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Topic: RS components free pcb software (Read 3 times) previous topic - next topic

jabber

Yeah, point taken about the activation code, I wasn't thinking straight.
If I get a chance tonight, or maybe someone else can try the same code on 2 different installs & see what happens.

Udo Klein

You could install it into a virtual machine and keep the virtual machine forever.

Udo
Check out my experiments http://blog.blinkenlight.net

TonyD

Having downloaded DesignSpark PCB I think the activation code is for a single copy per PC, but reading comments on the DesignSpark website you can email them and ask for a second (or third ??) activation code if you want to run another copy on say a laptop.

Or you could register with their web site twice and get another activation code that way  ;)

If anyone is interested, I've converted the EagleCAD Duemilanove to DesignSpark PCB format. I'll post it in the forum or to my blog later today.

ill_switch

Any of you have enough experience to do a quick bulleted list of how it compares to Eagle? Say, with respect to:

-learning curve
-flexibility
-speed

I've finally gotten to the point in Eagle where I'm fluent with keyboard shortcuts and it's been months since I had trouble figuring out a new function. This new software sounds interesting but I don't see any incentive to switch.

TonyD

Quote
Any of you have enough experience to do a quick bulleted list of how it compares to Eagle? Say, with respect to:

-learning curve
-flexibility
-speed

I've finally gotten to the point in Eagle where I'm fluent with keyboard shortcuts and it's been months since I had trouble figuring out a new function. This new software sounds interesting but I don't see any incentive to switch.


DesignSpark PCB is a bespoke version of Easy-PC by Number One Systems. I've used Easy-PC for over 8 years.  

I've haven't evaluated EagleCAD for a long time so can't really compare DesignSpark PCB to it, but I found Easy-PC (DesignSpark PCB) to be pretty intuitive. The keyboard shortcuts are quick and easy, ENTER = draw signal/track, Ctrl-S = Save, F3 = Add component, A = Zoom All, Z = Zoom, U = Un-Zoom, G = Select Grid, T = Add Text etc. It's pretty quick, no perceivable delays redrawing screens, its quick swapping between schematic and pcb screens. Cross probing between schematic and pcb is very useful.

IMO it's best feature is it's very easy to make schematic and PCB components. I remember using OrCAD and CADStar I always found it a pain to make components in those packages.

It has some annoyances: On my Easy-PC version renaming signal nets involves several mouse selections and button presses. The number of component libraries aren't as extensive or as big as EagleCAD and my biggest gripe with DesignSpark PCB is it won't import Easy-PC designs or libraries :(

You can import EagleCAD schematics, PCB layouts and libraries which is very handy, its a two stage affair requiring you to have EagleCAD to export the design data as an ASCII file but its pretty straight forward.

The main differences between the free versions are:

DesignSpark PCB:


  • size of PCB board (its drawing area) is up to 1.0m by 1.0m (39" by 39")
  • allows up to 14 signal layers (not including silk screens) (*).
  • allows up to 99 schematic sheets per project (*)
  • no commercial restrictions (non mentioned on web site)


EAGLE Light Edition:


  • The usable board area is limited to 100 x 80 mm (4" x 3.2").
  • Only two signal layers can be used (Top and Bottom, not including silk screens)).
  • The schematic editor can only create one sheet.
  • non-profit only licence (you must buy it if you earn (or save) money by using the Freeware version of EAGLE Light)

   
Note: * Easy-PC has these features so I'm guessing DesignSpark PCB will have the same.

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