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Topic: What PCB design software (Read 5194 times) previous topic - next topic

DuaneDegn

I enjoy using Eagle. Not willing to put the time into learning another tool at this time.
To be honest, I wish I enjoyed using Eagle. If I had enjoyed using Eagle, I'm sure I wouldn't have switched.

using another product just to be a contrarian will not get you a better result.
I concur. However I think it's always nice when there is an intrinsic value of doing something. If you can enjoy the process of making your circuit board as well as enjoy the resulting board, I think you're better off than if the only enjoyment came from the finished board.

Google works for DipTrace too. There might not be as many hits for a DipTrace search as an Eagle search but I've always been able to find the answer I'm looking for.

I also think Eagle has a large user base among people using the Arduino. I think this a large benefit to using Eagle.

I didn't want to like DipTrace. I wanted to like Eagle.

I use DipTrace because I tried both Eagle and DipTrace and I found I enjoyed using DipTrace much more than Eagle. For me, the pros of using DipTrace outweighed the cons.

There's a free version of both Eagle and DipTrace. It's pretty easy for people to decide for themselves which they prefer.

If had enjoyed using Eagle, I doubt I would have switched (I probably wouldn't have even tried DipTrace). I certainly don't suggest anyone who enjoys using Eagle (especially if they're already proficient with it), switch to DipTrace.

If I were new to PCB design, I'd make sure and also try KiCad (as suggested by Grumpy_Mike). Free and open source are huge advantages.

dave-in-nj

there is no substitute to using a product (any product for that matter) that has a large user base. any problem you run into, you will find an answer by a simple google search. there is a good reason why a product becomes widely used. using another product just to be a contrarian will not get you a better result.

I use eagle.
I have found that a huge mass following will have a unanimous agreement that some common sense things cannot be done, or done easily.  people take the steep learning curve because 'everyone' is doing it.  then come to realize that it is not very good.  but then are unwilling to waste the time invested and to get something else.
I  tried Eagle over a dozen years ago and gave up any hope of mastering the product.
I tried winQCad, the pcb software, but alas, the writer never made a go of a business, tried to be a one-man-band and was overwhelmed with the work.   does a fine job autorouting and exports CAD files that will etch the outline of the traces.
I would not recommend it as it is not current.
I have only seen one other person on here that would admit to using it.

CrossRoads

I enjoy using eagle (using 7.4 now). I even went so far as to get a pro license so I could do huge boards, like a 12" x 12" protoboard for a customer. Big!
Designing & building electrical circuits for over 25 years.  Screw Shield for Mega/Due/Uno,  Bobuino with ATMega1284P, & other '328P & '1284P creations & offerings at  my website.

jboyton

#18
Nov 17, 2015, 03:03 am Last Edit: Nov 17, 2015, 03:03 am by jboyton
I have found that a huge mass following will have a unanimous agreement that some common sense things cannot be done, or done easily.  people take the steep learning curve because 'everyone' is doing it.  then come to realize that it is not very good.  but then are unwilling to waste the time invested and to get something else.
An alternative?

I've been procrastinating on learning Eagle because based on the tiny amount of time I've spent trying to use it I can see that there will be a significant learning curve. So if there's a better way I'd love to hear about it. And whatever that is, if it exists, will for me have to be just as free and just as capable of running on OS X.

So what is the better alternative to Eagle?

CrossRoads

Eagle is not that tough. Follow the tutorials at sparkfun. I've posted several times step by step directions on making your own symbols if you can't find one in the supplied files, or the sparkfun or adafruit libraries, or download one from Newark.com (after registering for free).
Download the Uno or Mega from the Products page as a starting point for a design.
After that, it's just practice, same as the other programs.
Designing & building electrical circuits for over 25 years.  Screw Shield for Mega/Due/Uno,  Bobuino with ATMega1284P, & other '328P & '1284P creations & offerings at  my website.

DuaneDegn

So what is the better alternative to Eagle?
I gave my opinion several times in this thread. Diptrace does have a Mac version.

jboyton

#21
Nov 17, 2015, 05:55 pm Last Edit: Nov 17, 2015, 05:55 pm by jboyton
Diptrace requires something called xquartz. What's that?

I don't mind a learning curve once I'm on it. For me it's like getting into the pool. Lots of hesitation and then once I've jumped in wondering why I took so long. But I'm probably only going to swim in one pool so it's nice to read opinions on the options.

A question: Other than the perceived difficulty of getting on board with Eagle, does it lack any capabilities that Diptrace has?

DuaneDegn

Diptrace requires something called xquartz. What's that?
I typed "xquartz" into Google and it's apparently open source software to allow one to run Windows programs on a Mac. I may have been too quick to say there's a Mac version of DipTrace. Apparently one can use xquartz to run the windows version on the Mac.

A question: Other than the perceived difficulty of getting on board with Eagle, does it lack any capabilities that Diptrace has?
I very much doubt there's anything DipTrace can do that Eagle can't.

KeithRB

xQuartz is Xwindows for the Mac. Even though software might be unix based, it might not run because it requires the XWindows GUI. XQuartz requires that. I just had to install it for MatLab.

polymorph

There is Designspark PCB. Free for commercial use, too. Unlimited.

It is integrated rather well with RS Online, but you aren't required to use them in order to use the software. Imports 3D objects from Designspark Mechanical, their free CAD program.

I have not used it myself, yet, but thought it was worth mentioning as it seems to be well integrated with their CAD software and is free. The free versions of Eagle and Diptrace are only free for noncommercial use.

http://www.rs-online.com/designspark/electronics/eng/page/designspark-pcb-home-page

Steve Greenfield AE7HD
Drawing Schematics: tinyurl.com/23mo9pf - tinyurl.com/o97ysyx - https://tinyurl.com/Technote8
Multitasking: forum.arduino.cc/index.php?topic=223286.0
gammon.com.au/blink - gammon.com.au/serial - gammon.com.au/interrupts

outofoptions

there is no substitute to using a product (any product for that matter) that has a large user base. any problem you run into, you will find an answer by a simple google search. there is a good reason why a product becomes widely used. using another product just to be a contrarian will not get you a better result.

I use eagle.
By your theory we could never have a new product because the 'winner' has already been chosen and you can't start with a large installed user base.  PCB (part of the gEDA project) was painful to learn but much easier, for me anyways, to use.  Probably because it is developed and maintained by the people that actually to use it?  But then again, I used ORCAD back when you just typed an "r" and a resistor symbol popped up on the screen.  Now everything is buried in layers of menus, sub-menus, button choices and THEN "apply" whether they need to be or not.

CrossRoads

Quote
Now everything is buried in layers of menus, sub-menus, button choices and THEN "apply" whether they need to be or not.
Freaking Microsoft influence there.
Eagle is nice as the most common commands are displayed down the left side, and at the upper left in the toolbar area.

Remember the old IBM keyboards with all the function keys in 2 columns on the left hand side? Made using a schematic program like Futurenet real easy to use.

Like any tool, use it enough (practice, really) and it gets easier and becomes easier to use.  Any program will have stuff that is never used. Eagle has a bunch of script support - most I ever do is execute one to create a library part from a Newark.com download.  Or Export a while library from an existing board to get a part or two to use.
Designing & building electrical circuits for over 25 years.  Screw Shield for Mega/Due/Uno,  Bobuino with ATMega1284P, & other '328P & '1284P creations & offerings at  my website.

doughboy

By your theory we could never have a new product because the 'winner' has already been chosen and you can't start with a large installed user base.  PCB (part of the gEDA project) was painful to learn but much easier, for me anyways, to use.  Probably because it is developed and maintained by the people that actually to use it?  But then again, I used ORCAD back when you just typed an "r" and a resistor symbol popped up on the screen.  Now everything is buried in layers of menus, sub-menus, button choices and THEN "apply" whether they need to be or not.
yes perhaps. but never say never. market share grows and shrinks. I am not loyal to a particular product. If another software comes along that becomes more widely used than eagle, then I'll switch.

the main point is, there is a very good reason a product becomes the most widely used in the category.

some people are just contrarian by nature and will just come up with any rationalization why the market leader is bad, etc and should use something else. I've seen a lot of iphone users switch to android only to switch back to iphone.

DuaneDegn

#28
Nov 18, 2015, 09:24 pm Last Edit: Nov 18, 2015, 09:26 pm by DuaneDegn
some people are just contrarian by nature and will just come up with any rationalization why the market leader is bad
I agree this certainly can happen but I didn't see it in this thread. I'm certainly not using DipTrace to be a contrarian and I provided a link where a business had decided to switch to DipTrace. I don't think contrariness was their motivation either.

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