Electronics > PCB/EDA/CAD

20 Years with Ultiboard ... What Next?

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Hi all,
I've been using Ulticap and Ultiboard since the very early DOS versions, and have paid for the various upgrades from DOS to Windows over the years until the product was taken over by NI. Only problem is that I can't afford the €2,500 needed to upgrade to 11. I love the product, been using it for over 20 years. Its running on a home brew Windows 2000 PC, not networked for virus issues, with the dongle (licence key) in the back. With a Roland DXY1100 A3 plotter that I use for plotting the PCB artwork and drawing A3 schematics. I do my own prototype PCBs (double sided). The plotter is in need of replacement (serviced too many times). Looking for an aternative, and am thinking of moving to another PCB schematic / design/ routing package. What products other there can I import V6 UltiCap and UltiBoard files into. Budget is about €400-€700, with board size up to 8x12 inches with about 2500 pins. Looking for some guidance on what other people have done in this situation.

Any ideas???

Should say that I dont mind spending a couple hundred each year for upgrades, etc, as well.

Thanks Brian

WOW, i have to say, i did not know MultiSim was still around.

There are a few commonly used Sims out there but i dont know of any that will import MultiSim files.


Short Circuit:
Nothing can work with Ultisim/cap/board files as far as I know.
For Altium, there's a import filter for ultiboard files, but that only works with the old (ascii format) DDF format, not with the newer EWPRJ files. So thats not useful at all.
(Besides, Altium looks great watching the demo videos, but actually using it is another story...)

I have been a UB user since the DOS days as well, and I stayed for a while after the NI aquisition. But since the past few years, I stopped the subscription because it really seems to de a dead end. All they have done in that time is increase the version number from 10 to 11, but absolutely no new features (at least not in Ultiboard. Maybe in ultisim, but I don't use that, still hooked on Ulticap).

I use the NI Multisim 11 suite and it's interesting. I will say that their UI for their schematic capture is awesome in my opinion. However, Ultiboard is garbage. Clunky, awkward, and laggy even for my 8 core, 6 gig machine. There are numerous free* PCB design softwares out there, my favorite being DIPTRACE.

*I bought the educational version for $125 and I can have 4 signal layers and it has a ton of components and easy to use schematic capture, PCB design, and component creation software.

For a professional program though, I'd have to say I quite LOVE Altium's UI, best out there for PCB and schematic capture. I can't afford it though and it tends to lock up a little bit or lag when I load up the hundreds of libraries I've downloaded from their site.

A close second I think would be Cadence OrCad, really easy to use but I find their lack of PCB component footprints disturbing. :o

Anyway, that's just my two cents.

Thanks Guys for your views, think I may have to stay where I am, and save up for Altium, will have to see if Santa will respond to my letter.


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