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Newbie guide to "Eagle"?

Discussion in 'Electronic Design' started by [email protected], Dec 12, 2006.

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  1. Guest

    Are there any newbie guides to Eagle ( which
    exlains things step by step, not assuming that the reader has any prior
    knowledge of similar programs, nor goes into such detail that you need
    to set aside a lot of time to get started?
    I just want to make a few simple single-sided PCBs.
  2. rickman

    rickman Guest

    I have used Eagle before and I found it to be very clumsy to learn.
    The interface is very counter-intuative. I find that since I only do
    PCB layout once in a while, it was always hard to pick back up when I
    wanted to do a new PCB.

    On the other hand, FreePCB is much more obvious and easier to learn.
    You can find it at and there is a Yahoo group for it.
    I find it does a good job if your board is not overly complex.
  3. On 12 Dec 2006 07:00:41 -0800,
    That's because its user interface predates anything resembling modern
    GUI standards, but once you get the knack of it it allows you to
    work very quickly.

  4. rickman

    rickman Guest

    That was my point. Every time I did a board I would have to relearn
    the "knack" of it since I had already fogotten all the oddities of how
    you get it to do useful things. In my opinion it is badly in need of a
    makeover. I know that you can learn to love any tool, but I think a
    good user interface is worth its weight in gold. I have spent too much
    of my life searching through menus and icons looking for the right item
    or dialog box.
  5. JeffM

    JeffM Guest

    A **BIG** caveat about EAGLE from Markus Zingg:*-*-*-projects-could-no-longer-be-opened
    You might want to try KiCAD.
    FreePCB has already been mentioned.

    EAGLE (Easily Applicable Graphical Layout Editor),
    properly written, is all caps.

    As is often said, EAGLE's user interface is counter-intuitive.

    A Getting Started tutorial from Kevin Bolding,
    Instructor, Seattle Pacific University

    Overview of EAGLE -- University of California, Santa Barbara

    EAGLE FAQ by Ed Robledo asked questions.pdf

    Some interesting stuff here:

    Cadsoft's document:"+eagle+tutorial"+"+schematic+layout+autorouter"

    David P. Harris used to have a page
    but it appears to be 404.

    The best place for answers from EAGLE users:

    Answers from the CadSoft company guys:

    There is also a Yahoo group for EAGLE:
  6. Joerg

    Joerg Guest

    Don't know, I use it in similar ways. Only on occasion because much of
    my consulting work is finding noise or reliability issues and remedies
    where you don't need a CAD system. It works for me. Although I wish
    they'd offer a simple "non-icon" GUI just like in the DOS days. Even
    better would be a somewhat backwards compatible DOS edition but that's
    not going to happen since the old DOS version isn't even available
    anymore :-(
  7. boB

    boB Guest

    I used to use PADS many years ago, then used Eagle for a few years,
    and am now back to PADS again... EAGLE was OK for those few years,
    but now that I've gone back to PADS again, I believe that the
    developers at Eagle should look at what their competition does.

    Eagle could be MUCH better if they'd do some engineering on it.
    Having said that, there ARE a couple (few??) things that even Eagle
    does better than PADS, I think. Like, the pan and zoom methods.

    Eagles BOM capability sucks big time !

  8. Joerg

    Joerg Guest

    It does but you can write ULPs for that or take an existing one and
    modify it. The lack of additional part fields is, however, a huge minus
  9. Not really, but the manual is very good, its paper.

    You can find lots of answers on thecadsoft news server.

  10. boB

    boB Guest

    I totally agree. If Eagle had the capability to have more fields,
    and be able to change and print those individual fields out with the
    existing style of Eagle BOM output, it would be fine.

    Cad-Soft (and Pads) should look at their competition's products
    closely, and use both of the products to see why one is better than
    the other in various ways.

    I think that CadSoft, being a German company, may keep them from
    looking at things the way us westerners do though, so looking at the
    competition ~may~ not help.

  11. Joerg

    Joerg Guest

    I have mentioned that numerous times in the Eagle forums. Guess what, it
    worked, they hinted that it may be done in the next release. They didn't
    say how many part fields and I am hoping for an additional two at the
    minimum. If we all are extra good maybe they'll bump it up to a total of
    eight. That is what OrCad always had. I really need the client P/N and
    budgetary pricing in there.

    Yep, then they might also some day understand why a hierarchical sheet
    structure is important. That's the other thing I've had to wave good-bye
    when switching from OrCad to Eagle. So far Cadsoft doesn't seem to
    understand, guess that none of their engineers has ever worked in
    medical or defense, else they'd know.

    OTOH which other company operates such great newsgroup forums? There,
    several Cadsoft employees are participating on a daily basis. That, to
    me, was a big factor in deciding.
  12. Joerg ...

    I've spent hundreds of hours writing .txt files to specify my entire
    stockroom of several thousand parts so that CIrcuitmaker and Traxmaker talk
    to each other flawlessly. Before I go jumping a sinking ship, is there a
    way to write a conversion file from a .txt file in a specific format to an
    Eagle part file in Eaglespeak? I don't mind writing the code unless Eagle
    has their part file in some proprietary format that they aren't revealing.

  13. Joerg

    Joerg Guest

    AFAIK Cadsoft isn't very secretive about formats. Most others are and
    that's why it is hard to transfer things like whole schematics. In Eagle
    the libraries are usually split up into dozens of files. Each contains
    parts of a certain breed. But you can also generate your own libraries
    which is what every serious user does anyhow.

    This would be a perfect question to ask in the forum. You do not have to
    be a customer for that. Also, you can give things a try because they
    offer a small version for free to kick the tires. Eagle has two powerful
    tools, scripts and user language programs (ULP). I don't know whether a
    user already wrote one for this job but if so it's customary to share
    that. Such ULPs look like this example:

    If packages can be copied around I don't see why other items of library
    parts couldn't.

    OTOH if your current CAD setup works for you why jump ship?
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