Eagle Light vs. ExpressSCH/ExpressPCB

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by tracecom, Jun 14, 2010.

  1. tracecom

    tracecom Thread Starter Well-Known Member

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    If if took me about 8 hours total to become proficient in ExpressSCH/PCB, how long before I am proficient in Eagle Light?

    As you may guess, I am having a very hard time with Eagle Light. I have tried to follow the tutorial that come with the program and I have tried to read through the manual. That is (of course) after I tried to "wing it" without reading either one. So far, nothing to show for my efforts.
  2. SgtWookie

    SgtWookie Expert

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  3. wdkh68

    wdkh68 New Member

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    I downloaded the free new Eagle Light 5.10.0 yesterday and it is fantastic! Great library with thousands of symbles and I didn't need any instructions, just got in there and had a large schematic finished in a few hours. It has a limitation of a double sided 3.2 x 4 inch board, but is great for small projects and is fun to use!
  4. SgtWookie

    SgtWookie Expert

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    I have a registered version of Eagle 4.16r2. It's quite good, and very powerful. It does have a number of "quirks", and if you are familiar with lesser programs, those "quirks" may be perceived as shortcomings.

    I did not opt for the ripup router; as while one might make decent routings if enough rules were set, that would just take too much time. I adon't like some of the things that Eagle does in the autoroute mode.
  5. tracecom

    tracecom Thread Starter Well-Known Member

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    Did you have experience with ExpressPCB or some other layout software? Did that experience help or hurt your progress with Eagle?
  6. wdkh68

    wdkh68 New Member

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    No - I didn't have any experience with ExpressPCB, but I do have a registered version of Eagle 3.5 which is very old (early 1990's), but I had used it very little and never had a board made from it. The library was terrible, with everything in EU numbers which meant nothing, I had to keep searching and when I found something that I could use, I wrote it down and what it represented so I could find it again. I am definitely going to upgrade when the bucks are available.
  7. SgtWookie

    SgtWookie Expert

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    I experimented with ExpressSCH/ExpressPCB a bit, but I didn't like the colors they used. I found the screens tiring to look at.

    Eagle v4.16r2's human interface is not intuitive, but once you get used to the quirks, you'll find that it is very powerful.
  8. tracecom

    tracecom Thread Starter Well-Known Member

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    I like ExpressSCH/PCB and found it to be adequate for my present needs, except that I am limited to buying boards from them. That's okay for prototypes, but far too expensive for production even on a small scale.

    I took a brief look at the SparkFun Eagle tutorials, but haven't worked through them yet. Today, I am assembling the first of three alpha trial units (using ExpressPCB boards) but before I order PCB's for beta testing, I hope to have a new layout in Eagle.
  9. SgtWookie

    SgtWookie Expert

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    You aren't limited to using ExpressPCB, if you want to make boards yourself.

    You can print out the PCB layers on magazine print (Best Buy flyers in your newspaper work well) using a laser printer, and use a 300°F iron to transfer the image to a blank PCB.

    However, if you want to use another PCB house, you'll need to use a different PCB tool.
  10. n1ist

    n1ist Active Member

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    You can easily change the colors in ExpressPCB. There's a colors tab under view->options.

    While I have made many boards through ExpressPCB, lately I have been using Kicad since I find that ExpressPCB has too many limitations.
    /mike
  11. BMorse

    BMorse Senior Member

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    Once you have a prototype made by ExpressPCB, you can purchase the Gerber files from them and easily have some other company do the mass production.... I do this all the time when making prototypes, but when only have one board to do, I usually do that in eagle lite and then use the PCB-GCode.ulp to create the NC milling files for my home made CNC mill...

    B. Morse

  12. tracecom

    tracecom Thread Starter Well-Known Member

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    I had heard that, but when I looked for that option on the ExpressPCB site, I didn't find it. Can you provide a link or additional info? Thanks.
  13. BMorse

    BMorse Senior Member

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    You actually have to contact them either by phone or email (through their support email address) and just inquire about it.... The last time I did this, they had charged $60.00 for the Gerber files.....

    B. Morse
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