Easy-to-Use Schematic Designer?

Discussion in 'Electronics Resources' started by popnbrown, Aug 25, 2008.

  1. popnbrown

    Thread Starter Member

    Aug 22, 2008
    21
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    Anyone know of a good easy-to-use schematic designer, which I can print out to make my own PCB. I was messing around with Eagle Layout Editor and FreePCB, but I really do not like either of them because they seem very complicated.

    If not are there any good beginner tutorials out there for either of these programs or any others.

    Thank you,
    Sravan
     
  2. thingmaker3

    Retired Moderator

    May 16, 2005
    5,072
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  3. SgtWookie

    Expert

    Jul 17, 2007
    22,182
    1,728
    Well, since you already have Eagle Layout Editor installed, you might as well learn how to use it. :) Which version do you have?
    The free version is limited to single schematic sheets, 2 layers and a board size of about 4"x3", but otherwise you can do a lot with it.

    Here's Cadsoft's Guided Tour page:
    http://www.cadsoft.de/Tour/tour00.htm
    Here's a tutorial:
    http://www.sparkfun.com/commerce/tutorial_info.php?tutorials_id=57&sipp=1&page=8
    This Google search will bring up quite a few tutorial hits:
    http://www.google.com/search?q=Eagle+Editor+tutorial&hl=en&sa=2
     
  4. AlexR

    Well-Known Member

    Jan 16, 2008
    735
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    Freepcb work well for me and its not crippled by restrictions. You do however need to team it up with a circuit capture (drawing) package. I use TinyCAD (also free). You use TinyCAD to draw the circuit and create the netlist then import the netlist into Freepcb to create the circuit board.
     
  5. hgmjr

    Moderator

    Jan 28, 2005
    9,030
    214
    My experience with EAGLE has been that it is a bit cumbersome at the outset but with a bit of practice it becomes easier. Ultimately it is a pretty powerful PCB design tool. Like most tools of similar complexity, there is a learning curve that must be endured before one becomes productive.

    (IMHO) It is worth the time and effort spent in familiarizing yourself with the layout package for the features it provides.

    Take a look at the sparkfun tutorial that sgtwookie has link to. It gives you a good step-by-step walk-through for designing your own parts.

    hgmjr
     
  6. popnbrown

    Thread Starter Member

    Aug 22, 2008
    21
    0
    Thanks for the links and replies, I'll be looking at all the tutorials.

    I got FreePCB somehow working, by putting LEDs and resistors, but I still do not understand the netlist concept.
     
  7. rezer

    Member

    Aug 26, 2008
    10
    1
    You might look into ExpressPCB. It is vary user friendly and I have found it much easier to use then Eagle.
     
  8. SgtWookie

    Expert

    Jul 17, 2007
    22,182
    1,728
    The trouble with ExpressPCB is that it locks you into a single board vendor. If all you are wanting to make is very few, very small boards, their prices aren't too bad. But if you want something in production quality, costs can add up in a big hurry.

    With the export files that Eagle can create, you can submit your order to just about any PCB maker.
     
  9. popnbrown

    Thread Starter Member

    Aug 22, 2008
    21
    0
    I'm truly just a hobbyist, so I'm probably not going to order any boards. I'm just designing circuits that eventually I might make using the laser printer PCB making method.

    I'll look into Express PCB, but I still do not completely understand where all these different components are in which packages and what references are?
     
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