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New query for low cost PCB CAD that *works*

Discussion in 'CAD' started by Robert Baer, Nov 26, 2005.

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  1. Robert Baer

    Robert Baer Guest

    Do not mention Eagle, i wasted a lot of time on POTS to download the
    demo version, and again, it was totally useless.
    And i was unable to figure out what files wer needed to make the DOS
    Orcad even run - so that is out.
    PCB123 is out, because the manual is worse than obscene - unreadable
    (Acrobat sez it is corrupted and cannot fix it).
    So what is left?
  2. Roy Battell

    Roy Battell Guest

    Vutrax is available free up to 256 pins, with various
    capacity options thereafter (pricing on website).
    You can download the whole thing as manageable sized downloads
    totalling about 10MB, including a detailed hands-on tutorial
    viewed in an HTML browser and a range of libraries and
    interface modules from (Main UK site) (Central Europe Mirror)

    The basic package includes Schematic Capture, Technical Drawing,
    Auto-placement, Auto-routers, Groundplanes, Powerplanes,
    Design Checking, EMC, multitudinous outputs.
    Available for Windows 95 through XP (x64 by arrangement) and Linux.
  3. Robert Baer

    Robert Baer Guest

    Thanks, will give it a try.
  4. Uwe Bonnes

    Uwe Bonnes Guest

    Have a look at Cadsoft Eagle
  5. I heard Eagle is pretty good.
  6. PH

    PH Guest

    Since you don't like Eagle and you want something low cost, you might
    want to try out WinQCad from The 499 pin version is
    free. I use the schematic editor frequently, and I've found it to be
    easy to use and stable. I have an old version of Protel that I prefer
    for pcb layout, so I can't speak for the pcb layout part of it.
  7. Ian Bell

    Ian Bell Guest

    Try Kicad. Find it here:

  8. Joerg

    Joerg Guest

    Hello Robert,

    C'mon, what irked you there? I switched from OrCad to Eagle and it took
    very little time to figure it out. The only thing that I find a bit
    clumsy versus OrCad is the library editor. That has a long learning
    curve and doesn't offer a non-graphical parts generator.

    Other than that I was drawing the first schematic within an hour after
    download. Another few days of kicking tires won me over and I bought a

    Cadsoft is one of the very few companies who set up usenet type forums
    for support and exchange between users. You can even pick the language.
    Makes me wonder how many more parts TI or National would sell if they
    did that.

    Regards, Joerg
  9. Robert Baer

    Robert Baer Guest

    Excuse me, did i not say that Eagle does not work (twice burned that
  10. Robert Baer

    Robert Baer Guest

    I do understand that a number of people are lucky enough to have it
    work - but both times i tried it, i could not add parts or delete parts.
    I wasted a lot of time on each occasion downloading the progra, etc
    and trying to do anything with it (besides waste time), and got nowhere.
    That is why i excluded Eagle in my request.
  11. Robert Baer

    Robert Baer Guest

    Thanks, will check it out.
  12. Robert Baer

    Robert Baer Guest

  13. Robert Baer

    Robert Baer Guest

    Like i said before, if one cannot add or delete a part, what use is it?
    If it worked / works for you, great.
    It was worse than worthless for me.
  14. Uwe Bonnes

    Uwe Bonnes Guest

    So tell us exactly what you do and perhaps we can help you.

    Remember that the free version chokes to put anything outside the 100x80 mm
    allowed area.

  15. Chuck Harris

    Chuck Harris Guest


    Computers are remarkably consistent in what they do, geographically. If it
    doesn't work for you, it is likely that you are using some strange combination
    of software and hardware. What operating system are you using, and about how
    old is your computer?

  16. DJ Delorie

    DJ Delorie Guest

    If you're a little adventerous, there's always gEDA - which is
    absolutely free and has no design limits, although running it on a
    windows machine might be tricky (it's designed for linux/unix).

    I know of at least one person who used gEDA's PCB layout software to
    do a 24 layer board, and it supports up to 32x32 inches at 0.01 mil
  17. JeffM

    JeffM Guest

    If you're a little adventerous, there's always gEDA
    Are you or Stuart in touch with Ales?
    Any idea how the latest Windows port is coming?
  18. DJ Delorie

    DJ Delorie Guest

    Yeah, we're all on the mailing lists. I work primarily on the PCB
    layout program, so if you're asking about the other tools you'll have
    to check the archives or ask on the mailing list.
  19. Joerg

    Joerg Guest

    Hello Robert,

    I have no problem adding and deleting parts in Eagle.

    Regards, Joerg
  20. Robert Baer

    Robert Baer Guest

    Lemme see now; i run different OSes, on different drives, and prefer
    to use Win2000, and i have a P5-2200 (GenuineIntel x86 Family 15 Model 2
    Stepping 7); 1Gbte RAM.
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