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Old 29th November 2003, 03:09 PM   #1
Bricolo is offline Bricolo  France
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Default What sortware do you use to design a PCB?

And if someone has a good book or website about PCB design to advice me, I'll be thankfull to him
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Old 29th November 2003, 03:23 PM   #2
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Here's just a warning -- I use Ultiboard -- and probably wouldn't buy it again -- the legacy software (WIN98) is incompatible with Win2K -- no matter how many times you uninstall and reinstall it after a few tries it will refuse to open.

I discussed the problem with their techs in Canada -- they are aware of the problem and ARE NOT going to fix it -- their idea of a solution is to purchase the $800 upgrade. Apparently the problem is just now starting to hit Ultiboard users.

If you do have Multisim you can open Ultiboard by importing a dummy circuit using TRANSFER., then open up your circuit using FILE/OPEN

Perhaps I should voice my displeasure to Elektor, Nuts N Volts, AudioXpress and Circuit Cellar,
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Old 29th November 2003, 03:24 PM   #3
Immo_G is offline Immo_G  Australia
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Yeah i've played around with Protel 99/ dxp, Eagle 4.11 and Express PCB.

Protel in my opinion is insanely overdone in terms of features. Everything you could ever need is there somewhere, everything you do need is hidden in with the rest. Purely frustrating to use for a beginner, I smashed a keyboard and walked out of a class trying.

Eagle is a nice mix, once you get the basics sorted ie switching between circuit and pcb its quite nice. Tracking down some components in the included library can be time consuming, but I should have compiled my own by now. Seems to have most of the useful features you need, without a lot of unneeded ones.

And finally, Express PCB. With a name like this, i wasn't expecting much, but for a very simple basically PCB draw program, this is it. Pick track size, draw track, pick component footprint, place component.

In my opinion, try Eagle, make ya schematic, switch to board, it places the components, you place the tracks, move stuff around, or let it autoroute, and done.
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Old 29th November 2003, 03:25 PM   #4
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Hi Bricolo,

I just started to try to design PCBs. I decided against 'Eagle' and choose 'Traxmaker' as being more easy to learn.

you can visit www.circuitmaker2000.com and download a trial, lots of info there and on the web too.

Goodluck,
Thijs
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Old 29th November 2003, 04:17 PM   #5
Bricolo is offline Bricolo  France
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I remember having tried eagle a year or two ago. Bad experience The design I tried to do did use "exotic" parts, and I had to do the eagle myself, that was such a pain especially for a beginner with this software.

Do all the softwares (including eagle) have models for classical DIY audio parts? (like regs, TDA154x DACs...)
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Old 29th November 2003, 04:27 PM   #6
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Brico --

I have also used ExpressPCB in the past, switched to PCBExpress to make protos --

I just went to the ExpressPCB site (as I had taken the software off my machine) -- and downloaded the new version -- there is now a schematic editor from which you can transfer your designs to their CAD program.

ExpressPCB is pretty good for prototypes.
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Old 29th November 2003, 04:28 PM   #7
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oops,

that should be www.circuitmaker.com


I've just downloaded ExpressPCB.. seems very easy to learn. The library seem quiet big, including opamp etc from various manufactures.. also the LM3875 is in the library.. no LM4780 yet...

Regards,
Thijs
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Old 29th November 2003, 05:39 PM   #8
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Default likely only interesting for German users

Since some years, I use this :
http://homepages.compuserve.de/ingwm...Y6/geddy60.htm

Before I owned a CAD-program I was very afraid it`s too complicated for me.
After I tried a trial version (finally), I was surprised how easy this sort of stuff can be - without help of the manual (I`m one of those bad guys who don`t like to "read the ****ing manual" first ) I was able to make a very decent drawing and was already familiar with the most important features (after an hour or so) .

Its comparatively cheap, simple, reliable and very likely more than enough what an Audio-DIYer ever will need.

So I stuck with this one and Im still happy with it - I don`t need more.

BTW: the manual is good (and thick) but in German only (as far I know). Support is also very good - I had a question two times and always got an answer very promptly.

For this program an optional Post-Script-converter is avaiable (very recommended).
I can store those converted datas on Floppy-disk and bring it to a print shop. They have exposure-machines to print very high-resolution and quality exposure templates from those Postscript-files.

of course should read important not impotent - have fixed it
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Old 29th November 2003, 06:40 PM   #9
sam9 is offline sam9  United States
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I've been using Vutrax. The advantages are that it is free (the is a component count limit on the free version but it is very high), industrial strength (i.e. you can use it to build a commercial product), does not crash, works as documented.

Disadvantages: user interface is clunky (its a DOS program moved to Windows), while you can do evrthing you need or want, getting there is awkward sometimes., no simulation except SpiceAge in the free version. long learning curve, not many other people use it so it's hard to get advice except from the vendor.
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Old 29th November 2003, 07:49 PM   #10
Bricolo is offline Bricolo  France
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OK, I've just installed Eagle, and tried to start a PCB layout.

My next project is a NOS DAC with a TDA1543.

But I can't find a model for this IC.
How do you guys do when you haven't the model? You create it for every chip which model doesn't exist?

Or is there a simplier way? (I was thinking about using another chip in the same format, sine it's for PCB design and not for simulation, it won't cause any problem IMO)
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