Layout and Pcboard software... please friends, suggest me something really simple

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Small program would be interesting
Simple to operate
If freeware or having students for free option is also good

I am trying, and i have many, Express..... PCB123, ... PCB Wizard and the hell difficult, very awkward, annoying Eagle.

Well, have the need to create files good enougth to board manufacturers... in such a way they will accept to order boards.

The ones i am trying made me very confused.... also ask from us enormous work...we click the mouse till our fingers goes in pain..very slow to operate, really boring things.

Do you know something really easy, alike to trace lines into paint and to put dots into paint program, only informing board dimensions and distance from lead to lead for condensers, and the size (1/2 watt, 1/4 watt ) for resistances?

Do you know something really simple, easy to use to someone that has not patience to produce those boards, but has the need to learn, and prefer to start with something less boring as Eagle.

Asking you simple folks.... easy.... to someone is old, and really stupid, as i just cannot even finish a board into those ones i have mentioned before.

Help..... help please!


Thank you Sakis, Ebbe and Andy

Nice offer Sakis.... but my speed is slow and mail cost for a CD from Greece to Brazil is high...also delays more than 15 days.

I do not want to bother you in a such way Sakis....kind from you.


Yes Ebbe.... i am ashamed, but i am really having troubles.... asking to myself if i am stupid!


I am still downloading Demos from Abacom.... and this software is the one Sakis want to buy and send to me...very kind.

I will see if i can make something...i am having big troubles...i go and sometimes i am blocked and do not know how to advance...


Hehe, don't be ashamed Carlos. Then i am even more stupid. I try to make even simple circuits into Eagle and Circad, but no luck.

And thanks to Justphilbo for suggestion, but i have tried Expresspcb too. I think i may be to impatient :clown:

And for Andy L. Francis. I also tried Sprintlayout, but same result. Conclusion must be i don't have the patience, or maybe i just am mentally challenged :cannotbe:

I will try the two last mentioned again.

All the best
A friend, wich name i cannot tell here already have uploaded to me a nice program to

try..... 6.5 Megabytes....good!

I am still downloading parts into the Abacom

Thank you Ebbe.... this is what is happening with me.... 2 hours trying and i could not make the board for a single transistorized stage.... one i choice to learn....i had problems, even using Express PCBoard that a very good friend sent me monthes ago...he said program easy..and i found problems even to operate with it.....heheheheh... shame on me!

Thank you Justphilbo and NriK..... clever those folks from North

Nrik.... means Henrique...Heinrich.... Heindrik.... very good... clever those guys from North of our Globe.... man i have a lot of respect to those guys.... you see, even when they have to select a name to use they are intelligent.... N plus rik!.... great that man!



It may help to use the drawing tool kind of the same way that you do a point to point layout on perf board. In other words, plunk your active and passive components down on the board, then connect things up in accordance with schematic. Everything after that is cosmetics and optimization.

Free, as in FREE open source, relatively simple, produces plots in:
HPGL, Gerber and Postscript. Anyone who can left click on a pad of the component and connect it to the pad of another can do this program. No need to draw the schematic first, but some find that helpful.

# Eeschema :Schematic entry.
# Pcbnew :Board editor.
# Gerbview :GERBER viewer (photoplotter documents).
# Cvpcb :footprint selector, components used in the circuit design.
# Kicad: project manager.

Doc files are in french, english, spanish, portuguese_brazilian.
Kicad user interface is in french, english, spanish, portuguese_brazilian, italian

Runs on Windoz 2000, XP and Linux boxes.
Only 79703 KB zipped file to install. Can be run from a network.

By also installing the free PDFCreator:
you can output laser quality documents for use with the iron on sheets for making your own boards.

Re: A friend, wich name i cannot tell here already have uploaded to me a nice program to

Originally posted by destroyer X
Nrik.... means Henrique...Heinrich.... Heindrik....
Exactly - originates from german: Heim-rich, meaning 'one who has a rich home' (can't say I am that rich though.)
In portugese: Enrico?

Well Carlos I have been searching for an easy PCB layout program too, but they all seem to need netlists, nodelists, etc.

It takes a bit of a work effort to start up getting familiar with all those stuff, for us hobbyists who draws schematics with pen and paper.

It seems that one is able to do "on-the-fly" drawing of pads and tracks in freepcb, and that is what attracts me.
Work takes up too much of my sparetime, so I haven't had the time to start using it yet, so I cant really tell.

But keep us posted on what program you end up using.

Regards Henrik (my real name)
I am still leaning.... reading the manual and tutorial for the

Sprint... it seems very nice.

Will comment this tomorrow, as my daugther arrived home and i will be with here.

I like the interface...the image.... it seems easier and nice.

I will see if i will find problems tomorrow.

Heindrich, is Henrique in Portuguese.... also Enrique....Enrico is Spanish version..... languages are all Latin root, alike French, but has differences.

Buenos dias hermano!..... Spanish and means "Good morning brother"

Bom dia irmão!.... Portuguese and means "Good morning brother"

Bonjour mon frère!... French and means "Good morning my brother"

You see... all them with Latin root... also Italian has Latine roots into the language (Ancient Roman Empire)...but you see they are different... we understand one each other... Spanish and Portuguese can do that...but entering French and Italian we have problems to understand, completelly, the other.... we can have just an idea about what the other one is talking about.




  • sprint is fine!.jpg
    sprint is fine!.jpg
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Sakis, check if price is low.... if low send me the CD please

This software from Abacom (finally) explain us how to use in a very decent and easy way.... they say side one is upper board.... no one other said that... they go and ask you to click Side one and Side two without explain you that stuff.

They explain us, step by step, each detail, very carefully... very good!

The other think that we will find things like a passing of magic or by osmosis.

Finally a software not made only to software designers to use..not to make to their own creative software designer's communitty.... made to normal user... normal DIY people.

Also Grid system is clever.

The first thing to do is to inform the software the board dimensions...others are a hell to make that...have to click to drag and the board goes triangle!...ahahahahah!

Easy to click into resistance and it goes to the working are...very easy.... wire routing simple...clever...good software...finally!

Send the one to me Sakis, and my thanks in advance.

Carlos Eugênio Mergulhão
Rua Dona Balbina Menelau 56 - 1601
Candeias - Jaboatão dos Guararapes
Pernambuco - Brasil
South America

I am happy... finally something easy to use!... maybe there are others... i have tried PCB123, Eagle, PCB Wizard, Express PCBoard, Circuit Maker and Protel for Windows.


IMO, creating a decent PCB with the correct gerber files for the board house, is inherently complicated. You need to know the defaults (i.e. cheapest) parameters for the board house, like what sizes the free drills are, and you need to make correct models of your strange and unusual components. The program has an inherently troublesome task- present a graphic layout like a paint program, but keep track of connections like a vector program. No doubt they're a PITA to write, and the people who write them are rarely experts at PCB layout.

Most PCB programs have a lousy interface, and paying thousands of dollars for one is no guarantee of a good interface. Maybe even the opposite.

I won't use a program that locks me to a specific board vendor, nor do I want some limited function thing that puts a ceiling on pads or layers. Being a cheap soul, it should be free as well.

That leaves FreePCB and TinyCAD from Sourceforge as about the best options. The interface takes some getting used to, but I've been able to produce commercial work of good quality in a reasonable amount of time. If you've never done PCB layout, expect a week or two on the learning curve before it gets even halfway comfortable.

For checking the gerbers use a free viewer like Pentalogix Viewmate. If you need good dxf conversions for documentation, get a free copy of ExcelCAM.
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