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Old 7th October 2011, 01:52 PM   #21
gareth is offline gareth  Wales
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Hi Guys,

I have a design on paper which I have worked through with pen/paper and a calculator. It is a crytal oscillator, to be used in my CD and possibly other pieces of equipment. There are three seperate designs actually with more to follow !

So far the maths are good, triple checked etc. What I would like to do is to have it simulated in a software environment before i go ahead and get the PCB's etc made up.

Can anyone suggest something here that would fulfill my needs ?

Thankyou in anticipation of your reply


Gareth Thomas
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Old 7th October 2011, 04:03 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nigelwright7557 View Post
Using free pcb software can be a false economy.

You cant beat pcbcad with good comprehensive error checking.
Nothing worse than getting pcbs made and there are mistakes on them.

The error checking may be good, but I never got that far!

The UI is so bizarre and counter-intuitive that I soon gave up
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Old 12th October 2011, 03:36 AM   #23
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I use Multisim/Ultiboard at work..... but it's far from free.

I hear PSpice is good and close to Multisim? I also hear Eagle is good too but hard to get used to.
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Old 12th October 2011, 10:36 AM   #24
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Open source:
-"PCB" in the "gEDA" package
-Kicad
-FreePCB

I used all three for small designs and they all have error checking, etc..
They are all reasonably user friendly but Kicad is probably the most user friendly.
PCB is probably the most powerful for large designs since it has an autorouter.
PCB and Kicad have large libraries of components.

Free but not open source:
DesignSpark: no limitations; I haven't used it, but it seems user friendly but poor in libraries.
Eagle: I haven't used it but it seems to be limited in the free version, has many libraries and an unusual user interface.
DipTrace: haven't used it but the free version is limited.

Please post other free/open source software packages you know of.
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Old 20th October 2011, 02:25 AM   #25
Kahooli is offline Kahooli  Abu Dhabi
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fireworks View Post
Open source:
-"PCB" in the "gEDA" package
-Kicad
-FreePCB

I used all three for small designs and they all have error checking, etc..
They are all reasonably user friendly but Kicad is probably the most user friendly.
PCB is probably the most powerful for large designs since it has an autorouter.
PCB and Kicad have large libraries of components.

Free but not open source:
DesignSpark: no limitations; I haven't used it, but it seems user friendly but poor in libraries.
Eagle: I haven't used it but it seems to be limited in the free version, has many libraries and an unusual user interface.
DipTrace: haven't used it but the free version is limited.

Please post other free/open source software packages you know of.
Do note that there are online connected free routers available (uses a plugin) for KiCad. I have found some of the cheaper ones don't follow your controlled impedance and differential pair definitions... but this can be worked around.

I'm a proponent of KiCad, I like it more than what I use at work for design entry (DxDesigner/PADS from Mentor Graphics). Learning curve is high if you have to build your own libraries, especially if you want 3-D.
However there are many many many people who have posted extensive libraries. You can just start with an existing part with the same package, make a copy, edit it, and add it to a custom library. Simple.
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Old 24th October 2011, 11:32 AM   #26
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Hi, I using Altium Designer V10. I would like to save or modify the defaults of the rules of autorouter, but not succed. The strategy can be duplicated and saved with new name, but the rules (width, clearance, etc...) always started with original default values. Somebody have tips?
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Old 24th October 2011, 01:48 PM   #27
jcx is online now jcx  United States
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for diy audio autorouting is worthless - you shouldn't care for analog circuit layout
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Old 24th October 2011, 01:55 PM   #28
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I like autorouter, much faster than manual routing. I have useful settings, I just want to save it for future projects.
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Old 25th October 2011, 11:55 AM   #29
marce is online now marce  United Kingdom
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Autorouting is a much miss used term, you can interactively route a PCB using the router tools, setting rules and constraints etc, but for simple analogue designs, NO, manual routing better. Interactive routing is a necessary with todays high speed digital boards, with length matching and thousands of connections, but again manual intervention always produces the best results.
Oh PCB design is 90% component placement, get that right and the routing will follow on...
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Old 25th October 2011, 12:28 PM   #30
Kahooli is offline Kahooli  Abu Dhabi
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marce View Post
Oh PCB design is 90% component placement, get that right and the routing will follow on...
I agree 75%. If you don't have an appropriate ground and power scheme predefined, your component placement may be all for naught.
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