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'[EE] PCB Design web site.'
2011\01\15@113130 by N. T.

picon face
Does anyone know a PCB Design web site? I'd like to learn PCB Design
by just trying to design something. I am not willing to install the
app on my PC, that's why - "web-based". Probably some PCB house runs
the web site.
Thanks

2011\01\15@123007 by Oli Glaser

flavicon
face
On 15/01/2011 16:31, N. T. wrote:
> Does anyone know a PCB Design web site? I'd like to learn PCB Design
> by just trying to design something. I am not willing to install the
> app on my PC, that's why - "web-based". Probably some PCB house runs
> the web site.
> Thanks.

I know there are a couple of PCB houses that have their own software (free but uses a proprietary format which locks you into using their service) however, I have not seen any web based PCB design tools. I get the feeling due to PCB design tools complexity/size it would be very hard to provide this (at least anything of a serious nature)
Out of interest - why do you not want to install anything? Eagle or something else with free trial/non-commercial use (i.e. pretty much anything) would be the obvious choice if you could do - I think you may be rather "limited" otherwise.
Maybe there is something out there though, others (or Google) may know more...

2011\01\15@125727 by Carl Denk

flavicon
face
I use http://www.freepcb.com/. I have found it friendly, and good support. The only issue, I had, was a few of the template holes sizes we too small by a few mils several years ago. I believe that has been long corrected. There is also an auto-router, haven't tried it, but probably worth playing with. It does generate standard Gerber files, so, you would not be locked to a particular fab. shop. Just download, the file, and install in the usual Windows fashion. Not a huge program.

On 1/15/2011 12:29 PM, Oli Glaser wrote:
>
> Maybe there is something out there though, others (or Google) may know
> more...
>
>

2011\01\15@134100 by Olin Lathrop

face picon face
N. T. wrote:
> Does anyone know a PCB Design web site? I'd like to learn PCB Design
> by just trying to design something. I am not willing to install the
> app on my PC, that's why - "web-based".

Why?  That seems silly.  No serious elecrical CAD software is web based.  I
think there are a few board houses out there that do that, but it will be
limiting and only applicable to that board house.


********************************************************************
Embed Inc, Littleton Massachusetts, http://www.embedinc.com/products
(978) 742-9014.  Gold level PIC consultants since 2000

2011\01\15@143357 by N. T.

picon face
Olin Lathrop <spam_OUTolin_piclistTakeThisOuTspamembedinc.com> wrote:
> N. T. wrote:
>> Does anyone know a PCB Design web site? I'd like to learn PCB Design
>> by just trying to design something. I am not willing to install the
>> app on my PC, that's why - "web-based".
>
> Why?

Why not?

> That seems silly.

No, it is not (at least for me). :-)

> No serious elecrical CAD software is web based.

That is not a good argument at all, - There is no web-based PCB Design
software, because "No serious elecrical CAD software is web based".
:-)

No offense meant.
Seriously, PCB design CADs were quite successful even on Pentium 150
MHz, and were written in C language. Why they must not run in a
web-browser sandbox (Javascript) on a PC with Intel® Core™ i7 CPU,
which is, let's assume, a hundred times faster?
Why? You may wish to ask yourself and try to answer it as well. I
believe, you'd find numerous reasons. Let's name a few:
- always latest algorithms, you don't need to update it;
- you can run it in a browser and don't care much what Op System it is based on;
- if you need, say, to teach students, you can run it on as many PCs
as you need without installing it. You could run it even on a good
mobiles (some modern mobiles feature HDMI output), not to say about
tablets. A student would go home and continue working on a project
without the hassle to download and install the software.
- if you feel like making money of the web site, you would charge some
membership fee plus usage fee, summing up to ten bucks a month or so,
not hundreds bucks one time fee + update fee.
- Please, continue ...

Regards.

PS
Again, no offense meant.

2011\01\16@062126 by Tamas Rudnai

face picon face
On Sat, Jan 15, 2011 at 7:20 PM, N. T. <.....ntypesemiKILLspamspam@spam@gmail.com> wrote:

> Seriously, PCB design CADs were quite successful even on Pentium 150
> MHz, and were written in C language. Why they must not run in a
> web-browser sandbox (Javascript) on a PC with Intel® Core™ i7 CPU,
> which is, let's assume, a hundred times faster?
>

It is not about quickness. It is about privacy and reliability. A serious
design most probably would not want to go on web and assume that the web
owner is not stealing his/her idea. As with the reliability: Again, you
assume that the internet and that web site is always there. If you are a
serious company you need more reliable resources than that. Similarly I use
Google Docs quite a few times for writing letters and and small calculations
on the sheets but only for my own and definitely would not use it to do my
presentations, my patents and my books... and guess what, it is not compared
to Microsoft or Open Office, useful but not "serious" tool.

Tamas




{Quote hidden}

>

2011\01\16@100036 by N. T.

picon face
Tamas Rudnai wrote:
>N. T. wrote:
>
>> Seriously, PCB design CADs were quite successful even on Pentium 150
>> MHz, and were written in C language. Why they must not run in a
>> web-browser sandbox (Javascript) on a PC with Intel® Core™ i7 CPU,
>> which is, let's assume, a hundred times faster?
>>
>
> It is not about quickness.

It is also about quickness, I think. I believe, it would take seconds
for IE to redraw thousands rectangles in Javascript, even on a fast
PC. I read somewhere they would make newer IE to perform much better.
But as for now the "quickness" matters.


> It is about privacy and reliability.

Still, people use Gmail and other web services for even more private
things. If your design is not for mass production, the site owners,
probably, would not bother stealing it.


> A serious
> design most probably would not want to go on web and assume that the web
> owner is not stealing his/her idea. As with the reliability: Again, you
> assume that the internet and that web site is always there. If you are a
> serious company you need more reliable resources than that. Similarly I use
> Google Docs quite a few times for writing letters and and small calculations
> on the sheets but only for my own and definitely would not use it to do my
> presentations, my patents and my books... and guess what, it is not compared
> to Microsoft or Open Office, useful but not "serious" tool.

Yes, a serious design most probably would not want to go on web, But,
the question is, how many less serious would be willing to use it.
10000 users paying $20 a month, would, probably justify the cost of
development and the cost to run it. If you teach EE classes, why not
be paying for, say, 20 accounts? If you searched web for something
EE-related and reached the site, why not just to try it for free?

Crucial is to make the discover-ability of the PCB design
functionality as easy and exciting as playing a computer game.

The technical problem is due to the very nature of web app concept.
Every time you open your web browser, you need to load the Javascript
code from the web server. The code can be as big as few megabytes, but
with all that Ajax things you "load as you go" the code, only the part
of the code that is needed for current operation.

2011\01\16@103402 by Olin Lathrop

face picon face
N. T. wrote:
>> It is about privacy and reliability.
>
> Still, people use Gmail and other web services ...

> Yes, a serious design most probably would not want to go on web, But,

We are telling you how things are, and you are arguing why that's not how
you think they should be.  You are missing the point that it is how it is,
regardless of why you think it should be otherwise.

You are also looking at this from your own very narrow perspective.
Hobbyists don't drive the market.

> the question is, how many less serious would be willing to use it.
> 10000 users paying $20 a month, would, probably justify the cost of
> development and the cost to run it.

Professionals wouldn't go near it for the reasons Michael and others have
already cited.  That leaves hobbyists, which are a very cheap lot on the
whole.  Very very few are going to fork over $240/year to rent access to EE
design software not even on their own computer.

> If you searched web for something
> EE-related and reached the site, why not just to try it for free?

Most EE software already has trial versions and the like you can try for
free.

> Crucial is to make the discover-ability of the PCB design
> functionality as easy and exciting as playing a computer game.

Why?  I don't see why it's "crucial" at all to try to attract those with
short attention spans and need for instant gratification to EE design
software.  Such people invariably make crappy EEs, so letting them weed
themselves out seems like a lot less trouble for everyone.

Also EE software is one of the few things I run that is still limited by my
computing hardware.  The autorouter can take many minutes per pass, and
that's when it's using up 100% of my local CPU running (presumably) well
optimized compiled code.  That's definitely not the kind of thing you want
running in a interpreter, like Java.  Or if you think it should run on a
cloud somewhere, that cloud needs to have some very serious processors,
which means money, which means they would have to charge real money for the
use.  It just doesn't add up.


********************************************************************
Embed Inc, Littleton Massachusetts, http://www.embedinc.com/products
(978) 742-9014.  Gold level PIC consultants since 2000

2011\01\16@131129 by Michael Watterson

face picon face
On 16/01/2011 15:35, Olin Lathrop wrote:
>
> Also EE software is one of the few things I run that is still limited by my
> computing hardware.  The autorouter can take many minutes per pass, and
> that's when it's using up 100% of my local CPU running (presumably) well
> optimized compiled code.  That's definitely not the kind of thing you want
> running in a interpreter, like Java.  Or if you think it should run on a
> cloud somewhere, that cloud needs to have some very serious processors,
> which means money, which means they would have to charge real money for the
> use.  It just doesn't add up.

In fact even Google Docs or WYSIWYG javascript Web2.0 entry is SICK compared to local Open Office, MS Office or whatever.

I have 8Mbps BB with 28ms latency. I find Web based/Cloud SW PAINFUL compared to local applications on brand new Win7 or Ubuntu Desktop or 9 year old laptop.

The closest thing to a CAD schematic capture Iv'e used on line was web Visio look alike. VERY much like mouse was on rubber bands wading in treacle.

My best DOS schematic capture experience was "FutureNet". Used it about 3 years. (just schematics, other packages for lay out via netlist and BOM)

I used Number One Systems Easy PCB on DOS for layout & capture for some major 220x160mm boards and projects, about 2 years. Pretty poor, but my boards where all 100% correct and all worked 100%.

I've used Orcad, Autotrax /EDA, Kicad and others.

Been using Eagle for about 5 years. You need to double check any 3rd party libraries.  It's improved a lot. I'd not switch to kicad.

I was offered one of the Really BIG packages (does chip layout too) by a Client. But what arrived was a pirate copy with files and instructions to beat the dongle!

Unless any CAD package is about as limited as Visio, it will take some effort.

There are compromises. I've used and supported Autocad. But I use Turbocad for all my mechanical as it's much cheaper and "good enough" plus easier to use as it's windows from scratch and can to a reasonable degree import/Export Autocad files.

I've used Photoshop. But have bought a copy of Paint Shop Pro (v7?) ages ago and use it. The "free" Gimp is much more awkward. Maybe it can do as much, but life is too short.

To use ANY CAD program when you are already an expert in the field and know what you ought to be about to do is maybe a week of total immersion. If you are  inexperienced in that field then a month to a year many be needed to be expert because you don't really know how how to do it. Similar with Programming. A newcomer needs 2 to 5 years to be an expert Programmer. But a good programmer can learn a new language in a few days, but the libraries can take a week to several months to figure out

2011\01\16@134824 by N. T.

picon face
Olin Lathrop wrote:
> N. T. wrote:
>>> It is about privacy and reliability.
>>
>> Still, people use Gmail and other web services ...
>
>> Yes, a serious design most probably would not want to go on web, But,
>
> We are telling you how things are, and you are arguing why that's not how
> you think they should be.

The fact that things are the way they are does not contradict the
statement that the things can change. I did not say things should
change, what I said was sort of it seems there should be more options.


> You are missing the point that it is how it is,
> regardless of why you think it should be otherwise.

See above.


>
> You are also looking at this from your own very narrow perspective.
> Hobbyists don't drive the market.
>

Newbies, I'd say, not only hobbyists. They can be EE pro developing
easy to medium projects.


>> the question is, how many less serious would be willing to use it.
>> 10000 users paying $20 a month, would, probably justify the cost of
>> development and the cost to run it.
>
> Professionals wouldn't go near it for the reasons Michael and others have
> already cited.  That leaves hobbyists, which are a very cheap lot on the
> whole.  Very very few are going to fork over $240/year to rent access to EE
> design software not even on their own computer.

Again EE professionals, not only hobbyists. If the web-site were run
by the biggest EE CAD developer, why would not pros go using it?

>
>> If you searched web for something
>> EE-related and reached the site, why not just to try it for free?
>
> Most EE software already has trial versions and the like you can try for
> free.
>

But you need to install it under, typically, administrative privileges.


>> Crucial is to make the discover-ability of the PCB design
>> functionality as easy and exciting as playing a computer game.
>
> Why?  I don't see why it's "crucial" at all to try to attract those with
> short attention spans and need for instant gratification to EE design
> software.  Such people invariably make crappy EEs, so letting them weed
> themselves out seems like a lot less trouble for everyone.
>

That's debatable point on "weeding themselves out", but I don't feel
like getting into it now.


> Also EE software is one of the few things I run that is still limited by my
> computing hardware.  The autorouter can take many minutes per pass, and
> that's when it's using up 100% of my local CPU running (presumably) well
> optimized compiled code.  That's definitely not the kind of thing you want
> running in a interpreter, like Java.

They say
***
The IE9 Platform Preview includes the first release of our new
JavaScript engine, codenamed Chakra, which fundamentally changes the
performance characteristics of JavaScript inside Internet Explorer 9.
Chakra includes a new JavaScript compiler that compiles JavaScript
source code into high-quality native machine code...
***
http://blogs.msdn.com/b/ie/archive/2010/03/18/the-new-javascript-engine-in-internet-explorer-9.aspx

See "includes a new JavaScript compiler that compiles JavaScript
source code into high-quality native machine code"

2011\01\16@142105 by Olin Lathrop

face picon face
N. T. wrote:
> what I said was sort of it seems there should be more options.

Which is pointless since most people here are not in a position to create
more options.  We are mostly EE software users, not EE software developers.

> Again EE professionals, not only hobbyists. If the web-site were run
> by the biggest EE CAD developer, why would not pros go using it?

Several EE professionals have already answered this.  I wouldn't use it for
the reasons Michael and other have already cited.

> But you need to install it under, typically, administrative
> privileges.

So?  The computers I run EE software on are my computers, so this is no big
deal for me.  This may be a issue at some large companies with excessively
nanny-like IT departments, but even they generally understand about
installing commercial software.

> They say
> ***
> The IE9 Platform Preview includes <blah, blah, blah>

I'll believe it when I see it.  Even then, at best it will only run as fast
as native compiled code, so there is no advantage.

Go implement web based EE tools if you think it's such a great idea, then
let us know how many people actually use it.  Then try charging $20/month as
you proposed, and tell us how many paying customers you have.  I will
continue to think it's a dumb idea until someone can provide evidence to the
contrary.


********************************************************************
Embed Inc, Littleton Massachusetts, http://www.embedinc.com/products
(978) 742-9014.  Gold level PIC consultants since 2000

2011\01\16@151503 by N. T.

picon face
Olin Lathrop wrote:
> N. T. wrote:
>> what I said was sort of it seems there should be more options.
>
> Which is pointless since most people here are not in a position to create
> more options.  We are mostly EE software users, not EE software developers.
>

How EE software developers would know about it if EE software users
would be staying calm like a dead fish under the full moon? :-)

>> But you need to install it under, typically, administrative
>> privileges.
>
> So?  The computers I run EE software on are my computers, so this is no big
> deal for me.  This may be a issue at some large companies with excessively
> nanny-like IT departments, but even they generally understand about
> installing commercial software.

If you don't believe even MS (see your statement below),  then why are
you so confident about giving the commercial software admin privileges
on your PC? :-)

>> The IE9 Platform Preview includes <blah, blah, blah>
> I'll believe it when I see it.

PS
Probably I should have changed tag to OT as the questions were quite
rhetoric. forgive me, please.
No offence intended.

2011\01\16@201135 by Xiaofan Chen
face picon face
On Sun, Jan 16, 2011 at 12:31 AM, N. T. <ntypesemispamKILLspamgmail.com> wrote:
> Does anyone know a PCB Design web site? I'd like to learn PCB Design
> by just trying to design something. I am not willing to install the
> app on my PC, that's why - "web-based". Probably some PCB house runs
> the web site.

I do not know of any online based PCB tools.

On the other hand, there is at least a widely used web-based EE
simulation tool used by many companies, including Microchip.
http://web.transim.com/main/
http://www.microchip.com/stellent/idcplg?IdcService=SS_GET_PAGE&nodeId=2534

-- Xiaofa

2011\01\16@204814 by Tamas Rudnai

face picon face
On Mon, Jan 17, 2011 at 1:11 AM, Xiaofan Chen <.....xiaofancKILLspamspam.....gmail.com> wrote:

> I do not know of any online based PCB tools.
>
> On the other hand, there is at least a widely used web-based EE
> simulation tool used by many companies, including Microchip.
> http://web.transim.com/main/
> http://www.microchip.com/stellent/idcplg?IdcService=SS_GET_PAGE&nodeId=2534


What do need to download if that is web based?

Tamas



>
>
> --
> Xiaofan
>

2011\01\16@211232 by Xiaofan Chen

face picon face
On Mon, Jan 17, 2011 at 9:48 AM, Tamas Rudnai <EraseMEtamas.rudnaispam_OUTspamTakeThisOuTgmail.com> wrote:
> On Mon, Jan 17, 2011 at 1:11 AM, Xiaofan Chen <xiaofancspamspam_OUTgmail.com> wrote:
>
>> I do not know of any online based PCB tools.
>>
>> On the other hand, there is at least a widely used web-based EE
>> simulation tool used by many companies, including Microchip.
>> http://web.transim.com/main/
>> http://www.microchip.com/stellent/idcplg?IdcService=SS_GET_PAGE&nodeId=2534
>
> What do need to download if that is web based?

I do not think you need to download anything special. I have not
used the Microchip version. But I have used National Semi's
Webench which is said to be based on Transim, with either IE
or Firefox. I do not need to download anything special
for Webench -- you do need to have Adobe Flash installed.

You indeed will see that it is downloading some files and
start the web based application. However, they are not
permanent files stored in your computer. Some older
versions may require IE and ActiveX but it is not the
case for Webench now.
http://www.national.com/analog/webench
http://www.national.com/news/item/0,1735,428,00.html



-- Xiaofa

2011\01\17@041352 by Michael Watterson

face picon face
On 17/01/2011 02:12, Xiaofan Chen wrote:
> On Mon, Jan 17, 2011 at 9:48 AM, Tamas Rudnai<@spam@tamas.rudnaiKILLspamspamgmail.com>  wrote:
>> On Mon, Jan 17, 2011 at 1:11 AM, Xiaofan Chen<KILLspamxiaofancKILLspamspamgmail.com>  wrote:
>>
>>> I do not know of any online based PCB tools.
>>>
>>> On the other hand, there is at least a widely used web-based EE
>>> simulation tool used by many companies, including Microchip.
>>> http://web.transim.com/main/
>>> www.microchip.com/stellent/idcplg?IdcService=SS_GET_PAGE&nodeId=2534
>> What do need to download if that is web based?
> I do not think you need to download anything special. I have not
> used the Microchip version. But I have used National Semi's
> Webench which is said to be based on Transim,

I've used NS web-bench to refine design of PLL using their LMX family. It's very painful compared to a local application and then awkward to add into your project documentation for other or subsequent Engineers. Linear Technolgy approach of offering a Spice download with schematic capture GUI and GUI virtual instruments and large number of sample files is far better.

NS does have a separate tool which you can download which calculates the various registers for the LMX family and can even use a simply made parallel to I2C adaptor to control the Chip. That 2nd tool doesn't help with design of loop filters.

NS would be far better to hire someone to write a decent local application, even if in Java to promote their LMX PLL. The Web-bench is pretty nasty. Maybe I'll do it myself. Though maybe not in Java

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