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untangle 14th March 2012 02:22 AM launched - Great & Free recently launched, providing a rich set of web-based tools for circuit rendering, sharing and simulation.

As a Mac user, this is a particular joy.

And it's free (for now at least)!


[I have no affiliation with Circuitlab]

compumike 14th March 2012 06:49 PM

Hi Bob,

One of the developers of CircuitLab here. Thanks for the link! Been a diyAudio lurker for a while now :)

We'd definitely love to hear from the diyAudio community about how we can make this into a tool that would be awesome for everyone here. When I browse through some of the Solid State forum posts and see lots of different schematic images that are purely static and are clearly made with a bunch of different, incompatible, non-cross-platform tools, it really makes me think: why can't each of those schematic images link to an editable, simulatable circuit that someone else can change/fix/simulate/save and post the new version back as a reply?

Our site has only been public for two weeks now, but we've already been featured by a variety of places like Slashdot, Engadget, the ARRL, Nuts & Volts, EDN, ... and hopefully we're on the way to building that vision!

As far as "free (for now at least)", we've said that "it has always been our intention to keep the core functionality free, for the benefit of the greater online electronics community." (See our FAQ). This kind of tool is something we think has been missing online for a long time, and our NerdKits microcontroller kits business pays the rent and has funded the development of CircuitLab.


cbdb 14th March 2012 07:13 PM

Hello Mike and thanks. Like most people here I use LTSpice, but unfortunately I have to boot up the old PC, so It will be nice to simulate on my mac!

Any chance you can summarize the similarities/differences between LTSpice and circuitlab? Which should I use when? And is there a way to use my LTSpice ccts in circuitlab?

cbdb 14th March 2012 07:34 PM

OH I didnt know Circuitlab ran from your web browser. Thats cool. You can run it anywhere theres a computer.

Now answering my own question: It trades power (LTSpice) for ease of use, convenience and sharing. ie great for quick sims but not power use (eg FFTs from power amp circuits).

compumike 14th March 2012 08:13 PM

Yup! Both the schematic editor and simulator are 100% browser-based (javascript). No installation necessary, as long as you've already got Chrome or Firefox.

"ease of use, convenience and sharing" -- better than I could have put it!

If FFT mode for distortion analysis is the missing ingredient for this to be a really useful tool for the diyAudio community, then I will definitely investigate adding that to CircuitLab. We have a big to-do list right now, but that sounds like a really useful addition both for the audio community as well as the RF users.

s3tup 15th March 2012 03:53 PM


Thanks, this is. perfect! :) I tried using the DigiKey's SchemeIt, which was nice, but i haven't found a "GND" symbol anywhere which rendered some circuits meaningless. Browsing thru symbols was pretty painfull too.

Yours site is great, clear and easy!

I really miss the "Spacebar rotate" key i used to in Altium and MicroCap. Is it possible to make the spacebar rotate components, or the browsers won't pass "spacebar" key into the apps?

cbdb 15th March 2012 06:57 PM


We have a big to-do list right now,
Im sure if you wanted we could make that list a lot longer.:D:D:D

One thing I would definitely want is to be able to use 3rd party models.

cbdb 15th March 2012 07:00 PM


as long as you've already got Chrome or Firefox.
I tried it with Safari and it worked fine, but I didnt do anything too complicated.

cbdb 15th March 2012 07:01 PM


I really miss the "Spacebar rotate" key i used to in Altium and MicroCap. Is it possible to make the spacebar rotate components, or the browsers won't pass "spacebar" key into the apps?
There is already a hot key for that ( R ).

lehmanhill 17th March 2012 01:09 AM

Thank you, Thank You, THank YOu, THANK YOU!!
Aimed right at Compumike. What a great thing you have done for us Mac users.

Yes, I can kick up Parallels or Bootcamp and get Windows rolling for LTSpice, but your simulator is easy and effective for lots of things and easy to get at in the Macworld.

I'm no great expert simulation geek, but I admit that I miss stuff when I try to design a circuit on paper. Doing a basic simulation helps me see my errors and your easy approach is just what I need.

I like the Frequency Domain Simulation, but would like to confirm what it means. I think you are stimulating the circuit from the input point with a small signal and sweeping through frequencies. Can I interpret that as small AC signal noise rejection for a DC voltage regulator output?

One suggestion. When I make a mistake or want to change an approach, deleting elements in the circuit involves going up to the Edit box many times. A "right click" on a "red" highlighted element with an option to delete or cut would be great.

Anyway, thanks again.

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