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Looking for some mid-range Schematic/PCB software

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jrz126

Active Member
I need to get some pcb software to use for work. The boards we make are pretty simple, single layer with a handful of through-hole resistors and transistors. We're planning on getting into more complicated circuits but we wont need anthing like a 14-layer board with 600 pin BGAs.

I tried eagle but i dont like the user interface. I downloaded the Orcad demo and attempted to use that but ran into some problems. I'm sure its pretty expensive too.

So I was hoping you guys know of any other software out there that I could try?
 

tunedwolf

Well-Known Member
Ultimate Technology B.V. used to produce Ulticap schematic capture and Ultiboard pcb layout with a couple of auto routers...
They were bought over by Electronics Workbench/ National Instruments.
Still produces a good product in my opinion. They have a trial version here:
NI Ultiboard ? Printed Circuit Board Layout and Routing - Products and Services - National Instruments

Like most pcb/ schematic capture products, the learning curve is initially steep, especially if you want the best out of the package. There is no perfect solution or package either, it's a matter of finding something you are comfortable with and can live with the various little bugs etc.
I tried all sorts of packages years ago and it finally came down to Orcad or Ultiboard as far as features and ease of use went. I opted for Ultimate on cost and regularity of library upgrades etc. I haven't tried anything else since then as I am happy with the package and features I have. I think there was a package called EdWin or something like that that was completely free for a while, maybe try that too if you can find a copy on the net?

rgds
 
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Space Varmint

New Member
I need to get some pcb software to use for work. The boards we make are pretty simple, single layer with a handful of through-hole resistors and transistors. We're planning on getting into more complicated circuits but we wont need anthing like a 14-layer board with 600 pin BGAs.

I tried eagle but i dont like the user interface. I downloaded the Orcad demo and attempted to use that but ran into some problems. I'm sure its pretty expensive too.

So I was hoping you guys know of any other software out there that I could try?
Use this one: CadSoft Online: EAGLE Layout Editor

It's great and it's free if you keep your board small enough and only double sided. It makes Gerber files to include latest standards like Gerber RS274X

It's a little confusing at first so I will share a help file I made with you. Check attachments. I will also share my library. You will like the resistors and capacitors better.

Change the file extention of MRGONE.TXT to MRGONE.lbr and place into your "library" sub-directory.

edit*

I see you tried it. I used to use Orcad but I'm strictly Eagle these days. Very nice! It has a polygon selection tool that can't be beat. Use my help file and it will jump you right into it.
 

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jrz126

Active Member
Ultimate Technology B.V. used to produce Ulticap schematic capture and Ultiboard pcb layout with a couple of auto routers...
They were bought over by Electronics Workbench/ National Instruments.
Still produces a good product in my opinion. They have a trial version here:
NI Ultiboard ? Printed Circuit Board Layout and Routing - Products and Services - National Instruments

Like most pcb/ schematic capture products, the learning curve is initially steep, especially if you want the best out of the package. There is no perfect solution or package either, it's a matter of finding something you are comfortable with and can live with the various little bugs etc.
I tried all sorts of packages years ago and it finally came down to Orcad or Ultiboard as far as features and ease of use went. I opted for Ultimate on cost and regularity of library upgrades etc. I haven't tried anything else since then as I am happy with the package and features I have. I think there was a package called EdWin or something like that that was completely free for a while, maybe try that too if you can find a copy on the net?

rgds

Do you happen to know the cost for orcad and Ultiboard?
I'm gonna give the Ultiboard a try. Thanks.
 

Space Varmint

New Member
Do you happen to know the cost for orcad and Ultiboard?
I'm gonna give the Ultiboard a try. Thanks.
I think your making a mistake. Eagle is awesome and really, once you get the hang of it, it is quite user friendly. My silk screens look way better then people's who have been using Orcad 3 times as long as I have been laying out my own boards. It's free too! Then if you need to go with multi-layer boards or over what is it? 4 and half inch by 5 or 6 inch? You already now how to use it.

It's your choice, but I bet if you learned another program and Eagle at the same time, you would drop the other. Eagle is powerful and easy. You can customize everything. Then check your Gerbers in a program like Viewmate. The board houses have no problem with my files.
 
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