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Affordable PCB Layout Software ???

Started by Blackwater July 30, 2008
"James Arthur" <bogusabdsqy@verizon.net> wrote in message
news:jdDok.984$T91.844@trnddc04...
> Alt Beer wrote: >>>>> Alt Beer wrote: >>>>> >>>>>> Just tried the demo. Managed to create a layout without reading the >>>>>> manual. >>>>>> The icons and mouse clicks work the way you think they should... >>>>>> well >>>>>> they >>>>>> did for me. I'll continue trying it. >>>>> Find it here: >>>> May i presume that Sprint-Layout allows one to make all of the >>>> requisite Gerbers? >>> Yup. Gerber for the traces, Excellon for the drilling, and HPGL >>> with tool path calculation if you prefer isolation milling. >>> They also have a .lay file format with some vague talk of extra >>> dimensioning info. >>> -- >>> Guy Macon >>> <http://www.GuyMacon.com/> >> >> Re Sprint-Layout >> I am trying to make a standard 16 pin dil footprint with rectangular pads >> with through hole. There doesn't seem to be a way to specify a drill >> hole >> for other than a round pad? Rectangular pads are assumed to be smt. >> Am I doing something wrong? > > I can edit any pad, and make it any size/shape I want, > with any drill size. > > Sprint-Layout comes with a bunch of DIP patterns pre-defined, > so I'm not sure exactly why you need a custom one, but here's > one way to do it: > > 1) Open the Macro toolbar by clicking on the icon, then > 2) choose a DIP pattern from the list. > > The pattern will appear in the bottom of the window. > > 3) Drag and drop the pattern onto your board. > > 4) Unlock the pattern by clicking on the Unlock icon. > > This breaks the DIP pattern into individual pads. Now > you can edit each pad however you want. > > If the Properties sidebar isn't visible, right-click a > pad to turn it on. > > There you can adjust the pad shape, dimensions, and > drill size. > > If you want to save the edit as a new pattern, select > the whole, lock it all together with the "Lock" icon, > then copy at will, or save as a new macro. > > HTH, > James Arthur
Excellent, many thanks. This is the best layout program I've tried.
"James Arthur" <bogusabdsqy@verizon.net> wrote in message
news:jdDok.984$T91.844@trnddc04...
> Alt Beer wrote: > >>>> Alt Beer wrote: > >>>> > >>>>> Just tried the demo. Managed to create a layout without reading the > >>>>> manual. > >>>>> The icons and mouse clicks work the way you think they should...
well
> >>>>> they > >>>>> did for me. I'll continue trying it. > >>>> Find it here: > >>> May i presume that Sprint-Layout allows one to make all of the > >>> requisite Gerbers? > >> Yup. Gerber for the traces, Excellon for the drilling, and HPGL > >> with tool path calculation if you prefer isolation milling. > >> They also have a .lay file format with some vague talk of extra > >> dimensioning info. > >> -- > >> Guy Macon > >> <http://www.GuyMacon.com/> > > > > Re Sprint-Layout > > I am trying to make a standard 16 pin dil footprint with rectangular
pads
> > with through hole. There doesn't seem to be a way to specify a drill
hole
> > for other than a round pad? Rectangular pads are assumed to be smt. > > Am I doing something wrong? > > I can edit any pad, and make it any size/shape I want, > with any drill size. > > Sprint-Layout comes with a bunch of DIP patterns pre-defined, > so I'm not sure exactly why you need a custom one, but here's > one way to do it: > > 1) Open the Macro toolbar by clicking on the icon, then > 2) choose a DIP pattern from the list. > > The pattern will appear in the bottom of the window. > > 3) Drag and drop the pattern onto your board. > > 4) Unlock the pattern by clicking on the Unlock icon. > > This breaks the DIP pattern into individual pads. Now > you can edit each pad however you want. > > If the Properties sidebar isn't visible, right-click a > pad to turn it on. > > There you can adjust the pad shape, dimensions, and > drill size. > > If you want to save the edit as a new pattern, select > the whole, lock it all together with the "Lock" icon, > then copy at will, or save as a new macro. > > HTH, > James Arthur
Delightfully straightforward. As it happens, I've just finished a design for an industrial test unit and not looking forward to building up a prototype for demonstrating. The prog' has proved easy to use, so thought I'd quickly lay down two relays and a connector strip on a PCB, as these are a ballache to wire up by hand. 3 hours of 'might as well just add this other bit' and the complete PCB popped out. http://img528.imageshack.us/img528/3205/freday3.gif It's 'iffy' but I don't really enjoy this kind of thing and there is no way I plan to do anything bigger,( 3 hours sat in front of a screen and I'm chewing carpet) but I'm surprised how much could be done in the time. Sprint was obviously written by some kind of engineering person. Normally sub' out PCB designs but as this test unit is a one-off, then may as well use the layout and save a few bob :).
john jardine wrote:
> "James Arthur" <bogusabdsqy@verizon.net> wrote in message > news:jdDok.984$T91.844@trnddc04... >> Alt Beer wrote: >>>>>> Alt Beer wrote: >>>>>> >>>>>>> Just tried the demo. Managed to create a layout without reading the >>>>>>> manual. >>>>>>> The icons and mouse clicks work the way you think they should... > well >>>>>>> they >>>>>>> did for me. I'll continue trying it. >>>>>> Find it here: >>>>> May i presume that Sprint-Layout allows one to make all of the >>>>> requisite Gerbers? >>>> Yup. Gerber for the traces, Excellon for the drilling, and HPGL >>>> with tool path calculation if you prefer isolation milling. >>>> They also have a .lay file format with some vague talk of extra >>>> dimensioning info. >>>> -- >>>> Guy Macon >>>> <http://www.GuyMacon.com/> >>> Re Sprint-Layout >>> I am trying to make a standard 16 pin dil footprint with rectangular > pads >>> with through hole. There doesn't seem to be a way to specify a drill > hole >>> for other than a round pad? Rectangular pads are assumed to be smt. >>> Am I doing something wrong? >> I can edit any pad, and make it any size/shape I want, >> with any drill size. >> >> Sprint-Layout comes with a bunch of DIP patterns pre-defined, >> so I'm not sure exactly why you need a custom one, but here's >> one way to do it: >> >> 1) Open the Macro toolbar by clicking on the icon, then >> 2) choose a DIP pattern from the list. >> >> The pattern will appear in the bottom of the window. >> >> 3) Drag and drop the pattern onto your board. >> >> 4) Unlock the pattern by clicking on the Unlock icon. >> >> This breaks the DIP pattern into individual pads. Now >> you can edit each pad however you want. >> >> If the Properties sidebar isn't visible, right-click a >> pad to turn it on. >> >> There you can adjust the pad shape, dimensions, and >> drill size. >> >> If you want to save the edit as a new pattern, select >> the whole, lock it all together with the "Lock" icon, >> then copy at will, or save as a new macro. >> >> HTH, >> James Arthur > > Delightfully straightforward. > As it happens, I've just finished a design for an industrial test unit and > not looking forward to building up a prototype for demonstrating. > The prog' has proved easy to use, so thought I'd quickly lay down two > relays and a connector strip on a PCB, as these are a ballache to wire up > by hand. 3 hours of 'might as well just add this other bit' and the > complete PCB popped out. > http://img528.imageshack.us/img528/3205/freday3.gif
Neat. Hint: If this is for your typical 13A UK mains circuit make the traces fatter and mind the limitations of thermal reliefs if used. [...] -- Regards, Joerg http://www.analogconsultants.com/ "gmail" domain blocked because of excessive spam. Use another domain or send PM.
john jardine wrote:

<snip Sprint-Layout DIP-pattern-making directions>

> As it happens, I've just finished a design for an industrial test unit and > not looking forward to building up a prototype for demonstrating. > The prog' has proved easy to use, so thought I'd quickly lay down two > relays and a connector strip on a PCB, as these are a ballache to wire up > by hand. 3 hours of 'might as well just add this other bit' and the > complete PCB popped out. > http://img528.imageshack.us/img528/3205/freday3.gif > It's 'iffy' but I don't really enjoy this kind of thing and there is no way > I plan to do anything bigger,( 3 hours sat in front of a screen and I'm > chewing carpet) but I'm surprised how much could be done in the time. Sprint > was obviously written by some kind of engineering person.
Nice looking board. I'm due for a layout or two myself. Cheers, James Arthur
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" ??? >
Of all mentioned here, the two that seems to stand out are Circad/OmniGlyph and Sprint-Layout. Which of these is easiest to use for all PCB aspects from schematic entry to making all of the requisite Gerbers in industry-standard form (ie each side properly mirrored or not as required)?
In message 
<f3a5a323-b309-4431-bf5c-64977313ea3c@y21g2000hsf.googlegroups.com>, 
steve <bungalow_steve@yahoo.com> writes
>On Aug 3, 1:27&#2013266080;pm, "Alt Beer" <exam...@example.com> wrote: >> "Blackwater" <b...@barrk.net> wrote in message >> >> news:489081d0.15733031@news.east.earthlink.net... >> >> > Is there any hope ? Something I've missed ? Winders ? Linux ? >> > Address of the "Society For The Prevention of Software Rip-Offs" ??? >> >> CIRCAD Version 5 (OmniGlyph)http://www.holophase.com/index.html >> One of the easiest to learn. &#2013266080;I was laying out boards after a few mins. >> Logical user interface. &#2013266080;Eagle V4 it drives me nuts, tried it several times >> and gave up each time. &#2013266080;The user manual and tutorial also crap. > >I had the same experience with Eagle, too bad they can't offer an >optional front end that follows the windows standard (for us folks >that prefer window applications). > >Using Eagle is like driving in England on the other side of the rode >while standing on my head with a mirror as my only view of road, I >really have no interest in learning how to do that.
Point of order we drive on the right side of the road. It's you who you drive on the other side..... :-) I use Proteus from Labcenter (www.labcenter.co.uk) Good systems very well featured and not expensive. -- \/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\ \/\/\/\/\ Chris Hills Staffs England /\/\/\/\/ \/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/
On Aug 20, 12:25=A0am, Robert Baer <robertb...@localnet.com> wrote:
> 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" ??? > > =A0 Of all mentioned here, the two that seems to stand out are > Circad/OmniGlyph and Sprint-Layout. > =A0 =A0Which of these is easiest to use for all PCB aspects from schemati=
c
> entry to making all of the requisite Gerbers in industry-standard form > (ie each side properly mirrored or not as required)?
I have, like, and recommend Sprint-Layout, but AFAICT it does not support netlists or netlist import from a schematic program. I throw up the parts an' route 'em manually, which is what I'd do anyhow (autorouters have never pleased me). S-L lets you quickly click in rats-nest wiring to remind you of where and what to route; I like that feature a lot. If you want netlists don't forget FreePCB (www.freepcb.com), mentioned by rickman. That looks pretty nice. Also consider PCB from the gEDA project, http://www.geda.seul.org/ HTH, James Arthur
On Thu, 21 Aug 2008 08:43:40 -0700 (PDT), James Arthur
<dagmargoodboat@yahoo.com> wrote:


>I have, like, and recommend Sprint-Layout, but AFAICT it does >not support netlists or netlist import from a schematic program. >I throw up the parts an' route 'em manually, which is what I'd do >anyhow (autorouters have never pleased me). > >S-L lets you quickly click in rats-nest wiring to remind you >of where and what to route; I like that feature a lot.
You say that Sprint-Layout does not support netlists, but the above paragraph implies to me that there is _some_ transfer of connection data from the related schematic program. So, is there, or is there not, the ability to transfer component and connection data from the schematic to PCB, whether by an explicit netlist or otherwise? (Protel/Altium links between sch and pcb without explicitly generating netlists.)
> >If you want netlists don't forget FreePCB (www.freepcb.com), mentioned >by rickman. That looks pretty nice. Also consider >PCB from the gEDA project, http://www.geda.seul.org/ > >HTH, >James Arthur
-- Peter Bennett, VE7CEI peterbb4 (at) interchange.ubc.ca GPS and NMEA info: http://vancouver-webpages.com/peter Vancouver Power Squadron: http://vancouver.powersquadron.ca
On Aug 21, 6:15 pm, Peter Bennett <pete...@somewhere.invalid> wrote:
> On Thu, 21 Aug 2008 08:43:40 -0700 (PDT), James Arthur > > <dagmargoodb...@yahoo.com> wrote: > >I have, like, and recommend Sprint-Layout, but AFAICT it does > >not support netlists or netlist import from a schematic program. > >I throw up the parts an' route 'em manually, which is what I'd do > >anyhow (autorouters have never pleased me). > > >S-L lets you quickly click in rats-nest wiring to remind you > >of where and what to route; I like that feature a lot. > > You say that Sprint-Layout does not support netlists, but the above > paragraph implies to me that there is _some_ transfer of connection > data from the related schematic program. > > So, is there, or is there not, the ability to transfer component and > connection data from the schematic to PCB, whether by an explicit > netlist or otherwise? (Protel/Altium links between sch and pcb > without explicitly generating netlists.)
Not that I can detect. Here's the website: http://www.abacom-online.de/uk/html/sprint-layout.html What I called call the rats-nest feature they call "connections / rubberbands"; click point A, click point B, and a fine line appears from A to B. You then route either manually or with the pin-to-pin autorouter (not particularly useful, IMO). The feature is described briefly on the webpage above. I find it super helpful; it keeps you from forgetting connections or from forgetting connections. It's manual, but I like it. Sprint-Layout does have a full complement of output files-- Gerber, Excellon, and isolation paths for PCB milling-- but no import or export of netlists AFAICT. You could always e-mail them and ask to be sure. I don't use those features, so I might've missed something.
> > >If you want netlists don't forget FreePCB (www.freepcb.com), mentioned > >by rickman. That looks pretty nice. Also consider > >PCB from the gEDA project,http://www.geda.seul.org/
Oh yes, another for the "free" list is KiCAD, which I assume everyone has heard of. I haven't tried it. http://www.lis.inpg.fr/realise_au_lis/kicad/ HTH, James Arthur