Circuit & PCB design software

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by CVMichael, May 4, 2010.

  1. CVMichael

    Thread Starter Senior Member

    Aug 3, 2007
    Before I asked about PCB software, here, but now I have a slightly different question.

    I tried the FreePCB software, and I also tried the TinyCAD for creating schematics for my circuits.

    Both of them have the same problem, not intuitive, and difficult to find the parts that I am using. For example for TinyCAD, I don't understand why they list ALL the parts in one list, why can't they group the parts, and also if the part is not in the list, why can't they have a generic part so that I can just write the part# beside it ?

    Anyways, I found both of them difficult to use.

    Do you know of any better software that is out there ? and also if there is any software where I can do both, design the circuit, then automatically convert that to a PCB layout ?

    If it's not free, it's OK, I will try it out, and if it's not too expensive then I will buy it if it's worth the money
  2. SgtWookie


    Jul 17, 2007
    I've been using Cadsoft Eagle for a few years now. It is not intuitive either, but once I got used to the quirks of it, I like it just fine. It's like anything else; the more you use it, the more you find the strengths and weaknesses of it.

    They have a freeware version available; it's limited to a single sheet per schematic, two layers for a board, and a board size of 3" x 4". That's enough for many hobbyists.

    There's a good tutorial for Eagle on

    I think BMorse recommended a different schematic capture/PCB layout tool in the Resources forum - and there were a number of other recommendations as well.
  3. ShockBoy

    Active Member

    Oct 27, 2009
    I use both Eagle on the Mac and Diptrace on the pc. Diptrace is free and it converts schematic into pcb layout. It has quirks as well, but they can be overcome.
  4. mcgyvr

    AAC Fanatic!

    Oct 15, 2009
    I second diptrace, I use it and find there is very little it can't do. It is also super easy to do.