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PICList Thread
'Microcode CircuitMaker'
1999\03\01@130221 by David W. Duley

picon face
Hi All!
Someone on the list mentioned that they were using Microcodes CircuitMaker.
My company just bought CircuitMaker Pro and Trakmaker Pro.  Does anyone have
any Circuitmaker Pic or Atmel libraries.  Microcode only provides libraries of
parts that will work with the circuit analysis functions of the program
therfore no microcontrollers.  An oversight on their part in my opinion.

Thanks
Dave Duley
http://www.dreitek.com

1999\03\01@143803 by andre

flavicon
face
David,

I like to know why your company decided to buy
microcode product. the reason I am asking you this because
of I used to have protel dos version then they sold it to
microcode then microcode made it for windows and started
to update.  it doesn't even have measuring tool I have version 2.0
I dumped it. imagine when your boss asked you give me the
dimensions what are you going to do the only way of doing it is by playing
with origin and use calculator to find X and Y . maybe in latest
vesion they added some more tools but I wasn't happy with when
begin with .I am very happy with  pads power pcb and power logic.
see if you can covert protel lib's if yes there are some lib's in protel
web site you can down load.


Andre




David W. Duley wrote:

{Quote hidden}

1999\03\01@174713 by David W. Duley

picon face
In a message dated 3/1/99 11:38:06 AM Pacific Standard Time,
spam_OUTandreTakeThisOuTspamcompufire.com writes:

<< David,

I like to know why your company decided to buy
microcode product. the reason I am asking you this because
of I used to have protel dos version then they sold it to
microcode then microcode made it for windows and started
to update.  it doesn't even have measuring tool I have version 2.0
I dumped it. imagine when your boss asked you give me the
dimensions what are you going to do the only way of doing it is by playing
with origin and use calculator to find X and Y . maybe in latest
vesion they added some more tools but I wasn't happy with when
begin with .I am very happy with  pads power pcb and power logic.
see if you can covert protel lib's if yes there are some lib's in protel
web site you can down load.


Andre


 >>
Hi Andre,
This is a touchy subject with most budget minded engineers.  Most would rather
argue birth control and abortion with the pope than schematic capture and PCB
layout software.  The reason is, so much of the low end (under $1000) software
on the market sucks big wet dog balls.  I started out with IVEX and then on a
recomendation I switched to Mental Automation Super Cad and PCB.  I kept
sending bug reports to the guy that wrote the software.  He would send me a
supposedly updated version that had all the same bugs, a completly different
user interface and the upgrade would hose all of my custom libraries so my
current designs caused general protection faults when I tried to open them!!!!
But I'm not bitter.
I set out to find worthy software.
I downloaded all of the demos.  I had several very simple criteria for
evaluation.  I had a simple PIC based schematic that I would draft (1 PIC 1
Crystal 4 caps and a connector) and then try to make a PCB file.   I also had
to be able to do this without the aid of extensive documentation.
Electronic workbench came up OK but would not allow me to even lay down a
singe trace without  a "Rules violation".
Eagle was easy to draw the scematic but when I autorouted my little design it
did stupid things like route a trace from pin 1 of the pic to the connector
through pins 2,3,4,5,6,7,8 and 9.  Great if you wanted to short all your pins
together!  It connected both pins of the crystal together and routed that to
one of the osc pins on the pic leaving the other osc pin floating.  So...I
abandoned eagle.
I was hesitant to try Ivex again since I was burned heavily several time by
several versions.
MicroCodes demo was the only one that allowed me to create my design and
autoroute it with very little trouble.  Like I said my only complaint is that
there was no libraries for CPUs or micro controllers.  I can, however, create
a simple pic component in 2 or 3 minutes.
My other complaint is the limited import capability of the schematic capture.
It would be nice to have a DXF import where I could at least transfer symbols
or limited constructs.
I did spring for the PRO versions and my copy has a measure function.  I am
using Version 6 of CircuitMaker and Version 3 of TraxMaker.
I will try your suggestion for importing Protels libraries.  My problem is
with the schematic symbols not the PCB footprints.

Thanks
Dave Duley

1999\03\01@200320 by Gabriel Gonzalez

flavicon
face
>Hi Andre,
>This is a touchy subject with most budget minded engineers.  Most would
rather
>argue birth control and abortion with the pope than schematic capture and
PCB
>layout software.  The reason is, so much of the low end (under $1000)
software
>on the market sucks big wet dog balls.  I started out with IVEX and then on
a
>recomendation I switched to Mental Automation Super Cad and PCB.  I kept
>sending bug reports to the guy that wrote the software.  He would send me a
>supposedly updated version that had all the same bugs, a completly
different
>user interface and the upgrade would hose all of my custom libraries so my
>current designs caused general protection faults when I tried to open
them!!!!
>But I'm not bitter.
>I set out to find worthy software.
>I downloaded all of the demos.  I had several very simple criteria for
>evaluation.  I had a simple PIC based schematic that I would draft (1 PIC 1
>Crystal 4 caps and a connector) and then try to make a PCB file.   I also
had
>to be able to do this without the aid of extensive documentation.
>Electronic workbench came up OK but would not allow me to even lay down a
>singe trace without  a "Rules violation".
>Eagle was easy to draw the scematic but when I autorouted my little design
it
>did stupid things like route a trace from pin 1 of the pic to the connector
>through pins 2,3,4,5,6,7,8 and 9.  Great if you wanted to short all your
pins
>together!  It connected both pins of the crystal together and routed that
to
>one of the osc pins on the pic leaving the other osc pin floating.  So...I
>abandoned eagle.


Just a comment...

I can only comment on Eagle since I've been using it for about two years
now,
and for it to do the 'stupid' things you mentioned you must have done
something
really wrong ('stupid' maybe?)...

Regards,

Gabriel Gonzalez
TGO Electronics


>I was hesitant to try Ivex again since I was burned heavily several time by
>several versions.
>MicroCodes demo was the only one that allowed me to create my design and
>autoroute it with very little trouble.  Like I said my only complaint is
that
>there was no libraries for CPUs or micro controllers.  I can, however,
create
>a simple pic component in 2 or 3 minutes.
>My other complaint is the limited import capability of the schematic
capture.
>It would be nice to have a DXF import where I could at least transfer
symbols
>or limited constructs.
>I did spring for the PRO versions and my copy has a measure function.  I am
>using Version 6 of CircuitMaker and Version 3 of TraxMaker.
>I will try your suggestion for importing Protels libraries.  My problem is
>with the schematic symbols not the PCB footprints.
>
>Thanks
>Dave Duley

1999\03\01@202848 by David W. Duley

picon face
In a message dated 3/1/99 4:26:37 PM Pacific Standard Time, .....mtdesignKILLspamspam@spam@FAST.NET
writes:

<<
Sorry, Dave.  I still use them and still like them.  They aren't perfect,
but who is?  I've done some pretty tough designs with them and (not using
auto routing) never had a big problem.  Sometimes things get hosed.

Oh, well.

Andy

 >>
Hi Andy,
Don't worry I'm not holding it against you <G>
The thing that irked me was that I went to the trouble of documenting several
major bugs.  I sent at least 5 bug reports by email that went un-answered.  I
called him and, of coarse, you don't get him you get the answering service.
He doesn't call back anymore.  He simply sent an updated version via email.
All the bugs I complained about were still there.  All that was different was
that he screwed up the user interface by making several functions more
difficult to use.
I would rather have less features and less bugs.  Basic things like saving,
loading and parts creation should work flawlessly.  everything else is just
fluff.

Did you catch my article in the march issue of Popular Electronics?

Have a good week

Dave

1999\03\01@203512 by David W. Duley

picon face
In a message dated 3/1/99 5:06:41 PM Pacific Standard Time,
tgospamKILLspamCHIH1.TELMEX.NET.MX writes:

<<
Just a comment...

I can only comment on Eagle since I've been using it for about two years
now,
and for it to do the 'stupid' things you mentioned you must have done
something
really wrong ('stupid' maybe?)...

Regards,

Gabriel Gonzalez
TGO Electronics >>

I entered the scematic and told it to make me a PCB.  What could be simpler.
Especially a scematic with 7 parts.
You see what I mean about the emotional attachements that engineers have
towards their tools..... <G>

Dave

1999\03\01@211914 by Dan Larson

flavicon
face
On Mon, 1 Mar 1999 16:42:09 -0700, Gabriel Gonzalez wrote:

[SNIP]

{Quote hidden}

I find that Eagle works for the most part.  I am using the OS/2 version with
few problems, but......

I can understand Dave's point of view.  He is looking at how *easily* he could
implement is "benchmark" board.  If he could not get it working correctly it was
probably because Eagle requires a *lot* of patience.  Nothing about that program
stands out without careful analysis of the online help.  It is surely not a very
intuitive user interface.

So far I have only used it fore schematic capture and found the learning curve
very steep.  It looks many hours to figure out how to add a component to my
own library.

I am slowly learning how to use it, but it is not easy.  It seems to be a comman
d
driven program with a GUI slapped incompletely on top.  Many of the features mus
t
be accessed by typing in commands which can only be divined from the online help
.

You sure can't beat it for a free program though!  I am not sure at this point
if I would ever pay for the full version.  I think I would want to look at sever
al
others first since I am not happy with the poorly implemented GUI.

Dan

1999\03\01@215318 by David W. Duley

picon face
In a message dated 3/1/99 6:19:13 PM Pacific Standard Time,
.....dlarsonKILLspamspam.....citilink.com writes:

<<
I am slowly learning how to use it, but it is not easy.  It seems to be a
command
driven program with a GUI slapped incompletely on top.  Many of the features
must
be accessed by typing in commands which can only be divined from the online
help.

You sure can't beat it for a free program though!  I am not sure at this
point
if I would ever pay for the full version.  I think I would want to look at
several
others first since I am not happy with the poorly implemented GUI.

Dan >>

Hi Dan,
You jogged my memory.  The other thing that I really objected to about Eagle
was the lack of a graphical way to view parts before placement (unless I
missed somthing)  there should be a preview window that shows you what the
part looks like before you place it. Especialy if the part names are the
manufacturers part number.

Best regards
Dave

1999\03\01@235741 by Gabriel Gonzalez

flavicon
face
>Hi Dan,
>You jogged my memory.  The other thing that I really objected to about
Eagle
>was the lack of a graphical way to view parts before placement (unless I
>missed somthing)  there should be a preview window that shows you what the
>part looks like before you place it. Especialy if the part names are the
>manufacturers part number.


I concur with this 100%, and this feature (among many others) will be
available in the next version (4) due later this year.

Gabriel

>
>Best regards
>Dave

1999\03\02@044759 by Madis Kaal
flavicon
face
> I can understand Dave's point of view.  He is looking at how *easily* he could
> implement is "benchmark" board.  If he could not get it working correctly it w
> as probably because Eagle requires a *lot* of patience.  Nothing about that
> program stands out without careful analysis of the online help.  It is surely
> not a very intuitive user interface.

I completely disagree with you. Of several CAD demos I tried,
Eagle is definately the most user-friendly. Just two possibilities
come to mind - OS/2 version is probably quite different from
current, 3.55 Windows and DOS version. As for GUI, are you
sure that some of your proglems don't come from the OS you are
running Eagle on? Even more, Eagle has not crashed on me, while
couple of other demos did so in first half and hour or so. I have
a friend who works with OrCAD, and he has adapted a 'save early,
save often' strategy from Space Quest I :)

The component design is actually so simple that instead of browsing
thru all the libraries when the part is not obvious, I just switch to
lib editor and create the part. After going thru each step once or
twice, the only grief is that there is no easy way to check out what
the component actually looks like, unless you place it on the
schematics and switch over to board.

I also suspect that the original poster used 'Wires' instead of
'Nets' to connect components, at least that was the mistake I made.

1999\03\02@075300 by Marc

flavicon
face
> You jogged my memory.  The other thing that I really objected to about Eagle
> was the lack of a graphical way to view parts before placement (unless I
> missed somthing)  there should be a preview window that shows you what the
> part looks like before you place it. Especialy if the part names are the
> manufacturers part number.

Another thing that should be added to EAGLE is the ability to assign different
board packages already in schematics. Currently, you worry about components
when using them in the schematic, and _another_time_ when starting the
board layout (for example replace through-hole by SMT footprints).

Yet another bad thing is the missing back-annotation. It's difficult to
keep track of layout changes in the schematic and vice-versa. Everything
has to be done manually.

1999\03\02@083737 by Andy Kunz

flavicon
face
>I would rather have less features and less bugs.  Basic things like saving,
>loading and parts creation should work flawlessly.  everything else is just
>fluff.

Agreed.

>Did you catch my article in the march issue of Popular Electronics?

No, so now I have to find it on a newstand and buy it!

Andy

  \-----------------/
   \     /---\     /
    \    |   |    /          Andy Kunz
     \   /---\   /           Montana Design
/---------+   +---------\     http://www.montanadesign.com
| /  |----|___|----|  \ |
\/___|      *      |___\/     Go fast, turn right,
                              and keep the wet side down!

1999\03\02@180803 by wruehl

flavicon
face
Guys,
   I went through the same process of trying every SW package related
to EDA I could get my hands on and found that for the money Microcode
could not be beat (for my needs). I have done about 70 or 80 boards with
the package (TraxMaker 2.0 and CircuitMaker 5.0) and there are some
quirks but none of them are major. One that really bugs me is that the
screen image gets all chopped up when moving things around and the only
way to fix it with a manual refresh (should be automatic). I can
generally beat the autorouter for most board layouts, but its nice for
multi layer boards. The simulator works great especially for "dialing
in" 555's and the like. Well that's my 2 cents.


{Quote hidden}

1999\03\03@002810 by erik

flavicon
face
Hi,
I'm the someone who originally mentioned Circuit Maker.
I'm just a hobbyist and chose it over Electronics Workbench due to the
number of components included in the included library.
I'm glad to see that so many others are also using it. (insecurity
issues?)

If you received any personal replies on more component libraries please
forward them to me.
If not, I'll ask the same again.

Erik

David W. Duley wrote:
{Quote hidden}

1999\03\03@052349 by Madis Kaal

flavicon
face
> Marc <EraseMEmarcspam_OUTspamTakeThisOuTAARGH.FRANKEN.DE> wrote:
>
>Another thing that should be added to EAGLE is the ability to assign different
>board packages already in schematics. Currently, you worry about components
>when using them in the schematic, and _another_time_ when starting the
>board layout (for example replace through-hole by SMT footprints).
>
>Yet another bad thing is the missing back-annotation. It's difficult to
>keep track of layout changes in the schematic and vice-versa. Everything
>has to be done manually.

First of all, I'm not in any way related to Cadsoft, except tham I'm
their customer. Quite satisfied customer.

When commenting about the missing features of the software, it would be
logical to at least tell everyone what version you are talking about.
Better yet, you could check the web site to see if the current version
is
better than yours.

Version 3.55 of Eagle _does_ have back-annotation. You cannot make all
changes in PCB layout (like creating new connections between
components), but it does track schematics changes in PCB (rips up
deleted
nets etc.)

1999\03\03@091005 by Harrison Cooper

flavicon
face
I wasn't really following this one, but read a few of the posts.  Is there a
website for this product, or a demo version around?  I've been using a very
old version (about 8 yrs old) of OrCad.  Although its a great and easy
product, I have been thinking of upgrading to something....

1999\03\03@102511 by Bob Drzyzgula

flavicon
face
(Odd return address (picspamspam_OUTdrzyzgula.org) is where I was
sending my subscription to make it easier to separate
out; Guess I'll have to change that now...)

On Wed, Mar 03, 1999 at 12:28:00PM +0000, Madis Kaal wrote:
> > Marc <@spam@marcKILLspamspamAARGH.FRANKEN.DE> wrote:
>
> First of all, I'm not in any way related to Cadsoft, except tham I'm
> their customer. Quite satisfied customer.

Same here.

> Version 3.55 of Eagle _does_ have back-annotation. You cannot make all
> changes in PCB layout (like creating new connections between
> components), but it does track schematics changes in PCB (rips up
> deleted
> nets etc.)

Before saying more, I'll concur with previous statements
that a great deal of the selection process for this kind
of software (and by "this kind", I include all sorts of
productivity tools, including word processors, spreadsheets,
programming languages, etc.) just comes down to personal
preferance and organizational temperment. We could debate
Protel vs Eagle, Word Perfect vs Word, Visual Basic vs
Delphi, vi vs Emacs, etc. for weeks and months, without
reaching any conclusion. That being said,

My experience with Eagle is similar; I use 3.55 for
Windows.  I'd say that the biggest problems with Eagle
are the brief and somewhat cryptic documentation, and
the difficulty in identifying which parts are available
and in which library.  The library and part nomenclature
is inconsistant and incomplete, the US & European parts
are kind of jumbled, and you can't really get the sense
of a part without plopping one down in a circuit and
then viewing it both in the schematic *and* the board.
You might get the idea from the library names that if
you want a resistor, you'd go to "R.LIB", but if you're
in the US you probably want to go to "DISCRETE.LIB"
instead.

As others have said, improvements on this are on their
way, although that doesn't necessarily help if you need
it today.  One thing they did recently do that is a big
help is to create a set of board and schematic designs,
each one of which contains all the parts from a single
library. This is a remarkably big help with this
problem. You can download these files from their website.

Things I like about Eagle include having both a scripting
and a programming language, the forward/back annotation,
the straightforwardness with which you can create and/or
modify parts libraries, and the helpfulness of their
staff. I've also not yet encountered any bugs, which
isn't to say that there aren't any, but I do appreciate
not having to constantly wonder if my problems stem from a
bug or from my own lack of understanding; in all cases so
far it has been the latter. This one fact makes me more
interested in learning Eagle better rather than looking
for a new solution. In addition, they have promised to
release the next version of Eagle for Linux, which I'm
pretty excited about; they claim to actually have an early
build of this version running within Cadsoft.

I'm quite sure that there are several other products that
work as well or better, but this one works for me.

--Bob

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

From: Bob Drzyzgula <RemoveMEbobTakeThisOuTspamdrzyzgula.org>
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--
============================================================
Bob Drzyzgula                             It's not a problem
.....bobspam_OUTspamdrzyzgula.org                until something bad happens
============================================================

1999\03\03@131718 by David W. Duley

picon face
In a message dated 3/3/99 1:09:07 AM Pacific Standard Time, TakeThisOuTerik.....spamTakeThisOuTNETWURX.NET
writes:

<< Hi,
I'm the someone who originally mentioned Circuit Maker.
I'm just a hobbyist and chose it over Electronics Workbench due to the
number of components included in the included library.
I'm glad to see that so many others are also using it. (insecurity
issues?)

If you received any personal replies on more component libraries please
forward them to me.
If not, I'll ask the same again.

Erik
 >>
Hi Erik,
No takers so far.  Only questions as to why I chose Microcode.
I'll Keep you posted.  If my usual luck hold true, I will get a response from
someone that spent the last year inputting every CPU known to man into these
pakages with mind numbing precision just as I have hacked my way through
building my own library.

Regards
Dave Duley

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