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]
MikroElektronika today announced that May 6, 2014 marks the 10th anniversary since it started developing compilers for Embedded programming – mikroC, mikroPascal and mikroBasic. The company will celebrate the occasion with a month long campaign that will include exclusive content, discounts and weekly full compiler license giveaways.
The successful release of mikroPascal for PIC in 2004 spawned an extensive product line that today has 18 compilers for six popular MCU architectures (ARM, PIC, dsPIC/PIC32, 8051 and AVR) that had a significant impact on the embedded electronics industry.
MikroElektronika celebrates a decade of compiler development - [Link]
Dilshan Jayakody writes:
Morse View is an open source software project to convert audible Morse codes to text messages. This application is capable to convert Morse codes from wave files or from the audio line/microphone inputs. Conversion from Morse code to text can perform based on amplitude and frequency decomposition of the input audio stream.
We extensively test this application using Morse code files available at ARRL – W1AW code practice page. During the testing we may be able to use this application to decode 5WPM – 40WPM Morse code inputs.
Audible Morse code to text message converter - [Link]
desmith.net hosts a nice little script to generate socket footprints for various CAD packages:
This program lets you determine the pin circle diameter of a tube base from measurements more readily made with a micrometer. The data should be entered in millimetres and the results will be in the same units. Script output for a package definition of the resulting socket can be generated for several CAD packages. Create a disk file from the output script and execute it in the relevant package – for Eagle execute the script as a SCR from the library editor.
Valve & Nixie Socket Calculator - [Link]
Gerbv is an open source Gerber file (RS-274X only) which runs under Windows or Linux.
Gerbv lets you load several files on top of each other, do measurements on the displayed image, etc. Besides viewing Gerbers, you may also view Excellon drill files as well as pick-place file
gerbv – a free Gerber (RS-274X) viewer - [Link]
Here is a nice series of 3 video tutorials, covering basic functionality of Cadsoft Eagle from Schematic Capture to CAM Export and PCB manufacturing. The 3 parts are:
- Tutorial 1 for CadSoft Eagle: Schematic Design
- Tutorial 2 for CadSoft Eagle: Printed Circuit Board Layout
- Tutorial 3 for CadSoft Eagle: CAM Output and DFM
Check them out!
CadSoft Eagle Tutorials by jeremyblum.com – [Link]
Jimb0 @ sparkfun.com writes:
I got my first taste of programming with RCX Code and an old Mindstorms RCX 1.0, so maybe it’s nostalgia speaking, but I really admire visual programming languages for their ability to introduce younger folks to programming. With color coded operators, geometrically shaped data types, and no semicolons (!), visual languages have a unique ability to make programming a more intuitive experience. And with the (admittedly necessary) annoyances of syntax removed, more of your programming focus can be directed towards solving the actual problem.
Enginursday: Visually Programming Arduino - [Link]
A new, free 3D design tool aims to help engineers with 3D modeling of their designs by being easy to use. RS Components and SpaceClaim joined forces to develop the tool, which can be used to model physical elements of designs, such as enclosures or interface panels, without having to learn complex feature-based 3D tools. It can also be used to develop early prototypes, either as a PDF file or on a 3D printer.
DesignSpark Mechanical aims to overcome the two major entry barriers faced by potential users: the cost and steep learning curve of traditional 3D CAD tools. DesignSpark Mechanical is free, and it uses direct modeling so that engineers and others involved in product development can learn to use the software within minutes. [via]
Free 3D Modeling Tool Facilitates Mechanical Design - [Link]