Page 1 of 1

SFE Schematics..

Posted: Thu Aug 24, 2006 4:46 pm
by bsodmike

I was wondering what program SFE uses to draw the schematics and lay the PCBs in?


Posted: Thu Aug 24, 2006 4:56 pm
by reklipz
Im pretty sure it's Eagle by CadSoft, don't quote me on that though, I think olimex uses them too...

Posted: Thu Aug 24, 2006 6:06 pm
by bsodmike
Tbh I doubt it. I've been using Eagle for years and everything looks different. I'm pretty sure it's something else...HRM!

Posted: Thu Aug 24, 2006 6:19 pm
by reklipz
Oh, olimex DOES use Eagle.

This thread talks about SFE, post #6 by phalanx: ... php?t=3028

Posted: Thu Aug 24, 2006 8:28 pm
by bsodmike
"I'm pretty sure Sparkfun does all their drawings using Protel. At the very least, that is what they use to make PCBs."

Olimex, SFE don't. The schems @ SFE are via Protel too then (obviously)...

Shame it costs so much - seems better than Eagle...

Posted: Fri Aug 25, 2006 5:55 am
by reklipz
for more than 14x the price, it ought to be.

Posted: Sat Aug 26, 2006 9:56 am
by MGP
It's at least 14x better than Eagle... 8)

I have used Protel for my consulting business for years and luckily I "bought into" the program before it became outrageously expensive. I think I only paid $1995 for Protel 99SE as they had a special "upgrade price" for registered Orcad users. The regular price at the time was $4K-5K, already out of reach for a lot of people -- even "professionals".

I've tried almost every under $20K EDA package out there and I like Protel (Altium) the best (based on useful features, schematic entry and manual routing tools, quality of output and ease of use). I have nothing personal against Eagle but almost every aspect of the program is crude and unpolished compared to Protel/Altium. But it does work and it's at a price most people in all of their market segments can afford. So I understand why people use it...

It's a shame Altium thinks they are selling workstation-grade tools now and have bought into the "everything-but-the-kitchen-sink-so-it-must-be-worth-$10K" mindset. Their basic schematic entry and PCB layout tools are really excellent. All the other crap I can live without.

I have been telling them for years they should sell a version that just does schematic entry and PCB layout (like Eagle Professional) and sell it for $1995. They would sell a ton of seats. But alas, I suspect it would cut into their sales of $10K seats for suckers that will pay that much just to use the schematic entry and PCB layout tools.

Posted: Wed Sep 06, 2006 1:10 pm
by sparky
Most of the older SFE schematics are Protel. All Olimex schematics are Eagle I believe. Our newer products (starting around May of this year) are Eagle based.

I used Protel SE for a couple years, then DXP. Finally, we looked into the Altium suite. $12k was what we were quoted and was way too much.

We moved to Eagle. It was like learning a new language. Once I learned the verbs though, it does everything I ever asked of Protel, only faster. I (heart) Eagle. Protel had lots of problems, bugs, etc. Eagle is crude yes, but stable. And once you get over the learning curve, Eagle is pretty slick. And I think it was $1200 for *3* seats ($400 per license)! Not too shabby.

I dream of posting the SFE eagle library someday. Just gotta find some free time.


Posted: Sat Sep 09, 2006 6:43 pm
by Caffeine
DXP2004 is many thousands of times more stable than 99SE, but yes the price is steep...

Posted: Sat Sep 09, 2006 7:14 pm
by MGP
I've never had any stability problems with Protel99SE SP6, in fact I can't ever remember it crashing while working on a design (Schematic or PCB).

About the only problem I have with it is that it doesn't play well with Adobe Acrobat, but this manifests itself as Protel99SE hanging on exit. Killing the process with task manager fixes that easily. I just don't run Acrobat and Protel99SE at the same time anymore.

I've heard that AD6 is a big improvement on DXP2004 too. They've finally done enough SPs that it's usable without too many bugs and workarounds.

I'd like to upgrade but I just can't see coughing up ~$6-8K to upgrade for the few new features I'd really like to have. For what I do -- lots of schematics and manual PCB layout -- Protel99SE continues to work well.

Posted: Sat Sep 09, 2006 7:21 pm
by Caffeine
Well, AD6 is just DXP2004 SP4 anyway :)

Posted: Sat Sep 09, 2006 7:49 pm
by MGP
yeah, more or less... but you can't have a big price increase without a name change!