Alternatives to TinyCAD?

Discussion in 'Electronics Resources' started by tjohnson, Jan 19, 2015.

  1. tjohnson

    Thread Starter Active Member

    Dec 23, 2014
    614
    121
    I like the simplicity and ease of use of TinyCAD and it works for what I need it to, but I have some issues with it.

    If I export a circuit with no components selected, a huge image gets exported with a lot of blank space. When I select all the components before exporting it, the edges of some of the text labels get cut off. I worked around this by drawing a white rectangle (invisible against the white background) around my circuit.

    The components in the generic library have red wires connected to them, but the default wire color is blue. I really don't care about colors in my circuit diagrams anyway, so I tried exporting a B&W image instead of a color one. However, then the rectangle appears around the perimeter.

    I would also like to be able to use a bigger font, but it doesn't seem possible to change the font that is used. Regrettably, it seems like the development of TinyCAD has stagnated.

    I took a look at Fritzing, but the interface seemed hard to use. I noticed that a lot of members of this forum use LTSpice, but that seems more advanced than what I would want right now. Does anyone know of a good simple CAD software other than TinyCAD? It would be nice if it could be cross-platform as well, although right now I'd only be using it on Windows.

    EDIT: I forgot to mention that currently I'm only open to using something free.
     
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2015
  2. tjohnson

    Thread Starter Active Member

    Dec 23, 2014
    614
    121
    I've learned to work around most of the issues I had with TinyCAD, and I can live with the rest. I think it's a shame that development of the project appears to have come to a halt. I guess many of the members on this forum use LTSpice.
     
  3. WBahn

    Moderator

    Mar 31, 2012
    17,751
    4,799
    Another option is TINA, which can usually be had for free or for a very low price (like $9). I've only played with it a bit, but it doesn't seem too bad. As you say, LTSpice is very common and there are advantages to working with a simulator that is broadly used and supported. If it's more advanced than what you need right now, just learn to do what you need and don't worry about the rest. The price is sure right.
     
  4. MaxHeadRoom

    Expert

    Jul 18, 2013
    10,552
    2,374
    Have you checked out Kicad?, quite a few tutorials out there on Utube etc.
    Max.
     
    tjohnson and ErnieM like this.
  5. MaxHeadRoom

    Expert

    Jul 18, 2013
    10,552
    2,374
    Just as an update KiCad 4.0.1 was released in December 2015. Plus new Manuals in PDF.
    Max.
     
    tjohnson likes this.
  6. tjohnson

    Thread Starter Active Member

    Dec 23, 2014
    614
    121
    Thanks, I downloaded it today and started using it.
     
  7. tjohnson

    Thread Starter Active Member

    Dec 23, 2014
    614
    121
    I made a schematic with it, and couldn't figure out how to align components vertically or delete pins on an IC. Do you know if these things are possible in KiCad?
     
  8. MaxHeadRoom

    Expert

    Jul 18, 2013
    10,552
    2,374
    Are you talking a schematic component or a PCCT footprint? Both are easy to do.
    Max.
     
  9. tjohnson

    Thread Starter Active Member

    Dec 23, 2014
    614
    121
    A schematic component. I know how to align components to the grid and delete them, but not how to align them vertically and delete IC pins.
     
  10. MaxHeadRoom

    Expert

    Jul 18, 2013
    10,552
    2,374
    AFAIK you just edit the component and rename it if it is an IC that has a different pin count. It then shows as a new component.
    Max.
     
    tjohnson likes this.
  11. tjohnson

    Thread Starter Active Member

    Dec 23, 2014
    614
    121
    I tried LTSpice again recently, and I don't like it at all. I couldn't even add a basic chip like the LM386 without having to download a subcircuit, open it as a text file in LTSpice, and create a schematic from it. This seems like a pain to me, and a lot more complicated than it needs to be.
     
Loading...