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DesignSpark PCB

Discussion in 'Circuit Simulation & PCB Design' started by DirtyLude, Jul 6, 2010.

  1. DirtyLude

    DirtyLude Well-Known Member

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    Another free PCB designer enters the shark pool. Well, it's free, but it looks like it requires activation and you need to create an account with DesignSpark to get it going. Apparently this has been around for a while, but RS is releasing this in direct competition with Eagle.

    I'm making this thread a little early, since I haven't even tried it yet, but I'm thinking others will want to give it a whirl as well. I'll update this thread once I've played with it a while. Post your own reviews.

    DesignSpark PCB | DesignSpark
     
  2. ericgibbs

    ericgibbs Well-Known Member Most Helpful Member

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    hi Mark,
    Downloaded and activated the program, looks OK, will give it a try later, let you know.

    Thanks.

    EDIT:
    Tried the program a number of times today, my first reaction is its disappointing.
    Drawing a simple schematic is a chore.! and twice when I have tried to convert the schematic into a pcb layout it gets locked up and I have to unplug my PC.

    Anyway I will try again tomorrow.
     
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2010
  3. DirtyLude

    DirtyLude Well-Known Member

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    There might be an issue doing multiple activations. I did one activation for my laptop that went through fine and I got an e-mail with the code, but activating the copy on my desktop seems to be a problem. I clicked on the activation link and it says it sent out an e-mail but I haven't gotten anything, yet. Sadly I wish it was the other way around, because I don't use my laptop all that often.
     
  4. dave

    Dave New Member

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  5. 3v0

    3v0 Coop Build Coordinator Forum Supporter

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    The FAQ mentions using it on two machines. I think you have to send them an email asking for a 2nd code rather then using the normal activation method.

    I have loaded it and played a bit. Looks like you can create additional layers of any sort. I added a layer to VSS to the demo.

    Added a resistor to the schematic and I did not see it on the layout. Instead of adding a specific size (wattage) resistor it seems you have to add one with a ohm value too. Not sure if I am going to like that.

    Played with the lib a bit. Search seems easier to use.

    Too early to say much
     
  6. DirtyLude

    DirtyLude Well-Known Member

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    I like playing with things, but unless it does something super fabulous there's no way I'm switching from Eagle, I just thought it would be interesting. I was just at the point where I would send the e-mail.

    Apparently you can import footprints and sch/brd files from Eagle. If that's the case, it makes it more promising.
     
  7. bryan1

    bryan1 Well-Known Member

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    I downloaded it, activated it and tried several times to have a play but winblows 7 just crashed everytime. So deleted it and now I'm downloading Eagle as there is a heap of helpful info on this forum and it is time to learn.

    Cheers Bryan
     
  8. ericgibbs

    ericgibbs Well-Known Member Most Helpful Member

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    hi Bryan,
    I tried DesignSpark, it runs OK, but I think it must have been written by an accountant or a professional programmer, IMHO its not engineer friendly, possibly thats why its free....

    Eric
     
  9. DirtyLude

    DirtyLude Well-Known Member

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    I tried it and it was difficult moving parts even around the screen. The symbols would redraw about 6 times a second when dragging it around. It was extremely cheezy and the symbols were not on any grid so net connections would have to make tiny little jogs to connect to things.
     
  10. edeca

    edeca Active Member

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    I have just seen this too, apologies for being late to the party (at least I searched rather than start a new thread!).

    I think all of these free competitors to Eagle will have one major bonus, they should force Eagle to catch up with the 21st century. I love the CAD interface in Eagle and have no problem with the shortcuts and slight "quirks" that people accuse Eagle of having, but..

    the library interface is archaic and generating your own libraries can be a chore (just little things like copying a footprint from another library). There's no reason it couldn't be internet enabled, with free/subscription repositories of parts that be searched and downloaded. That would even work well in a corporate environment, instead of sharing .lbr files just setup a server and point all your engineers at it.

    I really don't understand the limitations of the free version either, 100x160 is fairly small nowadays. If they doubled that I'd probably never be looking for an alternate product.

    I was seriously tempted the other week to write a quick app to manage Eagle libraries, but will now hold off. Hopefully Eagle 6 will be better.
     

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