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Best PCB design software


Kain
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Hello. I've been playing arround with electronics and of course with time circuits get more and more difficult and boards become hard to route by hand. So the first thing I heard about software wise was Protel 98 since my friend was using it and he said it's good. I also noticed it has lots of tools as well as auto-routing and simulation. Now I'm using Protel 99 SE Service pack 6 and it does it's job well; however I'm still not very clear on some options, not to mention it has tons of options ;D. However, my question is what kind of software have you guys used and currently use for PCB designing and what is your experience with it - good, dissapointing....? Oh, and any experienced users of Protel 99 SE here? I might need some help ;D

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Guest Kasamiko

If your designing pcb for hobby use..nothing beats EAGLE..and it Liight Version is freeware.. 8)
I tried using Protel,Altium but their large library footprints makes me dazy!! very hard to find component footprints..

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Guest Kasamiko

I'll assume you will using the AUTOROUTER function..
First you will setup the SIZES of the TRACKS and the clearance you want..
Click on TOOLS, DRC.., Clearance tab, then SIZES.. and set it to your preference or requirements.
Click the AUTOROUTE Button on the lower-left side of your screen, another window will appear where you can choose which layer to route..
See the attached image..
or you can it here..
http://www.interq.or.jp/japan/se-inoue/e_eagle.htm

Good Luck..

Rhonn
;) ;) ;) ;)

post-0-14279141652708_thumb.gif

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It seems like I'll be trying this eagle pretty soon ;D. As for protel it's not really that bad with the lib once you get used to it. I personally got a pdf manual for it and it had lots of stuff explained. The only thing I don't know how to do is force the daarn thing to do PCB in one layer only ::). Actually I do know how to, but the auto-router crosses some tracks usually and marks them and then I have to manually edit the PCB and add the bridge pads myself....which sux. I'm sure I fail to configure all the rules appropriately tho.... Any ideas about how to fix this? Oh and by the way, I'll be getting to test Orcad. Any oppinions? ;D

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Yes, Protel does have simulation - I would say a lot of tools for simulation but I'm not that familiar with them yet. About what it can do - it is a kind of standard EE CAD i think for it has most important simulations integrated, manual or auto-routing for PCB with support up to 16 layers, schematic capture too. I also heard that it can interract with Orcad files and so on... - really lots of functions. I'm not even talking about Protel DXP and the new upgrade for it - Protel 2004 which is obviously too advanced for hobby not to mention the price.... ;D. Protel supports direct programming to manifacturing tools as well which I doubt non-professionals would use any sooner... I have Protel 99 SE SP6 myself and I have mixed feelings - it's a bit complicated for sure especially when one has no experience in CAD. At least I'm comfortable with the lib already ;D.
Here is the link for you guys if you care about more info. I would care about PDF files more tho :)

http://www.protel.com/

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Guest Kasamiko

Hi Ante, I know you've been doing fine with Proteus, now I'm trying it out but the weird user interface and commands makes my life a little complicated.. ;) Can you recommend some sites that contains some tutorials.. ???

BR,

Rhonn ;) ;)

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