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Old 21st Dec 2014, 11:43 pm   #1
Wendymott
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Default CAD PCB Software

Hi Peeps, continuing on the PCB thread....has anyone got or used "EasyPC" software ? At present I have That "Wizard 3"... which in my opinion is only good for schematics. I also use DIPTRACE for pcb designs, but it has serious short comings.....and before I splash the cash on "EasyPC" I wondered if any of our members has experience of it.
I used to use Protel and Tango, both of which were excellent, but both DOS Based, and I could not get them to work satisfactorily on my PC either using Win XP or Win 7. And my PC will not run older versions of windows that have a DOS shell. The other problem was that there are no laser drivers in those packages.
So... who has EasyPC.......and... is the basic component library good enough for general use. I don't want to buy extension packages.
Over to you....
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Old 22nd Dec 2014, 12:08 am   #2
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Default Re: CAD PCB Software

I've tried easypc and didn't like it. I've tried some other free ones and settled on Express PCB ( http://www.expresspcb.com/) . The program comes in two parts - a schematic and a PCB . Both have a reasonable library of components and symbols, though it's easy to either modify library components or make your own . I find the schematic ideal for design ,and it's got a good netlist error checker .It can be pedantic at times, but can highlight a lot of component numbering errors. The PCB program can design multi layer boards( with a silkscreen component layout ) and let you select which layer to print.
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Old 22nd Dec 2014, 12:45 am   #3
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Default Re: CAD PCB Software

Tried to edit my last post and can't see how to do it. I use the Win XP version of Express PCB on both XP and Win7.
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Old 22nd Dec 2014, 9:27 am   #4
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Default Re: CAD PCB Software

I used to use EasyPC extensively, and still have some old designs which I maintain in it. It worked well for me and seemed good value but I upgraded to Altium Designer because that's what my clients were using and the level of the projects required it, really.

I can't say anything about the provided component libraries since I've never used them. Because of the way I work, I create my own libraries cross-referenced to manufacturer and distributor part numbers, so parts like '4.7k resistor' and 'NPN transistor' are no use to me.

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Old 22nd Dec 2014, 11:04 am   #5
David G4EBT
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Default Re: CAD PCB Software

Quote:
Originally Posted by Oldcodger View Post
Tried to edit my last post and can't see how to do it. I use the Win XP version of Express PCB on both XP and Win7.
When you create a post, you only have a limited time - not sure how long, but just a few minutes I think - in which you can edit your post.

Hence, if you spot a typo or have omitted something, you can correct that within a short time frame, after which only moderators can edit the text.
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Old 22nd Dec 2014, 12:33 pm   #6
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Default Re: CAD PCB Software

Wendy
have a look at Kicad:
http://www.kicad-pcb.org/display/KIC...Software+Suite

should do what you are asking for and it's free software

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Old 22nd Dec 2014, 12:45 pm   #7
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Default Re: CAD PCB Software

Although it is no longer available, I still use Quickroute 4. It is very quick and easy to use. If you can get hold of a copy, go for it.

Daniel.
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Old 22nd Dec 2014, 12:50 pm   #8
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Default Re: CAD PCB Software

Another vote here for ExpressPCB, and my own supplementary libraries. Works OK under WIN 7 Home Premium.

Colin
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Old 22nd Dec 2014, 8:49 pm   #9
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Default Re: CAD PCB Software

I've been using Express for a number of years now, but only for schematics so far. Works on WIN XP and various distros of Linux though Wine
I also have generated my own libraries, mainly for valves.
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Old 22nd Dec 2014, 10:08 pm   #10
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Default Re: CAD PCB Software

Hi Wendy, I've used it extensively at work and find it easy to use over a number of years; they are now on version 18. The handbook supplied with it is quite good too.
However for freebies, look at the RS "Design Spark" website where there is a comprehensive free software suite that will link electrical and mechanical designs and has an extensive component library.

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Old 22nd Dec 2014, 10:32 pm   #11
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Default Re: CAD PCB Software

Hi peeps..... Many thanks for your inputs.....Ed.. I tried Design Spark, but it seemed quite fiddly...If you have ever used "P CAd" you may know what I mean......David... and others... I will look at Express PC and see what it is like... Kicad looks VERY Interesting...and if it backed by CERN cant be too shabby......The real problem with DIPTRACE was that when I come to print...onto acetate...I need to do it twice, and when the art is moved in the print box, it can change size.......its not perceptible until you try and register the layers...especially on SMD pads it can close the gaps..the number of pieces of acetate I have scrapped because of this.. I normally make a paper print first, but even that is not fool proof...Thanks guys for your inputs and I will report back.
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Last edited by Wendymott; 22nd Dec 2014 at 10:33 pm. Reason: Spelling error
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Old 24th Dec 2014, 10:15 am   #12
Ti Pwun
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Default Re: CAD PCB Software

Have you tried Eagle? It isn't without its glitches but overall it's very good. Lots of helpful videos on YouTube.

www.cadsoftusa.com

Somewhat limited on layers and PCB size when you use it as Freeware, but good enough for small one or two layer boards.

https://www.youtube.com/results?sear...eagle+tutorial
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Old 24th Dec 2014, 10:27 am   #13
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Default Re: CAD PCB Software

I use Sprint Layout 5.0.

It's very easy to use with a good library of components all of which you can customise/ modify, or create your own.

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Old 24th Dec 2014, 11:30 am   #14
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Default Re: CAD PCB Software

Hi Howard and Ti.... Was playing with Express last night, and after 20 mins I was "cooking on gas".......just takes a little getting used to......But after Diptrace, I think I can get on with it.
The only thing I think I have found that is "incompatible" is that there are no "oval" pads
... my preference for IC's and small transistors are oval pads........ there is a fixed library which is quite comprehensive, but no oval pads..
Ti.... I cannot be restricted to "small" pcb's.. some of mine are 500 pins or more, that's one "let down" with Diptrace.
It seems that these days there are a great number of options. Spoilt for choice.
Thanks for the input
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Old 24th Dec 2014, 8:35 pm   #15
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Default Re: CAD PCB Software

Hi Wendy, most of these programmes will allow you to design your own symbols and track shapes within their library system. This can be a bit fiddly, but is very useful.

Not sure if you went to Golbourne, but there was a disc and manual of Easy PC for sale at not much cash in the Nov meeting

Ed
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Old 24th Dec 2014, 10:56 pm   #16
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Default Re: CAD PCB Software

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wendymott View Post
there is a fixed library which is quite comprehensive, but no oval pads.
I find that at .056 dia the pads are (IMHO) a bit small, so I get the oval effect by using wider tracks. Even with .080 tracks and track spacing set to .050, there's no problems. Another useful feature (once you've finished) is the plane tool, which fills any large expanses with a non connected plane, which won't get etched, apart from the gap between plane and tracks. Meaning less copper to etch. I don't know if anyone else has this problem. I prefer to work looking at the underside of the board, only. In this respect the IC DIL are reversed, being shown as looking down on the component rather than up at the track area.
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Old 25th Dec 2014, 12:35 pm   #17
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Default Re: CAD PCB Software

Hi Ed, and Oldcodger. No I didn't get to Golbourne, I was in Spain. Ok O. C I can edit components, so I will just enlarge the pads and as you suggest increase the track size at the pad. I also "Fill" unused areas, saves on etchant pollution. But with Diptrace you had to use multiple tracks, as the fill part was hopeless.
At present I don't have any pcb's to make, but will have in a few days.
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Old 25th Dec 2014, 10:44 pm   #18
Ed_Dinning
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Default Re: CAD PCB Software

Hi Wendy, copper fill to reduce etch is a good idea, but note that some of the professional programmes will do this as a cross hatch.
This prevents the board from warping when it goes over the solder wave or with time in a hot environment.
It should not be an issue for home built equipment.

Ed
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Old 25th Dec 2014, 11:54 pm   #19
Wendymott
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Default Re: CAD PCB Software

HI Ed.... You bored as well.... haa haa..... my boards will never see a flow solder rig or high temps so it will not be a problem.. Thanks anyway...
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Old 29th Dec 2014, 12:25 am   #20
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Default Re: CAD PCB Software

Getting to grips with Express PCB and Schematic software. Knocks Wizard 3 into a "cocked hat".. and Makes Diptrace look silly too.... Not venturing into KIcad... Very complex and would take ages to get used to it... Not tried Sprint 5... never happy about downloading software that needs keys...so it looks like Im a Express convert.. Many thanks for the suggestions
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