Simple pcb design program

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carlmart
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Simple pcb design program

Post by carlmart » Sat Jan 17, 2015 8:45 am

I am having some trouble finding what I call a "bread & butter" pcb design program.

I have tried several, but the learning curve is quite steep, and I I'm looking for something simple. Didn't get along with Eagle or KiCad, their tutorials are very poor.

So I'm looking for something simple but universal at the same time, that I can send the file to make the board and anyone can open it. Is that so hard to find?

Many programs restrict what do you open the files with, or limit the size of the board, or something like that.

The program I used to use was a DOS program, which refuses to run in Windows 7 not matter what.

Any suggestions?

Craig Buckingham
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Re: Simple pcb design program

Post by Craig Buckingham » Wed Jan 21, 2015 9:18 am

Is this too simple for what you need?

http://www.expresspcb.com/

EDIT: Maybe you are tied into using their PCB services.
EDIT2: Just read the other thread about PCB design programs. Forget what I said.

I used to use a DOS version of Protel and really loved using keystrokes. It's amazing how many you can remember,

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mediatechnology
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Re: Simple pcb design program

Post by mediatechnology » Wed Jan 21, 2015 9:25 am

Is this to simple for what you need?

http://www.expresspcb.com/
I use ExpressPCB too and the PCB tool is quite easy to use.
I've never really gotten into the schematic drawing application as evidenced by my 10 to the inch graph paper drawings. :geek:

The quality of the PC boards are excellent and they deliver on time.
I've never done four layer with them.
ExpressPCB are good for prototype and small runs which is all I do.
For manufacturing large quantities or to use alternate venders there's no means to export the actual file but that's never been an issue for me.
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carlmart
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Re: Simple pcb design program

Post by carlmart » Wed Jan 21, 2015 10:15 am

Unfortunately manufacturing is an issue in this case, and even if my partner knows and prefers Altium, he's handling an smaller SMD version of this project.

I'm in charge of the through-hole version, as we are on different countries and I have a lot of TH parts I can use for the 4 or 5 prototypes I will build them with. Then we will convert them to SMD too.

Yesterday I got to know DipTrace, and it's the first program I have recently tried with a decent tutorial, sophisticated enough to probably generate pcb files I can get done anywhere.

I'm currently trying to learn the schematics part of it, as anyway it seems all modern programs demand you go through that first. We'll see.

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JR.
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Re: Simple pcb design program

Post by JR. » Wed Jan 21, 2015 10:58 am

It is important to confirm that the software generates usable output files (gerbers) for your board manufacturer,

Your board house will list the types of files they need.

JR

carlmart
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Re: Simple pcb design program

Post by carlmart » Wed Jan 21, 2015 11:20 am

Yes, of course it outputs Gerber files. It shouldn't be a commercially viable program if it didn't.

Listen to this, under Manufacturing.

http://diptrace.com/diptrace-software/guided-tour/

Attached is also the screen with the Gerber option.
Attachments
DipTrace_Gerber.jpg
DipTrace_Gerber.jpg (466.04 KiB) Viewed 14605 times

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mediatechnology
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Re: Simple pcb design program

Post by mediatechnology » Wed Jan 21, 2015 12:25 pm

Not bad pricing either on DipTrace for the number of pins/signal layers I would use.

The lowest-cost version is $75 for two signal layers (unlimited planes) and 300 pins.
It has a 30 day trial.

http://diptrace.com/buy/online-store/
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JR.
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Re: Simple pcb design program

Post by JR. » Wed Jan 21, 2015 2:17 pm

I only mentioned the output files because for a while there were PCB houses pushing free layout software but the output was locked to insure they got the board jobs.

I have not looked at this lately. I have been using eagle for almost 2 decades. I don't love it, but an too cheap to buy something else, and too lazy to learn any more new secret handshakes, until I have to. The old seat of eagle I have is getting marginal as modern SMD keeps shrinking smaller. I doubt I'll re-up to new eagle unless they get a lot cheaper.

JR

carlmart
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Re: Simple pcb design program

Post by carlmart » Thu Jan 22, 2015 3:01 pm

There would be taxes and else to use Express PCB from here. Not a good option.

What I'm seeing is that DipTrace is very much like Altium which I will have to learn sometime, but simpler. So when the time comes it may help.

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mediatechnology
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Re: Simple pcb design program

Post by mediatechnology » Thu Feb 26, 2015 8:55 am

https://ka-electronics.com

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