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'Professional PCB Schematics NOT shareware'
1998\11\28@115750 by PHXSYS

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Hello

I know this is an old, run down topic- PCB and schematics layout software.
Most of the discussion is regarding shareware programs.  I have been very
disappointed with WinDraft, it constantly crashes and has all kinds of quirks.

I want to know what the list thinks the best, professional PCB and schematics
layout program is?  I want to learn a program that will provide me the most
options long-term.  I want to find a program that is widely accepted in the
industry, high user satisfaction, been around for a while and likely to be so.
I am at the point where I am willing to pay for quality (sometime that takes a
while).

I have been looking at Protel98 and Eagle.

What do you think?

Jon

1998\11\28@133256 by Vance Gloster

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If money is no object, Autocad has some 3rd-party add-ons that are reputed
to work really well.  For a medium cost (~$500) a couple of years ago I
went for a package consisting of Mental Automation's SuperCAD/Windows and
their SuperPCB/R for Windows.

For the most part this has worked well.  SuperCAD generates the kinds of
schematics that you normally see for PIC stuff (it has a good library of
parts already coded in).  It also generates a connection list that can be
used by SuperPCB to do an attempted autorouting.  As long as your design is
not too tight or poorly laid out (you place the parts) it normally gets
90-95% of the connections automatically.

SuperPCB/R has some limitations (max board size 16" x 8", only two layers
of traces), but these should not be a factor for most PIC-based designs.
If you need more PCB features they have a more expensive SuperPCB that does
32" x 32" boards with 16 layers and better autorouting.  They do allow
upgrading by just paying the difference in price.

Vance Gloster            Religions die when they are proved to be
spam_OUTvanceTakeThisOuTspameni.net                true.  Science is the record of dead
                                         religions. -Oscar Wilde

{Original Message removed}

1998\11\28@133918 by Gabriel Gonzalez

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I use Eagle, and for the price it is an excellent choice.

Calvin

-----Original Message-----
From: .....PHXSYSKILLspamspam@spam@AOL.COM <PHXSYSspamKILLspamAOL.COM>
To: .....PICLISTKILLspamspam.....MITVMA.MIT.EDU <EraseMEPICLISTspam_OUTspamTakeThisOuTMITVMA.MIT.EDU>
Date: Saturday, November 28, 1998 9:56 AM
Subject: Professional PCB Schematics NOT shareware


>Hello
>
>I know this is an old, run down topic- PCB and schematics layout software.
>Most of the discussion is regarding shareware programs.  I have been very
>disappointed with WinDraft, it constantly crashes and has all kinds of
quirks.
>
>I want to know what the list thinks the best, professional PCB and
schematics
>layout program is?  I want to learn a program that will provide me the most
>options long-term.  I want to find a program that is widely accepted in the
>industry, high user satisfaction, been around for a while and likely to be
so.
>I am at the point where I am willing to pay for quality (sometime that
takes a
>while).
>
>I have been looking at Protel98 and Eagle.
>
>What do you think?
>
>Jon

1998\11\28@134330 by ulcsa

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At both my current and former jobs, I use the latest version of
PADS Power.  It is fairly nice, and I feel comfortable with it.
Hasn't crashed yet on Win95.  I have also heard good things about
Accel/Tango, and Orcad. If you are filthy rich and have a unix
workstation, get Allegro.

> I want to know what the list thinks the best, professional PCB and
> schematics layout program is?  I want to learn a program that will
> provide me the most options long-term.  I want to find a program
> that is widely accepted in the industry, high user satisfaction,
> been around for a while and likely to be so. I am at the point where
> I am willing to pay for quality (sometime that takes a while).

1998\11\28@210149 by Donald Brown

picon face
I have used ACCEL / Tango PCB. I like the software, however the
support stinks!

My software will not run on newer pentium because of the hardware KEY
and ACCEL has given me the run around.

So at this point I would suggest stay away from ACCEL / TANGO until
they value to support their customers. God knows you have to pay an
arm and leg for the software; one would expect them to support it so
as not to have to re-purchase it every several years.

Good Luck with your venture
Don



---PHXSYSspamspam_OUTAOL.COM wrote:
>
> Hello
>
> I know this is an old, run down topic- PCB and schematics layout
software.
> Most of the discussion is regarding shareware programs.  I have been
very
> disappointed with WinDraft, it constantly crashes and has all kinds
of quirks.
>
> I want to know what the list thinks the best, professional PCB and
schematics
> layout program is?  I want to learn a program that will provide me
the most
> options long-term.  I want to find a program that is widely accepted
in the
> industry, high user satisfaction, been around for a while and likely
to be so.
> I am at the point where I am willing to pay for quality (sometime
that takes a
> while).
>
> I have been looking at Protel98 and Eagle.
>
> What do you think?
>
> Jon
>

_________________________________________________________
DO YOU YAHOO!?
Get your free @yahoo.com address at http://mail.yahoo.com

1998\11\28@231037 by bob

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On Sat, 28 Nov 1998, you wrote:
>If money is no object, Autocad has some 3rd-party add-ons that are reputed
>to work really well.

Any specific recommendations along these lines? I have a copy of Autocad R14 at
work and would be very interested in something that worked as a plug-in.
Looking through Autodesk's site, the main thing I came up with was the
Electronic Packaging Designer suite from CAD Design Software. It appears that
these add-ons may cost more than the R14 cost in the first place, however...
into several thousand dollars for the base product, Gerber output and Schematic
Capture. Does anyone have a sense of how this would compare, both in
functionality and price, to something like Protel?

On the low end of all this, does anyone have experience with Electronics
Workbench Layout?

Thanks,
--Bob

============================================================
Bob Drzyzgula                             It's not a problem
@spam@bobKILLspamspamdrzyzgula.org                until something bad happens
============================================================

1998\11\28@232954 by Michael Hagberg

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one professional package i have been very impressed with is http://www.protel.com
it has both schema and pcb with rats nesting, net lists, checks trace
tolerances, and tons more. i haven't looked at the pricing in about a year,
but it was $1500 for schema and $1500 for pcb. if you poke around i think
there is even a shareware (100 pins or less) version.

michael

You may leave the list at any time by writing "SIGNOFF PICLIST" in the
   body of a message to KILLspamLISTSERVKILLspamspamMITVMA.MIT.EDU.

{Original Message removed}

1998\11\30@061432 by Caisson

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> Van: Bob Drzyzgula <RemoveMEbobTakeThisOuTspamdrzyzgula.org>
> Aan: spamBeGonePICLISTspamBeGonespamMITVMA.MIT.EDU
> Onderwerp: Re: Professional PCB Schematics NOT shareware
> Datum: zondag 29 november 1998 4:22

Hello Bob,

> On the low end of all this, does anyone have experience with Electronics
> Workbench Layout?

EWB -layout is actual the UltiBoard layout package.  I've got experience
with it, and I cannot say I'm happy with it (That's an understatement !).

After more than TEN years they, ultiboard, cannot come up with anything
else than what they dropped upon us, the customers.  The version I've got
(the LAST dos version made, _should_ be best ..) is full of bugs,
non-intuitive ways of doing things, and even changes an the way of drawing
lines between PCB editing and Component creation

How do you draw a non-straight line in the Component-creation editor ?
Simple !  You draw two _straight_ lines, linked to each other, the first
line beginning from where you want the diagonal to start and the second to
where you want it to end.  than you remove the link between the two lines.
It than 'rubber-bands' to a diagonal.

The PCB drawing is as bad as the Schematic package.  To edit a non-visible
item of a component you have to switch-on ALL unvisible components
(creating a Dark-blue GARBAGE on your screen), pick the one you want to
edit, wich is impossible, so you have to shift the full component to a
non-used part of the PCB, pick-and-edit, and shift the full component back.
Moving a diagonal track can result in a stair-way, with no means to
convert it back else than to delete the track & redraw it. Shortkey's are
not there.  _Preferences_ made will be overwritten by the program.  If
part's are close together (or ontop of each other, like with two SMD-parts,
one on the top, the other on the bottom) it's allmost impossible to get one
of the parts without moving the other (LAYO give's you a list with close-by
parts, and lets _you_ choose)

In short : Use ULTI-(S)HELL/CAP/BOARD if you know _exacly_ what you want to
draw, because editing is not easy ...

Oh, by the way : User-support ?  Yeah.  We had a problem with our Dongle.
We called.  No response for _TWO_ weeks. They took a vacation and did not
leave an alternate adres for the support, they did not leave _any_ message.
After two weeks they just where there again.  The problem with the dongle
was simple : it's ID-code was gone.  They send another code & whe had to
upload it to the dongle.  After that we could work again.

Oh, before I forget : Don't try to print anything outside of
ULTI(something) while it's running.  It's likely to crash your computer.
It happened to me a few times ...

Customer advice : DON'T BUY Ulti-Crap

I'm sorry for EWB, because the simulation of EWB is quite good (IMHO).
They just made the wrong choice to add UltiBoard to it ...

Greetz,
 Rudy Wieser

1998\11\30@153948 by steve

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> EWB -layout is actual the UltiBoard layout package.  I've got experience
> with it, and I cannot say I'm happy with it (That's an understatement !).

I'd have to second that understatement. I have UltiBoard Designer
series (about US$10k) and I've battled with it for long enough. It's
going in the rubbish. It's not a decision taken lightly but I can't
see the point in paying for updates to get more beta versions and
hoping that they might get it right eventually. In the mean time, I
am better off with something that doesn't rename half of my GND net
to something else.

What to replace it with ?
Here, PADS and Protel seem to have the market to themselves.
PADS seems to have matured in the Windows environment compared to
the earlier offerings. With the DRE option it is quite a capable
system for general PCB use. I haven't had a play with Protel98 but
the previous version seemed to be heading in the right direction in a
Protel sort of way. You have the ability to write components for it
which is quite attractive.
PADS is cheaper at an entry level than Protel but the price soon
rockets up if you need more capability.

Having been burnt once by buying something that wasn't supported
here, I am reluctant to do it again but I am quite impressed with
CSiEDA from Korea. It's quite cheap (it's good to have an economic
crisis sometimes) and includes a lot of the things that you usually
only see in the higher versions of PC software. (http://www.csieda.com).

Steve.

======================================================
Steve Baldwin                Electronic Product Design
TLA Microsystems Ltd         Microcontroller Specialists
PO Box 15-680, New Lynn      http://www.tla.co.nz
Auckland, New Zealand        ph  +64 9 820-2221
email: TakeThisOuTstevebEraseMEspamspam_OUTtla.co.nz      fax +64 9 820-1929
======================================================


'Professional PCB Schematics NOT shareware'
1998\12\01@033910 by Russell McMahon
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Protel here (New Zealand) have an upgrade offer of $NZ2500 to upgrade
from a prior Windows (specifically NOT DOS) version of PROTEL and
$NZ3600 to cross-grade from any other Windows product. This includes
schematic editor, PCB layout, router and a simulator and something
else I can't remember. I think full price is now about $NZ4500.

Divide $NZ by about 2 to get $US.

Maybe Steve should be talking to GTS Nilsen (the NZ agents) :-)

I have no financial interests in any of these products.

   Russell McMahon



{Original Message removed}

1998\12\01@120803 by lilel

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Steve wrote:

> > EWB -layout is actual the UltiBoard layout package.  I've got experience
> > with it, and I cannot say I'm happy with it (That's an understatement !).

My advice: trash it.

I recently bought EDwin from Visionics  http://www.visionics.a.se/
They have an entry level package for less than $100 US, and I bought
a package for under $300 that does everything I need.  I find it
quirky and hard to use (aren't they ALL?)  in some areas, but I was
able to produce a fine board within the first day, and their tech
support by email is pretty good.  My $300 program does a nice job of
autorouting, talks nice to AutoCad, produces gerber output, handles
thru hole  and surface mount and more layers than I will ever use,
does circuit simulation without crashing,  basically no limitations.

For the price of a years support on Ultiboard you could be using
EDwin.

-- Lawrence Lile

"Nyquist was an optimist."

=> Median Filter Source Code
=> AutoCad blocks for electrical drafting

at:  http://home1.gte.net/llile/index.htm

1998\12\06@120755 by bob

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I just wanted to say thanks to everyone who responded and who
put up with this thread, which I guess has been repeated on
occasion :-)

On the basis of what was said here, on my available budget, and
on information from other newsgroups and sources, I decided to
get a copy of the standard version of CadSoft Eagle. Four layers
and 6"x4" boards is plenty enough for what I want to do. The
availability of both a scripting language and a programming
language, the ability to decode the parts library and modify
them for parts that are similar, and their apparent
responsiveness to users suggested to me that it was at least
possible to make up for any immediate shortcomings in the
product. I couldn't find any newsgroup or message list traffic
that complained about general bugginess in Eagle, or any
suggestion that it produced invalid or unusable results. The
most damming complaints that I could find were that (a) the
parts libraries were poorly documented and difficult to
navigate, and (b) many people report that products costing
between five and five hundred times as much as Eagle were found
to have better parts support, better interfaces, greater
capabilities and/or were more widely used in the industry. I've
been tinkering with it for a few days and am so far quite
satisfied.

Thanks again,
--Bob

On Monday, November 30, 1998 5:12 AM, Caisson
[SMTP:RemoveMEcaissonspamTakeThisOuTTELEBYTE.NL] wrote:
{Quote hidden}

1998\12\06@121423 by Jon Petty

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In a message dated 12/6/98 10:08:23 AM US Mountain Standard Time,
RemoveMEbobEraseMEspamEraseMEdrzyzgula.org writes:

<< I just wanted to say thanks to everyone who responded and who
put up with this thread, which I guess has been repeated on
occasion :-)
 >>

Me too!!

Eagle came in #1 after evaluating all comments and feedback. I am happy about
that for another reason, it is a lot less expensive then Protel.

Thanks to all

Jon

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