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Old 24th November 2009, 06:50 AM   #1
akis is offline akis  United Kingdom
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Default PC simulation - what do you use?

What is the 2009 recommended simulation program? I have used Multisim 10 Educational, it is slow, cumbersome, impossible to use over 300Hz, no support for European transistors, I do not like how it models transistors anyway and so on. Is there anything better?

An associated thread is here Simulation software.

but it is quite old.
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Old 24th November 2009, 07:23 AM   #2
akis is offline akis  United Kingdom
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OK, just looked at LTSpice. Compared to Multisim, the interface looks like something out of the 1980s. Have only spent like 15mins on it, seems to have a good array of models, but I could not find an oscilloscope or other instruments. Instead it plots Voltage/Current charts, which I could not interpret. And the user interface sucks.
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Old 24th November 2009, 07:34 AM   #3
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LTspice is the best. It's simple to use and does everything an expensive SPICE package does. Read the help file and try a little harder.
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Old 24th November 2009, 07:46 AM   #4
akis is offline akis  United Kingdom
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OK here goes. :-)
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Old 24th November 2009, 10:24 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sawreyrw View Post
Read the help file and try a little harder.
This is the problem. The users are expected to try a little harder, not the designers. It should be the opposite.
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Old 24th November 2009, 11:14 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nelsonvandal View Post
This is the problem. The users are expected to try a little harder, not the designers. It should be the opposite.
This is true, but once you figure LTSpice out, it's rather simple (in my limited experience) to get it to work. Just takes that initial figuring out ;P
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Old 24th November 2009, 03:20 PM   #7
akis is offline akis  United Kingdom
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I have tried again. I have managed to place a few components (9 resistors, 3 transistors, couple of caps, two sources) and have managed to see some graphs of sinusoidals.

Basically LTspice runs the analysis for a period of time, then you can go back and see what happened by probing the circuit, looking at the graph, selecting a time range and expanding it appropriately so you can see the curve rather than a blob.

But I cannot get to work with that GUI with placing and re-arranging components. It is awful. It is like using MS Paint to draw delicate pictures and graphs.

Mutlisim also has some other cool features : range of instruments, eg oscilloscope, function generator, distortion analyser, potentiometer, varcap etc.

Perhaps Mutlisim Pro is better than Multisim Educational?
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Old 24th November 2009, 03:45 PM   #8
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At work I use the industrial version of TINA-8, and use the basic version (€79) at home. TINA doesn't give you the control that LT Spice gives, but it does have a proper UI, rather than the user-hostile experience you get with LT-Spice.

If you don't want to risk €79, then download the free (but very tool and model limited) version of TINA from the Texas Instruments website. Otherwise go to Analog, Digital, Symbolic, RF, VHDL, MCU Circuit Simulation & PCB Design
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Old 24th November 2009, 04:57 PM   #9
cbdb is offline cbdb  Canada
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Quote:
Mutlisim also has some other cool features : range of instruments, eg oscilloscope, function generator, distortion analyser, potentiometer, varcap etc.
LTSpice will also do all those things and more , just have to figure out how to do them. There used to be a LTSpice thread on this site, where you could always get answers, or go to LTSpice users group at yahoo.
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Old 24th November 2009, 05:16 PM   #10
Bigun is offline Bigun  Canada
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You get what you pay for applies here.

LTspice is a popular tool for users of this forum from what I can see so it does have the benefit that there are a number of experts around and you can post files for others to use. Because of it's popularity there is a lot more knowledge of it's pitfalls too.

I got used to the interface but it really could benefit from a better one.
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