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Everything Else » Anybody Know of Good Software for Writing Schematics?

June 20, 2009
by BobaMosfet
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Hi!

Anybody know of good software for writing out schematics? I've seen some for sale, but I don't know how good they are, and I don't know if anything tied to CAD would work for me. I thought about using Visio, but honestly, it's kinda lame for this sort of thing.

I'd be grateful for any ideas for little or not cost, really good circuit schematic software out there.

June 20, 2009
by mcai8sh4
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There's gEDA for linux. I've never used it, so I cannot comment on how good it is. Whilst there is no version for windows, I'm sure there must be some other open source alternative (depending on your OS).

After a quick look, here's a list. As stated, I've never used any of these, but if you find a good one, be sure to share the wealth :)

OPEN SOURCE GDAs

June 20, 2009
by mrobbins
(NerdKits Staff)

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NOTE: URL has been updated.

For the diagrams in the NerdKits Guide and on this website, I use XCircuit. It's fairly simple to use, and produces good-looking results.

Mike

June 22, 2009
by TBNK
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TinyCAD is open source software. It's always worked well for me. Windows only, though.

August 07, 2009
by mongo
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Another cool bookmark.

I have been using AutoCAD for years. Once the parts library is built up, it's pretty easy but expensive! I will be looking more closely at the XCircuit option as well.

August 10, 2009
by BobaMosfet
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Thanks guys, I appreciate the feedback, it helped me pick one that works well for me!

December 06, 2009
by JKITSON
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I HAVE BEEN USING "EXPRESSCH" FOR SCHEMATICS AND "EXPRESSPCB" FOR CIRCUIT BOARDS.

AFTER A SMALL LEARNING CURVE THE SCHEMATIC PROGRAM IS VERY GOOD..

LOOK AT THE TRACTOR PULL MONITOR THREAD AND YOU CAN SEE WHAT IT CAN DO...

I ALSO LAID OUT A CIRCUIT BOARD AND SENT IT TO THEM IN CALIF. AND THEY RETURNED 4 NICE TWO SIDED BOARDS IN LESS THAN A WEEK.

JIM KITSON

December 06, 2009
by pbfy0
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I use EAGLE a bit, but it isn't free for commercial purposes.

December 09, 2009
by FWSquatch
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I've used Eagle some and was turned off by its learning curve. I made a schematic, but there was a lot of head scratching and gnashing of teeth. The last couple of days I've been messing around with Fritzing. It's a cool little program for Lin/Win/Mac that lets you put stuff together on a virtual breadboard and then build a schematic out of it. You can also go straight to building the schematic. It's still a work in progress, but it is very usable and pretty straightforward. I've really enjoyed playing with it.

December 27, 2009
by Farmer
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I have used and like the Mulitisim from National Instruments. It allows you to build schematics and then you can run and test circuits with a virtual multimeter. Very Cool! Easy to use and learn. I received my copy with a text book purchase, but I see they have a free trial download. It produces drawings very similar to the NerdKit manual.... Hmmmmm

December 27, 2009
by mongo
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I use AutoCAD as well... Mostly because I know the software. I did look into the Xcircuit thing a while back but didn't like the way it works. I still have it installed and play with it but mostly to learn it better. Otherwise, I just draw them by hand.

August 01, 2010
by ferret4
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National Instruments' LabView under the skin looks an awful lot like a Delphi application with NI's graphics on top. They may have worked with XCircuit to do an NI version. No sense reinventing the wheel.

April 29, 2011
by Singlecoilx3
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Do any of the programs in this thread have the ability to import the ATmega328? I have tried 3 different programs so far and none of them have it in the library.

-Single

April 29, 2011
by Noter
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The ATmega168 has exactly the same pinouts and I found it in various eagle libs then I finally made my own ATmega328 for use with eagle and changed the pin names to match the datasheet while I was at it. Let me know if you want a copy.

April 29, 2011
by Ralphxyz
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Well I want a copy, actually I probable already have a copy, you did a schematic and gave us a link to the .scl file.

Or is what you are offering is a library file to add to Eagle's library.

Of course I'd also like a discussion about your circuit. I figure it's used in-conjunction with your I2C Master/Slave code.

I haven't looked at the Master/Slave code (it is high on my list of things to do) but is that what would control the LEDs from a Master?

And what is the n-channel (?) MOSFET doing? There doesn't appear to be much of a load couldn't/wouldn't a NPN transistor work just as well?

I like having the ISP header, that is a really good idea, to include one on all circuits with mcus automatically.

Ralph

April 29, 2011
by Hexorg
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I use linux all the time, so I like KiCAD software. It works both on linux and windows, allows you not only to make schematics, but PCBs too, then you can print your results through BatchPCB, or any other method.

April 29, 2011
by bretm
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There doesn't appear to be much of a load couldn't/wouldn't a NPN transistor work just as well?

Because of that 10k base resistor I'm guessing it used to be a BJT, but he just swapped in a mosfet (which wouldn't need the resistor) because he had one handy.

April 29, 2011
by Noter
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I think you may have a copy Ralph. I have posted it before but I don't remember exactly where. Probably I've added a little to my lib since then - you can download it here.

This is a simple test circuit and I was using the led's to display an 8 bit byte from my program during the debug phase since I didn't have the LCD display connected. No use for them now that the program is done and I have removed them.

Yes, an NPN transistor would work just as well. I tend to use what ever I have the most of and I have a bunch of the 2N7000's. All it does is light the led as a power indicator. When I program it with my ISP programmer the led goes while it is being programmed and then comes back on when it's done. If it doesn't come back on I know I have a problem. Also with several slaves I like to see something that confirms which one is actually being programmed when I run the make file. Currently I have 4 ports on my spi programmer and if I don't have the correct port selected in my make file the wrong slave will be programmed which usually stops everything from working.

April 29, 2011
by Noter
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Bretm, I didn't know the resistor wasn't necessary. I can program ok but the electronics side is my weakness, I would appreciate more explaination on why a transistor needs the resistor but a mosfet doesn't.

April 29, 2011
by bretm
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Gladly, but can you start a new thread for it? I don't want to derail this one.

April 30, 2011
by BobaMosfet
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All, thanks for the suggestions, I'm using OrCAD now.

BM

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