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Questions relating to designing PCBs
By smdFan
#43769
Philba wrote:
NleahciM wrote:
Philba wrote:I think this has gotten a bit off track. Unless I read the OP wrong, he's a hobbyist and not going to drop 3 large on a piece of software.

Given that, I'd say Eagle is really the best bet. None of the other packages in that class (low low cost) come close to eagle. I tried a couple of the packages like freepcb and they didn't come close to eagle. I think for even an advanced hobbyist, eagle is a very usable solution.
He's using OrCAD. Hobbyists typically don't use programs of that caliber. Note that he never mentioned being a hobbyist - you're just making an assumption. Going to a program like OrCAD or any of the other free CAD programs would be a *huge* step down for him.
You are being argumentative so I'll respond in kind. Note that he said "pricey" and "affordable" in the OP. That says a lot more than what he was using. Not sure why you are being cranky but it isn't helping this discussion at all.

It probably would have been a good idea for the OP to specify his price range.

NleahciM kind of reminded me of the AVRfreaks.net forum. Whenever, you post a question there, somebody comes and start arguing, "oh I can not do your home work for you"...and all kind of time wasting argument. If they do not want to answer, they they can choose not to answer and be quite about it. But there are some wierd people that I find annoying. So much so that I avoid going there to arrogant people. One of the things, I like about Sparkfun forum is that the people here are cooperative and not argumentative. I hope it continuse to be like that.
By NleahciM
#43790
Philba wrote:You are being argumentative so I'll respond in kind. Note that he said "pricey" and "affordable" in the OP. That says a lot more than what he was using. Not sure why you are being cranky but it isn't helping this discussion at all.

It probably would have been a good idea for the OP to specify his price range.
He also said good, and in my humble opinion Eagle is mediocre at best. I don't see how I'm being argumentative - I'm just trying to make sure he doesn't blindly follow advice from people that don't have much experience.
smdFan wrote:NleahciM kind of reminded me of the AVRfreaks.net forum. Whenever, you post a question there, somebody comes and start arguing, "oh I can not do your home work for you"...and all kind of time wasting argument. If they do not want to answer, they they can choose not to answer and be quite about it. But there are some wierd people that I find annoying. So much so that I avoid going there to arrogant people. One of the things, I like about Sparkfun forum is that the people here are cooperative and not argumentative. I hope it continuse to be like that.
Umm, I think I answered the OP's question. A quick search shows that I've made the mistake of answering many of your questions as well.
By Philba
#43806
NleahciM wrote: He also said good, and in my humble opinion Eagle is mediocre at best. I don't see how I'm being argumentative - I'm just trying to make sure he doesn't blindly follow advice from people that don't have much experience.
I guess your point is that anyone that disagrees with you doesn't have much experience or is just opinionated. unlike you...
User avatar
By leon_heller
#43818
The OP was apparently looking for professional software, and Eagle doesn't really qualify. I can't see someone using it for a multilayer PCB with large BGA parts (1000 balls), for instance. One major failing is that it doesn't even have breakout tracks and vias, which save a phenomenal amount of time when routing that type of PCB. Professional packages create BGA footprints automatically, including the breakouts. Creating a 1000 pad PGA 10-layer footprint in Eagle would be extremely difficult. It's also missing facilities for matched track lengths and differential pair track routing, essential for high-speed designs, and many other features such as embedded components, chip-on-board and distributed corporate parts databases.

Here are the features offered by Pulsonix PCB:

* Design area up to 2.0 m by 2.0 m (78” by 78”)
* Design in Imperial or Metric
* Unlimited number of Layers
* User defined layer types
* Supports SMT, through-hole and mixed technologies
* SMDs both sides of the board
* Angles in degrees or radians
* Integrated Schematics & PCB
* Dynamic drag and drop
* Wizards for:
- Data Transfer
- Footprint creation
- Parts creation
* Plotting and printing
* Track/Via breakouts on footprints
* Wire jumpers/jumper parts
* Manual Placement ‘push’ and ‘return’ mode
* Integrated Autoplace (with Autorouter package)
* Keep in/out areas use in Autoplacement
* Placement areas defined in Footprint
* On-line Design Rules Checking (DRC)
* On-line Display Clearances
* Batch mode DRC
* Design rule error browser
* Manual Routing angle modes:
- Free angled
- 45 degree
- Orthogonal
- Curved
* Manual Routing modes:
- Auto Corner
- Auto Mitre
* Single track Auto Router
* Integrated Auto Router (optional)
* Keep In/Out areas on Autorouting
* Teardrop support
* Testpoint support by side/type
* Blind and buried via support
* Net Find, Highlight and select browser
* Relative and Absolute coordinate system
* Net Optimisation
* Many Report outputs including Parts list & BOM
* User definable report writer
* Integrated Copper Pour with Hatching
* Automatic component rename
* Automatic Gate and Pin Swapping (with Autorouter package)
* Dimensioning with Horizontal, Vertical, Free, Radial, Angular dimensions
* Change Component on-the-fly
* Single Shot Postprocessing
* Gerber Photo-plotter to RS-274-D and
* RS-274-X (extended aperture format)
* ODB++ Format exporter
* Automatic generation of power plane plots
* Supports true split Power Planes
* IPC 356 test outputWindows printer outputs
* Plotting to HPGL plotters
* Excellon NC Drill output and drill drawings
* Plotting of solder masks, resist and other manufacturing plots
* Integrated LPKF Interface
* DXF Mechanical Design Input/Output
* IDF Mechanical Design Input/Output
* Import filters for designs and libraries for many other EDA products
* Import Schematic Netlists from:
- OrCAD DOS/Windows - Viewdraw
- MultiSIM
- Electronic Workbench/EWB Multisim
- Ulticap
- P-CAD
- PADS
- CADSTAR
- ACCEL
* - EDIF 2.0.0 Links to external autorouters available
* Library generator toolkit (optional)
* Chip-on-board (COB) design suite (optional)
- Die and Bond pad support
- Independently floating bond pads on components
- Bond Wire support
- Insulated and Cross-over rules for bond wires
- Min/Max bond wire length rules
- Design rules checking for COB rules
- Wire report output
- Report maker output of COB entities
* High-Speed design option (optional)
* Embedded Component technology design option (optional)
* Database Connection (optional)
- Connection to corporate database
- Industry-standard ODBC interface
- Fully integrated into Schematic and PCB

I could also list the schematic entry features, but you should get the point. Other professional packages offer similar features.

Leon
By NleahciM
#43821
Philba wrote:
NleahciM wrote: He also said good, and in my humble opinion Eagle is mediocre at best. I don't see how I'm being argumentative - I'm just trying to make sure he doesn't blindly follow advice from people that don't have much experience.
I guess your point is that anyone that disagrees with you doesn't have much experience or is just opinionated. unlike you...
I'm the argumentative one? It seems like you're the one that is attacking me, while I'm just trying to look out for the OP's best interests. Anyways - no - my point is that anybody that recommends Eagle for professional use doesn't know what they're talking about. I used to be one of those people, before I knew better. "I was blind and now I see"
By Philba
#43833
I'll point out that you dumped on 2 separate people ("that's just your opinion") before I even posted.
By NleahciM
#43838
Philba wrote:I'll point out that you dumped on 2 separate people ("that's just your opinion") before I even posted.
Do you have a point?
By hooziewhatsit
#43842
I also use Pulsonix and love it. Well worth the money if it's something you do all the time. It also takes a bit to figure out, but it works great once you do.

Messed with Eagle for a little while, but gave up after not being able to do basic things. :shrug:

Used Autotrax for a while in College; NEVER AGAIN, heh. I still look through their yahoo group occasionally and see that basic functionality bugs are still there 3 years later?!?!
By Caffeine
#43961
Altium Designer / Protel here, does everything you can think of, nice intuitive interface, cost lots.
By rdpzycho
#44183
Eagle may not be suitable for complex professional works..it will just take more time..

but for companies, or self employed professionals with products that doesn't have to deal with too much fine pitched ICs, ball grid ones then Eagle is a good software for the price (or even the free one)..our company and I belong to this category..

the bigger companies with the bigger products that use complicated ICs will always have a shorter lead time for the designer requiring a quicker time to market..that is where the high end suites come in with all the features which take into consideration all factors in rapid development..some PCB design companies even have proprietary softwares that suit their style of routing and designing (and most use Linux)..though, doing that will surely need a budget much more than $3000 on programmer hours.. :wink:
By NleahciM
#44194
rdpzycho wrote:Eagle may not be suitable for complex professional works..it will just take more time..

but for companies, or self employed professionals with products that doesn't have to deal with too much fine pitched ICs, ball grid ones then Eagle is a good software for the price (or even the free one)..our company and I belong to this category..

the bigger companies with the bigger products that use complicated ICs will always have a shorter lead time for the designer requiring a quicker time to market..that is where the high end suites come in with all the features which take into consideration all factors in rapid development..some PCB design companies even have proprietary softwares that suit their style of routing and designing (and most use Linux)..though, doing that will surely need a budget much more than $3000 on programmer hours.. :wink:
That doesn't really make sense... In the professional world - an engineer's time costs money. The figure I've heard is that an engineer typically costs their company around $1K/day once you factor in everything (salary, benefits, non-technical support staff, etc.). So let's say one ECAD program costs $10K while another is free, but the free one slows the engineer by 10% After working for 5 months with the free program, the slow program has already cost the company $10K.

I would guess I'm 50% faster or so with AD then I am with Eagle, and I spent a whole lot more time with Eagle than I have now with AD. Remember that you also have all the down time where you just have to learn the ECAD program. A completely non-intuitive program further costs the money due to the extended learning period.

But all this goes out the window for the hobbyist.
User avatar
By leon_heller
#44206
I've just designed this board in about five hours with Pulsonix (including creating the 100-pin CPLD component and entering the schematic):

Image

I hate to think how long it would have taken with Eagle. I used the autorouter to save time, after all the critical tracks were routed manually. It did quite a good job with the default settings and only took a couple of minutes, I only needed to manually route four tracks. After a bit of tidying up I'll send the Gerbers off and I should have the board in my hands on Tuesday.

Leon
By corvette123
#44291
i like altium DXP

they have a free trial too

:)
By Ampman
#44409
This is my reality: I've got ORCAD 9.2 CD and have become very fast with it except its schematic design is BAD because it allows one to make unintentional mistakes (unplanned connections of crossing wires. So we bought Pulsonix but its library creation is kind of tedious and the switch from ORCAD to Pulsonix was kind of slow so I dropped it. I remember Pulsonix has its quirks too.

So for immediate high output I still use ORCAD PCB knowing that Pulsonix may be better in the long run. However it's hard to find a designer with Pulsonix experience. Adding to the cost of hiring an ORCAD designer the cost of training him/her in Pulsonix, the best choice is Pulsonix for the long term but ORCAD for the short term. OK, we'll try to hire a designer with Pulsonix experience.
User avatar
By leon_heller
#44412
There are one or two things about part creation in Pulsonix that I don't like, as well. If you are creating a large number of complex parts the Library Integration Toolkit creates them *very* quickly with minimum effort. They are working on importing part data from Excel, which will make part creation easier, now that many manufacturers are providing pinout data in spreadsheet form.

What are the quirks? Other users seem to find it very intuitive and easy to use. Whenever I find something I don't like I tell Pulsonix about it and they fix it if they agree that that I have a point.

Leon
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