Draw Schematics

Discussion in 'The Projects Forum' started by KansaiRobot, Apr 17, 2015.

  1. KansaiRobot

    Thread Starter Active Member

    Jan 15, 2010
    318
    5
    Simple question

    What is your favourite tool to draw schematics?
    Is it free or paid?
    Any recommendation?

    I am trying Schemeit http://www.digikey.com/schemeit/
    It is not bad, although I still got some problems. I dont know if it is free, apparently it requires registration to save your work. So far I only export it to a bmp.

    I tried another (forgot the name) but it didnt let you do anything if you didnt pay.

    Thanks a lot
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2015
  2. Alec_t

    AAC Fanatic!

    Sep 17, 2013
    5,774
    1,103
    I (and several other members here) use the free LTspice, which is also an excellent simulator (but doesn't handle PCB layout or circuit animation).
     
  3. pwdixon

    Member

    Oct 11, 2012
    488
    56
    Eagle is free for single page schematics and limited pcb sizes.
     
  4. mcgyvr

    AAC Fanatic!

    Oct 15, 2009
    4,769
    969
    diptrace (there is a free version)
    or autocad
     
  5. KMoffett

    AAC Fanatic!

    Dec 19, 2007
    2,574
    230
    ExpressPCB

    Ken
     
  6. djsfantasi

    AAC Fanatic!

    Apr 11, 2010
    2,796
    831
    ExpressPCB (& ExpressSCH, which is included)

    Here is an example..
    Capture.PNG Click to enlarge
     
  7. DerStrom8

    Well-Known Member

    Feb 20, 2011
    2,428
    1,328
    Personally I despise ExpressSCH/PCB. It feels like I'm drawing in MS Paint. Personally I use Altium (though that's VERY expensive software, I only have access to it because of my work), but before that I used Eagle and I strongly recommend it. The freeware version is limited, but for most hobbyist projects these limits will not be noticeable.

    I have tried the following:

    DIPtrace
    KiCAD
    ExpressPCB/SCH
    FreePCB
    PCB123
    Altium
    Eagle
    LTSpice
    PSpice
    Proteus
    SchemeIt
    MultiSim

    Eagle is by far my favorite free one in the list. Here's an example (my dual-resonant solid state Tesla coil design):

    DRSSTC.png
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2015
  8. bertus

    Administrator

    Apr 5, 2008
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  9. camerart

    Active Member

    Feb 25, 2013
    517
    30
    I use Kicad.
     
  10. MaxHeadRoom

    Expert

    Jul 18, 2013
    10,509
    2,369
    AutoCad and Kicad.
    Max.
     
  11. wmodavis

    Well-Known Member

    Oct 23, 2010
    737
    150
    I'm old fashion and prefer pencil and paper.
     
  12. bertus

    Administrator

    Apr 5, 2008
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    #12 likes this.
  13. #12

    Expert

    Nov 30, 2010
    16,257
    6,757
    I stole my MSPaint symbols from Bill Marsden.
     
  14. nerdegutta

    Moderator

    Dec 15, 2009
    2,515
    785
    I use Eagle. Here's Bill_Marsdens 25 Open End LED flasher.

    [​IMG]

    One time I bought a license for Eagle. It was great to have the opportunity to have more than 1 sheet. But when I upgraded to 7.2.0 - the license file didn't work anymore. :( When I contacted the company I bought the license from, they said that: "No, the license file was for the revision you bought." I never gave it another thought...
     
  15. MrChips

    Moderator

    Oct 2, 2009
    12,421
    3,357
    I tried it for 2 minutes. Looks very nice and intuitive.
    I will give it a workout later.

    For the moment I use CircuitMaker.
     
  16. ebeowulf17

    Active Member

    Aug 12, 2014
    678
    79
    For schematics plus pcb layout I love Diptrace.

    I used Eagle before that and found its interface to be much less intuitive and its library functionality in particular to be very cumbersome. Both have free versions. For my particular needs, the Diptrace limitations on free use were much more accommodating, but that would vary for each user's needs.

    Neither does circuit simulation, although it looks like Eagle might import and export more easily for LTSpice file sharing.
     
  17. camerart

    Active Member

    Feb 25, 2013
    517
    30
    We were asked for a schematic drawing program, and as I mentioned before, I use Kicad.

    One advantage it has is that once mastered, it will convert the schematic to a PCB drawing where one can re-arrange the components, then it will route and draw the tracks, then export them to a file for etching.

    I did say, "once mastered" this took me a long time to fully work, but I'm not the fastest learner.

    Camerart.
     
  18. MaxHeadRoom

    Expert

    Jul 18, 2013
    10,509
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    It took me a while to get the hang of Kicad, ( I resorted to reading the instructions)!:p

    I have an older ($$$) copy of Orcad and Kicad competes very well with especially being free.
    Max.
     
  19. DerStrom8

    Well-Known Member

    Feb 20, 2011
    2,428
    1,328
    Any capture program will take some getting used to. Eagle is a steep learning curve for some, but personally I found it far easier to use than KiCAD or DIPtrace. Altium is by far the trickiest I've used, but it's also the most powerful.
     
  20. MaxHeadRoom

    Expert

    Jul 18, 2013
    10,509
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    Eagle was out for me due to the limited boards size.
    Max.
     
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