'Horrible Newbie Question'
Once that you have the texts that others have suggested,
download a Pspice "student evaluation simulator" from MicroSim.
This is a great way to go through fast iterations on analog
circuits - a great learning experience. Although the simulator
is device limited (50 devices/ 2 op-amps) it is very
I've used the Microsim eval package extensively. It's nice! To
get around the op-amp limitation, you can put in "ideal" op amps by using
the voltage controlled voltage source (E) with a very high gain. This'll
let you test lots of circuitry if you can get away without using a real
op-amp model. The VCVS model does not include offsets, bias currents,
current limiting, voltage limiting, phase shift or frequency response
limitations... but in many cases they can be ignored!
On Wed, 4 Jun 1997 08:23:31 PST8 Tim Crist <CCGATE.HAC.COM> tjcrist
| David Gould <ILLUSTRA.COM> dg
<Anyhow, way back then I built my own computer system out of a donated
Signetics 2650A (nice processor too), >
Anybody remember the SCAMP kit? My first, and still in the attic...
< What is a reasonable process for making your own boards these days, or is
wirewrap still it for prototypeing?>
Use free/cheap pc layout s/w, email Gerber files to vendor. APC in Canada
costs about $100US for two plated thru 3x6" boards. 2 day delivery, FEDEX.
I find the boards to be more reliable than WW, and changes are almost self
documenting. Ever try to remember what you changed in WW, and have to trace
all the damn wires? If you need faster turnaround, some PC shops (at least
in the wilds of Indiana here) will expose and etch boards if you bring in the
artwork. 2 hrs/$20 at the local graphics place for the artwork, 2 hrs/$20 at
the pc place, and you get SS undrilled board back. Would assume the same or
better in your part of CA.
< Where can I get (or rather which should I get) a reasonable set of
Everybody has datasheets in Adobe on the net now. I like the paper -- much
faster -- but I don't think the companies can afford to kill that many trees
anymore. Or get the CDROM, which are usually easier to get than paper.
< Now that we all have computers, I probably don't have to draw my next
project by hand. What software (prefer freeware, prefer Linux based, but>
I use AMS EZRoute -- about $300 for schematic entry and router. About 90% of
a good system, if they would just fix the damn bugs. Get the DOS system --
their Windows system is a graphic redo of the DOS system, has fewer features
and more bugs. IVEX is free for the small version (100 pins), but I can't
get it to use decent schematic shapes (NAND gate is a square with a circle,
like IEEE format, and I can't change it). Rumored to be buggy. PADS has
released their DOS version to public domain, and (IMHO) it has few bugs, but
a worse human interface than EZRoute -- you can FTP it.
< It looks like you just order stuff from Digi-Key these days. Is this true,
or are there other better suppliers? Any good surplus places?>
We get most stuff from Digi-Key. Reliable, and their prices are OK. Also
take credit cards. Mouser is good, and Newark et al are ok, but unresponsive
to small orders. Also, the big guys' catalog prices are usually BS. Request
quotes (by fax), even for smallish quantities, and you will often get much
lower prices. Digi-Keys catalog prices are honest. I haven't been to
civilization in years, but the southern end of the valley used to be full of
surplus stores. You can get lots of parts off old boards quickly with a
blowtorch and a concrete floor. Be sure you can afford the alimony payments.
Ft Wayne, IN
Yes, we can do that. How much money do you have?"
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