PCB-Investigator is a CAD software developed by EasyLogix for circuit board design and PCB quality assurance. Its latest version came earlier in February with a new browser interface that enables electronics assemblers to do PCB review processes without the need for local installation.
By using the ODB++ data format, PCB-Investigator creates a common database, which documents every change, and is accessible to everyone involved in the development, quality assurance and production process. With the software’s comprehensive visualization, export and import capabilities, all layout reviews are easier. Errors can be fixed earlier and prototypes can be reduced. Further improvements in version 8.0 are an improved component library with editor capability as well as clearance and creepage distance measurement.
Radiation is always present in our lives. We can’t see, taste, feel or smell it, but it exists. Excessive exposure to ionizing radiation may cause potential damage to our health. The new Dosime device helps you to track and understand radiation exposure in your environment and display them using an app on your smartphone.
Dosime is a hybrid smart home and wearable device. The device weighs just 57 grams and is only 6.8 centimeters in height, making it extremely easy to take it with you everywhere. Now, the most important question is, how necessary is it to measure radiation level if someone is not living by a nuclear plant? Well, a nuclear plant is not the only one who emits radiation. 82% of the radiation we are exposed to comes from natural sources. The remaining 18% comes from man-made sources. So, yes. It is necessary to measure radiation level in your environment. On their website the company says:
Healthy living includes managing your environment, including factors you can not perceive. Knowledge of radiation exposure empowers you to make informed decisions about your wellbeing.
The Dosime radiation meter can measure radiation levels up to 100 R/h with a maximum dose of 1000 rem. The range of the measurable energy is 50 keV to 3 MeV. It can detect X-Rays and Gamma (γ) rays, but not Alpha (α) rays and Beta (ß) rays. Unfortunately, they are also sources of harmful ionizing radiation.
The Dosime device seamlessly connects to smartphones via WiFi and Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE). It comes with a built-in rechargeable battery and an AC/DC module. The battery lasts for about one week on a single charge. At home you can dock it in the charger, giving it access to the Wi-Fi network. The app for this device runs on iOS 9 or later, or Android KitKat 4.4 or later.
The Dosime device is available for purchase at a price of US $249.00 (+ $4.81 shipping). You can order it at Amazon.
Upverter is a web-based EDA (Electronic Design Automation) system which enables hardware engineers to design, share, and review schematics and PCBs (Printed Circuit Boards). It does for open-source hardware design what GitHub have done for open-source software development, providing a collaboration platform. And also offers a Wikipedia-like electronic-component libraries which would ease the burden of electronic design substantially.
Upveter’s Tools and Services:
- Schematic Design
Upverter’s Schematic Capture tool is a simple editor that features a real-time syncing and error catching, which enables the teams to work on the same design at the same time. In addition, the in-design search allows you to find a part, net, or an attribute in your design.
- PCB Layout
Intelligent and responsive PCB layout editor, tightly integrated with the Schematic Capture tool to create an efficient work environment. The netlist and footprint updates appear automatically so that there is no need to manually import the changes.
- System Design
This tool enables engineers to capture their high-level ideas without losing them as the design moves forward. It allows them to create system architecture, alongside the circuit diagram and PCB layout design.
- Real-time Collaboration
A very important feature for teams that makes them able to work and develop the designs together, at the same time, and from different places. With Upverter’s automated version control, every action by a team member is logged, synced, and stored, enabling infinite redo/undo stack and quick jump back to a previous instance.
- Verified Parts Library
A growing and updated large library with the ability to create or order your parts if you couldn’t find them. For accuracy of the schematic symbol, footprint, and key part attributes, Upverter verifies all the parts’ designs, removing the risk of symbol and footprint errors.
- 3D Rendering & Export
Upverter helps hardware designers to visualize their boards as a real, three dimensional objects before sending them to manufacturing. The rendering is automated and does not need time. You can also export your model in many file types to bring your product to the real world.
The service is free for open-source circuits and boards enabling most features, the professional and premium plans allow private project with access to more features starting from $1,200 per year.
Online circuit simulators are getting more popular day by day. Electronics hobbyists, as well as professionals, use circuit simulators often to design and check circuit diagrams. The best thing about online simulator is, you don’t have to install anything at all on your PC or laptop. All you need is a browser and a stable internet connection. Work from anywhere just by opening the online circuit simulator website and signing in to your account. Cool, huh?
Now the question is, which simulator should one use? Which one is the best simulator? Well, in one sentence, “there is NO best simulator“. It depends on your requirement and level of expertise. If you are just a beginner, then you need a basic and less complex simulator. But if you’re professional and very expert in this field, obviously you’ll need a complicated, multipurpose simulator.
Here I’ve listed top ten online simulators based on their popularity, functionality, pricing, and availability of library parts.
EasyEDA is a free, zero-install, web and cloud-based EDA tool suite which integrates powerful schematic capture, mixed-mode circuit simulator and PCB layout in a cross-platform browser environment, for electronic engineers, educators, students, and hobbyists.
As EasyEDA is completely free, super easy to use, and feature-rich, it holds the first place.
- Huge and ever growing community
- Parts library is quite massive
- Very powerful simulator
- High-quality PCB designing is possible
- Designing circuit/PCB is free from any kind of hassle. Beginners can easily get started to EayEDA
- EasyEDA is completely FREE
- Getting the simulation done is kinda difficult. You need to follow the guide.
2. circuits.io (Autodesk Circuits)
Autodesk Circuits empowers you to bring your electronics project ideas to life with free, easy to use online tools.
A circuit/PCB designing tool and simulator developed by AutoDesk, empowering you to design the circuit, see it on the breadboard , use the famous platform Arduino, simulate the circuit and eventually create the PCB. You can program the Arduino directly from this software simulation.
- The output design is easier to interpret and will be a handy reference while making a real life connection
- It can simulate Arduino
- The library has plenty of parts
- Designing circuit is bit tougher than other simulators
- Can’t draw a circuit quickly
PartSim is a free and easy to use circuit simulator that runs in your web browser. PartSim includes a full SPICE simulation engine, web-based schematic capture tool, and a graphical waveform viewer.
- This platform is pretty neat and easy to use
- Large number of parts from vendors makes this a good choice for practical purpose
- PartSim is entirely free to use
- Not so powerful simulator but ok for beginners
- It has a lot of op-amps in library but other ICs lack
EveryCircuit is an online circuit simulator with a well-designed graphics. It’s really easy to use and has a great system of electronic design. It allows you to embed simulation into your web page.
- EveryCircuit is also available mobile platforms (Android and iOS)
- Impressive animated representation of various dynamic parameters
- It offers plenty of example and pre-designed circuits. Good for beginners
- This platform is not a free one
- It lacks many useful ICs
5. Circuit Sims (Falstad Circuit)
Extremely simple web platform that runs on any browser. The platform perfectly suits beginners who want to understand the functionality of simple circuits and electronics.
- The simplest one. Beginners won’t have to struggle with it
- Completely free and no account is required
- This is an Open-Source platform
- The library parts are very limited
- GUI is not attractive
DC/AC Virtual Lab is an online simulator who is capable of building DC/AC circuits, you can build circuits with batteries, resistors, wires and other components.
DC/AC Virtual Lab has a pretty attractive graphics and components are real looking, but it is not in top fives because of limitation in parts library, incapability of drawing circuits and some other reasons.
- Simple UI, good for students and instructors
- Parts look like real one, not just symbols
- DC/AC Virtual Lab is NOT completely free
- Parts library is very much limited
- Simulation is not that powerful
DoCrcuits is easy to use but not much efficient. You can design both analog and digital circuits. But you have to log in to get the simulation done.
- Interactive design, though a bit sluggish
- Components are real looking
- Many readymade circuits are there
- You can’t use both analog and digital components on the same circuit
- Simulation is pretty much limited
- DoCircuits is NOT free
CircuitsCloud is a free and easy-to-use simulator. It works good for both analog and digital. Beginners can easily use it but have to create an account first.
- CircuitsCloud is a free platform
- Making circuit is easy here
- Simulation is not good. Doesn’t animate direction of current
- Library doesn’t contain enough digital IC and MCUs
9. CIRCUIT LAB
Circuit Lab is a feature-rich online circuit simulator, but it’s not free. It’s designed with easy to use editor and accurate analog/digital circuit simulator.
- This platform is well-built with fairly extensive library that is suitable for both beginners and experimenters
- Simulated graphs and output results can be exported as CSV file for further analysis
- Designing circuits is easy and pre-designed circuits are available
- This is not a free platform but you can use the demo for free
- The simulation could have been better with interactive simulations apart from the graphical representation
- More digital ICs should be added in library
TINA Design Suite is a powerful yet affordable circuit simulator and PCB design software package for analyzing, designing, and real time testing of analog, digital, HDL, MCU, and mixed electronic circuits.
TINA is a very sophisticated circuit simulator and a good choice for experienced persons. It’s not very easy for beginners and takes a while to get started. TINA is not free. But if you consider the performance, the price is negligible.
- This simulation program has sophisticated capabilities
- Simulations are performed on company’s server, hence it provides an excellent accuracy and speed
- Various types of circuits can be simulated
- This platform is NOT for beginners
- Even if you are experienced one, initially you may face some difficulties
- Tina Cloud is NOT a free simulator
So, now you have a list of “Top Ten Online Circuit Simulators”, but this isn’t a final one. There are other online simulators which you may find as good for you. simulator.io, Gecko-SIMULATIONS etc. are some of them. I recommend you to try all of them before choosing one as perfect.
If you have any other online simulator in your knowledge to share with us, please do. Any suggestion is highly appreciated.
Here is a proposal for a new OSHW logo which uses release symbols to know exactly what the license covers. The KEYS used are:
S = Schematic
P = PCB
F = Firmware and/or software
M = Mechanical CAD files
D = Design Documentation
B = Bill Of Materials
C = License used allows for commercial use
The new logo generator is on github and it is able to save the logo in .svg format. Please note this is a proposal for a new kind of open source logo and not yet used in designs.
OSHW Logo Generator – [Link]
There are a number of electronic component search engines in the industry, but finding the best price can often be time intensive. Quite often purchasers are simply looking to locate the most competitive price from suppliers and fast!
OEMsecrets has launched the first price comparison search engine in the electronics market. The UK shopping site helps you to find the best prices and compare inventory availability from dozens of the industry’s largest authorised distributors. By entering a manufacturer part number, buyers can save both time and money when searching to purchase electronic components online. OEMsecrets compares prices on over 15 million electronic component products from suppliers such as Digikey, Mouser, Avnet, Arrow, Farnell, TTI, Buerklin and many more. Suppliers are categorised into authorised and non-authorised divisions for ease of use.
Buyers are able enter a quantity to find the total cost of the product, change currency and filter by region. ‘Buy Now’ links can be clicked, which sends users directly into the shopping cart of distributors ready to order. Datasheets, reference designs, images and samples from suppliers such as Texas Instruments to confirm product specifications are also accessible on the search results page. Compare prices of part number OPA333AID as an example.
The shopping site is also close to launching a price comparison BOM tool which auto selects the best prices from suppliers for hundreds of line items on a components list from authorised distributors.
For those buyers looking to save time locating components and finding the best price online, take a look at OEMsecrets.com
Kaspar tipped us with his nice website which allows you to download Gerbers of a board and order associated parts with one click. Currently supporting: Mouser, Digikey, RS, Newark and Farnell.
Kitnic is a registry of open hardware electronics projects that are ready for you to order and build. Click on any project to get further info, download the Gerbers and see the bill of materials. To quickly purchase the parts from various retailers you should install the 1-click BOM extension.
You can register your board today and get your board manufactured. The first 20 projects that register get vouchers with Dangerous Prototypes’ PCB service. Currently there are 15/20 left.
To register, follow these instructions: https://github.com/monostable/kitnic/blob/master/README.md#submitting-your-project
kitnic.it – Share your board and Order parts with one click – [Link]