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Thread: SPICE and Simulators
www.piclist.com/techref/microchip/ios.htm?key=spi
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face BY : Lawrence Lile email (remove spam text)



Dave pontificated:

> I've had mixed results with simulation, mostly because they never include
> ALL the details of the circuit.  I tend to simulate in hardware :)

I am usually trying to simulate just one aspect of the circuit.  For
instance, I've used simulators a lot to predict power usage in power supply
components, modeling he rest of the circuit as a big resistor.  Sometimes
this is not a trivial calculation.   I've used simulation to help work out
bias resistors in transistor circuits, instead of doing them the hard way.
Calculating parameters in circuits that are hard to measure in a real
prototype is another good use.  Simulation can often account for subtleties
that I'd ignore in hand calculations.   When it works, simulation is easier
and faster than breaking out the old handbooks or cooking up a crazy test
and measurement fixture.

One of the best simulator uses I had was modeling a rather tricky, but
simple analog circuit that had all sorts of temperature dependant parts.
Since it was a timer that was supposed to change it's timing in response to
temperature, using  timing capacitors that leak at high temperatures, SCR's
that change trip points at high temperatures, temperature dependant
resistors and so on, a simulator was the way to go when designing it.  I am
sure there are people who go a whole career without a simulator, it's not an
absolutely essential tool.  It's just real handy when things get
complicated.


I _never_ rely on simulation alone.  Like Ciarcia, my faith is in solder,
not sophistry.

--Lawrence Lile

"My favorite programming language is solder"  - Steve Ciarcia

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