What electronic circuit simulation software are people using?

Thread Starter

dcbingaman

Joined Jun 30, 2021
495
I know LTSpice seems to do a good job at analog simulation. I am curious what other software is out there on the market (free or not) for simulations and what peoples opinions on other options? I tried to install something called Qucs. But it requires for digital simulation a C++ compiler and some other software called FreeHDL. What I liked about Qucs: It was suppose to support not just digital simulation but also VHDL and Verilog files. But I could never get the digital simulation working on Windows something about the dependencies on those other two items. I installed the two 'dependencies' but that did not resolve the issue.
 

KeithWalker

Joined Jul 10, 2017
2,034
I don't use a circuit simulator. When I design a circuit, I breadboard it and make real live measurements. When circuit simulators were first made available, they were very primitive and the results were not very reliable. I found it a waste of time to try to use them. I guess I never took the time to try them more recently.
 
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Thread Starter

dcbingaman

Joined Jun 30, 2021
495
I don't use a circuit simulator. When I design a circuit, I breadboard it and make real live measurements. When circuit simulators were first made available, they were very primitive and the results were not very reliable. I found it a waste of time to try to use them. I guess I never took the time to try them more recently.
I understand how you feel. I was not to crazy about circuit simulation early in my career. I think though they have come a long way and do a fairly descent job compared to the past. My typical design cycle is to design a circuit using standard electrical engineering math along with component datasheets. If possible I will next run it through a simulator. This helps me catch any major, dumb or silly mistakes. Next (if possible) I will test the circuit using a solderless breadboard. Finally, I will create the final schematic using KiCad, generate a board layout and send it out for fabrication. I have found though that certain circuits do not operate well on a solderless breadboard if there are strict layout requirements. Switching power supplies and other high current or high speed circuits fit this category. In this case I use the simulator, then have lots of reviews on the layout because you simply cannot breadboard that type of circuit. For digital circuits I stick to FPGA's/CPLD's and VHDL and or Verilog with simulations and synthesis tools. Often in this case I will use a demo board from the manufacturer for final testing of digital logic prior to incorporating onto a dedicated PCB.
 

paoloberno

Joined May 3, 2021
11
I use LTSpice.
The simulator is very useful to catch mistakes i did when calculating the various component values or to check if an idea that came to my mind is working or not.
Only rarely i feel the need to test the circuit on a breadboard for two reasons, the are not very reliable and mos of the components are not (or difficultly) breadboardable.
 

Ian0

Joined Aug 7, 2020
3,754
I don't use a circuit simulator. When I design a circuit, I breadboard it and make real live measurements. When circuit simulators were first made available, they were very primitive and the results were not very reliable. I found it a waste of time to try to use them. I guess I never took the time to try them more recently.
I have simulated some audio power amplifiers lately on LTSpice, and it gives results that I know it will be impossible to achieve in real life. My conclusion - it's good for phase response, but don't believe a thing it tells you about distortion!
 
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