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Topic: Arduino sandbox for prototyping (Read 879 times) previous topic - next topic

scary

Hello all, I'm new to the forum and microprocessors so forgive me if this seems like an odd question but is there such a thing as a software simulator where you can test your projects without having to physically assemble the components? Surely its not that hard to simulate the behaviour of simple electronic circuits and components. I was wondering why such a facility hasn't been produced to assist in prototyping and feasibility studies. Surely big manufacturers use something like this all the time?
fear my badger

cr0sh


Hello all, I'm new to the forum and microprocessors so forgive me if this seems like an odd question but is there such a thing as a software simulator where you can test your projects without having to physically assemble the components? Surely its not that hard to simulate the behaviour of simple electronic circuits and components. I was wondering why such a facility hasn't been produced to assist in prototyping and feasibility studies. Surely big manufacturers use something like this all the time?


Sure, such a thing exists, if you're willing to pay for it - then learn it.

What you're looking for is called SPICE simulation; for many analog designs (no microcontroller involved), the "hobbyist" (and professional to an extent) standard is a program put out by Linear Technology called LTSpice - http://www.linear.com/designtools/software/?gclid=CKup5rbys6oCFRJ6gwodqQ3K9Q#LTspice

For anything else (ie, for incorporating digital design and such) - you're either going to find a hodgepodge of various tools, or you're going to have to spend some money (in some cases, a LOT of money).

As far as your assertion, though, that simulating components is "easy" - not by a mile. Digital systems can be fairly easy to simulate, of course - but once you start wanting to properly simulate analog components or design elements (and in real life, all circuits are analog) - a lot of math comes into play.

Finally - realize that a simulation is no substitute for the actual circuit; you can have a simulation of a circuit run "perfectly" in the simulator, but in real life fail miserably - the reverse can also be true as well. Simulations are best for sanity checking a design, but they shouldn't be relied upon as the "final" design. Only an actual prototype (which, depending on the needs of the circuit, might actually have to be built on a routed PCB - but most designs can be breadboarded or otherwise assembled without going to that extreme), tested and probed with actual test equipment - will tell you whether it really works.

There isn't any easy way around a true "smoke test", unfortunately...

:)
I will not respond to Arduino help PM's from random forum users; if you have such a question, start a new topic thread.

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