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freeware schematic design cad

Discussion in 'CAD' started by fernando, Feb 18, 2006.

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  1. fernando

    fernando Guest

    I'm searching a freeware or a low cost software,
    running under Win XP, for design electronic schematic analog or digital.
    (I liked ORCAD SDT but now is too expensive)
    Anyone can help me ?
  2. Boris Mohar

    Boris Mohar Guest



    Boris Mohar

    Got Knock? - see:
    Viatrack Printed Circuit Designs (among other things)

    void _-void-_ in the obvious place
  3. Mark Walter

    Mark Walter Guest

    Kicad is a pretty good application, as is Eagle

    M Walter
  4. Ian Bell

    Ian Bell Guest

    Try Kicad at:

  5. JeffM

    JeffM Guest

    Kicad is a pretty good application, as is Eagle
    EAGLE is not "free". There is a useable **demo**.*-layers+80mm-*-*+160mm-*-*+eagle+$50
    gEDA has been ported to Windoze*+runs-on-*-OSX+author:Ales-Hvezda
    but the effort put into non-Unix porting is lagging behind.
    The recommendations for KiCAD I am seeing
    seem most apt for someone looking for a freebie.
  6. Incorrect. There is a free version of the program that puts limits on
    the PCB area and number of layers. It is not a demo. If your project
    fits within the parameters then it is fully functional with no

    If you are making a PCB more complex than what the free version of Eagle
    can handle then there are a few different versions that cost
    increasingly more. Unlike other programs, you only ever pay for the
    difference in price for upgrades. In other words, if you paid $100 for
    your current version and you wanted to upgrade to the $200 version then
    you have to pay $100 more to get that upgrade. I find this to be a fair
    practise and allows you to pay for what you need.

    Is this scheme perfect? Perhaps not, but its pretty fair.

    Discloser: I have no relationship to CadSoft (the makers of Eagle)
    whatsoever other than being a relatively happy customer for 5+ years.

  7. Ian Bell

    Ian Bell Guest

    Incorrect, the free version is limited for use only for non-commercial

  8. JeffM

    JeffM Guest

    EAGLE is not "free". There is a useable **demo**.
    If you want to remain ignorant about pricing and licencing, do so,
    but stop spreading nonsense.
    1) There is no $100 version.
    2) Your post gives LESS information
    than is contained in the 1st link in my post.*-layers+80mm-*-*+160mm-*-*+eagle+$50
    Perhaps you should follow links BEFORE commenting.
    As Ian also notes, there is no legit free commercial use of the demo.
    If 2 copper layers and 100mm x 80mm does suit your needs,
    you can LICENCE the demo for a pittance.
  9. Sambo

    Sambo Guest

    Well, disaster out of the box, hehe.
    I create f:/KICAD unzip there and of course end up with another subdir /KICAD/kicad.
    So move all one up run the windows prog. hmm create new project? open file dialog comes up, hmmm CANCEL.
    Double click noname.sch.
    Can't find library\power.lib Can't find library\device.lib
    If it said f:\kicad\library\power.lib I may have clued in right away.
    Can't find noname.sch (new file?) SURE IS.
    I don't see those files in the directory ( or already forgot what I was looking for, after closing those boxes.)

    OK let's read some instructions (install.txt).

    ** Windows Install: **
    Goto C:\ or D:\ (or other prefered directory).
    Examples are for an install on C:\.
    You must have created c:\kicad.
    In kicad\library, unzip
    Windows executables are in c:\kicad\winexe.
    The main program is kicad.exe and from it you can run other programs
    (schematic, pcb, utilities: cvpcb, gerbview and other) )
    I suggest you create a shortcut to c:\kicad\winexe\kicad.exe
    Oh I see,.............. 7 hours later
    $%O(%$^&&*&*% Grrrr nothing but PDF files non essential to the program.
    I must have created c:\kicad? although in the right place after indirectly saying unzip
    in root still missleading , maybe I read it backwards. So on a preferred drive and not directory.

    OK, first part I am looking for is not there 74ls164.
    So I start the part editor select LS165 for editing to have some idea what it is
    supposed too look like. Ok ready to make the ls164 click new part and get box,
    Delete old part? huh? is it supposed to be "disregard changes"? and what changes.
    OK, .... Enter the part details, draw the box .. damn , too small ,how do I modify
    it or move the part number, million selects boxes later I discover that the texts can
    be moved in properties , but can't modify or move the box.
    Hmm "Eraser" woohooo, Box gone but not the part number GRRRRR X X X
    Gray matter fried must take unusual 3pm nap.


    Let's hope the part editor is the least developed.
  10. frank

    frank Guest

    Give Tinycad ( a try!
    Simple and user friendly interface, good symbol editor,
    SPICE/PADS/PROTEL netlist formatter... What do you need ?

    have a nice day,
  11. Mr. Wizard

    Mr. Wizard Guest

    I've taken a look at Kicad, and although it is good, it still has a
    ways to go if you want to do serious PCB layout. I've been using
    Cadsoft's EAGLE and it does it pretty decent job for layout. I will
    admit, it is not feature rich like the top flight layout packages:
    Ordad, PADS etc. But it certainly is lot cheaper. If your a hobbist,
    whose boards are less than 100mm x 80mm and only two layers you can
    use their demo version. If you are a business, then you have to buy
    their software, which is more than fair in my opinion.

    Also, some of the board houses have free PCB layout software which will
    do a good job too. But then your locked into their services.
  12. Sambo

    Sambo Guest

    I have tried Eagle while back but if I remember correctly it is nothing
    but a paint program with predefined shapes ( oh and only board not schematic?)
    Then there was some program advertised by some English chap ( which was supposedly
    making internet connections to Germany.) This program was terrible as to selecting
    parts or the emphasis was too much on the part/manufacturer/package or both.
    So if you typed in 7400 you got 0 choices unless you found it manually in the entire
    list eg. Signetics...74LS00. For hobby use, you have to be able to change the footprint
    when you are laying out the board and not be locked to 1 depending on what manufacturer
    you picked during schematic. I have tried other, the big ones (IVEX .... and others
    advertised in RE up to almost 10 years ago) nothing was as useful as DOSes PADSDEMO or
    padspcb. Although, despite the fact that it allowed multiple packages per part, many
    times you just need to position a pin( of a transistor or resistor or delete an NC pin
    from an IC) an the fly, and it had a flaw that even after deleting a part from the design,
    the definition remained, so you couldn't modify the library and insert the modified part,
    one would have to start from scratch.

    There was something that I wished the program helped with in some way when you are making
    double sided board but have to switch to the bottom layer ( to solder a socket ) and not
    waste too much space at he same time.
    I guess I should dig up mine, which got halted on account of the font creator and then really
    floored when I installed MS C++ 6. Too bad Kicad depends on so many other things
    and being cross platform it will always be retarded in some way. Good enough ( even beauty )
    for people used to Linux GUI.

  13. JeffM

    JeffM Guest

    I've been using Cadsoft's EAGLE
    You are definately NOT thinking of Cadsoft's product
    (perhaps the name fooled you into thinking it is layout-only).

    While the interface takes some getting used to
    by folks who are used to a M$ Windoze user interface[1],
    the Easily Applicable Graphical Layout Editor
    has auto-router (Yuck, IMO), schematic capture, and layout.

    BTW, Mr. Wizard is soft-pedaling EAGLE;
    with the caveat about the odd interface, it is a VERY capable ECAD
    --and their demo is fully functional (with size/layers limitations
    [1] Most folks get past that rather quickly.
  14. Sambo

    Sambo Guest

    Maybe that I am thinking of something else but pretty sure I tried Cadsofts EAGLE.
    Grrr, you got my hopes up, I guess I'll have to check it out again.
    Hmm.. 3x4 inches very popular limitation, sufficient for SMDs which in turn
    warrant use of circuit board house, hmmm.

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