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Old 22nd April 2012, 04:39 AM   #1
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Default LT Spice ASC into PCB layout ?

I'm using LTspice all the time for simulation and etc, but now I wanted to do autorouting (with some manual tweaking), I suppose LTspice cannot do such thing ? I want to make a PCB layout, how to do it in a simple way ?

I heard about many of those software, but which is most simple/easier to learn and process ? (I just tried EAGLE, and I have alot of things to learn such as making library, making schematic 'again' before board layout.)

Is there any simpler way to make board out of LTspice ? (Or I just have to surrender and make it slowly )
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Old 22nd April 2012, 04:42 AM   #2
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If by using export list, I only see compatible with those program that I didn't heard much about. (popular PCB software such as EAGLE, FreePCB, KiCad, Design Spark)
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Old 22nd April 2012, 10:23 AM   #3
marce is offline marce  United Kingdom
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Spice is simulation, any routing will be done in the PCB design package.
Forget autorouting, there is no such thing, there is interactive routing, but no autorouting.
The best way to lay out a board is concentrate on placeing, this should take between 60-40% of the time for a layout for analogue and digital with small devices.
The most important part of a CAD system set up is the libraries, these are critical and setting them up is a good way to learn the CAD system, as well as controlling your designs.
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Old 22nd April 2012, 11:42 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by guitar89 View Post
I'm using LTspice all the time for simulation and etc, but now I wanted to do autorouting (with some manual tweaking), I suppose LTspice cannot do such thing ? I want to make a PCB layout, how to do it in a simple way ?

I heard about many of those software, but which is most simple/easier to learn and process ? (I just tried EAGLE, and I have alot of things to learn such as making library, making schematic 'again' before board layout.)

Is there any simpler way to make board out of LTspice ? (Or I just have to surrender and make it slowly )
This is an important question - if one could netlist the schematic and read it into the PCB package you have eliminated an important source of errors and trhowing-away PCBs. It's almost impossible to manually transfer a schematic to a PCB unless it is small and very simple.
There are several low-cost or even free PCB packeges, but each has their advantages and disadvantages.
My suggestion: see which netlist formats LTspice supports, get the free/cheap PCB packages that can import one of those netlist formats, play with them and then select the PCB package you like best.

A separate issues is whether you wish to use manual or auto routing. I almost exclusively use manual routing - you can do so much better, and follow your own ideas, when doing that (unless you want to pay several kilodollars for a top autorouting package).
Most PCB packages have netlist-assisted manual routing. That means that all required connections are shown on the layout (the info comes from the netlist of course) as thin lines so you see what you have to route, and the line disappears when the route is done. Should you put down a wrong connection you'll get a warning.
You generally also can specify the minimum distance you want beteen tracks and tracks-pads and when during your layout you get too close you also get a warning.
Again, a great way to avoid errors!

jan didden
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Old 22nd April 2012, 01:42 PM   #5
mlloyd1 is offline mlloyd1  United States
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a former member has written up his good work on experimenting with using LT SPICE as a schematic capture program for FreePCB. a search might find it.

mlloyd1
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Old 22nd April 2012, 05:05 PM   #6
marce is offline marce  United Kingdom
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Even with the expensive packages there is no such thing as autorouting, it is an interactive process and even then most of the routing tends to be manual, apart from length matching, but you have to routes the traces so there is enough room for length matching. I use about 35Ks worth of software and add ons for PCB layout at work, and with the new digital packages and restrictions we use the auto-routing functions less and less, but do use othe automated routines that help speed up the layout process, such as auto BGA breakout routines. And manual routing will usually give the best results, based on component placement (the criticla skill in layout).
Most schematic packages will transfer info to spice simulation, as Janneman stated, using a schematic to layout is paramount for reducing errors, and it all starts with good libraries, get them right and everything else will follow.
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Old 22nd April 2012, 05:18 PM   #7
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Fully agree on the libraries.
To add: I often do an auto routing pass, just to see any obvious things like parts that are far away from their connections, track concentrations and the like.
But then I hit 'undo' and go on manually

jan
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Old 23rd April 2012, 03:09 AM   #8
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Then could I ask which program have good library or easy to obtain libraries ? (is kind a mess to get it)
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Old 23rd April 2012, 08:31 AM   #9
RJM1 is offline RJM1  United States
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You can export a net list from LTspice (under the tools menu), but you will have no pin outs or footprints for your parts. You might take a look at this thread.
Best LTSpice to PCB
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Old 23rd April 2012, 02:55 PM   #10
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Well, now i'm using EAGLE (trying to accomodate), while having problem to find a NJL package.
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