Indeed all you can do with copper planes is pour over the whole board you have no other option. You can stitch planes together as described by lab centre frankly I find the not being able to assign a via to a net a bit odd but if a pad is as good as a via then fair enough. I think a lot of the perceived problems come from the fact that Proteus does things in very different ways from other software although the result we are trying to achieve and will achieve is the same. I do find it rather bizarre that you cannot just assign a copper pour to any net but instead have to put a label on that net and then choose the label. Again it's not really much of a limitation just a strange way of doing things.

As I have already said to them the limitations are very through-hole orientated. These days we use copper pours for very custom traces for surface mount work. My suggestion would be that if they lowered the limitations somewhat and the demo version had the ability to save a design with maybe 50 pins it would give people the opportunity to get a better grip on what software can do as it is not possible to learn how to use it and produce a design from start to finish without being able to save the design and it leaves you thinking the software cannot do what it can do in fact.

I rarely need to go beyond 500 pins in my design but I will have to spend £720 to officially buy the capability of 3000 pins or whatever it is just so that I can use copper pours for power tracks. That is very disappointing as I am in a chicken and egg situation where lots of people have shown an interest in a particular type of product but until I go through the whole process of designing and building prototypes of the product nobody will be interested. So on top of the time and cost of making the prototypes I also have to shell out quite a bit of money from my point of view as I'm not really making any money at this game yet in order to get the software which will do it and then I may still never sell the product. Ultimately I will be buying level III but there is going to be some scrimping and saving 1st and hopefully somebody else doesn't beat me to it in the development.
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Online jpb

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Re: Questions about Proteus
« Reply #14 on: March 28, 2016, 03:57:27 am »
I rarely need to go beyond 500 pins in my design but I will have to spend £720 to officially buy the capability of 3000 pins or whatever it is just so that I can use copper pours for power tracks. That is very disappointing as I am in a chicken and egg situation where lots of people have shown an interest in a particular type of product but until I go through the whole process of designing and building prototypes of the product nobody will be interested. So on top of the time and cost of making the prototypes I also have to shell out quite a bit of money from my point of view as I'm not really making any money at this game yet in order to get the software which will do it and then I may still never sell the product. Ultimately I will be buying level III but there is going to be some scrimping and saving 1st and hopefully somebody else doesn't beat me to it in the development.
Actually £720 only buys you 1000 pins at level 2 (the prices are at level 1 in round number s £180 for 500, £360 for 1000, £480 for 2000 then you go to level 2 at £720 and go back down to 1000 pins).

I think that for me, as a hobbyist where I don't expect to make any money, the cost of ownership is just too high. I think it would make much more sense if they just sold the level two software and perhaps allowed 500 pins at around £350 or they just stuck at £720 being the entry level and did what you said and allowed 50 pins for a trial version.

The simulation stuff makes everything even more complicated if you want to make use of it with a massive menu of different options at different prices.

The complication and the half hidden nature of the power plane restriction must be bad for customer relations. For instance, in your case you spent out a not-insignificant sum only to find what you have is "useless" for your purposes. Then do you spend four times as much or do you cut your losses and use something else? Either way, you've started your relationship with the Lab Centre feeling less than happy (I suspect) and probably slightly conned.

On top of this, they don't seem to advertise what it costs to maintain the software (i.e. what you have to pay if you want updates after the first six months that you get with your initial purchase).

Over all the cost of ownership seems to be made deliberately hard to assess. This is not unusual but is slightly disappointing.

My current position is that I can't make up my mind between KiCAD (free, but a bit of a mixed bag from what I've read), DipTrace (cheap hobbyist option and some sing its praises whilst others comment that it isn't being developed or supported as much as it might be), Eagle (which is quirky and going the cloud route which I personally don't like) or Proteus which requires you to spend £720 whereas my budget is around 1/3 to 1/2 that for what I do.

 

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Re: Questions about Proteus
« Reply #15 on: March 28, 2016, 04:13:07 am »
The complication and the half hidden nature of the power plane restriction must be bad for customer relations. For instance, in your case you spent out a not-insignificant sum only to find what you have is "useless" for your purposes. Then do you spend four times as much or do you cut your losses and use something else? Either way, you've started your relationship with the Lab Centre feeling less than happy (I suspect) and probably slightly conned.

On top of this, they don't seem to advertise what it costs to maintain the software (i.e. what you have to pay if you want updates after the first six months that you get with your initial purchase).

Over all the cost of ownership seems to be made deliberately hard to assess. This is not unusual but is slightly disappointing.

My current position is that I can't make up my mind between KiCAD (free, but a bit of a mixed bag from what I've read), DipTrace (cheap hobbyist option and some sing its praises whilst others comment that it isn't being developed or supported as much as it might be), Eagle (which is quirky and going the cloud route which I personally don't like) or Proteus which requires you to spend £720 whereas my budget is around 1/3 to 1/2 that for what I do.



I was aware of the one plane per layer limit when I bought it. At first this seemed limited to "power planes" as that was the description. But it emerges that you can assign any net to a plane providing you put a pin label on it. Which is a bit weird but ok and poorly described. The description of features does leave you with questions.

If you do a bit of reading the cost of ownership is apparent. I think it's 25% of buying it from scratch for an upgrade.

Diptrace is a waste of time, they have just brought out version 3 with little extra functionality, now if I open a file with the new trial and then open it with my original licenced 2.9 version I get messages encouraging me to update. Diptrace is a waste of time and money. It has only one main developer who apparently has a family, or at least that is their excuse for slow progress. The autorouter is a joke as if you put a couple of copper pours in it stops working and can't route.

KiCAD is good, I'd still use it for doing loom drawings at work as it's so fast to edit scematics, but I am loosing faith in it as they have done this new library organization scheme that is barking mad. A good theory but in practice it does not work. I had my PC not working it properly and then set my laptop up properly, only to find a week later that the laptop stopped working and the PC could use libraries so I am not willing to be at the risk of someone tinkering with an online library. I used only libraries on my machine but still got weired messages when trying to run the package assignment program so I think I'm giving it a miss. Free is great but people just do as they please with little consideration for legacy and constant funtionality.

Proteus seems quite good but with it's quirks. I think once I have learnt to use it I will be very happy and it will be a very powerful tool that is very good at automating things. for example i can just draw a schematic, move straight to routing a board and then send my assembler the gerbers and BOM that are automatically generated. It all needs setting up but when i get round to it it will be sweet.

The next option is Altium at £5000 (and you have to ask to know the price) I still get emails from their UK reseller thinking i will buy it - fat chance.
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Online jpb

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Re: Questions about Proteus
« Reply #16 on: March 28, 2016, 06:27:14 am »

I was aware of the one plane per layer limit when I bought it. At first this seemed limited to "power planes" as that was the description. But it emerges that you can assign any net to a plane providing you put a pin label on it. Which is a bit weird but ok and poorly described. The description of features does leave you with questions.

If you do a bit of reading the cost of ownership is apparent. I think it's 25% of buying it from scratch for an upgrade.

Diptrace is a waste of time, they have just brought out version 3 with little extra functionality, now if I open a file with the new trial and then open it with my original licenced 2.9 version I get messages encouraging me to update. Diptrace is a waste of time and money. It has only one main developer who apparently has a family, or at least that is their excuse for slow progress. The autorouter is a joke as if you put a couple of copper pours in it stops working and can't route.

KiCAD is good, I'd still use it for doing loom drawings at work as it's so fast to edit scematics, but I am loosing faith in it as they have done this new library organization scheme that is barking mad. A good theory but in practice it does not work. I had my PC not working it properly and then set my laptop up properly, only to find a week later that the laptop stopped working and the PC could use libraries so I am not willing to be at the risk of someone tinkering with an online library. I used only libraries on my machine but still got weired messages when trying to run the package assignment program so I think I'm giving it a miss. Free is great but people just do as they please with little consideration for legacy and constant funtionality.

Proteus seems quite good but with it's quirks. I think once I have learnt to use it I will be very happy and it will be a very powerful tool that is very good at automating things. for example i can just draw a schematic, move straight to routing a board and then send my assembler the gerbers and BOM that are automatically generated. It all needs setting up but when i get round to it it will be sweet.

The next option is Altium at £5000 (and you have to ask to know the price) I still get emails from their UK reseller thinking i will buy it - fat chance.
Thanks for the summary, it is useful if a little depressing in that it confirms the conclusion I was coming to that it is expensive to get a usable and stable tool. I think I was aware that Altium is in the "if you have to ask you can't afford it" category. I was hoping that I could get something in the few hundred pounds category. It is not just the cost - it is the time needed to invest in learning each system, I want to just select one and learn it not have to learn two or three as I have very little spare time and I want to spend it on fun stuff.

I guess the best thing for me is to put some effort into KiCAD and see how things pan out before spending good money on one of the others.
 

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Re: Questions about Proteus
« Reply #17 on: March 28, 2016, 06:29:52 am »
Well in my opinion Proteus will turn out to be best but does come out more expensive than diptrace but then diptrace does not work. KiCAD is still in development and i can't wait around. If you go on the forum with a problem the standard response is "we know - we are working on it".
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Offline janoc

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Re: Questions about Proteus
« Reply #18 on: March 28, 2016, 08:56:36 am »
KiCAD is good, I'd still use it for doing loom drawings at work as it's so fast to edit scematics, but I am loosing faith in it as they have done this new library organization scheme that is barking mad. A good theory but in practice it does not work. I had my PC not working it properly and then set my laptop up properly, only to find a week later that the laptop stopped working and the PC could use libraries so I am not willing to be at the risk of someone tinkering with an online library. I used only libraries on my machine but still got weired messages when trying to run the package assignment program so I think I'm giving it a miss. Free is great but people just do as they please with little consideration for legacy and constant funtionality.

You don't have to use the online libraries - just download a local copy from Github and point Kicad to that instead of using the online master (which is the default). In that way you are sure that the stuff won't break behind your back if someone changes something.

The package assignment program (Cvpcb) often complains about old symbol libraries that weren't updated yet and point to the old footprint names (the new ones are in the form library name:footprint name). Just assign the footprints by hand in that case and save the parts back in the symbol library from the schematic editor.

One thing that has tripped me up is that they have changed the workflow a bit - Cvpcb now stores the assigned footprints in the schematics and to get them into the PCB editor you need to re-export the netlist! The old style workflow was saving these into a separate file.

 

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Re: Questions about Proteus
« Reply #19 on: March 28, 2016, 07:02:30 pm »
Yes I was trying to use off-line libraries and yes I still got messages about old format footprints despite the fact I had pulled these footprints from the new downloaded libraries or at least I think that's where they came from. The total lack of documentation and assumption that you will work out how to use it is not acceptable. I am running a business I cannot risk that one day my designs suddenly fall apart because somebody thought they were clever and I also cannot waste time troubleshooting problems with the software all the time. Dip trace is clearly a joke they have just released another version with I think less improved functionality than the previous update that we did not have to pay for yet now they want more money. There 3-D CAD capability is an absolute joke as it relies on models which were probably pinched from Ki CAD or generated from the same source and if you try to import your own models the whole thing just falls over. This makes dip trace a disaster for me as if I'm buying 3-D model capability I expect to be able to put models of components like connectors and transducers which I have to supply the models for. Obviously I can't speak for Proteus yet on this capability as I have to spend the extra money to add up to £720 but I suspect it might be better.

A lack of ability of Ki CAD to copy and paste is an absolute disaster it causes me no end of trouble at work where if I do a vehicle loom layout I then need individual drawings of the looms. I can do this by taking a copy of the master vehicle file and deleting the stuff I don't need but if I were to do it the other way around and start with the individual looms I then cannot put them into a general vehicle schematic. I can live with this but it's not something I'm going to risk in my own business any more.
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Offline digsys

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Re: Questions about Proteus
« Reply #20 on: March 28, 2016, 08:55:59 pm »
I have to admit, in the beginning, Proteus had a excellent sales model. They had agents everywhere, (and here in OZ), had a free / hugely discounted
schools model ( I even sold a few), had flexible no-penalty upgrades (you could chose whatever modules you wanted) etc etc
It was really doing well. But for some INSANE reason, they cut it back dramatically, no idea why. They sure lost ground FAST here in OZ.
Luckily, I still have 3 full licenses :-) . I rarely use the "fancy" options, so can't comment on those. I have no complaints with it otherwise.
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Offline Simon

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Re: Questions about Proteus
« Reply #21 on: March 29, 2016, 04:57:02 am »
Maybe when it was under heavy development more licences were being sold? I don't know the history of Proteus has it been a mature programme for some time? Why don't they have representatives around the world? Did they stop that or did the resellers decide they didn't want to do it any more?

I don't mind ongoing cost for a program that is genuinely improving. What I resent for example is things like solid edge in the 3-D CAD world who come out with a so-called new version every 6 months and you wonder what the hell they did to it as nothing much changes but of course very conveniently as soon as you open a file in the newest version of solid edge and then save it you can no longer open it with a previous version. This is clearly not an ever illusionary software incompatibility it is a forced limitation they have put on the software to try and keep people current and paying their maintenance contracts which I heavily disagree with considering there resellers aren't actually very competent at giving help in the software and the only person with any true knowledge has left the company.
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Offline Wilksey

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Re: Questions about Proteus
« Reply #22 on: March 29, 2016, 08:02:10 am »
I've been to some of the UK electronic design shows over the past few years (5 or so) and Altium, Zuken and Cadence have stands and sales teams crawling all over handing out flyers and the like, not once have I seen Labcenter, I see them on the back of various electronics related magazine covers, but that's about it.

Thing is, Proteus is used in places like Plymouth uni, but I struggle to see anyone use it "professionally", some ask for Cadence, some ask for Altium (the majority in fact), some for CadStar (Zuken), even Pulsonix, and I have also seen quite a few accept EAGLE, but I don't think I have ever seen 1 (in the south west) company ask for experience in Proteus.

We have one version 7 license, but nobody uses it apart from simulation, which it is particularly good at wrt microcontrollers and such.

I like Proteus, and I can see why people useit, it does seem a bit behind the times in comparison to newer package version features, but I think if you like it, and are willing to pay the price for it (about £4k for the "full" version?) and it fulfils your needs, then use it!  It's easy to use, quite a good interface, if the were to add a bit of high speed and multi trace routing like you can do on Altium it would be back in the game for me I think.

Their forums are good also, their support people are top notch!
 

Offline Simon

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Re: Questions about Proteus
« Reply #23 on: March 29, 2016, 08:14:54 am »
I don't think even in the UK Altium have a real presence there are a number of companies that resell software on behalf of software owners. I know that in the UK Altium is resold by another company which probably deals in a number of software solutions. The guy keeps contacting me trying to keep me interested despite the fact I have said that £5000 is well out of my budget and agreed that my limit of £1000 is something he cannot help me with which I knew. Eagle was bought up by Farnell so they probably have plenty of money behind them and Farnell of probably already at various shows. To be honest I'm not overly fussed about not seeing a particular company at shows. This whole show thing has become a money for old rope in itself and there are lots of people trying to start more of them in order to make money charging companies thousands of pounds for stands and of course behind every stand there was not just the cost of renting the space at the show but there are other logistical costs of getting the display stands transported and set up not to mention buying and designing the materials in the 1st place.

What I'm more interested in is that they are a company that will be here tomorrow and will be willing to offer support and develop further features based on user suggestions.

OrCAD or cadence or whatever they are calling themselves is an absolute nightmare to use anybody requesting it probably just happens to know the name and that it was once big but quite frankly I would refuse to use it. I used its Dos version at school and later got a Windows version and it was excruciating. It is probably good software for doing extremely complex designs but for the average user it's so overcomplicated you waste even more time. And no doubt it's extremely expensive.

I have to say that what I am finding with Proteus is that it's a bit quicker to get parts set up and the automatic generation of a sensible bill of materials from the parts that I set up for myself using part numbers I wish to use is going to be a godsend once I get it all working.

I have come across a slight hitch in that when you create a new schematic symbol you can't choose to hide the name or the value which is something you're allowed to do on the PCB footprint related to that part. I think this would be a good feature because if the bill of materials works as it should you don't necessarily need the value name of every part because you will just reel off the bill of materials and be able to see which part is which very clearly and because it's created automatically it's no extra work.

What I am finding infuriating is that you can't actually modify a part except by overwriting it. Unless I'm missing something you have to "decompose" the symbol and then rerun the make device dialogue which allows you to set it up as a new part and assign a footprint to it and give it part numbers and ordering codes. If you make one mistake in all of that the only way to fix it is to decompose the part again and rerun the dialogue if you choose the same name for the part it will ask you if you are happy to overwrite the one you already have. This is a little backward in my view.
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Offline Simon

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Re: Questions about Proteus
« Reply #24 on: March 29, 2016, 08:17:40 am »
I'm also not sure about the datasheet linking functionality. It won't work from Farnell's website and it won't work if I upload the datasheet to my own server. So although there is server in the field name maybe they just mean the disc on your local computer.
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