Circuit diagram software anyone?

  1. Tom Mattson

    Tom Mattson 5,538
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    Hi,

    What do you EE's use to draw circuit diagrams for reports? I'll be teaching a course in Circuit Analysis this summer, and there is no existing lab manual. I'd like to make one, but I don't want to draw the circuit diagrams by hand (I draw like a retard :redface: ).

    Thanks,
     
  2. jcsd
  3. chroot

    chroot 10,426
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  4. Can any of the other "CAD" programs work as well. I have ViaCad on my computer, it has a majority if not all of the electronics symbols. Will that work or is there something else that OrCad offers
     
  5. negitron

    negitron 842
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    If you just want to draw fairly basic schematics, any CAD software will do. If your schematics will be more complex, you might be better off with a package specifically designed for drawing them, such as OrCAD or PADS. There is also KiCAD, a free, open-source schematic and simulation package, but I don't know if their license allows use for educational purposes or only for personal use.
     
  6. berkeman

    Staff: Mentor

    Um, you resurrected a 5 year old thread... :uhh:

    But whatever. I guess the subject of CAD software is timeless, after all.

    A schematic drawing package like OrCAD gives you many features that a straight drawing CAD program like Visio or others cannot. It helps you with connectivity issues, via Net Names, connection by names, bus connections, etc. It lets you enter information for parts (like voltage, power, source, price, etc.) that you can access by clicking on the parts. It lets you generate Netlists (for the PCB layout phase), BOMs (bills of materials for the parts ordering), and lets you do Design Rule Checks to find connectivity and other errors.

    There are typically Student Versions available for some of the schematic drawing packages. There are also some fairly inexpensive packages like Eagle that work reasonably well.

    Once you've used a real schematic entry tool, you will be very frustrated trying to draw even simple schematics in a CAD or drawing program.
     
  7. chroot

    chroot 10,426
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    Not to mention the fact that schematics drawn in programs like Visio contain no real information about connectivity; you cannot convert them into a netlist for a simulator.

    - Warren
     
  8. negitron

    negitron 842
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    But berkeman did mention exactly that.
     
  9. berkeman

    Staff: Mentor

    No, actually I mentioned the PCB layout aspect of the Netlist, not the simulation aspect. Good point by chroot.
     
  10. negitron

    negitron 842
    Science Advisor

    It's been mentioned. In any case, the free version is highly limited, good as it is. They also offer a personal-use version intended for hobbyists for $US150 which has impressive capabilities, including the ability to autoroute a 6x4-inch 4-layer board.
     
  11. ranger

    ranger 1,683
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