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'[OT] Eagle vs. Orcad 386PCB V1.1'
1999\08\07@135145 by Jeff King

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Hi All:

I'm looking at upgrading my old, but usable Orcad 386PCB V1.1 to
something a bit more windows friendly. I liked Orcad originally because it
was an affordable, abet quirky, product. It no longer is affordable to
either maintain or upgrade the product (maintenance was going over $1000
a year, upgrade cost is $3000+). I do about 5-6 boards a year and
about 12 schematics a year (I also have Orcad SDT, another candidate
for upgrade).

Anyways, anyone have any feedback on the product Eagle from CadSoft?
I've seen postings that it might generate non-standard Gerber files and others
praising the product.

My background in electronic CAD is P-CAD (ver 4.5), Mentor Graphics
Board Station (~8.3), Douglas Cad and of course Orcad.

Thanks!

Jeff King
Aero Data

1999\08\07@140231 by Dave Johnson

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Jeff King wrote:

>Anyways, anyone have any feedback on the product Eagle from CadSoft?
>I've seen postings that it might generate non-standard Gerber files and
>others
>praising the product.
I'm a relative newbie, so take this for what it's worth, but I've never
had a board manfacturer complain about (or even mention) the Gerber
output. (I've done 4 or 5 boards in the last year with it, using 2
different board houses.)

The Eagle interface is a little quirky, but definitely learnable. My only
real complaint about the interface is that it's very mouse-intensive:
without a good "mouse hand" you're sunk. Often I wish I could use the
keyboard for moving things around precisely.

Other than that, though, I find it to be a very capable program, and if
you're willing to learn the built-in scripting and user-programming
languages, you can customize it completely, including the output it
generates.

Again, I'm no expert, and I don't have experience with other
schematic/layout program, so I can't make any incisive comparisons. But I
like it just fine.

Dave Johnson

1999\08\07@141920 by Robert M. McClure

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At 01:50 PM 8/7/99 -0400, you wrote:
>Hi All:
>
>I'm looking at upgrading my old, but usable Orcad 386PCB V1.1 to
>something a bit more windows friendly. I liked Orcad originally because it
>was an affordable, abet quirky, product. It no longer is affordable to
>either maintain or upgrade the product (maintenance was going over $1000
>a year, upgrade cost is $3000+). I do about 5-6 boards a year and
>about 12 schematics a year (I also have Orcad SDT, another candidate
>for upgrade).
>
>Anyways, anyone have any feedback on the product Eagle from CadSoft?
>I've seen postings that it might generate non-standard Gerber files and
others
>praising the product.
>
>My background in electronic CAD is P-CAD (ver 4.5), Mentor Graphics
>Board Station (~8.3), Douglas Cad and of course Orcad.
>
>Thanks!
>
>Jeff King
>Aero Data
>
Several people have replied in the past to the general effect that Eagle
was a good product.  I will add to that.  I have used Eagle for some years
(through several versions) with only minimal problems and then I got
excellent help from them.  In a nutshell, I have no complaints at all.
I have also had no problems with their Gerber files through several
board houses.  If there is some subtle problems, I haven't encountered
them.  The most recent versions also have the facility that allows a
user to process their internal files and write reports in whatever order
suits them.

I think you will like it.

Bob McClure

1999\08\07@145112 by Mark Walsh

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{Quote hidden}

I don't know what kind of Gerber output you get from Eagle software, but the
only limit I recall from Advanced Circuits is that the files not use RS274X
(embedded apertures).  With Microcode's Traxmaker and Protel, RS274S is an
option and not generally the default.  I would expect something similar from
most PCB CAD programs.

Mark Walsh

1999\08\07@150745 by Bob Drzyzgula

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I'm using Eagle, and I'm pretty fond of it at this
point. It may have been my post that you were talking
about wrt non-standard Gerbers. I didn't mean that,
I only meant that the first boardhouse I contacted
seemed to not want to deal with it, but I think that
it was because they were highly automated for a slightly
different format (-D instead of -X). Other houses
I contacted seemed to have no trouble with it whatsoever;
in fact the one I'm using seemed impressed that the
stuff that was spit out of the default 2-layer CAM job
was ready to go with no tweaking. I've also loaded the
Gerber output into Gerber viewers with no trouble.
I note that the CAM scripts are pretty straightforward,
and can be hand edited. One thing I did was to go through
and print (on a color ink jet) the same combinations of
layers as are used in the CAM scripts both in 1x and
3x scale; this was tremendously helpful in verifying
that the Gerbers were going to be OK.

The thing I appreciate the most is that I've never had
it crash on me or exhibit unrepeatable behavior. I have
run into the occasional quirk in the autorouter (like it
might refuse to route one net segment even though I can
see an obvious route, but if I rotate a connected part
it will do the routing OK), but the fact that it does as good
a job as it does is remarkable.  I have also found that,
when I need to select a part in a crowded area with a lot
of nets, I occasionally need to shut off the net layer
(temporarilly) or it won't find the part. I found it
virtually impossible to move a board-mounted D-sub once
placed, and I had to start the board over (there may have
been a way around it, but Eagle wouldn't move the pads
that came with the D-sub; I figure that the part design
was more to fault than Eagle itself).

Eagle also has both programming and scripting languages;
you can define a part, for example, without ever touching
a mouse. Unfortunately, these are not well documented,
and I feel I could be a lot more productive with Eagle
if I knew more about them.

The part selection is spotty, and the search capabilities
suck. (These problems are at the top of the list for
improvement in the 4.0 version of Eagle, which is due late
this year.) But you can get along with it pretty well once
you get used to it, and making parts isn't that hard. I
would *highly* recommend at least paying the $50 to get
the registered version with the manual; it's a bitch to
get started without it. I have the $600 standard version,
which can only do 4-layer boards with (I think) about 4"x6" a
limit.  The $1200 version can do much more complex boards,
but I've never tried it at that level.

The user support through their NNTP-based forums is quite
good.

--Bob

On Sat, Aug 07, 1999 at 01:50:13PM -0400, Jeff King wrote:
{Quote hidden}

--
============================================================
Bob Drzyzgula                             It's not a problem
spam_OUTbobTakeThisOuTspamdrzyzgula.org                until something bad happens
============================================================

1999\08\08@181409 by Dennis Plunkett

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At 11:01 7/08/99 -0700, you wrote:
>Jeff King wrote:
>
>>Anyways, anyone have any feedback on the product Eagle from CadSoft?
>>I've seen postings that it might generate non-standard Gerber files and
>>others
>>praising the product.
>I'm a relative newbie, so take this for what it's worth, but I've never
>had a board manfacturer complain about (or even mention) the Gerber
>output. (I've done 4 or 5 boards in the last year with it, using 2
>different board houses.)
>
>The Eagle interface is a little quirky, but definitely learnable. My only
>real complaint about the interface is that it's very mouse-intensive:
>without a good "mouse hand" you're sunk. Often I wish I could use the
>keyboard for moving things around precisely.

You have never used Metor like the original poster has <G>

Dennis

1999\08\20@121922 by Mark Newland

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I have just started to use Advanced Circuits and just submitted my 2nd board to
them.  They also didn't seem to like my gerber files (their conversion process
put my pad diameters at 1 mil).  When I told them that I was using Eagle, they
told me they had a different conversion process and everything was fine then.

Mark Walsh wrote:

{Quote hidden}

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