Poll

Which PCB tool do you use frequently?

Altium
27 (27.6%)
DipTrace
20 (20.4%)
EAGLE
27 (27.6%)
KiCAD
15 (15.3%)
OrCad
2 (2%)
others (please name them)
7 (7.1%)

Total Members Voted: 94

Author Topic: Statistics are cool, let's make our own: Which PCB tool do you use frequently?  (Read 6674 times)

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Offline ParsleyTopic starter

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I'm just curious about PCD "marked share" among the EEVblog audience...  ;) :D
 

Online 8086

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Eagle free version. I can't get on with the "free only" software for some reason. And the "paid only" are usually too expensive.
 

Offline hlavac

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Eagle hobbyist edition here.
Good enough is the enemy of the best.
 

Online free_electron

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i see 4 votes for 'others' but no names ....

and you can only vote for one tool.. i sometimes use Pads , Allegro , Boardstation , CB5000 ( Zuken ) and some others as well. depends on the customer i am working with. i am not 'fluent' in any of those but can do enough to naviate the layout , move parts and reroute things to make a better layout.

So i gave the vote to my 95% worktime / 100% hobby time tool : altium.
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Any comments, or points of view expressed, are my own and not endorsed , induced or compensated by my employer(s).
 

Offline digsys

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Quote
i see 4 votes for 'others' but no names ....
OK sorry. Proteus (a UK package) .. been using it for ~20 yrs (and tried many others). I love the ease of use, kinda like WYSIWYG
They used to have a free beginner / hobby version (maybe it can still be found?), they do have a few levels though, so you can
start with what you need. Did I say, I love it :-)
Hello <tap> <tap> .. is this thing on?
 

Offline armandas

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I use Easy-PC at work. For those who never heard of it, it's like a full version of Design Spark PCB. It's a budget software, but it will do the job once you get used to it.
 

Offline hlavac

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You should really separate free/limited and commercial versions into separate options, this is meaningless.
Good enough is the enemy of the best.
 

Online free_electron

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i would also split professional and hobby purposes...

Professionally i have a list of about 5 or 6

Altium  (99%.)
Allegro
PADS
CB5000
Boardstation
DxDesigner

The others are mainly at customer sites to help their designers out. Mostly i import their desiigns into altium and chew them up there.

Hobby
----------
Altium ( i am on subscription with them as well )


Have used , but no more ( most were dos versions , years ago .. )
---------------------------
Orcad ( under DOS.. never used windows versions ) Used a lot in school

SmartWork.... (remember that ?  CGA only... later they did an EGA one F1 place pad F2 remove pad F3 place copper stub F4 remove copper stub... and a command line DIP 600 24 E gave you a dip 600 mil rowpitch 24 pins eastern rotation ... ) Made maybe 15 boards with this in school on a original IBM-XT 4.77 Mhz ... ( no turbo !)

HiWire ( successor to smartwork )

Target (used once)

Protel (Dos ... this is how i rolled into altium :)
Protel for windows
Protel 99
Protel 99SE
Protel DXP
Protel DXP2004

Ultiboard (used once or twice)

PCAD (used once in a course)

Cadstar ( used a few times )

Professional Electron Wrangler.
Any comments, or points of view expressed, are my own and not endorsed , induced or compensated by my employer(s).
 

Offline EEMarc

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I use Eagle professional with all three parts. I've designed boards up to 8 layers with it.

I considered moving to Altium Designer a couple years back. When I talked with them about putting it on multiple computers for my own use, they wanted more money so I said forget it.

I tried a couple free software package in the past, I didn't like them. Maybe they are getting better now.

 

Offline Chasm

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Eagle, free version.

The designs still fit into the constraints and learning to use another tool takes time I'd rather spend elsewhere. ;)
 

Offline richcj10

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I use EAGLE as well... I like it... I think it is really intuitive

I would like to switch to DipTrace, but I am still learning the software....
It is really confusing to me to  on how you connect the symbol to the pad layout...
It seams to me they bury the tools you need in menus, why?
 

Offline Kremmen

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I use EAGLE as well... I like it... I think it is really intuitive

I would like to switch to DipTrace, but I am still learning the software....
It is really confusing to me to  on how you connect the symbol to the pad layout...
It seams to me they bury the tools you need in menus, why?
Hmm, curious. I found that particular thing to be one of the easiest features of Diptrace. Do this:
1. Draw the symbol using Component Editor, inserting pins from the top toolbar pin menu as needed. The pins will be numbered automatically. Right clik on a pin and select Pin Manager from the popup menu to further specify features of a pin.
2. If needed, use Pattern Editor to draw the footprint inserting pads from the toolbar or specifying a standard pattern in Type at Pattern Properties window. Edit the pads as needed and save the footprint lib file.
3. In Component Editor again, select an existing footprint (either the one you just made or an existing one) (use menu Component/Attached Pattern...)
4. In the Attached Pattern dialog box you select the pattern by first adding one or more pattern libraries (middle right: Library [Add]). Then either click on a library file path to see all patterns there, or type a search string and hit [Search]. Select the pattern you want to use.
5. In the dialog box you also see a graphic showing both the symbol and the selected pattern/footprint, with lines connecting pins to pads. In case the lines overlap, hovering mouse over a pad or pin highlights the connection endpoints for visual verification. Also on bottom left you have a Connection List showing what pin connects to which pad. If you need to change the order, just enter new pattern pad numbers for component pin identifiers and the connection lines change accordingly. Hit [OK] to confirm. Couldn't be easier really...
Nothing sings like a kilovolt.
Dr W. Bishop
 

Offline richcj10

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Thanks, I will have to look at this....
I love the automatic pad and symbol tool.. makes my life better...
 

Offline madires

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Hi!

I got BAE light and the Eagle free version. Both are ok but not great. BAE has a lot of professional features which Eagle lacks. Recently Eagle added support for having a pin (of a symbol) connected to multiple pads (of a package). I need that feature to have the option to place a 100 or 200mil through-hole capacitor on the PCB. Before that I had to create 3 pin caps - that's insane!  There's more of that kind. On the other side Eagle has a very nice UI which BAE lacks. So I use Eagle mainly and hope the missing features will be added.

Cheers
 madires
 

Offline richcj10

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I use EAGLE as well... I like it... I think it is really intuitive

I would like to switch to DipTrace, but I am still learning the software....
It is really confusing to me to  on how you connect the symbol to the pad layout...
It seams to me they bury the tools you need in menus, why?
Hmm, curious. I found that particular thing to be one of the easiest features of Diptrace. Do this:
1. Draw the symbol using Component Editor, inserting pins from the top toolbar pin menu as needed. The pins will be numbered automatically. Right clik on a pin and select Pin Manager from the popup menu to further specify features of a pin.
2. If needed, use Pattern Editor to draw the footprint inserting pads from the toolbar or specifying a standard pattern in Type at Pattern Properties window. Edit the pads as needed and save the footprint lib file.
3. In Component Editor again, select an existing footprint (either the one you just made or an existing one) (use menu Component/Attached Pattern...)
4. In the Attached Pattern dialog box you select the pattern by first adding one or more pattern libraries (middle right: Library [Add]). Then either click on a library file path to see all patterns there, or type a search string and hit [Search]. Select the pattern you want to use.
5. In the dialog box you also see a graphic showing both the symbol and the selected pattern/footprint, with lines connecting pins to pads. In case the lines overlap, hovering mouse over a pad or pin highlights the connection endpoints for visual verification. Also on bottom left you have a Connection List showing what pin connects to which pad. If you need to change the order, just enter new pattern pad numbers for component pin identifiers and the connection lines change accordingly. Hit [OK] to confirm. Couldn't be easier really...

Thanks, Worked like a charm..Do you know were to find keyboard shortcuts to the program?
 

Offline ampdoctor

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Hi!

I got BAE light and the Eagle free version. Both are ok but not great. BAE has a lot of professional features which Eagle lacks. Recently Eagle added support for having a pin (of a symbol) connected to multiple pads (of a package). I need that feature to have the option to place a 100 or 200mil through-hole capacitor on the PCB. Before that I had to create 3 pin caps - that's insane!  There's more of that kind. On the other side Eagle has a very nice UI which BAE lacks. So I use Eagle mainly and hope the missing features will be added.

Cheers
 madires

Not sure how BAE works but generally if I need to do something like this I just add a couple of vias and associate them with the nets on the existing part then just toss in a straight line route.  Works like a charm in the few eda packages I've used; mainly protel 99, circuitmaker, ultiboard.  So just thought I'd toss that out as a possible work around.
 

Offline deephaven

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I've used BAE professional for many years. It works well but I wish it was more mainstream as I have very few people to share the experience with.
 

Offline reagle

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Altium at work, DipTrace non-for-profit edition at home for my own projects. That way if i ever decide to make my own projects for sale, I can actually afford an upgrade to a full license ;)

Offline andy1

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Currently using Kicad and will probably continue to do so for quite long time.
Started with Eagle free but then had to do some PCBs for work and decided to learn Kicad as it is free in every sense and I could use it for work without any license problems or board size limitations. It is also really easy to keep the files in formats that can be opened in multiple platforms by anyone interested.
 


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