Software for Virtual Bread Boards

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by dashstofsk, Jul 18, 2014.

  1. dashstofsk

    Thread Starter New Member

    Jun 16, 2013
    I would like to start a discussion on the topic of software for the layout of components on bread boards.

    I am in need of a bread board application that can import a netlist ( components, logical connections + package types ), that will allow you to place the components on the virtual board, and then indicate to you which bread board tracks need to be hooked together.

    I have done an online search. I have tried Fritzing but that is not to my liking, and it won’t import a netlist. Otherwise there doesn’t seem to be much available.

    In the absence of suitable software I am considering whether to develop my own software. But before I commit myself to further development I would like to invite suggestions, advice and comments. Am I wasting my time? Is there software already available? Would people use such software? What features would you like such software to have?

  2. mcgyvr

    AAC Fanatic!

    Oct 15, 2009
  3. dashstofsk

    Thread Starter New Member

    Jun 16, 2013

    But VBB wants to install something that goes by the name of Microsoft J#. I am reluctant to overload my PC with too many installations that I know little about. Both VBB and Fritzing have large setup files. Why do they need such large installation files? My own project ( if ever get round to completing it ) will have a much smaller software footprint.

    My problem with using bread boards is this. I build a circuit on a BB, it works, I leave it for a few days. Then when I come back to it I have forgotten which component is which and which connection, within the forest of hookup wires, goes where. A program that will allow me to record the bread board as a document on my PC, and that will allow me to add notes and comments at both the bread board and component levels, would be of benefit to me.

    Hopefully, something like this would be of benefit to other AAC members also.
    absf likes this.
  4. Nykolas


    Aug 27, 2013
    On the Fritzing homepage is a tab "Contributing". Why reinvent? Get the code and work on improvements and make the program better! E
  5. sirch2

    Well-Known Member

    Jan 21, 2013
    I think it's a good idea and certainly something I've looked for in the past. It would be good if it could use a component library from something like Eagle because the main problem with using anything like this is the lack of components in the library. The time it takes to draw a load of components (and find and fix the mistakes) is the main thing that stops me using something like Fritzing.

    That said I have used Eagle to do a breadboard layout in the past, not ideal but better than nothing.
    absf likes this.
  6. dashstofsk

    Thread Starter New Member

    Jun 16, 2013
    Thanks for the advice.

    Contribute to Fritzing? No thanks. They probably have an established development team in place and in any case I know from experience that it can be difficult working with other people’s software. It is sometimes much easier ( and fun ) to do your own.

    The components library can be simple geometrical representation of component parts, giving you just enough to be able to differentiate them.

    The attached image shows what I have in mind.
    • 1.gif
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  7. nigelwright7557

    Distinguished Member

    May 10, 2008
    What I do is lay out the breadboard the same as the schematic.
    You can then relate it to the schematic if you forget which component is which.
  8. Metalmann

    Active Member

    Dec 8, 2012
  9. ErnieM

    AAC Fanatic!

    Apr 24, 2011
    There are three basic fundamental drawings each circuit needs:

    One is a schematic diagram to show interconnections between components.

    Another one is the Bill of Materials, or BOM. This lists the part number of every device used in as much or as little detail as the task requires.

    The last one is an assembly diagram that shows the physical location of every component.

    All three are equally important, and typically generated in the order I just gave.

    For many decades there were all done with pencil and paper, a method that still works today.

    I would suggest some freeware programs that could speed this process, but they all have "large set-up files," and everyone knows a computer works the best when it has very few application programs installed.
  10. dashstofsk

    Thread Starter New Member

    Jun 16, 2013
    Absolutely, and it is a wide choice of assembly diagram tools that seems to be lacking in the freeware sphere. Hopefully my offering could make a small addition to the available tools.
  11. kubeek

    AAC Fanatic!

    Sep 20, 2005
    Why dont you simply use eagle? Set the grid to 100mil and draw bottom traces in just one direction, and draw jumper links in top layer. I did some breadboard designs like that with no problems.

    It doesnt look as pretty as the other sofware, but usefullnes should prevail over nice looks.