Author Topic: PCB/EDA software list  (Read 166060 times)

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Offline Davy

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Re: PCB/EDA software list
« Reply #75 on: February 18, 2015, 05:49:43 pm »
I too use Proteus by Labcenter.

At the moment I use an old version and was thinking of upgrading to version 8, I noted not a mention on the list. 

It never seems to get a mention in reviews, write-ups or in forums, I can only think the reason for this is the ODB++ Manufacturing is only available in the level 2 or higher version, level 2 costing  £595.

I did try many others and just couldn't get to like any, I even tried Design Spark by RS, I think that was a Number 1 systems spin off.  Many trial and free versions have 'laughable' limitations or the bigger the pcb size the bigger the price.

Software companies must make their profits too, would I be right in thinking the prices are steep because they don't exactly sell like 'groceries'? I noted the most expensive programs don't advertise their prices.... you have to ask for them and a shock often ensues.

I also agree with DereG  Kicad is nowhere near as good as Proteus, the version I had was buggy as many a free ones are I would say.

Don't get me wrong I'm not after a free dinner I won't mind paying a couple of hundred pounds but not several hundred pounds. Another gripe I wonder how many people actually use 3D viewing for me it's just a gimmick.

Dave

 

Offline RF-Tech

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Re: PCB/EDA software list
« Reply #76 on: March 18, 2015, 09:08:16 pm »
Here is a free package for schematic/pcb/asic - a friend of mine mentioned it to me, he's been using it for his hobby stuff.
http://www.staticfreesoft.com/index.html
-S
 

Offline feetwet

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Re: PCB/EDA software list
« Reply #77 on: May 27, 2015, 07:55:05 pm »
I know this is a big question to ask, so I apologize in advance. I am just an electronics hobbyist and I want to learn PCB design, so that I can send out my own board to be manufactured. I would like to get the most bang for the buck. I want to invest in a software package that has plenty of room to grow and good learning resources. I only need a single license. After looking at the website for a lot of the PCD Design Tools out their it gotten so confusing regarding how the licenses works to make a decision. I need a PCB designer that has Layout, Schematic, Auto Routing and possibly other items I don't know yet. I plan on sending my boards out to a manufacture to be built, but I want to make sure I have all the functionality to make professional looking boards. It helps if there is a strong resource community online to help answer questions to easy the learning curve. I have listened to Dave and Chris for years. I think Dave likes Altium and Chris likes Kicad. I have also heard of Eagle Cad. How do you select the best PCD Design Tool for a single user that will provide me all the functionality to build what I hope someday will be robust and complex design boards that I can send to a manufacture to be built. Can it be done for around $1000.00. Any advice would greatly be appreciated.

Thanks in advance,

Feetwet
« Last Edit: May 27, 2015, 07:57:27 pm by feetwet »
 

Offline DerekG

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Re: PCB/EDA software list
« Reply #78 on: May 27, 2015, 10:10:25 pm »
Can it be done for around $1000.00. Any advice would greatly be appreciated.

Take a look at the demo versions of DipTrace (www.diptrace.com) & Proteus (www.labcenter.com), then decide (perhaps) on one of their pin limited versions as these are pretty cheap. You can upgrade at anytime by paying the difference between what you have & the next level up.

There are educational deals too if you are studying.

By all means also take a look at KiCAD as it is free, but my preference would be one of the packages mentioned above.

I use Altium as well for work ................ but it costs close to $10K .......... and you can do 90% of what Altium offers for under $1K with either Diptrace or Proteus.
I also sat between Elvis & Bigfoot on the UFO.
 

Offline feetwet

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Re: PCB/EDA software list
« Reply #79 on: May 28, 2015, 12:29:26 am »
Thank DerekG for your feedback. I have watched both set of tutorials regarding both programs. I believe that DipTrace is the one I am leaning towards: simple because they seem to support Mac OS. I find that Mac software tends to be more stable than PC software most of the times. Although, sometimes I find Mac software tends limit functionality. Always a tradeoff. Thanks again for the great advice.

Feetwet
 

Offline DerekG

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Re: PCB/EDA software list
« Reply #80 on: May 28, 2015, 09:15:38 am »
I believe that DipTrace is the one I am leaning towards .....
Yes, it is one of the easier pcb programs to learn. It is relatively straight forward & relatively powerful.

Quote
simple because they seem to support Mac OS. I find that Mac software tends to be more stable than PC software most of the times.
I'm a Windows user but would tend to agree with your sum up.

Remember there will be a major release of DipTrace within the next 3 months. It is expected to be ver 3.x ....... so if you can hold off your purchase until then, that would save you a few dollars.
I also sat between Elvis & Bigfoot on the UFO.
 

Offline timofonic

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Re: PCB/EDA software list
« Reply #81 on: July 27, 2015, 04:11:13 pm »
Have tried many of the software available and all have good and bad points - Personally i now use Cadstar.  There's a list of software here :- http://www.surfacemountprocess.com/pcb-design-software.html

Could you please share at least some of them? Why do you use Cadstar?
 

Offline elCap

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Re: PCB/EDA software list
« Reply #82 on: September 09, 2015, 04:53:15 am »
I just updated the list with the latest software and cleaned it up a bit.
As always, please check list for errors.
 

Offline Merlysys

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Re: PCB/EDA software list
« Reply #83 on: September 17, 2015, 01:30:09 am »
Which to go with for a person who haven't used one of these programs for 30 yrs? (yes there were programs 30 yrs ago!)
For simple circuit with <20 components, PCB to have traces on both sides, no fancy layers/vias etc.

Free/Open source
Circuit Maker (Altium) - http://www.circuitmaker.com/
DesignSpark (RS comp) - http://www.designspark.com/
EasyEDA - http://easyEDA.com/editor (web based)
FreePCB - http://www.freepcb.com/
Fritzing - http://fritzing.org/
gEDA - http://www.geda-project.org/
KiCAD - http://www.kicad-pcb.org/display/KICAD/KiCad+EDA+Software+Suite
Minimal Board Editor - http://www.suigyodo.com/online/e/index.htm (English, Japanese)
Open Circuit Design - http://opencircuitdesign.com/
Orcad DOS (old) - http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/OldDosOrcad/
PCB Elegance - http://www.pcbelegance.com/
PCBWeb Designer - http://www.pcbweb.com/ (Windows only)
Protel (Altium) AutoTrax/EasyTrax (DOS Based) - http://www.altium.com/community/downloads/en/downloads_home.cfm
TCI - http://b.urbani.free.fr/ (French)
ZenitPCB - http://www.zenitpcb.com/Index.html
 

Offline scopeman

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Re: PCB/EDA software list
« Reply #84 on: October 29, 2015, 01:03:31 am »
Abacom's SprintLayout6.0 hands down, easy to learn and use has many really useful features. Inexpensive. Good support.

Probably the easiest PCB CAD software I have ever used and I have tried nearly all of them. You can download a demo that does everything but save for free.

I have tried the free ones but this one is close to free and you can make industry standard 274-X files as well  as print for toner transfer.

I think it is the best value out there for a easy to use "Just Draw It" program.

Sam

See it here:

http://www.abacom-online.de/uk/html/sprint-layout.html
 

Offline hammy

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Re: PCB/EDA software list
« Reply #85 on: October 29, 2015, 06:52:10 pm »
Abacom's SprintLayout6.0 hands down, easy to learn and use has many really useful features. Inexpensive. Good support.
I think it is the best value out there for a easy to use "Just Draw It" program.

Thank you for this hint. It is quite popular in the amateur radio community and more than once I got such a pcb layout file ...

Cheers
hammy
« Last Edit: December 11, 2015, 10:11:50 pm by hammy »
 

Offline CatalinaWOW

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Re: PCB/EDA software list
« Reply #86 on: January 24, 2016, 07:43:55 pm »
Perhaps Dave or one of the moderators could convert this list into some sort of poll.  I know that many of the items on the list are less popular, while programs like KiCad, Eagle, Altium and Diptrace are widely used and appreciated.  I have tried a couple of dozen of the programs on the list over the years and know that sorting out the best is a tough job.  Seeing what the users of this forum think would rapidly winnow the selections.

The poll I envision would have rating factors like:  User interface, interchange capability, library size, library quality, board size, #layers, projected stability, price, extendability, documentation.

While things like user interface are very subjective, if a high percentage of people rate something high in this are it means something.

There would still be confusion.  As examples, the two programs I use the most are DEX 2020 and Eagle.  Eagle has few limits on size and layers if you pay the full license, so might rate high in that category.  But it also has a free version.  Might rate high there too, but it can't get both scores at once.

Similar confusion would occur on the library scores.  Since DEX imported the Eagle library they both have essentially the same library size, and it is huge.  But I would rate the overall quality of the library as low.  Many parts are poorly labeled, have low quality circuit symbols, and have footprint errors.  The quality of the library for DEX is even lower for two reasons.  First the import process had errors. Second, a feature of DEX that I like is 3D board visualization.  But this requires 3D models of the parts, and as far as I can tell none of the imported parts have 3D models.  A surprisingly small number of the parts submitted by users in DEX have these models either.  DEX would also score low in projected stability.  It is a one man show, and he has demonstrated the capability to get fed up.  No telling when development will stop cold because of anger, illness or old age.
 

Offline jpb

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Re: PCB/EDA software list
« Reply #87 on: February 28, 2016, 02:24:32 pm »
I too use Proteus by Labcenter.

At the moment I use an old version and was thinking of upgrading to version 8, I noted not a mention on the list. 

It never seems to get a mention in reviews, write-ups or in forums, I can only think the reason for this is the ODB++ Manufacturing is only available in the level 2 or higher version, level 2 costing  £595.

I did try many others and just couldn't get to like any, I even tried Design Spark by RS, I think that was a Number 1 systems spin off.  Many trial and free versions have 'laughable' limitations or the bigger the pcb size the bigger the price.

Software companies must make their profits too, would I be right in thinking the prices are steep because they don't exactly sell like 'groceries'? I noted the most expensive programs don't advertise their prices.... you have to ask for them and a shock often ensues.

I also agree with DereG  Kicad is nowhere near as good as Proteus, the version I had was buggy as many a free ones are I would say.

Don't get me wrong I'm not after a free dinner I won't mind paying a couple of hundred pounds but not several hundred pounds. Another gripe I wonder how many people actually use 3D viewing for me it's just a gimmick.

Dave

I am still struggling in making a decision between Proteus and Diptrace - Eagle seems a little quirky and has odd constraints so I've decided against them.

I'm a Brit so would like to support my local supplier (Proteus) but they seem very expensive for the hobby individual or else very constricted. The fact that you need to pay £595 + VAT = £750 if you want to have ground planes with cut-outs seems a major negative. I would like the option of say laying out sections of co-planar transmission lines for example and presumably the lower cost Proteus options can't do that? Can DipTrace?

I actually e-mailed Proteus and they didn't know what a co-planar transmission line was!
 

Offline hammy

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Re: PCB/EDA software list
« Reply #88 on: February 28, 2016, 03:12:31 pm »
I actually e-mailed Proteus and they didn't know what a co-planar transmission line was!

Ask for "coplanar waveguide" or "CPW".  ;)
 

Offline jpb

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Re: PCB/EDA software list
« Reply #89 on: February 28, 2016, 04:16:49 pm »
I actually e-mailed Proteus and they didn't know what a co-planar transmission line was!

Ask for "coplanar waveguide" or "CPW".  ;)
You're right, of course, and I probably did use the correct term when I emailed - but in any case, when it comes to circuit boards and integrated circuits transmission lines and waveguides are the same thing - at least they were when I was doing this for a living about 30 years ago!

The main point though is that PCB software vendors seem to pick completely arbitrary things to restrict when selling cheaper versions. Number of pins seems sensible and proportionate - board size (as in Eagle) and no cut-outs in power planes seems to me to just be annoying!
 

Offline vzoole

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Re: PCB/EDA software list
« Reply #90 on: March 29, 2016, 02:47:57 pm »
Intercept - Pantheon PCB layout
http://www.intercept.com/
 

Offline noras

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Re: PCB/EDA software list
« Reply #91 on: April 14, 2016, 07:49:33 am »
DesignSpark is pretty horrible. The library structure is unfathomable and it’s difficult to construct your own completely independent of the RS agenda of directing you toward their own products. That would be fine if all RS components were modelled but most (that I need) aren’t. There are extensive tutorials but intuitive apps don’t require tutorials. It’s not intuitive, plus the talk-over is a ghastly estuary accent which grates – ‘model’ for instance pronounced ‘modo-oww’, aghhhh. The help files don’t match the program and it’s difficult or impossible to track down what many of the click boxes mean. And it’s flaky, frequent crashes.

The best for me in PCB design is Eagle Cadsoft, but there is not simulation & too much libraries. Circuit Wizard is very intuitive to check simple problems in simulation. Proteus is excellent. I like WinQcad of MicroCad, but not so practical as Circuit Wizard, PCB Wizard & Live wire. Multisim is very good. I´ve never used Altium Designer. I think that each one of us have to start walking the first step trying at less one of these PCB software and then we will know with wich one of them we fell ok according our requeriments.

Offline elCap

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Re: PCB/EDA software list
« Reply #92 on: April 14, 2016, 08:20:11 am »
 

Offline Robaroni

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Re: PCB/EDA software list
« Reply #93 on: May 07, 2016, 11:13:54 pm »
I too use Proteus by Labcenter.

At the moment I use an old version and was thinking of upgrading to version 8, I noted not a mention on the list. 

It never seems to get a mention in reviews, write-ups or in forums, I can only think the reason for this is the ODB++ Manufacturing is only available in the level 2 or higher version, level 2 costing  £595.

I did try many others and just couldn't get to like any, I even tried Design Spark by RS, I think that was a Number 1 systems spin off.  Many trial and free versions have 'laughable' limitations or the bigger the pcb size the bigger the price.

Software companies must make their profits too, would I be right in thinking the prices are steep because they don't exactly sell like 'groceries'? I noted the most expensive programs don't advertise their prices.... you have to ask for them and a shock often ensues.

I also agree with DereG  Kicad is nowhere near as good as Proteus, the version I had was buggy as many a free ones are I would say.

Don't get me wrong I'm not after a free dinner I won't mind paying a couple of hundred pounds but not several hundred pounds. Another gripe I wonder how many people actually use 3D viewing for me it's just a gimmick.

Dave

I was just plowing around on old threads and saw this. I use Proteus too. I've used Eagle (cumbersome), the original CircuitMaker (before Altium bought it) and a few others.
Proteus is not without its issues ( what EDA is?) but it just does everything well. You have to go with Level two and advanced simulation in my opinion which cost a few bucks but you get a really good simulator plus a few other perks worth it for my designs. They stepped up the program quite a bit when it went to 8 so you get a nice smooth drawing to PCB transition when you change traces and components. For small to medium boards I'd say it's about the best around. The advanced simulator is really a pleasure to use. I guess I've been running Proteus about 5 years now. Medium EDA learning curve, not too bad if you know EDA's.

The thing I tell new people is not to look for the cheapest program. Most EDA's have a relatively substantial learning curve so wasting your time on a program that is cheap but a pain like the free Eagle is not worth it in the end. If you get the full version of Eagle it's not cheap either, in fact, the last time I checked it cost more than Proteus even with Proteus' advanced sim. I wouldn't buy an EDA without a simulator.

Rob
 

Offline Raj

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Re: PCB/EDA software list
« Reply #94 on: May 14, 2016, 05:53:34 pm »
fritzing might be the buggiest one i've ever used
 

Offline Robaroni

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Re: PCB/EDA software list
« Reply #95 on: May 14, 2016, 06:19:20 pm »
I've heard some good things about the new free Circuitmaker from Altium. No sim, AFAIK but people seem to like it. Don't overlook the free software from Mouser and Digi-key. I think one of them might be a scaled down Orcad or Electronics Workbench from NI.
I never liked Electronics Workbench from way back in the 90's when it was advertised in the old "Poptronics" but it may be better since NI picked it up. It does have a simulator, but it always seemed clunky to me. I guess you could use the LT simulator if you got a program without one but it's really nice to have an EDA with a built in sim, it makes the transition to PCB much nicer.
Rob
 

Offline vzoole

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Re: PCB/EDA software list
« Reply #96 on: June 22, 2016, 09:15:07 am »
Quadcept was mentioned before, but not on the list yet.
http://www.quadcept.com/en/
 

Offline SimonR

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Re: PCB/EDA software list
« Reply #97 on: July 15, 2016, 01:27:26 pm »
Quadcept was mentioned before, but not on the list yet.
http://www.quadcept.com/en/

Interesting producut, But $150 per month subscription only. :o
 

Offline Mo Mo

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Re: PCB/EDA software list
« Reply #98 on: July 31, 2016, 02:58:00 pm »
 

Offline elCap

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Re: PCB/EDA software list
« Reply #99 on: August 01, 2016, 03:00:04 am »
Quadcept was mentioned before, but not on the list yet.
http://www.quadcept.com/en/

Added
 


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