by Lee Goldberg @ edn.com:
The CircuitMaker PCB design tool could be thought of as the electronics enthusiast’s equivalent of Picassa, the free alternative to Photoshop – except that it’s a got a much more refined interface which makes it easy use. The program’s 3D modeling capabilities (more about that later) and other advanced features will help designers deal better with the “lumpy” nature of LED lighting products, or any other design project which involves large, irregular components. But that’s only half of the story. The software’s creators have also taken an interesting approach to solving several important technical and economic issues which have arisen with the Maker Economy by borrowing a few lessons from the movement’s own playbook.
Free PCB design tool includes 3D modeling, crowd-sourced parts database - [Link]
by Graham Prophet @ edn.com:
Previewed in August this year, distributor Mouser has now formally released MultiSIM BLUE, the National Instruments Multisim Component Evaluator, Mouser Edition. The free software is a multifunction package that covers schematic capture, simulation, PCB design and bill-of-materials compilation with direct links to Mouser’s site.
Available via free download on Mouser.com, MultiSIM BLUE enables engineers to design and simulate circuits before laying them out in physical prototypes. MultiSIM BLUE adds features and functionality to provide engineers with an industry-standard SPICE simulation environment of electronic circuits using Mouser’s distributed components, including the newest in analog and mixed-signal ICs, passive components, discrete semiconductors, power management ICs, connectors, and electromechanical components. Simulation is driven by the same advanced parser technology as NI Multisim software with support from BSIM and other advanced parameters.
Mouser releases free version of NI MultiSIM simulator, PCB tool - [Link]
by Michael Dunn @ edn.com:
We’re living in a golden age of software, where many useful programs are available – for free!
Let’s survey some of what’s out there that just might interest an engineering crowd like the EDN community.
I can’t offer personal opinions on most of these packages, but I expect to hear back from you after you’ve test driven a few.
Mostly free engineering software - [Link]
Free PCB Design Tool – CircuitMaker powered by Altium.
You deserve something better. You’re part of the electronics maker and hobbyist community, and you’re coming up with amazingly cool and innovative things every day. We think you deserve better design tools, made specifically for you, to turn those great ideas into reality. That’s why we’re developing CircuitMaker.
CircuitMaker will be a free PCB design tool powered by Altium. With a streamlined interface and powerful engine to boot, you’ll never have to worry about your software holding you back. This will be a free design tool unlike anything you’ve seen before.
Free PCB Design Tool – CircuitMaker powered by Altium - [Link]
by Kathy Yang @ elecfreaks.com:
We could often feel frustrated when programming using the Arduino IDE. Why? Not because of how many errors we encounter in the program, but it is so difficult to find out the errors in source code, which is really something freaking out. For example Arduino IDE does not seem to display the number of rows, the prompt window can show us in which line the error occurs, but we just have no ideas where the line it is. If you can double click to find exact position of that line, then we will not care about which line it is: line 1 or line 10. But that just hasn’t happened. What’s worse, it cannot change the display font, which reads clumsy or neither too small or unclear enough, as a consequence, seriously affecting the efficiency of our programming. So I wanted to transfer to another editor and the new editor had better be able to take the place of the Arduino IDE completely. Then I found the Sublime Text 2. Here take a look at the overall interface of it.
Use Sublime Text 2 to Replace Arduino IDE - [Link]
By Sophi and Garrett @ element14.com
The new version of Eagle is on out! The biggest changes coming are a new design feature and an improved autorouter. We are both veterans of Eagle and PCB board design so this blog is intended as both a review and a tutorial of the new features that Eagle v7 brings. Let’s dive right in.
To make the design process more real, we decided to design a circuit from scratch. A simple circuit that Sophi has worked with is one that uses an audio signal to control a hobby servo, which could be used to control an animatronic. It’s a little early for Halloween, but Sophi had used this circuit before and planed on using it again in October. Many thanks to Scary Terry who gave us permission to use his design.
Eagle v7 Beta Review - [Link]
The award winning EAGLE is a powerful and flexible PCB design software offering high level functionality of expensive commercial circuit board design software at a fraction of the cost for over 20 years. EAGLE offers the three modules: Schematic-Editor, Layout Editor and Autorouter embedded on one single interface. EAGLE is easy to learn, easy to use and easy to buy. It runs on Linux, Mac and Windows and allows feature enhancement, such as simulation, 3D-visualization, data import and export and self defined commands, through User Language Programs (ULP’s) which are partly integrated in EAGLE and available at the download area.
EAGLE Version 7 is released! - [Link]
by Michael Dunn:
Mentor Graphics, in conjunction with Digikey, has announced the public beta of their $299 Designer Schematic, joining companies like CadSoft (Eagle), RS (DesignSpark), and DipTrace in offering entry-level software in the triple-, double-, or even single-digit price range. Designer Schematic is a scaled-down version of DX Designer, and features integration with Digikey’s massive part inventory.
Mentor surprises with $299 EDA - [Link]
by Cabe Atwell @ edn.com
Every electrical engineer who does DIY projects knows that dozens of free resistor calculators are out there that can save quite a bit of tedious work. Other simple tools can be found, but traditionally the free tool arsenal would stop there. Sure, there are base platforms such as SolidWorks and Autodesk, but what happens when they are missing a feature needed at that exact moment?
Now we’re seeing a relative explosion in free tools for engineering electronics. It is easy just to hit the Net and use the myriad resources available. Some of those online tools prove to be worthless, and it’s back to blind searching or some paid tool, but free software extends far beyond the functionality of a simple calculator.
Top free DIY tools every EE needs - [Link]
Dilshan Jayakody writes:
Workshop Organizer is light-weight, cross platform inventory controller for home-workshops. This application is specifically design to manage electronic/electrical components at home-workshops, but it can use to manage other areas of workshop including tools, machinery and mechanical components, etc.
To store data, this application use SQLite database system and all the necessary runtime libraries for SQLite is available with the “Workshop Organizer” package. User may not need to download or install separate SQLite database system to use this application. Workshop Organizer default SQLite database consist with more than 600 reference data including list of manufacturers and types.
Workshop Organizer – inventory controller for home-workshops - [Link]