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'[EE] PCB design software'
2009\07\04@185446 by peter green

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I learnt to design PCBs at uni using altium 2004. I have grown used to
it's workflow and quirks and quite like it. However I would now like to
be able to design PCBs for my own hobbyist purposes on my own machines.
Altium is utterly unaffordable for hobbyist use (and I don't want to
pirate) so I'm trying to decide what I should move to. Ideally free
(prefferablly in both senses) but cheap may be acceptable.

Eagle seems to be quite popular on here but the board size limits on all
but the most expensive edition seem pretty low. Also what I have heard
of thier ways of dealing with piracy or suspected piracy concern me.

i've looked at kicad but not been impressed by what i've seen, it
doesn't seem to be able to make schematics and PCB files self contained
(that is changing a library should not change a schematic or PCB unless
I explicitly tell it too) and it's handling of polygon fills is awful.

Any suggestions?

2009\07\04@201056 by solarwind

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On Sat, Jul 4, 2009 at 6:54 PM, peter green<spam_OUTplugwashTakeThisOuTspamp10link.net> wrote:
> Any suggestions?

FreePCB, DipTrace.

2009\07\04@204424 by Steve Willoughby

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peter green wrote:
> I learnt to design PCBs at uni using altium 2004. I have grown used to
> it's workflow and quirks and quite like it. However I would now like to
> be able to design PCBs for my own hobbyist purposes on my own machines.
> Altium is utterly unaffordable for hobbyist use (and I don't want to
> pirate) so I'm trying to decide what I should move to. Ideally free
> (prefferablly in both senses) but cheap may be acceptable.
>
> Eagle seems to be quite popular on here but the board size limits on all
> but the most expensive edition seem pretty low. Also what I have heard
> of thier ways of dealing with piracy or suspected piracy concern me.
>
> i've looked at kicad but not been impressed by what i've seen, it
> doesn't seem to be able to make schematics and PCB files self contained
> (that is changing a library should not change a schematic or PCB unless
> I explicitly tell it too) and it's handling of polygon fills is awful.
>
> Any suggestions?

I've used "PCB" quite successfully for years now.  Does its job well,
plays nicely with gEDA. (http://pcb.gpleda.org)

2009\07\05@003419 by cdb

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Take a look at AutotraxEDA - it's about to change into dotNET format,
but current price about US$100.00 it's very good.

One of the easiest pieces of software I've used for making your own
parts/footprints.

http://www.kov.com

Colin

--
cdb, .....colinKILLspamspam@spam@btech-online.co.uk on 5/07/2009

Web presence: http://www.btech-online.co.uk  

Hosted by:  http://www.1and1.co.uk/?k_id=7988359







2009\07\05@010227 by AGSCalabrese

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>
> On Jul 4, 2009, at 10:34 PM, cdb wrote:
>
> Take a look at AutotraxEDA - it's about to change into dotNET format,
> but current price about US$100.00 it's very good.
What do you mean by  " it's about to change into dotNET format, "
Gus
{Quote hidden}

2009\07\05@020734 by cdb

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:: What do you mean by  " it's about to change into dotNET format, "

I probably could have worded that a bit better.  The GUI and engine
are changing from a standard C++ compiled program to one that requires
the dotNET framework to be installed.  This version is called DeX and
the beta version can be downloaded free of charge, however DeX is not
up to production work yet whereas AutotraxEDA is.

Colin
--
cdb, .....colinKILLspamspam.....btech-online.co.uk on 5/07/2009

Web presence: http://www.btech-online.co.uk  

Hosted by:  http://www.1and1.co.uk/?k_id=7988359







2009\07\05@022505 by Mark Rages

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On Sat, Jul 4, 2009 at 7:44 PM, Steve Willoughby<EraseMEstevespam_OUTspamTakeThisOuTalchemy.com> wrote:
{Quote hidden}

That's what I use pretty much exclusively.  I don't care for the
non-standard interface, but it does create some really nice boards.
The git versions of Peter Clifton are worth using for the translucent
layers, even with occasional crashes.

Have you used the new router yet?  http://www.wand.net.nz/~amb33/toporouter/

I just did a 4-layer design that I wish I could share, but it is still
kinda seekrit.  Here are a couple older ones:

http://live.midwesttelecine.com/1.png
http://live.midwesttelecine.com/2.png

Regards,
Mark
markrages@gmail
--
Mark Rages, Engineer
Midwest Telecine LLC
markragesspamspam_OUTmidwesttelecine.com

2009\07\06@030935 by Peter Restall

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On Sat, 04 Jul 2009 23:54:41 +0100, peter green wrote:

Good Morning Peter,

I've been using gEDA (http://www.gpleda.org/) for this purpose; I've never
tried Eagle so cannot compare the two.  However, I've found gEDA more than
adequate for my purposes; it does have some quirks (things like polygon fills
in the PCB tool can sometimes be flaky), but overall it's a very good set of
tools IMO.  The symbol management/library also seems a bit hit and miss, but
it's easy enough to find what you want on the 'net or create your own.

It is a GNU/Linux program, but I don't know whether that's a problem for you.
They are supposedly porting to other systems, but I don't know if it's been
done or when it will be.

Regards,

Pete Restall

2009\07\06@222300 by Charles Rogers

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Ideally free
> (prefferablly in both senses) but cheap may be acceptable.

The evaluation software is not restricted.
>
> Eagle seems to be quite popular on here
 
Not with everybody ! ! ! !

>
> Any suggestions?


http://www.icadsys.com


CR

2009\07\07@220447 by Bob Axtell

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My client here decided on Eagle. It is very reasonable, and doesn't
lockup on WinXP. I am not  familiar with it yet, but plan to.

I am partial to OrCAD Capture for schematics. I even loved DOS
OrCAD..I think more people know OrCAD v4 to v9 than any other
schematic program.

Some people liked Protel, which was layout and PCB layout combined, like Eagle.

The key to cad products is support. Eagle is supported reasonably well.

On 7/6/09, Charles Rogers <@spam@crogersKILLspamspamtotelcsi.com> wrote:
{Quote hidden}

> -

2009\07\08@082602 by M.L.

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On Tue, Jul 7, 2009 at 10:04 PM, Bob Axtell<KILLspambob.axtellKILLspamspamgmail.com> wrote:
> I am partial to OrCAD Capture for schematics. I even loved DOS
> OrCAD..I think more people know OrCAD v4 to v9 than any other
> schematic program.
>
> Some people liked Protel, which was layout and PCB layout combined, like Eagle.

Does anyone here use Eagle for capture and something else for layout?
I know someone who is stuck with a really expensive license of DX
Designer which crashes consistently. Eagle would perhaps be a good
alternative but they have a third-party do board layouts.
--
Martin K.

2009\07\08@091509 by olin piclist

face picon face
Bob Axtell wrote:
> My client here decided on Eagle. It is very reasonable, and doesn't
> lockup on WinXP. I am not  familiar with it yet, but plan to.

Like all large software packages, Eagle has its quirks but in the end is
quite usable, you can get your job done without fighting with the tool, and
it's affordable.  We have 3 full licenses here at Embed, for example.  If we
needed another one I wouldn't hestitate to get it.  It's only something like
$400.

Once you get somewhat used to Eagle but before you get set on your own way
of doing things, you should really check out my Eagle tools,
http://www.embedinc.com/pic/dload.htm.  One of the things that makes Eagle
so powerful is that you can write your own code using what they call user
language programs (ULPs).  It's a C-like language that has built in access
to the internal data structures of the schematic, boards, and libraries.

One rule I discovered with Eagle is to never use the supplied libraries.
They generally suck, and I've converged on various conventions for library
part definitions that of course Cadsoft doesn't adhere to.  These
conventions have substantial advantages in documenting the board, making
board drawings for assembly, a parts locator index, and especially creating
the BOM.  The Cadsoft parts often just look sloppy, both in the schematic
and on the board.  I take the extra care to do them right since this only
needs to be done once.  Compare my PIC symbols to the Cadsoft ones, for
example.

Generating the BOM for a board used to be very tedius because in version 4
there was no way to save manufacturer, part number, and related information
in Eagle from when you looked up the part during the design to when you
needed to make the BOM after the board was done.  Version 5 provides
facilities that make this possible, but there is no standard or suggested
way to use them.  I have tried to think this thru and defined such
conventions and have updated most of my library parts (still some work in
progress) to correspond to them.  I have also created ULPs and host programs
that use the conventions and automate a good part of BOM generation.

My conventions for using the Eagle facilities in version 5 for BOM
generation are documented in the EAGLE_ATTR file, which will be in the DOC
directory after you install the Eagle tools release.  I urge everyone using
Eagle 5 to at least look at this before implementing something incompatible.
I'm willing discuss the conventions and make changes if I can be convinced
they make sense.

My public Eagle tools release only contains a few of our libraries.  I don't
want to give everything away to anyone, but if you send me a private message
I can send you our full release.


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

2009\07\08@115445 by William Bross

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Olin Lathrop wrote:

>Bob Axtell wrote:
>  
>
>>My client here decided on Eagle. It is very reasonable, and doesn't
>>lockup on WinXP. I am not  familiar with it yet, but plan to.
>>    
>>
>
>Like all large software packages, Eagle has its quirks but in the end is
>quite usable, you can get your job done without fighting with the tool, and
>it's affordable.  We have 3 full licenses here at Embed, for example.  If we
>needed another one I wouldn't hestitate to get it.  It's only something like
>$400.
>  
>
<snip>

<snip>

Olin,

Thanks for releasing your eagle 5 stuff.  Can you check your download
file for the EAGLE_ATTR file?  It appears to be missing.  I've upgraded
to Eagle 5 pretty much for the same reasons you have -- a more seamless
Bill Of Material interface by adding all the extra attributes.  I've
missed that feature ever since I moved away from the old Proview /
Procapture back in the early 90s.....but thats showing my age.

Thanks.

Bill

2009\07\08@122927 by olin piclist

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William Bross wrote:
> Thanks for releasing your eagle 5 stuff.  Can you check your download
> file for the EAGLE_ATTR file?  It appears to be missing.

I just checked, and it's there and is the latest version.  Are you sure
you're looking in the right directory, which is DOC within the software
installation directory?  List out any files in that directory with "eagle"
in their name (dir *eagle*) and you should see it.  Or you can use the DOC
command (doc eagle_attr), which will find the file for you and display it.

If it really isn't there then something went wrong with the software
installation.  List out the contents of the DOC directory using the command
"l %embedinc%/doc" and show me the result.


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

2009\07\08@124616 by William Bross

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William Bross wrote:

{Quote hidden}

OK, nevermind.....found it in the doc directory with all the other stuff...

Bill

2009\07\08@130653 by peter green

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> Like all large software packages, Eagle has its quirks but in the end is
> quite usable, you can get your job done without fighting with the tool, and
> it's affordable.  We have 3 full licenses here at Embed, for example.  If we
> needed another one I wouldn't hestitate to get it.  It's only something like
> $400.
>  
hmm, eagles site tells me that a full license (proffessional edition
layout schematic and autorouter) is $1494. Still that is a lot cheaper
than altium and unlike altium you can get limited versions cheaper (and
a very limited noncommercial use only version free) so I may give it a go.

BTW does anyone know of any way to convert libraries from altium to
eagle or would I have to start from scratch?

2009\07\08@133041 by olin piclist

face picon face
peter green wrote:
>> Like all large software packages, Eagle has its quirks but in the end
>> is quite usable, you can get your job done without fighting with the
>> tool, and it's affordable.  We have 3 full licenses here at Embed, for
>> example.  If we needed another one I wouldn't hestitate to get it.
>> It's only something like $400.
>
> hmm, eagles site tells me that a full license (proffessional edition
> layout schematic and autorouter) is $1494.

That's the first license price, which has apparently gone up from $1200 when
I got mine.  The $400 I mentioned is for a incremental license.  That
probably has gone up a bit too, but even a little more would still make it
quite reasonable.  The upgrade price was also reasonable.  I remember it
cost around $400-500 to upgrade three licenses from version 4 to version 5.


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

2009\07\08@133520 by solarwind

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On Wed, Jul 8, 2009 at 1:06 PM, peter green<RemoveMEplugwashTakeThisOuTspamp10link.net> wrote:
> BTW does anyone know of any way to convert libraries from altium to
> eagle or would I have to start from scratch?

Scratch. I tried before and found no method. They way libraries are
managed are different.

2009\07\08@140232 by Terry Harris

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On Wed, 08 Jul 2009 18:06:49 +0100, you wrote:

>
>> Like all large software packages, Eagle has its quirks but in the end is
>> quite usable, you can get your job done without fighting with the tool, and
>> it's affordable.  We have 3 full licenses here at Embed, for example.  If we
>> needed another one I wouldn't hestitate to get it.  It's only something like
>> $400.
>>  
>hmm, eagles site tells me that a full license (proffessional edition
>layout schematic and autorouter) is $1494. Still that is a lot cheaper
>than altium and unlike altium you can get limited versions cheaper (and
>a very limited noncommercial use only version free) so I may give it a go.

Altium got a lot cheaper recently (than it was)

http://www.altium.com/products/altium-designer/en/altium-designer_home.cfm

A possibly brave move trying to increase market share (and probably
maintenance income).


2009\07\08@142337 by peter green

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> Altium got a lot cheaper recently (than it was)
>  
Even at the new prices it's still a lot more expensive than even the top
edition of eagle.

If only they would do a lite version that was competitive for people who
just wanted to design PCBs.........


2009\07\08@160413 by William \Chops\ Westfield

face picon face

On Jul 8, 2009, at 5:25 AM, M.L. wrote:

> Does anyone here use Eagle for capture and something else for layout?
> I know someone who is stuck with a really expensive license of DX
> Designer which crashes consistently. Eagle would perhaps be a good
> alternative but they have a third-party do board layouts.

Can't say that I do, but Eagle does have an "export netlist"  
capability from the schematic editor, AND it has the "User Programming  
Language" capability is that is pretty powerful and makes it something  
of "a natural" for generating output files in weird formats.  It'll  
depend on what the layout package you want to use is capable of  
reading  (and how well that is documented)...

BillW

2009\07\09@014258 by Rikard Bosnjakovic

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On Wed, Jul 8, 2009 at 22:03, William "Chops" Westfield<spamBeGonewestfwspamBeGonespammac.com> wrote:

> Can't say that I do, but Eagle does have an "export netlist"
> capability from the schematic editor, AND it has the "User Programming
> Language" capability is that is pretty powerful and makes it something
> of "a natural" for generating output files in weird formats.  It'll
> depend on what the layout package you want to use is capable of
> reading  (and how well that is documented)...

I have tried around 10 different ECAD-programs, all with "netlist
export/imports", and noone has been able to read a netlist produced in
another application, or export a netlist readable by another
application. One of the application had the "import eagle
netlist"-feature, but even that failed.

So my empirical two cents on ECADs is that interoperability is a
goner. If you need to move, prepare to do all from scratch.


--
- Rikard - http://bos.hack.org/cv/

2009\07\09@080718 by olin piclist

face picon face
Rikard Bosnjakovic wrote:
> I have tried around 10 different ECAD-programs, all with "netlist
> export/imports", and noone has been able to read a netlist produced in
> another application, or export a netlist readable by another
> application.

I wouldn't have expected that in the first place.  But as long as the file
format is documented on each end, it should be rather easy to write a
program to convert from one to the other.

At least on the Eagle end things are documented pretty well.  To get data
out you can use the various export commands or write a ULP.  To get things
in you convert the data to Eagle commands that create the same thing in
Eagle.  The tricky part is not the file format, but when things don't map
well between packages.  I can see that happening with library definitions,
for example, but a netlist should be pretty much a netlist.


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


'[EE] PCB Design software'
2016\06\29@145630 by Denny Esterline
picon face
So I tripped on this this morning:
hackaday.com/2016/06/29/the-eagle-has-landed-at-autodesk/
and
http://www.premierfarnell.com/content/sale-cadsoft-0


The short version is CadSoft EAGLE has been sold to AUTODESK.


I've been a happy user of EAGLE for the last decade or so.
I have nothing nice to say about AUTODESK.

What's the opinion of the hive mind? :-)

-Denny
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mailman.mit.edu/mailman/listinfo/piclist
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'[EE] PCB Design software'
2016\07\05@153702 by V G
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On Wed, Jun 29, 2016 at 2:56 PM, Denny Esterline <TakeThisOuTdesterlineEraseMEspamspam_OUTgmail.com>
wrote:

> So I tripped on this this morning:
> hackaday.com/2016/06/29/the-eagle-has-landed-at-autodesk/
> and
> http://www.premierfarnell.com/content/sale-cadsoft-0
>
>
> The short version is CadSoft EAGLE has been sold to AUTODESK.
>
>
> I've been a happy user of EAGLE for the last decade or so.
> I have nothing nice to say about AUTODESK.
>
> What's the opinion of the hive mind? :-)
>

What's wrong with Autodesk?
-- http://www.piclist.com/techref/piclist PIC/SX FAQ & list archive
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2016\07\05@162651 by Denny Esterline

picon face
There's a bunch of issues depending on who you ask.
They have FanBoys and Haters, Google will reveal more.
Or a quick walk through the comments section in the hackaday link...

It's been a while and the details are a bit fuzzy, but ...
My company got caught up in a punitive pricing arrangement.
Without writing a whole book on the subject, we bought one seat of Autodesk
Inventor and chose _not_ to buy maintenance -fully understanding we would
not get upgrades and patches.

Several years passed and we added a couple more staff that needed the
program.
Autodesk "policy" would not let me throw away our past version and buy
three new
seats (would have been about $15k US) They insisted that I "can't do that"
and that
"because I'm already a customer" I had to pay up all the back maintenance
fees,
pay some other penalty fee and then buy two new seats at current pricing.
The quote was $24.5k US.

It didn't make sense to me then, still doesn't. So, I'm no longer an
Autodesk customer.

In fairness, I'm not clear if that was driven by Autodesk corporate, or
something
specific to that reseller. On the plus side, I got rid of both by moving to
a
competitor product.

-Denny
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