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PICList Thread
'[EE] PCB design packages towards Medium End'
2005\12\06@204036 by Chen Xiao Fan

face
flavicon
face
It seemed to me that P-CAD 2004 will be the last of
P-CAD line from Altium (used to be Protel). Altium has
ended the support for the low-end Circuit Maker and
I guess P-CAD will also die soon and they will
move to Altium Designer as well.

Then there is ORCAD. We use PSpice 10.3 for circuit
simulation only. The ORCAD layout should also be
quite good.

I am not so familiar with the various layout packages.
What are the commonly used layout tools for the
medium end (no high-speed / high density requirement)
for business use? For personal/SOHO use, Eagle seems to
be the choice of many PIClist members.

Regards,
Xiaofan

2005\12\06@211008 by Cristóvão Dalla Costa

picon face
I've had good results with the Proteus suite (http://www.labcenter.co.uk).
They can simulate a microcontroller and its circuit together and I
hear the last version even connects a simulated serial port to a
windows device. The optional electra autorouter is very good, the
default autorouter is ok. There's a demo version too.

On 12/6/05, Chen Xiao Fan <spam_OUTxiaofanTakeThisOuTspamsg.pepperl-fuchs.com> wrote:
{Quote hidden}

> -

2005\12\07@011907 by William Chops Westfield

face picon face
On Dec 6, 2005, at 5:40 PM, Chen Xiao Fan wrote:

> What are the commonly used layout tools for the
> medium end (no high-speed / high density requirement)
> for business use?

There are enough professional class ("medium end") users of
CADSoft Eagle represented on (for example) their support forums
that I think Eagle is still in the running, in it's more expensive
versions, but Eagle is all I've used, so I can't really compare.


> For personal/SOHO use, Eagle seems to
> be the choice of many PIClist members.
>
That's because Cadsoft has an especially "enlightened" view of
hobbyists and students...  One of the reasons that it is such
a success is that it is NOT simple design tool someone wrote and
made available cheap to hobbyists.  It's a professional mid-range
PCB/CAD package that the vendor has chosen to make available cheap
(in limited versions) to hobbyists...

BillW

2005\12\07@080737 by olin piclist

face picon face
William Chops Westfield wrote:
> That's because Cadsoft has an especially "enlightened" view of
> hobbyists and students...  One of the reasons that it is such
> a success is that it is NOT simple design tool someone wrote and
> made available cheap to hobbyists.  It's a professional mid-range
> PCB/CAD package that the vendor has chosen to make available cheap
> (in limited versions) to hobbyists...

And the professional price is reasonable too.  $1200 for the first seat, and
$300 for the next few additional seats.


******************************************************************
Embed Inc, Littleton Massachusetts, (978) 742-9014.  #1 PIC
consultant in 2004 program year.  http://www.embedinc.com/products

2005\12\07@082017 by Xiaofan Chen

face picon face
On 12/7/05, Olin Lathrop <.....olin_piclistKILLspamspam@spam@embedinc.com> wrote:
> William Chops Westfield wrote:
> > That's because Cadsoft has an especially "enlightened" view of
> > hobbyists and students...  One of the reasons that it is such
> > a success is that it is NOT simple design tool someone wrote and
> > made available cheap to hobbyists.  It's a professional mid-range
> > PCB/CAD package that the vendor has chosen to make available cheap
> > (in limited versions) to hobbyists...
>
> And the professional price is reasonable too.  $1200 for the first seat, and
> $300 for the next few additional seats.
>

Seems to be pretty cheap judging from the fact that each PSpice license cost
much more than Eagle Professional. But I am not so sure about the cost of the
Protel (now Altium) layout package or Orcad Layout packages.

Is Eagle Professional in the same league as the PCB layout part of
Orcad or Protel (now Altium Designer)?

Regards,
Xiaofan

2005\12\07@124841 by Bob Blick

face picon face

> Is Eagle Professional in the same league as the PCB layout part of
> Orcad or Protel (now Altium Designer)?

It's almost USD $10K, so it's not in the same league. But I should tell
you, in 1996 I worked for a company that used Protel, so I had to use it.
I didn't like it, and I didn't like the bugs it had either.

Fast-forward to 2005. I'm thinking my PADS PowerPCB 3.51 is getting a
little long in the tooth and want to see how Protel, now Altium, is doing.
I get the 30 day demo and do a start-to-finish design. Almost all the bugs
that Protel 1996 had are still in Altium! Disgusting.

So back to PADS for me. But they are now part of Mentor Graphics. Mine is
the last version that includes SPECCTRA autorouter (SPECCTRA is now part
of Cadence, competitor to Mentor Graphics). So I'll keep using the 3.51
version, and it is just fine.

For the price, Eagle is great. But I have never seen an autorouter worth
using except for SPECCTRA, it really works well. Mostly the comments I
hear about Eagle's autorouter are like this: "Run the autorouter to get an
idea where the trouble spots are, adjust the layout and then route it all
by hand". OK, whatever, I'm happy with SPECCTRA, run it, touch up here and
there, and send it off to get built :)

So I guess if you want SPECCTRA now, you need to buy OrCAD. I estimate
$15K for a fairly complete seat with capture, spice, layout and autoroute.
But if you talk to them long enough expect to get it for half that - it's
the yearly maintenance they really want from you.

Cheerful regards,

Bob



2005\12\07@135524 by David Minkler

flavicon
face
Or, try Cadint.  ( http://www.cadint.com/ )  Like Eagle, available in
pin limited versions for free.  Available in packages up to 32 layers.  
You can add capabilities as you need them.  Best integration between the
schematic side and the layout side of any package I've seen (I've seen a
few).   No connection, just a very satisfied user.

Dave

Bob Blick wrote:

{Quote hidden}

2005\12\07@153241 by alan smith

picon face
Even the 50K packages have bugs.  We moved from PADs to EXPEDITION....it has issues as well.

David Minkler <minkspamKILLspamluxtron.com> wrote:  Or, try Cadint. ( http://www.cadint.com/ ) Like Eagle, available in
pin limited versions for free. Available in packages up to 32 layers.
You can add capabilities as you need them. Best integration between the
schematic side and the layout side of any package I've seen (I've seen a
few). No connection, just a very satisfied user.

Dave

Bob Blick wrote:

{Quote hidden}

2005\12\07@164337 by olin piclist

face picon face
Bob Blick wrote:
> For the price, Eagle is great. But I have never seen an autorouter
> worth using except for SPECCTRA, it really works well.

Have you actually tried the Eagle auto router?

> Mostly the
> comments I hear about Eagle's autorouter are like this: "Run the
> autorouter to get an idea where the trouble spots are, adjust the
> layout and then route it all by hand".

That sounds like people that don't know how to use the Eagle auto router
properly.  I've used the auto router on lots of jobs, and am generally
impressed with it.  You have to realize that you are an important part of
the loop, and that you have to carefully select various tradeoffs for it and
set parameters.  If you do that though, you can get good results.  I usually
hand route a small subset of each job, like the main loop of switching power
supplies and multiple power/ground connections to a PIC.  Then I let the
auto router do the rest, and it usually does a good job.

You should also expect this to be an iterative process.  Run it first
without optimization passes to see how complex the job is and maybe how the
layout should be changed.  Then you crank up optimization to get the final
production route.


******************************************************************
Embed Inc, Littleton Massachusetts, (978) 742-9014.  #1 PIC
consultant in 2004 program year.  http://www.embedinc.com/products

2005\12\07@172609 by Bob Blick

face picon face

> Have you actually tried the Eagle auto router?

Yes, and I have used a lot of different autorouters in many different PCB
programs. Some of them do really stupid things and most ignore the
obvious, even when you manipulate the ruleset over and over.

All of them will route a low density board to 100%. But the best ones make
something that looks good, use fewer vias, and have fewer "last-minute"
traces that go all over the board for a half an inch pin pair.

With the system I use now, I have two autorouters at my disposal, and
SPECCTRA always wins.

But going back to my earlier post, I have a lot of respect for Eagle and
don't hesitate to recommend it. I won't say that for any other package,
including PADS, mostly because of what I perceive as a "lack of value" in
the high priced ones and lack of quality or essential(to me) features in
the cheaper ones.

Cheerful regards,

Bob



2005\12\07@182157 by Jesse Lackey

flavicon
face
Hello, I've been using eagle professional for 3-ish years, and while I
recommend it, it has limitations that I'm running into as my designs get
more complex.  I'm looking into both orcad and protel next year.

Orcad looks to be $10K for the "unison" suite, schematic, pcb,
simulator, autorouter.

Altium is in the $8K range for similar setup.

Specific shortcomings with Eagle:

1) re-use of parts of designs.  You can cut & paste the schematic, but
can't get the layout as well.  This is a problem for dc/dcs, where
layout is critical.

2) while it supports 16 layers, small missing features makes even 4
somewhat tedious.  My designs often have 3 different grounds (one has
6!) and creating the polygons for doing the fills involves a lot of
clicking.  (6 shapes done 4 times, or some significant hassle/hacks to
make them copyable).  Things like a "keepout" and "restrict" layer only
applies to top & bottom; to have similar in inner layers is another hack.

3) libraries are somewhat dated and incomplete, and I often find little
things like diode polarity indication is on the "document" layer, so it
doesn't come out on the board silkscreen.

4) things like panelization and BOM generation / management are
primitive and essentially not documented.  Example: can't have a user
tag with a part so the digikey/mouser p/n is kept with it.  Again, there
are awkward workarounds, but they are workarounds and not a fundamental
feature.

5) autorouter seems ok (I don't have the experience to say) but there is
little control over rules for it.  It isn't practical to say "all power
and ground must be 16 mils" because then pin connections to fine-pitch
devices fail.  There is no way to categorize nets to say "all these
should be in this area", or "over this ground", etc.

Anyway.  I've done 30+ designs with it, and am happy with it, but I'm
starting to hit the wall.  If you have the money, and expect to do
serious designs - meaning 300+ components, 4-layer+ boards, need
simulation, using 256-ball BGAs and don't feel like doing your own
"escape pattern" by hand over and over, etc. - I'd look beyond Eagle.

J




Xiaofan Chen wrote:

{Quote hidden}

2005\12\07@183812 by olin piclist

face picon face
Jesse Lackey wrote:
> 2) while it supports 16 layers, small missing features makes even 4
> somewhat tedious.  My designs often have 3 different grounds (one has
> 6!) and creating the polygons for doing the fills involves a lot of
> clicking.  (6 shapes done 4 times, or some significant hassle/hacks to
> make them copyable).

I agree with many of your other assesments of Eagle, but not this one.  I do
multiple grounds on multiple layers occasionally and don't consider it a
problem.  You only have to create the polygons once, although it doesn't
have to be done with clicking.  One of the very nice things about Eagle is
that the clickety-click interface seems to sit on top of the command
interface.  This means you can click for most things, but you can also write
external programs to create scripts.

> Things like a "keepout" and "restrict" layer only
> applies to top & bottom; to have similar in inner layers is another
> hack.

Yes, that has bothered me too.

> 3) libraries are somewhat dated and incomplete, and I often find little
> things like diode polarity indication is on the "document" layer, so it
> doesn't come out on the board silkscreen.

Never use the Eagle libraries.  Once you buy into this concept, they won't
bother you.

> 4) things like panelization and BOM generation / management are
> primitive and essentially not documented.  Example: can't have a user
> tag with a part so the digikey/mouser p/n is kept with it.  Again, there
> are awkward workarounds, but they are workarounds and not a fundamental
> feature.

This is my number one wish list feature for Eagle.  At a minimum I want a
second VALUE field for every component that can be separately displayed or
not in the schematic, etc.  When I'm doing the design I've probably looked
up the part and know the manufacturer and supplier part numbers, but there
is no way to save this information for automatic BOM generation later.  I've
nagged them about his already.  Please nag them about this too and maybe it
will get towards the top of their new features list.

By the way, I've got a ULP and an external program that help a lot in making
BOMs.  There is still too much manual work left after that, but it's a lot
better than bare Eagle.  You can download some of my Eagle stuff from
http://www.embedinc.com/pic/dload.htm.

> 5) autorouter seems ok (I don't have the experience to say) but there is
> little control over rules for it.  It isn't practical to say "all power
> and ground must be 16 mils" because then pin connections to fine-pitch
> devices fail.

I wish Eagle had subnets too.  I get around this by "short" devices.  They
are shorts on the board, but each side is a separate net so that it can have
different Eagle rules.

> Anyway.  I've done 30+ designs with it, and am happy with it, but I'm
> starting to hit the wall.  If you have the money, and expect to do
> serious designs - meaning 300+ components, 4-layer+ boards, need
> simulation, using 256-ball BGAs and don't feel like doing your own
> "escape pattern" by hand over and over, etc. - I'd look beyond Eagle.

I don't know what you mean by "escape pattern", but it sounds like you are
doing some things manually that could be automated.  I've probably done
about as many Eagle designs as you have, but I haven't done a BGA.


******************************************************************
Embed Inc, Littleton Massachusetts, (978) 742-9014.  #1 PIC
consultant in 2004 program year.  http://www.embedinc.com/products

2005\12\07@184707 by Bob Blick

face picon face
> Hello, I've been using eagle professional for 3-ish years, and while I
> recommend it, it has limitations that I'm running into as my designs get
> more complex.  I'm looking into both orcad and protel next year.
>
> Orcad looks to be $10K for the "unison" suite, schematic, pcb,
> simulator, autorouter.

Hi Jesse,

Try before you buy is all I can say. That was enough to keep me away from
Altium. Orcad has a partscount limited version that is free but fully
funtional otherwise, you can either request a CD or download 279 megabytes
through their throttled connection:

http://www.orcad.com/downloads/orcadlite10/OrCAD105_Demo.zip

PADS and Altium will send you a CD with a time-limited version.

Cheers,

Bob


2005\12\07@185526 by Chen Xiao Fan

face
flavicon
face

> -----Original Message-----
> From: EraseMEpiclist-bouncesspam_OUTspamTakeThisOuTmit.edu
> Subject: Re: [EE] PCB design packages towards Medium End
>
> Hello, I've been using eagle professional for 3-ish years,
> and while I  recommend it, it has limitations that I'm running
> into as my  designs get  more complex.  I'm looking into both
> orcad and protel next year.
>
> Orcad looks to be $10K for the "unison" suite, schematic, pcb,
> simulator, autorouter.  
> Altium is in the $8K range for similar setup.

We have Orcad Unison suite (only capature and PSpice A/D).
For analog circuit simulation, PSpice is still the king
for general usage.

We are using the P-CAD 2004 schematics and pcb layout now
and have all libraries customized according to the
manufacturing capability here.

I think we do not need the autorouter anyway. Normally our
board is very small and has some sensitive analog part so
autorouter is not necessary and may not work anyway.

So I think Orcad PCB and Altium Designer will be the better
choice here. Among these two PCB layout package, which is a
better option?

Regards,
Xiaofan

2005\12\07@195200 by Jesse Lackey

flavicon
face
Hi Olin - tx for your comments and pointer to your Eagle stuff.  I'll
definitely try the BOM generator for my next design, its 9 schematic
pages...

The board shorts to tie separate grounds together - I do this with an
0402 "resistor" customized with a copper wire between pads in the model.
 This works, but creates piles of DRC violations.  Do you have a
different way?

Thanks-
J

{Quote hidden}

2005\12\07@203900 by David Minkler

flavicon
face
I'll do the Cadint comparison.  I've been using it for nearly 6 years now.

Jesse Lackey wrote:

> Hello, I've been using eagle professional for 3-ish years, and while I
> recommend it, it has limitations that I'm running into as my designs
> get more complex.  I'm looking into both orcad and protel next year.
>
> Orcad looks to be $10K for the "unison" suite, schematic, pcb,
> simulator, autorouter.
>
> Altium is in the $8K range for similar setup.

Ranges in price from free trial version through about 11K for the full
blown unlimited version with autorouter.  Lots of options in between and
they have a competitive upgrade program that will ease the pain if you
are already using something similar.

> Specific shortcomings with Eagle:
>
> 1) re-use of parts of designs.  You can cut & paste the schematic, but
> can't get the layout as well.  This is a problem for dc/dcs, where
> layout is critical.

No problem here, I do this all the time.  Schematic and Layout block
export nicely.

> 2) while it supports 16 layers, small missing features makes even 4
> somewhat tedious.  My designs often have 3 different grounds (one has
> 6!) and creating the polygons for doing the fills involves a lot of
> clicking.  (6 shapes done 4 times, or some significant hassle/hacks to
> make them copyable).  Things like a "keepout" and "restrict" layer
> only applies to top & bottom; to have similar in inner layers is
> another hack.

32 Layers max.  There are very minor differences between outside and
inside layers.  There are silk, glue, paste, soldermask, gold, copper,
jumper, pick&place, mechanical outline and three user defined layers
associated with the top and bottom layers.  Inner layers are just
copper.  Lots of keep in/out polygon types and it is very easy to copy
from layer to layer (inner layers included).  I had one design with 9
different grounds and had no trouble.  Hierarchical and flat designs are
easily accommodated so step and repeat of sub circuits is no big deal.  
I'm pretty sure all of this is accessible in the pin limited free version.

> 3) libraries are somewhat dated and incomplete, and I often find
> little things like diode polarity indication is on the "document"
> layer, so it doesn't come out on the board silkscreen.

As far as I've been able to tell, everybody's libraries are dated and
incomplete.  Like Olin, I just create my own parts.  No big deal.

> 4) things like panelization and BOM generation / management are
> primitive and essentially not documented.  Example: can't have a user
> tag with a part so the digikey/mouser p/n is kept with it.  Again,
> there are awkward workarounds, but they are workarounds and not a
> fundamental feature.

I haven't tried any tricky panelization so I don't know about that.  BOM
generation is pretty good.  I can add fields to my heart's content.  If
I want a field called "IN HOUSE P/N" or "MOUSER P/N" I just add it.

> 5) autorouter seems ok (I don't have the experience to say) but there
> is little control over rules for it.  It isn't practical to say "all
> power and ground must be 16 mils" because then pin connections to
> fine-pitch devices fail.  There is no way to categorize nets to say
> "all these should be in this area", or "over this ground", etc.

Haven't used the router yet.  Try me in a month or so.

> Anyway.  I've done 30+ designs with it, and am happy with it, but I'm
> starting to hit the wall.  If you have the money, and expect to do
> serious designs - meaning 300+ components, 4-layer+ boards, need
> simulation, using 256-ball BGAs and don't feel like doing your own
> "escape pattern" by hand over and over, etc. - I'd look beyond Eagle.

One downside is no simulation.  On the other hand, Cadint can import
from lots of other packages and has some 3D modeling capability (I
haven't figured out a use for that yet) as well.

<snipped the remainder>

Dave


2005\12\07@211104 by Chen Xiao Fan

face
flavicon
face

> -----Original Message-----
> From: piclist-bouncesspamspam_OUTmit.edu
> Sent: Thursday, December 08, 2005 7:47 AM
>
> Orcad has a partscount limited version that is free but fully
> funtional otherwise.
> PADS and Altium will send you a CD with a time-limited version.
> Bob

I have an impression that PADS is at the higher-end than ORCAD
PCB, Altium Designer and P-CAD. Maybe I am wrong.

One thing I do not like ORCAD is the schematics entry is not
as easy as the old MicroSim Schematics (still using it for
PSpice simulation) and Protel. I've done one simple layout using
Protel 99SE quite some time ago and I feel it was easier than
ORCAD Layout but I have not done any layout using ORCAD. P-CAD
is easier as well but it seems to me that Altium will soon phase
out P-CAD. And it is said that P-CAD is not as powerful as well.

I hear that lots of the higher-end business users are using
Mentor Graphics Board Station.

Regards,
Xiaofan

2005\12\07@212721 by William Chops Westfield

face picon face
On Dec 7, 2005, at 3:38 PM, Olin Lathrop wrote:

> This is my number one wish list feature for Eagle.

One of the encouraging things about Eagle from my (amateur) perspective
is to see all the things requested by users that actually show up in
subsequent versions.  Oh, not always completely perfect; I doubt anyone
is completely happy with the "improved library management" in 4.1, but
it *IS* better than it was.  Compared to packages that barely keep
up with the changes in OS versions or actual bugs, this is great!

BillW

2005\12\08@044715 by Alan B. Pearce

face picon face
>I have an impression that PADS is at the higher-end
>than ORCAD PCB,

We have both PADS and Orcad, and I think I prefer Orcad. I haven't actually
used PADS, but the results I have seen don't impress me. It may be just the
guys that insist on using it, but I am not convinced.

2005\12\08@072148 by Mchipguru

picon face
I use Protel and like it. I also use Orcad. Orcad has a design reuse feature but it is not as good as it would seem. We managed to get it to work but there are so many special limitations that even with direct support a vast majority of the tech support people could not make it work. This was when it first came out so it may have improved over the last year but since this is a concern of yours I would have someone prove to me how to do the design reuse features and make sure you can do what you really want to.
Larry


{Quote hidden}

snip

2005\12\08@073216 by olin piclist

face picon face
Jesse Lackey wrote:
> The board shorts to tie separate grounds together - I do this with an
> 0402 "resistor" customized with a copper wire between pads in the model.
>  This works, but creates piles of DRC violations.  Do you have a
> different way?

I have a variety of shorts, for top layer bottom layer and all layers.  I
know of no way to eliminate the DRC errors.  I wish there was a way to
declare in a package definition "yes I know these overlap, I don't want to
hear about it", or maybe have DRC not look inside packages or regions of
your definition.  You can make some fancy constructs with Eagle scripting,
external programs, and ULPs, but most of them end up creating a large number
of DRC errors.  Unfortunately this has made DRC nearly useless for me and I
don't run it on anything but small boards.


******************************************************************
Embed Inc, Littleton Massachusetts, (978) 742-9014.  #1 PIC
consultant in 2004 program year.  http://www.embedinc.com/products

2005\12\09@233701 by Xiaofan Chen
face picon face
On 12/8/05, Olin Lathrop <RemoveMEolin_piclistTakeThisOuTspamembedinc.com> wrote:
> Unfortunately this has made DRC nearly useless for me and I
> don't run it on anything but small boards.
>

This make Eagle a no-go for our usage.

I guess either Orcad and Protel (now Altium Designer) will be the
option here. Anyway this will not be a fast transition as P-CAD
2004 is not dying yet.

Regards,
Xiaofan

2005\12\09@234710 by Bob Blick

face picon face
On 10 Dec 2005 at 12:37, Xiaofan Chen wrote:
> I guess either Orcad and Protel (now Altium Designer) will be the
> option here. Anyway this will not be a fast transition as P-CAD
> 2004 is not dying yet.

Both OrCAD and Altium will give you half price if you fax a picture of
your P-CAD(or PADS, or Eagle...) disc. Actually they'll give you half
off anyway with just a little persuasion. And if you are buying several
seats they'll give it to you for the price of one seat plus yearly
maintenance for all the seats.

Cheers,

Bob

2005\12\10@012222 by w d myrick

picon face

----- Original Message -----
From: "Xiaofan Chen" <spamBeGonexiaofancspamBeGonespamgmail.com>
To: "Microcontroller discussion list - Public." <TakeThisOuTpiclistEraseMEspamspam_OUTmit.edu>
Sent: Friday, December 09, 2005 10:37 PM
Subject: Re: [EE] PCB design packages towards Medium End

<SNIP>

I   HAVE USED SUPERPCB AND SUPERCAD FOR YEARS AND LIKE IT VERY MUCH.

THIS IS MADE BY   http://www.mentala.com/        CHECK THEN OUT.

DERWARD   KD5WWI

2005\12\10@101405 by Vasile Surducan

face picon face
On 12/8/05, Alan B. Pearce <RemoveMEA.B.PearcespamTakeThisOuTrl.ac.uk> wrote:
> >I have an impression that PADS is at the higher-end
> >than ORCAD PCB,
>
> We have both PADS and Orcad, and I think I prefer Orcad. I haven't actually
> used PADS, but the results I have seen don't impress me. It may be just the
> guys that insist on using it, but I am not convinced.

Between all CAD's I've used (Orcad, Tango, Protel, Eagle), the best
schematic capture was no doubt on Orcad. But also the poor PCB maker
and the most complicated autorouter I've seen. Eagle's autorouter it's
a joke and it has only stinking libraries. How it's possible that no
one from de cadsoft ever think to a "find component" command ?
Much-much better with library pack is Target 3000. When use +300
components in an Eagle sheet you're entirely lost.  Protel has an
anoying capture but it has the gerber wiever feature included.
Tango has the clever autorouter from all, but is history now.
I have to move on Pads for the next project so I'll see first if
indeed the Pads price is the right one.

cheers,
Vasile

2005\12\10@174801 by William Chops Westfield

face picon face

On Dec 10, 2005, at 7:14 AM, Vasile Surducan wrote:

> How it's possible that no one from de cadsoft ever think
>  to a "find component" command ?

Huh?  I use the search capability of the 'add' command almost
ALL the time..

Cadsoft's libraries seem to suffer a great deal from changes
in library philosophy over the years (the libraries are old,
and philosophy has changed out from under them.  Rather like
old C code.  heh.)  For instance, if you get the 78xx regulators
from the vreg library, for some reason each package type is a
different device.  I can sorta see why a 7805L should be different
device than a 7805T, but there's little excuse (IMO) for 7805 vertical
and horizontal mountings to be different "devices."

BillW

2005\12\10@185848 by olin piclist

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William Chops Westfield wrote:
> I can sorta see why a 7805L should be different
> device than a 7805T, but there's little excuse (IMO) for 7805 vertical
> and horizontal mountings to be different "devices."

I haven't looked at what Cadsoft has done with the 7805 (the Cadsoft
libraries are a waste of time), but I have a lot of identical devices that
differ only in orientation of the schematic symbol.  This is to work around
the problem that Eagle only allows a single schematic symbol per device.  It
would be nice if multiple symbols were allowed, but they aren't.  Yes, you
can rotate a symbol once you get it into the schematic.  But rotated symbols
probably need the various labels in different places to look neat and be
nicely readable.  You can smash the text then position it separately, but
that's a pain.  I do the work up front and create multiple devices at
different schematic orientations.

For example, on a horizontal resistor I put the part designator on top and
the value below.  On a vertical resistor I put both on the right side left
justified with the name on top and value below.

Most devices that you might want to show at different orientations in the
schematic are small.  I wouldn't want to show a positive voltage regulator
any way other than input on left, ground on bottom, and output on right.
Similarly, I only have one orientation for PICs.


******************************************************************
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consultant in 2004 program year.  http://www.embedinc.com/products

2005\12\10@202043 by William Chops Westfield

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On Dec 10, 2005, at 3:58 PM, Olin Lathrop wrote:

> I have a lot of identical devices that differ only in orientation of
> the schematic symbol.  This is to work around the problem that Eagle
> only allows a single schematic symbol per device.  It would be nice if
> multiple symbols were allowed, but they aren't.  Yes, you can rotate a
> symbol once you get it into the schematic.

You know you can also "mirror" schematic symbols, right?  That solves
some of the issues I've seen where plain rotation doesn't help.  But
it would be nice to have multiple schematic symbols per device.  One
thing I'd like to do more often is have pinswappable versions of micros
(when I'm using digital IO) as well as versions where the special
functions of each pin are called out (and as a result they're NOT
swappable...)

2005\12\11@140112 by Mike Hord

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> I haven't looked at what Cadsoft has done with the 7805 (the Cadsoft
> libraries are a waste of time), but I have a lot of identical devices that
> differ only in orientation of the schematic symbol.  This is to work around
> the problem that Eagle only allows a single schematic symbol per device.  It
> would be nice if multiple symbols were allowed, but they aren't.  Yes, you
> can rotate a symbol once you get it into the schematic.  But rotated symbols
> probably need the various labels in different places to look neat and be
> nicely readable.  You can smash the text then position it separately, but
> that's a pain.  I do the work up front and create multiple devices at
> different schematic orientations.

Plug for Labcenter's Proteus software.  First, the DRC works, and well.
Second, while they don't allow multiple schematic symbols per device,
they do allow you to independently scoot around the component name
and value to best fit the current orientation of the component, or to
supress them entirely.

You can include BoM data with each component (no idea how Eagle
handles that), creating custom field names (I use a manufacturer
field, distributor, man_part_num and dist_part_num.  My BoM gives
me a shopping list that I can plug into Digikey's multiple add page).
Pay a few bucks more, and you get the ability to simulate circuits
including microcontrollers.  Basic simulation is included with the
initial cost.

Upgrades are free for 1 year with initial purchase; after that you'll
need to pay to extend the contract.  They have a very reasonable
setup for that; I'm not sure what the contract price is but I doubt
it's too bad.  Also, if you upgrade later, say from level 1 (1000 pin
limit) to level 1+ (2000 pin limit), you only pay the difference in
cost, no matter how long the intervening time was.

The lowest level I'd consider professionally usable, Level 1, is
about $500US.  It's powerful, user-friendly, and far too often
ignored.

Mike H.

2005\12\11@144552 by Mark Rages

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On 12/11/05, Mike Hord <mike.hordEraseMEspam.....gmail.com> wrote:
> Plug for Labcenter's Proteus software.  First, the DRC works, and well.
> Second, while they don't allow multiple schematic symbols per device,
> they do allow you to independently scoot around the component name
> and value to best fit the current orientation of the component, or to
> supress them entirely.
>
> You can include BoM data with each component (no idea how Eagle
> handles that), creating custom field names (I use a manufacturer
> field, distributor, man_part_num and dist_part_num.  My BoM gives
> me a shopping list that I can plug into Digikey's multiple add page).
> Pay a few bucks more, and you get the ability to simulate circuits
> including microcontrollers.  Basic simulation is included with the
> initial cost.

gEDA ( http://geda.seul.org ) does all that stuff for free. Speaking
of Digi-Key, I wrote a script that will enter a digikey order from
gEDA BOM:

http://vivara.net/software/digikey.py/

Also, I have a CGI that will create a gEDA part from a digikey part
number.  (for rectangular IC parts only at the moment.)

http://vivara.net/cgi-bin/gschem-digikey.cgi

Regards,
Mark
markrages@gmail
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