Matador

Re: Your favorite schematic software
« Reply #20 on: December 20, 2020, 02:59:20 PM »
KiCad has some strange ideas and workflows, but as Abbey said every piece of software does.

This may sound dumb, but what sold me on KiCad (other than the freeness) was that they switched to OpenGL rendering of the schematics and layouts, which means you get all of the features of modern GPU's in aliasing and rasterization. 

Which is a long way of saying that the rendered schematics and plots look really good, regardless of the magnification level.


abbey road d enfer

Re: Your favorite schematic software
« Reply #21 on: December 20, 2020, 04:56:01 PM »
There is a small issues with footprints that have obscure (or made by me) issues but overall its solid.
That's the other point that deterred me.
For some reason I have to create footprints and symbols quite often, for components that seem to be orphaned  :o
The first project I tried with Kicad I got stumped because I couldn't find the device and creating it from scratch seemed like a mountain to climb.
Who's right or wrong is irrelevant. What matters is what's right or wrong.
Star ground is for electricians.

ruffrecords

Re: Your favorite schematic software
« Reply #22 on: December 21, 2020, 03:34:09 AM »
That's the other point that deterred me.
For some reason I have to create footprints and symbols quite often, for components that seem to be orphaned  :o
The first project I tried with Kicad I got stumped because I couldn't find the device and creating it from scratch seemed like a mountain to climb.

Footprints in PCB layout is always an issue. Many years ago I managed a group of PCB layout techs. At one point, we decided it was time to upgrade to a modern Windows based system. We looked at and evaluated most of what was available at the time. There were minor concerns about different user interfaces, and the range of each program (board size, number of layers, mechanical integration) etc but there was not a lot to choose between them. The one area that everyone had a problem with was footprints. Although all the offerings had extensive libraries of footprints, there was still a large number of components that we used that they had no footprints for. It became clear that no matter what the cost of the software, it would be eclipsed by the cost of the man hours needed to generate all the footprints we would need.

As far as I can see, nothing has changed. Whatever package you choose you will need to make this investment in time.

Cheers

Ian
www.customtubeconsoles.com
https://mark3vtm.blogspot.co.uk/
www.eztubemixer.blogspot.co.uk


'The only people not making mistakes are the people doing nothing'

abbey road d enfer

Re: Your favorite schematic software
« Reply #23 on: December 21, 2020, 05:37:07 AM »
Whatever package you choose you will need to make this investment in time.
I had exactly the same concerns. The old version of Eagle I use is very easy in that respect. It takes a helping hand at the beginning, but pretty soon you can fly solo.
Indeed this old version does not have 3D capabilities, and is quite limited for extensive projects (almost zero hierarchical organization) but who needs it? I have never felt that a restriction in the 20 years of professional use and subsequent DIY years.
Who's right or wrong is irrelevant. What matters is what's right or wrong.
Star ground is for electricians.

ruffrecords

Re: Your favorite schematic software
« Reply #24 on: December 21, 2020, 10:17:35 AM »
I had exactly the same concerns. The old version of Eagle I use is very easy in that respect. It takes a helping hand at the beginning, but pretty soon you can fly solo.
Indeed this old version does not have 3D capabilities, and is quite limited for extensive projects (almost zero hierarchical organization) but who needs it? I have never felt that a restriction in the 20 years of professional use and subsequent DIY years.

You are right.Migrating to a new tool is always a PITA. I have been using freePCB for the last 20 years. It is very basic, has no schematic  capture (but will import net lists) but I have built up a large body of specialised footprints for it and the thought of  remaking them all for a new package s daunting.  One advantage of Kicad being open source is that the file formats are well documented plus there are a surprising number of coders willing to help. One guy wrote a Python script for me turned all my freePCB footprints into Kicad ones. Pretty cool.

Cheers

Ian
www.customtubeconsoles.com
https://mark3vtm.blogspot.co.uk/
www.eztubemixer.blogspot.co.uk


'The only people not making mistakes are the people doing nothing'

abbey road d enfer

Re: Your favorite schematic software
« Reply #25 on: December 21, 2020, 11:34:05 AM »
You are right.Migrating to a new tool is always a PITA. I have been using freePCB for the last 20 years. It is very basic, has no schematic  capture (but will import net lists) but I have built up a large body of specialised footprints for it and the thought of  remaking them all for a new package s daunting.  One advantage of Kicad being open source is that the file formats are well documented plus there are a surprising number of coders willing to help. One guy wrote a Python script for me turned all my freePCB footprints into Kicad ones. Pretty cool.

Cheers

Ian
I know there is a large community of Kicad users that are willing to help. My gripe is they are generally not willing to admit Kicad has flaws, and those who are willing basically say don't look the horse's teeth. Kicad being free seems to be a justification for being flawed, starting with the wrong orientation of the Y-axis.
And I don't want to have to rely on someone's goodwill. I appreciate being helped, but I don't like being stumped with the only solution being crying for help.
Who's right or wrong is irrelevant. What matters is what's right or wrong.
Star ground is for electricians.

ruffrecords

Re: Your favorite schematic software
« Reply #26 on: December 21, 2020, 12:13:11 PM »
I know there is a large community of Kicad users that are willing to help. My gripe is they are generally not willing to admit Kicad has flaws, and those who are willing basically say don't look the horse's teeth. Kicad being free seems to be a justification for being flawed, starting with the wrong orientation of the Y-axis.
And I don't want to have to rely on someone's goodwill. I appreciate being helped, but I don't like being stumped with the only solution being crying for help.
I think you need to differentiate between the community and the developers - they are not the same thing even though Kicad is open source. Most of the community would agree with you about the y-axis orientation. Unfortunately, the development of Kicad is currently mainly in the hands of CERN and at present they make the major decisions about the direction development takes. This is typical of open source development. If development diverges to far from what the commumity's desires then often there will be a fork and a different version will be created.

Cheers

Ian
www.customtubeconsoles.com
https://mark3vtm.blogspot.co.uk/
www.eztubemixer.blogspot.co.uk


'The only people not making mistakes are the people doing nothing'

mjrippe

Re: Your favorite schematic software
« Reply #27 on: December 21, 2020, 02:48:09 PM »
Reading this with interest.  I am going to have to learn software soon for a job.  Right now I use hardware.

ruffrecords

Re: Your favorite schematic software
« Reply #28 on: December 21, 2020, 03:59:39 PM »
Reading this with interest.  I am going to have to learn software soon for a job.  Right now I use hardware.

I'm with you bro'

Cheers

ian
www.customtubeconsoles.com
https://mark3vtm.blogspot.co.uk/
www.eztubemixer.blogspot.co.uk


'The only people not making mistakes are the people doing nothing'

CurtZHP

Re: Your favorite schematic software
« Reply #29 on: December 23, 2020, 04:16:39 PM »
Observations so far....

At this point, ExpressPCB is still my favorite.  Probably just because I'm used to it.

Tried a program called simply "Circuit Diagram."  Awful.  Probably won't even mention it.
Next tried Kicad.  I actually like this one.  So far, it's my favorite of the new ones I've tried.
Next up was DesignSpark PCB.  Felt a lot like Kicad, and was just as easy to figure out.  Actually managed to complete a PCB layout to go with the schematic.  In Kicad, I got about halfway into a PCB and got a little confused.  Might have to RTFM.  Don't like having to "join" DesignSpark.

Took a stab at Eagle today.  Yikes!  This thing was complicated!  Took a bit to figure out some very basic tasks, but once I got the hang of it, I finished a schematic.  I think the PCB side of it is a bit too complex for most DIY'ers.  And it looks like the free version limits the size of the board you can make, among other things.  Got about halfway across mine before it went all "buy an upgrade!"

Overall, lots of viable options.  Most are capable of way more than I would ever need.  The biggest irritations were the ones that make you register an account with the company.  Just what I need, more email!

Electrons don't read schematics.


Dan Kennedy

Re: Your favorite schematic software
« Reply #30 on: December 23, 2020, 07:05:31 PM »
I use Altium, I know, not an option really, as expensive and resource intense as it is. If I could I would use Protel 3.6, which is it's grandfather, and what I started on, and does everything I need.

Unfortunately, I have 25 years worth of product I need to support, a fair amount of which is still in production, so I've had to keep upgrading as the complexity, size and cost has gone up.

Well, actually I started on tape and mylar, but them's was the good old days...

Library generation and maintenance is a big thing, I've got tons of hours in mine, but I find footprint generation pretty easy by now. Biggest headache is mm vs in usually.

Ok, rant off.

Michael Tibes

Re: Your favorite schematic software
« Reply #31 on: December 24, 2020, 01:44:02 AM »
The biggest irritations were the ones that make you register an account with the company.  Just what I need, more email!

I'm registered with DesignSpark PCB and the amount of emails is ok for me, some are even interesting ;-)

Michael

abbey road d enfer

Re: Your favorite schematic software
« Reply #32 on: December 24, 2020, 04:54:31 AM »
I'm registered with DesignSpark PCB and the amount of emails is ok for me, some are even interesting ;-)

Michael
I'm registered to Design Spark Mechanical; I can't say I'm inundated with mails, I may have received two in two months.
I believe these people know that over-communicating is counterproductive with our type.
Who's right or wrong is irrelevant. What matters is what's right or wrong.
Star ground is for electricians.

Martin Griffith

Re: Your favorite schematic software
« Reply #33 on: December 24, 2020, 02:09:16 PM »
I'm still using Altium from 2006 era,the reason I dont change is because of all the additions I've added to its component lbraries over the years

boji

Re: Your favorite schematic software
« Reply #34 on: December 25, 2020, 09:03:49 PM »
Quote
Library generation and maintenance is a big thing,
Indeed, some outfits hire full-time cad librarians.

CurtZHP

Re: Your favorite schematic software
« Reply #35 on: January 04, 2021, 07:14:22 AM »
I'm registered with DesignSpark PCB and the amount of emails is ok for me, some are even interesting ;-)

Michael


That's good to know.
Whilst Christmas shopping this year, I made the mistake of ordering ONE thing from Kohl's website.  Now I'm apparently their new best friend (because I'm too lazy to hit the 'unsubscribe' button.)



Electrons don't read schematics.

CurtZHP

Re: Your favorite schematic software
« Reply #36 on: January 04, 2021, 07:15:53 AM »
For those of you participating in this thread, a question....

Aside from the obvious features of being able to draw schematics and design PCB's, what are your other favorite features of the programs you've mentioned?

Electrons don't read schematics.

abbey road d enfer

Re: Your favorite schematic software
« Reply #37 on: January 04, 2021, 08:18:48 AM »
For those of you participating in this thread, a question....

Aside from the obvious features of being able to draw schematics and design PCB's, what are your other favorite features of the programs you've mentioned?
Well, you have to check how the CAM processing works. Producing the required Gerber and Excellon files can be a PITN with some softwares. My old version of Eagle (v 5.00!) requires some attention but otherwise gives excellent results.
Who's right or wrong is irrelevant. What matters is what's right or wrong.
Star ground is for electricians.

mrclunk

Re: Your favorite schematic software
« Reply #38 on: January 04, 2021, 09:13:57 AM »
Aside from the obvious features of being able to draw schematics and design PCB's, what are your other favorite features of the programs you've mentioned?

I use EasyEDA, i like that it's cloud based as i can jump into a layout anywhere.  I only make very simple audio PCB's.
Find the 3D rendering really helpful to get layouts tidier. I'll often spot a problem in 3D that i didn't notice before e.g unnecessary trace widths or parts that might be fiddly to mount.

Newmarket

Re: Your favorite schematic software
« Reply #39 on: January 04, 2021, 05:49:20 PM »
Well, you have to check how the CAM processing works. Producing the required Gerber and Excellon files can be a PITN with some softwares. My old version of Eagle (v 5.00!) requires some attention but otherwise gives excellent results.

It's also useful if it can output ODB++ files - gives more fabrication options and a single file as opposed to the separate 'artwork' layers of Gerber format. And if using Gerber I assume use of extended Gerber
RS-274X format with embedded apertures.


 

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