Author Topic: Pulsonix design software, whats the general opinion  (Read 1784 times)

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Offline MasterBuilder

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Pulsonix design software, whats the general opinion
« on: January 04, 2019, 11:17:07 am »
What are your opinions about the Pulsonix schematic/ PCB design software?

I have conducted a comparison test to determine the most suitable design software to move to, the comparison included Orcad, Altium, Proteus, Diptrace, Pulsonix and Eagle. I found that Pulsonix seems to have the best performance and features set for my needs. The comparison was focused on development of moderately complex electronics with the emphasis on the ability to produce professional designs quickly.

My own opinion of Pulsonix is that it is most similar to Altium. It has less advanced features. In general it is fast and intuitive to use. There is great compatibility with other formats such as Altium ASCII. It is actively being developed with a new version released recently. There doesn't seem to be much opinions or posts regarding Pulsonix on this forum so I was wondering are there any strong opinions regarding it and why does it not have more users?

In the attached picture are current approximate Euro prices of the software I compared, this is for a single user license.

 

Offline Neganur

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Re: Pulsonix design software, whats the general opinion
« Reply #1 on: January 04, 2019, 01:08:34 pm »
Is Altium really just 4K?
 

Offline Wilksey

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Re: Pulsonix design software, whats the general opinion
« Reply #2 on: January 04, 2019, 02:12:37 pm »
I've used it, personally didn't think much of it, but each their own and all.

I know it is used in some industries, one that makes CAN bus headlamps for cars for example here in the UK uses it, most job adverts I see here in the UK state Altium Designer as their tool of choice.

Depends if you want to use it to get a job using it afterwards in which case look at what jobs are being offered at the moment and what tools they use, or speak to some local companies to find out.

If you want one to use for yourself or your own business then go with whichever you feel most comfortable using that has the features that you need and is within your budget, if you are using it for business purposes and are thinking of hiring / subbing stuff out (e.g. you do schematic someone else does layout) then don't forget to consider tool popularity in that case as above as it will be easier to find someone competitively priced if it is a "common tool".
 

Online nctnico

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Re: Pulsonix design software, whats the general opinion
« Reply #3 on: January 04, 2019, 05:23:26 pm »
Is Altium really just 4K?
AFAIK not unless this is some kind of quantity license price. Add a few options and training to Altium and you easely end up north of 10k euro.
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 

Offline JanTheVan

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Re: Pulsonix design software, whats the general opinion
« Reply #4 on: January 04, 2019, 06:46:06 pm »
I've used Pulsonix about 10 years ago when contracting at a place that designed car lighting systems. I was OK, but I was really used to Altium, It seemed quite low end, but was ok for what we were doing.

My last quote for altium was nearly 7K GBP, that was only a few months ago, so I think your pricing is a bit off. I thought Pulsonix was more like 1K.

Scott
 

Offline MasterBuilder

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Re: Pulsonix design software, whats the general opinion
« Reply #5 on: January 04, 2019, 07:56:15 pm »
There was a little discount included in that price and it was 2018 version. I would say the 2019 version of Altium would be over 5k euros for a new license without the discount. A years support subscription would be another 1k or 1.5k. Ill double check my information but I think this is accurate.
 

Online nctnico

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Re: Pulsonix design software, whats the general opinion
« Reply #6 on: January 04, 2019, 09:00:49 pm »
Also the Orcad pricing seems to low. The schematics and PCB package should be somewhere in the 3k to 4k ballpark.
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 

Offline MasterBuilder

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Re: Pulsonix design software, whats the general opinion
« Reply #7 on: January 07, 2019, 06:19:17 am »
After double checking my information on the Altium price, what I posted is an upgrade price and it would be 5200 euros with no discount.
Orcad is 2200 for PCB layout professional and schematic capture or 4400 with PSpice AD feature.
 

Offline Wilksey

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Re: Pulsonix design software, whats the general opinion
« Reply #8 on: January 07, 2019, 01:31:26 pm »
Don't forget that a gotcha within the PCB tool industry is that they "forget" to tell you that you have to add another £2k to that pricing for a years support, and that it is an ongoing cost (you can choose to cancel support after the first year).

So, I haven't used it in a while and it seems to have more features but it looks like Proteus is just shy of £4k for their entire suite of tools, still one of the best MCU sims I have found thus far but by no means perfect.

I have found that if you know what you are doing and can spend a bit of time learning it and living with some of the quirks that KiCAD for most things will perform just as well as Altium, Altium is more feature packed - don't get me wrong it has some nice tools like Xsignals etc, but I think they should start looking at their pricing especially with the likes of Circuit Studio being pricey for the features you get.

Altium to me is a bit like Apple to me, it's known, it's nice, shiny, it's what is used by certain people and industries and it just works mostly, but it's a bit pricey and has features that most of us will never use, need or know exist, people use it but don't know why, "industry standard".

Some like the support that these software developers give, I like to figure stuff out for myself if I can, software bugs, timescales and such are where these top paid packages come into their own, so it really does depend on your circumstances.
 

Offline MasterBuilder

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Re: Pulsonix design software, whats the general opinion
« Reply #9 on: January 07, 2019, 04:01:04 pm »
Proteus was good, fast and stable in my use but it lacked some more advanced features.

I am a user of KiCAD and do think it is a good option for many people, especially if doing hobby and "normal" workflow designs.

I do however have a need for advanced editing features which allow for tricky design changes to be made in a short amount of time. The only real alternative to Altium that I've found has these features is this Pulsonix software.
 

Offline DerekG

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Re: Pulsonix design software, whats the general opinion
« Reply #10 on: January 07, 2019, 07:54:17 pm »
Altium is more feature packed ....... but I think they should start looking at their pricing especially with the likes of Circuit Studio being pricey for the features you get.

Altium tried this some years back by reducing their pricing by around two-thirds.

They quickly learnt they could not make money for their shareholders ............ so the price quickly went up again after 2 years.
I also sat between Elvis & Bigfoot on the UFO.
 

Offline MasterBuilder

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Re: Pulsonix design software, whats the general opinion
« Reply #11 on: January 09, 2019, 07:01:59 am »
Is Altium really just 4K?

I've used Pulsonix about 10 years ago when contracting at a place that designed car lighting systems. I was OK, but I was really used to Altium, It seemed quite low end, but was ok for what we were doing.

My last quote for altium was nearly 7K GBP, that was only a few months ago, so I think your pricing is a bit off. I thought Pulsonix was more like 1K.

Scott

There was a little discount included in that price and it was 2018 version. I would say the 2019 version of Altium would be over 5k euros for a new license without the discount. A years support subscription would be another 1k or 1.5k. Ill double check my information but I think this is accurate.

I have the price for a new Altium license now, it is 8400 Euros with a years subscription/ support  :o
 

Offline Wilksey

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Re: Pulsonix design software, whats the general opinion
« Reply #12 on: January 09, 2019, 05:49:23 pm »
Gotta love the "hidden" yearly support cost!  :-/O
 

Offline DerekG

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Re: Pulsonix design software, whats the general opinion
« Reply #13 on: January 10, 2019, 12:21:51 am »
Gotta love the "hidden" yearly support cost!  :-/O

But this does qualify you for "free" upgrades which is the reason most people take it up.
I also sat between Elvis & Bigfoot on the UFO.
 

Offline Wilksey

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Re: Pulsonix design software, whats the general opinion
« Reply #14 on: January 10, 2019, 06:41:12 pm »
Yes until they realise that they have paid for their "free" updates.

I mean if it is a new tool, you probably want to have it at least for the first year.
 

Offline blueskull

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Re: Pulsonix design software, whats the general opinion
« Reply #15 on: January 10, 2019, 06:44:05 pm »
Yes until they realise that they have paid for their "free" updates.

I mean if it is a new tool, you probably want to have it at least for the first year.

And they threat their customers with their back pay pricing strategy.
If you drop from subscription, the next time you come back on track, you are asked to pay all subscription fees you haven't paid for all the years you were off sub.
So unless you certainly understand that you will never use any new features in the future, no matter how attractive they may look like, you are going to pay every single year.
 

Offline Wilksey

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Re: Pulsonix design software, whats the general opinion
« Reply #16 on: January 11, 2019, 04:25:20 pm »
Yes until they realise that they have paid for their "free" updates.

I mean if it is a new tool, you probably want to have it at least for the first year.

And they threat their customers with their back pay pricing strategy.
If you drop from subscription, the next time you come back on track, you are asked to pay all subscription fees you haven't paid for all the years you were off sub.
So unless you certainly understand that you will never use any new features in the future, no matter how attractive they may look like, you are going to pay every single year.

I had heard this, but never 1st hand experienced it, the Altium rep said that if we don't take the subscription out then and we take it out in the future we will have to pay a percentage of a full license again, didn't mention back paying though.
So, something like 1 years subscription + 20-30% of a new license per subscription per license.
We've always taken the subscription, business case and company policy kind of insists we do.

Sounds like a real shitter for anyone not knowing this though!
 

Offline Ysjoelfir

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Re: Pulsonix design software, whats the general opinion
« Reply #17 on: February 07, 2019, 01:03:35 pm »
Regarding Pulsonix: I have worked with other tools before, mainly EAGLE and Altium, before I got hired by my recent company. I really enjoyed the switch to Altium after I had been working with Eagle for so long but now that I have to use Pulsonix I would rather be happy to use Eagle again. I just don't like Pulsonix, it feels clunky, stiff, outdated... Has some quirks you need to get used to.
We mainly chose Pulsonix because of the PCB transformer functions since we use that principle pretty often, but even that isn't an valid argument in my eyes as it is as complicated to create the coils as it would be using altium tracks and arcs.

I mean, you CAN absolutely build amazing stuff with the tool, as the products we build have shown, but if I had to choose I would definitely prefer Altium over Pulsonix (which is, by the way, also pretty pricey if you need more than the standard one workspace license). Maybe I would even consider using eagle again...
Greetings, Kai \ Ysjoelfir
 


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