Author Topic: Circuit Studio reboot  (Read 35886 times)

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Offline jmarkwolf

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Re: Circuit Studio reboot
« Reply #50 on: July 08, 2016, 10:20:10 pm »
I've been using Circuit Studio for over a year, not real happy with Altium's lack of support. But today I got an email, on July 6 CS price will drop to $995 with $150 yearly maintenance. Those who have paid the full price (up to $3k) will get a lifetime subscription to updates, no maintenance fees ever. Long awaited update v1.2 was released and a promise of v2 by the end of the year.

Glad to see it not dying. Those who paid the full price may be irked, but the lifetime subscription should ease the pain. Hope Altium/Newark does a better job this round.

I wonder if you could post that message or copy it to me. I'm a registered owner and got no such notice.

I tried to update my software today but my support expired in April. I suppose

I could renew my support for the new fee, but if they're waiving the fee to early adopters I'd rather spend the money on something else.
 

Offline PCB.Wiz

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Re: Circuit Studio reboot
« Reply #51 on: July 08, 2016, 10:40:11 pm »
Can someone with the latest CS list the File export / Save As options ?
Altium have lots of fluff, but that important detail is missing ?

eg DXF export / Import ?
P-CAD Export / Import ?
any other ASCII file exports / Imports ?
 

Offline PCB.Wiz

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Re: Circuit Studio reboot
« Reply #52 on: July 08, 2016, 10:44:07 pm »
... and include their Gerber editor.

There is always GerbView in KiCad, GerbV in gEDA, and a commercial GerbView (http://www.softwarecompanions.com/gbupdate.html)  is also affordable & looks actively supported ?
 

Offline NANDBlog

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Re: Circuit Studio reboot
« Reply #53 on: July 09, 2016, 12:30:16 am »
Same here.

I've been using Altium Designer for years, and Protel for years before that. Circuit Studio is missing some familiar features, but I can live with it. Never used 80% of the Altium bloat anyway.

I bought Circuit Studio for home/retirement use when it was first released (negotiated a lower price), and am thrilled to get lifetime free updates (if it's true).

I wish they would offer options to go back to the "standard" Altium menus and include their Gerber editor. Maybe on a subsequent release. (yeah, right  :) )
I think you can forget that. They want to avoid users goint AD ->CS route, only something else -> CS->AD. I doubt they will ever add PCB and SCH list. That would avoid the double click on every component, and it would make you productive.
So here is the thing: I consider myself an Altium professional, being spent 1000+ hours using their designer. I used CS for the trial month, evaluating it, and actually designing something. It was not productive enough. I found myself doing the same operation over and over again, because features were missing. And the library incompatibility meant: A) download it from the vault, and hope for the best B) creating your own component. B is fine. I did B a lot of times. When I have the IPC wizzard. And I dont want to make B for a resistor. I have a library for resistors, I want to use that.
Since none bothers releasing CSlibs, that means you are on your own. I cannot use the W├╝rth component libraries. Or the TI libraries. Or the ones I created in the past. All gone. I couldnt use the Altium libraires that some manufacturer made for some proprietary stuff, so I almost goofed up the PCB. I did not, because I did not finish it in that month, and we bought AD. Thanks, otherwise I might have started looking for a new job.
 

Online blueskull

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Re: Circuit Studio reboot
« Reply #54 on: July 09, 2016, 03:35:24 am »
And the library incompatibility meant: A) download it from the vault, and hope for the best B) creating your own component. B is fine. I did B a lot of times. When I have the IPC wizzard. And I dont want to make B for a resistor. I have a library for resistors, I want to use that.

When CS was first released, I tried to reverse engineer the file format of cspcbxxx. It seems like they are PKZIP compressed zip files, same as AD's.
What's different is it naming conventions of folders. AD uses human readable names, while CS uses GUIDs. I didn't proceed ahead, but I bet they never bother to actually change file format inside each file.
So, creating a cspcbxxx to pcbxxx converter should be possible. Since anyway I have a license for AD, I never bothered doing so.
 

Offline PCB.Wiz

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Re: Circuit Studio reboot
« Reply #55 on: July 09, 2016, 03:43:05 am »
When CS was first released, I tried to reverse engineer the file format of cspcbxxx. It seems like they are PKZIP compressed zip files, same as AD's.
What's different is it naming conventions of folders. AD uses human readable names, while CS uses GUIDs. I didn't proceed ahead, but I bet they never bother to actually change file format inside each file.
So, creating a cspcbxxx to pcbxxx converter should be possible. Since anyway I have a license for AD, I never bothered doing so.

Ugh.  This extreme binary closure, is no good for the end user, & only the illusion of benefit for the vendor.
Customers should rightly not touch this silliness with a barge pole. Far too much risk exposure here.
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: Circuit Studio reboot
« Reply #56 on: July 09, 2016, 09:04:44 am »
Might be a coincidence, but Altium marketing just offered me a free Circuit Studio license.
 

Online blueskull

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Re: Circuit Studio reboot
« Reply #57 on: July 09, 2016, 09:10:19 am »
Might be a coincidence, but Altium marketing just offered me a free Circuit Studio license.

So will there be a new EEVBlog video about the latest CS? I am really interested in the latest CS.
I'm trying to convince my professor to purchase one or two CS licenses for our students. So that we can finally ditch pdf as intermediate format.
Our uni has Allegro license for all students, and only a couple of AD seats. If we can buy some CS seats we can greatly accelerate out work.
 

Offline LabSpokane

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Re: Circuit Studio reboot
« Reply #58 on: July 09, 2016, 03:24:45 pm »
Might be a coincidence, but Altium marketing just offered me a free Circuit Studio license.

Take them up on it. I think it's good for three CPUs IIRC.
 

Offline trophosphere

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Re: Circuit Studio reboot
« Reply #59 on: July 09, 2016, 07:32:10 pm »
Might be a coincidence, but Altium marketing just offered me a free Circuit Studio license.

I agree. Take them up on their offer and please do a review on it. I am currently playing around with the trial but am in need of more input as I am in the market of purchasing an EDA package.
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: Circuit Studio reboot
« Reply #60 on: July 10, 2016, 04:17:53 am »
I have taken them up on the offer, I was looking to try it anyway.
 

Offline EEVblog

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Offline LabSpokane

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Re: Circuit Studio reboot
« Reply #62 on: July 10, 2016, 09:04:23 am »
 

Offline LabSpokane

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Re: Circuit Studio reboot
« Reply #63 on: July 11, 2016, 03:04:32 am »
I've been slogging my way through part creation.  And as rotten as Eagle's part creation process is, CS might be worse in some respects.  Very non-intuitive.  And there is virtually zero documentation on part creation in CS.  One must resort to Designer tutorials/video, which are an OK surrogate, but Altium is making up the difference in purchase price with non-support.

One of the things that you hope to get are libraries, but Altium's libraries are like cable TV:  600 channels but nothing on.  Forget trying to clone anything, that apparently has been disabled, or is REALLY hard to find in CS.  The Vault is OK at best.  It's painfully slow, and once again, you're pretty likely to be creating what you need.  No cloning allowed.

The "price" of Circuit Studio is that you seem to be at ground-zero with creating libraries for many common parts - or trust someone else's library - shudder...
 

Offline Icchan

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Re: Circuit Studio reboot
« Reply #64 on: July 13, 2016, 01:31:38 am »
Why?

I want only one product!

I want Altium Designer that's modular. Meaning that one can get the feature set of Circuit studio for free, then If I need high speed design, I purchase the module (and the yearly support fee for that) separately. Then if I need Gerber viewer, I purchase that separately. I don't want this product to be a dead end where the only way forwards is to buy everything which includes a ton of stuff that I have no use for, but a lot of stuff  (rigid flex, rooms, full push & shove)  that I would be interested to buy that arent on CS... but not with over 6000$ price difference!

C'mon Altium! Get your head out of your asses and win the market! You have a product that everyone wants but nobody's buying!  :rant:

Offline LabSpokane

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Re: Circuit Studio reboot
« Reply #65 on: July 13, 2016, 01:47:20 am »
Why?

I want only one product!

I want Altium Designer that's modular. Meaning that one can get the feature set of Circuit studio for free, then If I need high speed design, I purchase the module (and the yearly support fee for that) separately. Then if I need Gerber viewer, I purchase that separately. I don't want this product to be a dead end where the only way forwards is to buy everything which includes a ton of stuff that I have no use for, but a lot of stuff  (rigid flex, rooms, full push & shove)  that I would be interested to buy that arent on CS... but not with over 6000$ price difference!

C'mon Altium! Get your head out of your asses and win the market! You have a product that everyone wants but nobody's buying!  :rant:

CircuitStudio is effectively a subset of Altium.  Most of the included features are so close to AD, that the AD tutorials double for CS. 

The bad part is that the Vault seems to have been ported over in the most rotten fashion possible.  It's so bad, it's unbelievably bad.  When I get some time, I'm going to try and figure it out with Altium. 
« Last Edit: July 13, 2016, 04:33:46 am by LabSpokane »
 

Offline LabSpokane

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Re: Circuit Studio reboot
« Reply #66 on: July 13, 2016, 02:09:48 am »
The Vault.  The damned Vault.  Where to start?

Want to find a 555 timer?  (Silly example, but just to show you how bad the Vault is.)

This is what you get.  All the columns for every possible criteria are listed.  Nothing is readable.  Now, you say, just get rid of the columns you lazy bastard.  Well...you can take 15 minutes to do that.  Then as soon as you search change screens or do a new search, THEY'RE BACK.  And there doesn't seem to be anything to do about it.  The vault is a feature they sell, but Altium seemingly has intentionally rendered it useless. 

Every time you do a new search, the view that you had previously established is reset to hide everything you were interested in.  I don't know what you're supposed to do to find a part in the silly thing. 



And this is just the start of how shitty the vault implementation is.  Click on an list item in a vain attempt to see what it is, and as often as not, it gives you "not found" or the equivalent. 

Oh wait, I did a 555 search in Mouser and found a part in ten seconds.  Well....5 seconds, but who's counting? Back to the Vault... Now, I'll find a nice list, right?  Wrong.  This is what you get:



Damn.  Can't read a thing.  Maybe I'll click on one and look at the nice panel I configured to view parts last time.  Nope:



This is what I had configured the last time I view a part, but CircuitStudio forces me back to the same, essentially blank part information screen EVERY TIME I VIEW A COMPONENT.  Just ridiculous.



So...finally...you persevere and find a part then configure the part summary viewer and it's freaking awesome.  That solid model is zoomable and spinnable.  If only, your preferences would be retained between searches.  <loud sigh>



Want to search for a 3055L MOSFET?  Forget it.  The 3055L is there, but the search won't find anything but the entire manufacturer part number.  Use a wildcard you say?  Forget that too.  * and ? are useless and just throw errors.  It's just maddening.  There's so much to like at the price point, but then there's this gigantic finger in your face with the libraries you were supposed to have access to.  [Apparently "access" and "usability" come at two different price points]. 

Oh, and no Fairchild 3055L MOSFETs are included, but ON Semi's are.  Go figure.  So the only way the vault works is if you pull up a list of manufacturers and Mouser, Digikey, etc. and enter the exact part number as they start:  NTD3055L, RFD3055L, etc.  It's just ridiculous.  This search function is left over from 1995. 

As near as I can tell, it's a damning indictment that there were *no* CircuitStudio sales at the $3000 price point because SOMEBODY would have had to have said something before now. 

============================

Placing pads is odd.  There are no defaults.  Every single time you place a pad, you have to set the dimensions.  Yeah, yeah, I know, make one, then copy-paste.  But why not allow users to create preset for really common stuff?   Why do I have to manually set the x-y dimensions of the pad every, single, time?  At least Eagle got this part right and allows one to set a rule for pad width versus hole diameter. 
============================

But wait!  There's more!

Mouser prices only display in Australian dollars, even though I have the preferences selected for US and USD.  Did it twice to be sure.  Australia is an awesome place, but I want 'Merican pricing, dammit.  Oh yeah, I need the Mouser site always open anyway so I can find part numbers to search...

 :palm:
« Last Edit: July 13, 2016, 04:34:48 am by LabSpokane »
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: Circuit Studio reboot
« Reply #67 on: July 13, 2016, 03:23:46 am »
C'mon Altium! Get your head out of your asses and win the market! You have a product that everyone wants but nobody's buying!  :rant:

On the contrary, they are doing just fine, look at their share price and revenue.
But yes, Altium have always specialised in shooting themselves in the foot. They used to sell the product modular like this.
And then they went completely crazy and made the PCB tool itself optional extra, I kid you not, it was part of their "turning the world of electronics design upside down" marketing campaign.
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: Circuit Studio reboot
« Reply #68 on: July 13, 2016, 03:26:36 am »
BTW, I now have my full CS license. Be afraid.
 

Online blueskull

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Re: Circuit Studio reboot
« Reply #69 on: July 13, 2016, 03:28:21 am »
And then they went completely crazy and made the PCB tool itself optional extra, I kid you not, it was part of their "turning the world of electronics design upside down" marketing campaign.

Yes, when I found out AD13 has an SE version that does not do PCB layout, I was thinking WTF? Why I would like to spend $3k on a piece of $hit that does only what pencil and paper can do plus Quartus II can do?
 

Offline PCB.Wiz

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Re: Circuit Studio reboot
« Reply #70 on: July 13, 2016, 04:46:15 am »
Yes, when I found out AD13 has an SE version that does not do PCB layout, I was thinking WTF? Why I would like to spend $3k on a piece of $hit that does only what pencil and paper can do plus Quartus II can do?

Welcome to a world run by Marketdriods !!

C'mon Altium! Get your head out of your asses and win the market! You have a product that everyone wants but nobody's buying!  :rant:

Someone was buying, but I suspect the rapid changes in the market place, has driven the significant change in price.
 

Offline BobC

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Re: Circuit Studio reboot
« Reply #71 on: July 14, 2016, 03:42:01 am »
In audio and video there is the "prosumer" category, for advanced enthusiasts who want to "step up" without breaking the bank.

In my case, as an embedded systems software wonk, I occasionally spend time in PCB tools to make otherwise good hardware designs a bit more friendly for software development (typically adding things like a reset button, a JTAG connector, a blinky LED, and/or re-arrange the layout or add Mictor connectors to improve logic analyzer access).  More often than not, it will be for a one-off development board I'll assemble myself.

I need my PCB tool to "Just Work"(TM), without making me struggle to relearn it when I haven't had to use it for a few months.  In this respect, I want a PCB tool with professional support and a great UI, that works well, and that doesn't break the bank.

For my limited use, $1K start + $150/year is indeed a very sweet spot.

But it *must* have great import capabilities, push/shove routing, flexible design rules, and easy access to accurate parts libraries.
 

Offline LabSpokane

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Re: Circuit Studio reboot
« Reply #72 on: July 14, 2016, 04:40:52 am »
Curiously enough, I got a call from Newark today.  Told them that I thought the price point was excellent and if I could just get a couple matters squared away I'd buy immediately.  Altium support actually contacted me quite quickly via email.  We'll see how it goes.
 

Offline PCB.Wiz

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Re: Circuit Studio reboot
« Reply #73 on: July 14, 2016, 06:13:42 am »
But it *must* have great import capabilities, push/shove routing, flexible design rules, and easy access to accurate parts libraries.

 I would add great ASCII export to that list too ... one-way database designs, are best avoided.
 

Offline zarcondeegrissom

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Re: Circuit Studio reboot
« Reply #74 on: July 14, 2016, 09:25:34 am »
I kind of agree with BobC, however my needs are a tad different, and my 'simplistic' methods for what little I do as a hobbyist'. I just can't justify a thousand USD for a 'DaveCAD' (errr ZDG-CAD) to Gerber converter program,  ;D.

I got into Eagle a few years ago, because a fab had a good guide for using it with there services. I don't have the time to be learning a new program interface, especially when I already know exactly where I need the copper on the PCB.

As for part libraries, I'm old school I guess. I measure the parts in my hand with a via ruler made from the FAB and make my own component things for them. (Aliens movie reference) "only way to be sure".
A computer is a tool that is supposed to make hour lives easier, not make our lives wait for the computer.
 


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