Forums

Affordable PCB Layout Software ???

Started by Blackwater July 30, 2008
rickman <gnuarm@gmail.com> wrote in news:360a548d-d9e3-4fcf-8200-
34fc73c19c56@m73g2000hsh.googlegroups.com:

> On Jul 31, 9:54 am, Scott Seidman <namdiestt...@mindspring.com> wrote: >> b...@barrk.net (Blackwater) wrote in news:489081d0.15733031 >> @news.east.earthlink.net: >> >> > Um ... has there been some kind of conspiracy at work over >> > the past few years to totally drain the marketplace of >> > decent PCB layout/routing software ??? >> >> 4pcb has a decent free package. Slightly cripple until after your
first
>> order of a board with them, but fully enabled afterward. > > I have to say that is one of the stranger marketing concepts I have > ever heard of. Provide free software so that your potential customers > can use your services, but cripple it for their first order! > > When you say crippled, is that in terms of functionality or working > with a third party? > > Rick >
It starts out fully functional for use with 4PCB, but it won't produce Gerber files. After you purchase one board from 4PCB, it will produce Gerber files. It's not that bad an idea. You have to produce a reasonably-priced board with 4pcb, the guys that gave you the software, then you can use it with whoever you want. -- Scott Reverse name to reply


Scott Seidman wrote:
> >rickman wrote: > >>Scott Seidman wrote: >>> >>> >>> 4pcb has a decent free package. Slightly cripple until >>> after your first order of a board with them, but fully >>> enabled afterward. >> >> I have to say that is one of the stranger marketing concepts I have >> ever heard of. Provide free software so that your potential customers >> can use your services, but cripple it for their first order! >> >> When you say crippled, is that in terms of functionality or working >> with a third party? > >It starts out fully functional for use with 4PCB, but it won't produce >Gerber files. After you purchase one board from 4PCB, it will produce >Gerber files. > >It's not that bad an idea. You have to produce a reasonably-priced >board with 4pcb, the guys that gave you the software, then you can >use it with whoever you want.
It has another advantage; some corporations make it really hard to buy software, but have no problem with buying PCBs. :) -- Guy Macon <http://www.GuyMacon.com/>
On Jul 30, 4:27=EF=BF=BDpm, b...@barrk.net (Blackwater) wrote:
> Um ... has there been some kind of conspiracy at work over > the past few years to totally drain the marketplace of > decent PCB layout/routing software ??? > > Circuitmaker, Protel, Traxmaker ... the sub-$200 kind of > goodies that combined all the good features with intuitive > no-BS interfaces - gone. Seems they've all been bought-up > and destroyed by Altium - which will now generously sell you > their "complete system" for more than your slightly-used > SUV will get you at trade-in nowadays. > > Well, I don't *need* a "complete system" ... I just need to > be able to blast out smallish PCBs using mostly manual routing > and create files that the cheap commercial boardmakers can > use with their latest machines (lately we seem to see a lot > more boards produced by milling technology). > > Oh sure, some of those boardmakers will generously let you > use THEIR layout software ... "theirs" in that they've tweaked > it so you can only send the design to THEIR company instead > of a competitors - unless you want to toss all your old > designs and start from scratch. > > Conspiracy, or racket ? > > For now I'm using my creaky old TraxMaker-3 program. GREAT > package, EASY to use, LOTS of options, point-n-click and > spin and drag stuff anywhere you want ... but it's OLD and > can't do the trick for milled boards. OK if I want to make > phototemplates and do a few prototype boards myself, but ... > > I've looked at some of free/cheap stuff - Vutrax, Pad2Pad, > Eagle etc and frankly they STINK. Not intuitive or overly > attached to autorouting or miniscule component libraries > or mostly some combo of "all of the above". > > Is there some middle ground left out there SOMEWHERE ? > I'd love something that has much the look & feel & ease > of Traxmaker but a more modern selection of capabilities, > libraries and export options. My wallet isn't that deep > however... I could afford maybe $250-$350, somewhere in > there. > > Is there any hope ? Something I've missed ? Winders ? Linux ? > Address of the "Society For The Prevention of Software Rip-Offs" ???
Have a look at bartels lite. http://www.bartels.de/bae/bae_en.htm
Meindert Sprang wrote:
> "Robert Lacoste" <use-contact-at-www-alciom-com-for-email> wrote in message > news:4891aae3$0$883$ba4acef3@news.orange.fr... > >>Give a try to Proteus (www.labcenter.co.uk), we have switched to it from >>more expensive packages a couple of years ago and we are delighted. >>Especially with the mixed signal VSM simulator of course but the PCB > > design > >>suite has all the features we need even for quite complex RF designs. > > > How would Proteus compare to the combo OrCAD Schematich and PCB? I am still > running V9.2 here and am very reluctant to upgrade to Cadence. > > But I also have a lot of designs in OrCAD....
Quite a few systems can Import OrCAD SCHs, and some can import OrCAD PCBs, tho OrCAD PCB is much less common than the SCH, so fewer bother with that conversion. -jg

James Arthur wrote:

[...]
> > 'Till your mention, hadn't come across it before. > > Just trying the demo'. Seems fast, no fluff. I really like the milling and > > HPGL stuff , though can't seem to find any library items. > > > > > > The library is extensive, and super-easily accessed, extended, > and modified: items pop up in a toolbar on the right-hand side > of the screen. > > Options-->Show Macro-Library. > > (I'm not sure how much library you get with the demo.) > > Oh, it's limited to four trace layers, if that's a problem > for some. It's not for me. Large boards are fine, metric > or english units, etc. > > I've more than recouped my 39 euros just in the time saved > learning the program and its ease of use -- it's logical and > clean to where I've scarcely needed to check the help files. > Just click the icons, and it does what I want. Fast. > > It really is a sweet program. > > Cheers, > James Arthur
Found it thanks!. Has all the bits I was looking for. My specific needs tend to revolve around knocking up (sodding!) surface mount chip adapters, with maybe one or two extra components added for convenience. For the sake of an hours work with the PC, printer and some etchant I can have a prototype in hand. My existing PCB prog' is still a ballache to use even though I've done a dozen adapters on it over the past year. Looks like I'll be spending cash on Sprint :)
john@jjdesigns.fsnet.co.uk wrote:
> > James Arthur wrote: > > [...] >>> 'Till your mention, hadn't come across it before. >>> Just trying the demo'. Seems fast, no fluff. I really like the milling and >>> HPGL stuff , though can't seem to find any library items. >>> >>> >> The library is extensive, and super-easily accessed, extended, >> and modified: items pop up in a toolbar on the right-hand side >> of the screen. >> >> Options-->Show Macro-Library. >> >> (I'm not sure how much library you get with the demo.) >> >> Oh, it's limited to four trace layers, if that's a problem >> for some. It's not for me. Large boards are fine, metric >> or english units, etc. >> >> I've more than recouped my 39 euros just in the time saved >> learning the program and its ease of use -- it's logical and >> clean to where I've scarcely needed to check the help files. >> Just click the icons, and it does what I want. Fast. >> >> It really is a sweet program. >> >> Cheers, >> James Arthur > > Found it thanks!. Has all the bits I was looking for. > My specific needs tend to revolve around knocking up (sodding!) > surface mount chip adapters, with maybe one or two extra components > added for convenience.
You'll like the Footprint Wizard then. Specify or design a pad, enter horizontal and vertical spacings, number of rows and cols, hit 'go', and the program generates the pattern, with perfect spacing. Select the lot with the mouse, store it as a macro, and you've got a new footprint. Great for BGAs, SMD ICs, connectors, etc.
> For the sake of an hours work with the PC, printer and some etchant I > can have a prototype in hand.
Yep. For that use and this price it's hard to go wrong. Cheers, James Arthur
"Blackwater" <bw@barrk.net> skrev i meddelelsen 
news:489081d0.15733031@news.east.earthlink.net...

> Is there some middle ground left out there SOMEWHERE ? > I'd love something that has much the look & feel & ease > of Traxmaker but a more modern selection of capabilities, > libraries and export options. My wallet isn't that deep > however... I could afford maybe $250-$350, somewhere in > there. > > Is there any hope ? Something I've missed ? Winders ? Linux ? > Address of the "Society For The Prevention of Software Rip-Offs" ??? >
TARGET perhaps? http://www.pcb-pool.com/ppuk/service_downloads.html or http://server.ibfriedrich.com/wiki/ibfwikien/index.php?title=Main_Page This is a German outfit & therefore weird; Who else would slap titties & latex onto the sales slip of a CAD package ;-) The product itself is, IMO, solid enough. The freebie (full) version is bound to pcb-pool though.
On 2008-08-02, Frithiof Jensen <frithiof.jensen@diespammerdie.jensen.tdcadsl.dk> wrote:

> TARGET perhaps? > http://www.pcb-pool.com/ppuk/service_downloads.html or > http://server.ibfriedrich.com/wiki/ibfwikien/index.php?title=Main_Page > > This is a German outfit & therefore weird; Who else would slap > titties & latex onto the sales slip of a CAD package ;-)
It looks to me like it's supposed to be metal rather than latex, but it is indeed odd. -- Grant Edwards grante Yow! I feel partially at hydrogenated! visi.com
In article <oN6dnYx84ImX_QnVnZ2dnUVZ_ojinZ2d@posted.usinternet>, 
grante@visi.com says...
> On 2008-08-02, Frithiof Jensen <frithiof.jensen@diespammerdie.jensen.tdcadsl.dk> wrote: > > > TARGET perhaps? > > http://www.pcb-pool.com/ppuk/service_downloads.html or > > http://server.ibfriedrich.com/wiki/ibfwikien/index.php?title=Main_Page > > > > This is a German outfit & therefore weird; Who else would slap > > titties & latex onto the sales slip of a CAD package ;-) > > It looks to me like it's supposed to be metal rather than > latex, but it is indeed odd. > >
Maybe it's an illustration of their 3D modeling capability. ;-) Mark Borgerson
James Arthur wrote:
> .... > You'll like the Footprint Wizard then. Specify or design a pad, > enter horizontal and vertical spacings, number of rows and cols, > hit 'go', and the program generates the pattern, with perfect spacing. > > Select the lot with the mouse, store it as a macro, and you've got > a new footprint. > > Great for BGAs, SMD ICs, connectors, etc.
I thought most if not all could do that - looks like I have been overestimating the development over the years.... I use my (own written back in the 80-s) graphics editor, selecting some stuff then repeating it like an array is a basic feature. Then selecting some objects and defining that as a block - insertable at various scale factors and angles - is also inherent... Like you said you were used to I am doing all the routing by hand, just using the editor. Here is a demo-mess picture I did not so long ago, shows a board and my 20+ years old editor (runing under an old system emulated in a DPS window, though - much faster than back then): http://tgi-sci.com/dsv/dsvdemo.gif Didi ------------------------------------------------------ Dimiter Popoff Transgalactic Instruments http://www.tgi-sci.com ------------------------------------------------------ http://www.flickr.com/photos/didi_tgi/sets/72157600228621276/ Original message: http://groups.google.com/group/comp.arch.embedded/msg/0adb3774bdcf553e?dmode=source