schematic drawing software

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by lokeycmos, Mar 4, 2013.

  1. lokeycmos

    Thread Starter Active Member

    Apr 3, 2009
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    does anyone happen to know of any free software that allows me to easily draw up schematics such as the attached one?
     
  2. w2aew

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  3. lokeycmos

    Thread Starter Active Member

    Apr 3, 2009
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  4. tshuck

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    There are lots of programs that can draw schematics and more. For instance, I like Eagle, but the program is a PCB layout editor. You can create schematics with it, but the software does much more.

    Any of the graphical SPICE programs(PSPICE, LTSPICE, 5SPICE, etc.) can create schematics.

    As can KiCAD, Xcircuit, and many more....
     
  5. Ron H

    AAC Fanatic!

    Apr 14, 2005
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    I use LTspice. Our erstwhile friend, Audioguru, has said that he uses Microsoft paint exclusively. You really need to build up a library of symbols to make it easy to use.
     
  6. ErnieM

    AAC Fanatic!

    Apr 24, 2011
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    Microsoft paint is a pretty good choice, as long as you don't mind dead data (ie, no netlist, etc). I used it for years and it makes good stuff.

    The schematic capture from the (free) ExpressPCB download makes good images and is simple to use, and you can do shortcuts with it.

    My best suggestion and my choice is KiCad. Has somewhat of a learning curve but I like a package that makes netlists and has a rules check method.
     
  7. JDT

    Well-Known Member

    Feb 12, 2009
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    Microsoft Paint is a bitmap editor. No good for creating circuit diagrams.

    You need a vector drawing application.

    Visio is good but has to be paid for.

    For free, try: Inkscape, LibreOffice Draw.

    Or try DraftSight - a free AutoCAD rip-off. Also free. Google for these.

    Or one of the schematic circuit diagram applications mentioned above.
     
  8. Wendy

    Moderator

    Mar 24, 2008
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    I use M/S Paint all the time with good results. It is the basis of my PaintCAD templates (see my blog).
     
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  9. electron_prince

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    Sep 19, 2012
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    eagle cad is a free tool for creating schematics and pcb layout.

    I use labcenter proteus for this purpose. (its not a freeware).
     
  10. DerStrom8

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    Feb 20, 2011
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    I've used expressPCB in the past, and while it works, I don't care much for it. It's rather bland, and you can't export gerber files--if you plan on designing a PCB, everything has to be done through their company, which is a turn-off for me. I switched to Eagle and loved it, though it is a bit of a learning curve. It's free for small boards (not sure of the dimensions exactly), but if you plan to do anything bigger you'll need to buy the professional version. I was going to try DesignSparkPCB, but the stupid site never sent me an email to activate my account (both times I tried), so I've pretty much given up on it. I've heard great things about KiCad, but it's not free as far as I know. I've used Proteus and like it, though again, it's not free.

    I guess if you only want to draw schematics (and not make any boards), and don't mind a bland layout, ExpressPCB will be fine, but personally I'd recommend Eagle for now.
     
  11. n1ist

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    Mar 8, 2009
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    KiCad is free and open-source
    /mike
     
  12. bertus

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  13. tshuck

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    From the KiCAD website homepage:
    I have KiCAD running on my Windows machine...can't use it, but I have it.:)
     
  14. shortbus

    AAC Fanatic!

    Sep 30, 2009
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    I'm learning to use Diptrace, makes more sense to this old guy, that doesn't understand computers that well. So far it seems easier than Eagle.
     
  15. DerStrom8

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    Would you happen to have a screenshot of DipTrace? I must say, I'm intrigued.
     
  16. tracecom

    AAC Fanatic!

    Apr 16, 2010
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    You can download a free version at diptrace.com and try it.

    I tried it, liked it, and bought a version because I wanted to be able to use it for commercial purposes.
     
  17. DerStrom8

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    What kinds of limitations has it got? I'd rather not download it unless I'm sure I want it.
     
  18. tshuck

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    http://www.diptrace.com/screenshots.php
    Seems pretty nice, but I may just stick with EAGLE;)
     
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  19. DerStrom8

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  20. tracecom

    AAC Fanatic!

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    I tried to learn Eagle and failed. I suppose that DipTrace is not as comprehensive as Eagle, but then, my needs are not as comprehensive as some.

    The only thing that I ever needed to do that DipTrace wouldn't do, was to make pads with the hole off center. I found a workaround, but it was not perfect.
     
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