Do we rely too much on simulators?

cmartinez

Joined Jan 17, 2007
6,644
Ok... getting serious now, I think the question is a valid one and deserves some consideration.

In my case, I've been learning electronics front to back. That is, I think I've learned the more advanced stuff first without first bothering to more thoroughly learn the fundamentals. That has made things a bit harder for me in some respects.
But on the other hand, using such a powerful tool as LTspice is has been extremely invaluable. That software has been like having a third wheel in which I can either confirm or refute my hypothesis (mostly refute), and I learn lots of things in the process. And I learn them in a faster, cheaper way.

Creating a circuit simulation also requires imagination and intuition, and it allows to you more easily answer the question of "what if"... I think that, with time and experience, I'm going to rely on simulations less and less, and maybe use them mainly for verification purposes.

Then again, for some of us (especially the old ones), eventually removing the third wheel may prove to be close to impossible.
 

Thread Starter

hp1729

Joined Nov 23, 2015
2,304
Ok... getting serious now, I think the question is a valid one and deserves some consideration.

In my case, I've been learning electronics front to back. That is, I think I've learned the more advanced stuff first without first bothering to more thoroughly learn the fundamentals. That has made things a bit harder for me in some respects.
But on the other hand, using such a powerful tool as LTspice is has been extremely invaluable. That software has been like having a third wheel in which I can either confirm or refute my hypothesis (mostly refute), and I learn lots of things in the process. And I learn them in a faster, cheaper way.

Creating a circuit simulation also requires imagination and intuition, and it allows to you more easily answer the question of "what if"... I think that, with time and experience, I'm going to rely on simulations less and less, and maybe use them mainly for verification purposes.

Then again, for some of us (especially the old ones), eventually removing the third wheel may prove to be close to impossible.
Without question simulators have value and purpose. Like calculators, do we rely too much on artificial intelligence and forego using our own?

Not being an experienced user of simulators my opinion may not be worth too much. I look at the examples presented and think they would perhaps be more useful if they used actual ICs instead of "kind-of-like" examples. But I guess y'all must know better than I do.
 

bertus

Joined Apr 5, 2008
20,180
Hello,

A simulator is as good as its models.
When the models do not fit reality, the outcome will be not good.

I do not use simulators.
I build and use an oscilloscope to look at the result.

Bertus
 

atferrari

Joined Jan 6, 2004
3,579
Hello,

A simulator is as good as its models.
When the models do not fit reality, the outcome will be not good.
Definitely that is the point: as in any discipline, a model is an approach, more or less precise, more or less complete.

Hello,
I do not use simulators.
I build and use an oscilloscope to look at the result. Bertus
In my case, sure much much less experienced than you and so many others in the forum, I use it sometimes to see if my basic idea is right or dead wrong. Let us admit that building complex things takes time and not everybody has the means always.

Nothing could replace the actual tests in hardware.
 

atferrari

Joined Jan 6, 2004
3,579
But on the other hand, using such a powerful tool as LTspice is has been extremely invaluable. That software has been like having a third wheel in which I can either confirm or refute my hypothesis (mostly refute), and I learn lots of things in the process. And I learn them in a faster, cheaper way.

Creating a circuit simulation also requires imagination and intuition, and it allows to you more easily answer the question of "what if"... I think that, with time and experience, I'm going to rely on simulations less and less, and maybe use them mainly for verification purposes.
Hola César,

Because of the lack of space, and sometimes means, building something is a problem for me, much more for "what if" tests.

I am in the last stage of an analog PID controller which I actually built but preceded by several brief / limited simulations. Doing otherwise would have resulted in a repeated building of dubious results. Wasting time just to finally say, "no, it does not work at all" is not the best if LTSpice could have helped me. In spite of what it could be said, you also learn that way.

In a brief and intense period of few weeks I experimented with simulation and real hardware on current sources. It was the best I could do.

A simple 1-transistor stage controlling the Z axis of my scope was simulated in LTSpice, assembled on a protoboard but finally made to actually work when assembled in a perfboard.
 

PeterCoxSmith

Joined Feb 23, 2015
148
Simulation is great. You can try out lots of circuit ideas without the hassle of building and failing. You can evolve the best circuit then build it. But watch out for dissipation and stress!
 

Dodgydave

Joined Jun 22, 2012
8,584
I personally can stand them,you cant beat making it on veroboard or pcb and modify it, and play with it using a scope and dvm, to suit your needs, its the only way you will learn.
 

GopherT

Joined Nov 23, 2012
8,012
I personally can stand them,you cant beat making it on veroboard or pcb and modify it, and play with it using a scope and dvm, to suit your needs, its the only way you will learn.
Come on, it is so much easier to sort and put away all the resistors and capacitors when you simulate vs bread boarding. Also, I don't have to worry whether or not I have SMD or through hole parts available when I simulate.

I usually sketch, then simulate (any segments I am unsure of), then prototype any new parts/sensors, then build.
 
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