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To Orcad or not to Orcad??

Discussion in 'CAD' started by AB, Sep 5, 2003.

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  1. AB

    AB Guest

    Good day all,

    Well, I've been around awhile now and have tried Orcad Capture (ver 9
    demo), CircuitMaker, SuperSpice and LTSpice.

    I had initially given up on Orcad as being to complex, unnecessarily
    detailed and being MUCH TOO EXPENSIVE for small time operators like

    When I started out, I just wanted something to draw and save simple
    schematics!!!! Until I tried SPICE that is!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Now, Spice is most important…!! Gotta have Spice (after trying it).

    After trying all, Orcad has a lot of advantages, I'm doing the self
    contained tutorial for the third time. I've seen the light.

    I'm wondering if older versions of Orcad are affordable and how much
    difference there is between the older versions and the latest
    megabucks version.

    I've seen Orcad 9 on ebay for $66, but always from a vendor in a
    country where copyright laws aren't closely enforced:>: I won't even
    give those people my email address!

    However, if someone had ver 8 because they upgraded to ver 9, I'm
    wondering if I could afford to buy it??? Also, does anyone know if
    Cadence will transfer the software license from the old owner to me???

    So, is Orcad worth trying again and does buying an older version make
    it a cheaper option (remembering that it has to include Spice).

    Hackers, password crackers and persons who DO NOT respect intellectual
    property rights should not reply.


  2. qrk

    qrk Guest

    If money is an issue, then LTSpice is an excellent choice. It's free,
    works, and the program is updated often. If you find a bug, it's
    usually fixed within a day. Have a good suggestion, you might see it
    incorporated within a month or less. Unlike PSpice where you have to
    dish out lots of money and wait a year. LTSpice has a very good spice
    engine and it's compatible with PSpice syntax. I have run comparison
    tests between PSpice 9.2 and LTSpice on moderately complex circuits.
    The results of the simulations normally matched pretty good.

    If you use LTSpice, download the PSpice reference manual. It's very

    If you have to do PCB's, then you might be limited by LTSpice's
    schematic capture being able to spit out a properly formatted netlist.

  3. Chuck Harris

    Chuck Harris Guest

    Usually when you upgrade from one version to the next, you
    pay a price that is much less than the original buy-in price.

    But you don't get a license that allows you to transfer the old
    version. If you sell the old version, you must stop using the
    new one.

    If you want to spice, go out and get the best spice...LTSpice.
    It is free, and works better than any of the educational/demo

  4. AB

    AB Guest

    Thanks to Chuck and QRK.

    I never thought Spice would be so important, but I've been bitten.

    As expensive and complex as Orcad is, it does NOT include a model for
    a 1N4148 or a 1N914. I was not impressed by this, especially since
    they do include models for thousands of chips that I never heard of!

    I am a hobbyist, but have a degree in electronics, but don't work due
    to serious arthritis. If I was working tho, I would have Spice!

    I do not need PCB layout software, although tomorrow, who is to know
    what I will need:>:


  5. Jim Thompson

    Jim Thompson Guest


    Hardly be me the one to defend OrCAD... I think Capture is the biggest
    pile of horse excrement ever devised by man... but "OrCAD" includes
    PSpice... and I guarantee you that PSpice has models for 1N4148 and
    1N914. You are just clueless when it comes to "Search" ;-)

    ...Jim Thompson
  6. Chaos Master

    Chaos Master Guest

    AB screamed:
    Huh? Even PSpice Student includes models for 1N4148 and 1N914. Look at
    the EVAL library. Do you, by 'chips', mean digital components?
    I have the "catalog" of models that come with the full version of
    PSpice. 2MB .PDF file. If you want it, please drop an e-mail to
  7. Chaos Master

    Chaos Master Guest

    Jim Thompson screamed:
    I don't like Capture too. Too buggy and clumsy. In my computer it
    crashes a lot.
    What I would love is to use Schematics' interface with LTSpice's engine.
  8. Jim Thompson

    Jim Thompson Guest

    That may come to pass. You've seen Charlie Edmondson's "EOL"
    declaration for "Schematics". I'll live to see OrCAD rot in hell.

    ...Jim Thompson
  9. You can actually load in a SS netlist into LTSpice, run it in LTSpice,
    then load in the output file into SS if LT has been set to ASCII mode.
    Then you can x-probe as usual. Although ss runs xspice in command mode,
    and can actually drive any spice engine transparently if it follows the
    standard spice Unix command line syntax, the command line interface to
    lt spice is not documented/known.

    Kevin Aylward
    SuperSpice, a very affordable Mixed-Mode
    Windows Simulator with Schematic Capture,
    Waveform Display, FFT's and Filter Design.
  10. For inexpensive Pspice go to and click
    "Software -> Upgrade your Pspice Software" and scroll down to "MicroSim
    version 8."
    Lots of other links here as well.

  11. AB

    AB Guest

    but "OrCAD" includes
    Yes indeed, I am probably clueless Jim!! But.....

    I still can't find the 1N914 and the 1N4148. I'm not sure what to say
    about the lack of 1N914 and 1N4148 models in Orcad v 9.2. There are
    hundreds and hundreds of obscure IC's, stuff I've never heard of
    before. It appears to be complete with regard to transistors, although
    the 2N3055 power transistor isn't there.

    Maybe I'm not looking in the right place, I'll reread the tutorial
    about part search again.

    But, here's what I'm doing! Let's say I need a 1N4148 diode.

    I open up a new design, which (I think that means I'm starting with a
    clean slate).


    The project manager for design1 comes up and a blank schematic labeled
    "schematic1: page 1" appears.


    The place part window comes up.

    There are about 30 libraries in the libraries part of the window, they
    are selected already so I think that means I can access any parts in
    any of those libraries. The DISCRETE library is definitely high
    lighted, my 1N4148 is probably in there???

    I type '1N4148' into the open window and click OK. Nothing happens.

    I click on the 'part search' button.

    The part search window comes up with 1N4148 already entered into the
    part search window. There are no libraries shown in the Part Search
    libraries box, but the path to Orcads Library files is properly shown.

    I click on Browse (just in case I need to select a specific library
    for Orcad to search). A bunch of libraries in Orcads own Library
    folder are shown. However, I can't select any of the libraries by
    left/right clicking or shift click or control click. I close the
    browse window and the part search window is now shown again.

    The libraries part of the part search window remains empty. I am
    assuming that I can't add any libraries because they are already
    available as shown in the place part window.

    I click 'begin search'. Orcad says 'No parts found to match the search
    string: 1N4148'.

    I close the place part window, no part is found.

    Now, it gets even better though.

    I can locate and place the 2n2222, the mpsa05, mpf102, 74HC14, 74s00,
    4049 and other common parts! I don't even have to search for these! I
    just type them into the place part window and they show up right away.
    There is no need for me to do a part search at all with these common

    So, am I doing something wrong, or is Orcad missing the 1N4148?? I
    can't find the 1N914 either.

    Thanks all,

    AB (clueless in Maine)
  12. Jim Thompson

    Jim Thompson Guest

    Crippled student version or licensed?

    Both diode.lib and ediode.lib contain the model D1N4148

    diode.lib contains the model for D1N914

    pwrbjt.lib contains the model for Q2N3055

    Read the tutorial, particularly how to configure libraries... unless
    you define a particular library in the setups, the program will not
    know where a part is.

    Better still, re-install, choose "Custom", install Schematics and see
    how a real schematic entry program works.

    (I don't use Capture, refuse to use Capture, and will bail from PSpice
    when they cease support of Schematics. PSpice alternatives were under
    consideration before Charlie Edmondson's Schematics EOL announcement.)

    ...Jim Thompson
  13. Chaos Master

    Chaos Master Guest

    AB screamed:
    You're using Capture, aren't you? Use Schematics.
    Student edition or full version? If student version, load the library
    "EVAL.OLB"(in Capture) or "EVAL.SLB"(in Schematics) that has those
    symbols. If full version, try selecting all libraries(to be more
    precise, select diode) and then type D1N4148. Notice that you need to
    use D1N4148, D1N4004, D1N914 etc... Same for transistors, but you have
    to select bipolar, powerbjt, etc... And use the Q letter in the
    component name (e.g. Q2N3904 or Q2N2222).

    Please correct me if something is wrong. I hate Capture - and now I am
    using LTSpice.
  14. AB

    AB Guest

    Thanks Jim!

    It is called Orcad ver 9.2 Lite. It is fully functional in all
    respects, except that you cannot save a design or a schematic that
    contains more than 60 components. You can model it in Spice, you can
    draw and use a big schematic...but u cannot save it to disk.

    I had just gone through the CircuitMaker Student version fiasco and I
    called Cadence to insure that this was the only restriction.

    OK, I searched both hard drives, there are no such files on either

    How interesting:>:

    I guess I can add them, but I'm somewhat surprised they wouldn't
    include common parts such as these!

    Yes, I did do the quick install when I first installed it. I'll wipe
    it and do a reinstall.
    SuperSpice and LTSpice begin to look better.

    I thank you and the group very much.

    Keep smilin'

  15. Jim Thompson

    Jim Thompson Guest

    What else can you do ?:)

    Contact me via E-mail with which parts you need and I'll see what I
    can provide.

    ...Jim Thompson
  16. AB

    AB Guest

    OK, thanks all.

    I found some more .olb files in a separate folder (PSPICE) that the
    program doesn't list as being there. One of the files was eval.olb. I
    added those files (and the other files in the main folder) and found
    the 1n914 (D1n914).

    However, the D1n4148 wasn't there and the Q2n3055 wasn't either.

    I also uninstalled and reinstalled as suggested, but there is no
    option for a custom install-

    I searched the CD they sent, could not find additional .olb files

    Anyway, this suks really badly.

    In the process of reinstalling, I found out that there are some other
    very severe restrictions. It's alot more restricted than just the 60
    component max one they told me when I asked!

    Both PSpice and Capture are limited too!

    Hey, I gotta say you guys are right! I'm going back to ltspice and/or

    again, thanks to all.
  17. Chaos Master

    Chaos Master Guest

    AB screamed:
    Exactly. OrCAD sucks.
    Exactly. Capture and PSpice are limited. Capture has irritating bugs.
    Wise choice. I was using PSpice student until I found LTSpice. Changed
    to LTSpice - I don't want to use PSpice anymore!
    You're welcome.
  18. And just a reminder about SS. If you place blocks that are attached to
    schematics, you can get 30 blocks on the top level page, with each
    schematic block having 25 components giving a total of 30*25=750 real
    components in the Demo version. There are no other limits other than
    this save/netlist size of each schematic.

    Kevin Aylward
    SuperSpice, a very affordable Mixed-Mode
    Windows Simulator with Schematic Capture,
    Waveform Display, FFT's and Filter Design.
  19. Hi,

    In even a full-blown version, at least in Capture 7.0, many
    generic parts are in PSPICE.OLB and so will hide themselves from
    a simple part search by having 'D' or 'Q' or whatever in front of
    the part number (e.g. Q2N3055). There then may be a good reason
    for not duplicating them in the main libraries.

    Cheers - Joe
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