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Schematic and PCB design...?

Discussion in 'Electronic Basics' started by Bryan, Mar 17, 2005.

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  1. Bryan

    Bryan Guest

    I know I am throwing a lot of questions to the group and will try to cut
    down after this. lol

    What is the best PC program for designing circuits as well as PCBs? A was
    told there is a program that can convert a schematic into a pcb design
    (within proper PCB size) and make it printable. Cost is not really an issue
    but I would like to download a trial version to see if it works.

    Thanks in advance for any help

    BA Sr.
  2. Leon Heller

    Leon Heller Guest

    Have a look at Pulsonix:

    and join the Pulsonix users group:

  3. What do you mean by "the best"? That can mean a lot of things.

    I use Eagle - as do many others. There is a freeware version available
    which is limited to 2 signal layers (top and bottom) and the maximum
    board size is 100 x 80 mm. That is great for hobbyist. I just finished a
    very good quality RIAA-preamp that I designed 100% with Eagle -
    including printing the mask for light sensitive PCB board. Designing was
    easy and the result works - just listened some old Annie Lenox LPs :)
    The final board size was 40x60mm so there is plenty of room to grow :)

    You can find out more here:

    Of course you can buy unlimited versions that don't have board size
    limitations, that can handle multiple layers and schematic sheets and
    can be used for commercial purposes.

    There are also other very good programs available as you can imagine.
    Check out this thread and use Google for more:

    Severi S.
  4. Joerg

    Joerg Guest

    Hello Bryan,

    Also, you could check out Eagle at:

    It does what you want to do and there is a free test version (hobby
    only) that is restricted to a certain PCB size but otherwise functional.
    There are even some board houses that accept the Eagle output file so
    you don't necessarily have to generate Gerber files.

    Regards, Joerg
  5. richard

    richard Guest

    Hello Bryan,

    have a look at the CAD program TARGET3001! ( It has
    all the functions of schematic entry, layout, simulation, gerber
    generator and more. I like the one window user interface and there is a
    trial version.
  6. Guest

  7. Paul Burke

    Paul Burke Guest

  8. Guest

    Sorry - got that seriously wrong! My apologies to Terry Pinnell!
  9. Jim Douglas

    Jim Douglas Guest

    I recently purchased $49.95 PCB Wizard 3. It's the one I liked the most from
    the various products that are out there, the Eagle was way more than what I
    needed. It's not going to do huge projects but I believe is more for the
    home type user?
  10. That's OK, Bill. Too much of the dry white last night?
  11. I think you should reduce your expectations somewhat.

    I don't know of any program that will "convert a schematic into a pcb
    design" automagically. However, there are many PCB layout programs
    that will take the netlist from the schematic, and assist you in
    laying out a PC board to match the schematic - but the process is far
    from automatic.

    Peter Bennett, VE7CEI
    peterbb4 (at)
    new newsgroup users info :
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  12. 10 years ago Electronics Workbench was very popular, especially among
    beginners and hobbyists.

    And EWB version 5 is still used by some because it has a very good
    interface to work with.

    The EWB company changed the program and it became very buggy, so it has
    had a bad reputation for some years.

    They have a complete system from design-simulation to pcb.

    I got a demo CD from them a 3 years ago, but I gave up, it was still
    too buggy.

    We are just waiting for some brave soul who is willing to test the
    current version and tell us if it works. They cannot be buggy forever,
    and maybe they will get their act together one day..
  13. I'm using latest version of Multisim (the schematics-program) on a daily
    basis. I'm however still a novice in the world of electronics so I bet I
    haven't even tried 10% of the features in the programs, but I can say this:

    * The interface has got some annoying (but not unresolvable) quirks,

    i.e. some of the toolbars are moved around when you maximize/restore
    the main window

    * The simulator sometimes abruptly quits without giving a
    understandable error. Example: Connect a 9v-battery directly to a

    led and simulate. The program will stop and say something
    incomprehensible (atleast to me) like "Timestep too small". If you
    add a resistor of an appropriate value and run the test again, it
    works like a charm.

    There are probably more but these two are the only major PITAs I've seen
    so far. If anyone wants me to test something else, feel free to send it
  14. They have a bunch of programs covering the whole process from design to
    board layout, and maybe that could be an alternative to other ways to do
    it. But it is probably more expensive than what it is worth.

    It would be better to find freeware programs which do the same things.

    I just miss the natural way schematics are drawn in EWB, click and drag
    from point to point. Other programs are less intuitive, like you have to
    click on one point, let up and move and then click again, or something.
  15. I second that. Earlier today I tried Eagle out. Free is nice, ofcourse,
    but I missed tons of stuff in that programs. Many menus didn't have
    shortcuts, there were no context menus for the layouts, annoying

    Comparing the interfaces, EWB is miles away and way better than Eagle.
    But ofcourse, its price is miles away too. It's definately not cheap.

    Rikard Bosnjakovic

    Anyone sending unwanted advertising e-mail to my address will be
    charged $250 for network traffic and computing time. By extracting
    address from this message or its header, you agree to these terms.
  16. I think the people who make these programs have never understood the
    principles of modern computer program interfaces. They have learnt to use
    old programs like Autocad, and they see nothing wrong in an interface you
    have to learn for hundreds of hours before you can work naturally in it.
    Maybe that is the reason why EWB5 is the most pirated spice simulator in
    the world. It is usually easy to find in napster type networks and warex sites.
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