Electronics Simulation Software

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KidDano
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Electronics Simulation Software

Post by KidDano » Tue May 13, 2003 2:40 pm

I am trying to find a good circut simulation software that won't vaporize my wallet. can anyone suggest one. I used to use Electronic Workbench in collage but have long since lost the disks.

greg123
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Re: Electronics Simulation Software

Post by greg123 » Tue May 13, 2003 3:00 pm

Try circuitmaker. They have a student version available for free.<p>Circuit Maker Student<p>I have the professionsl version and it is great.<p>Greg

Ron H
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Re: Electronics Simulation Software

Post by Ron H » Tue May 13, 2003 3:41 pm

I continue to recommend Linear Technology's SwitcherCAD III, which is totally free and has no demo or student limitations. No one else here on this forum seems to be interested in it. It may be a little harder to get the hang of if you are an inexperienced Spice user. There is also an active user's group.

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jollyrgr
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Re: Electronics Simulation Software

Post by jollyrgr » Tue May 13, 2003 4:11 pm

Do you need a full blown version or a "demo" version? The one I like is PSPICE. The MicroSIM version is free for download here:
http://www.ee.mtu.edu/faculty/rzulinsk/pspice.htm<p>This has limitations as it is meant for EE students. The ORCAD 9.1 version of the software is down at this writing.<p>The beauty about this software is the support available. There are numerous online tutorials for training. As I said earlier this is an Electrical Engineering student version so many engineering schools have web sites devoted to the use of this software. Go here for an example:<p>http://silicon.ee.vt.edu/Pspice/
No trees were harmed in the creation of this message. But billions of electrons, photons, and electromagnetic waves were terribly inconvenienced!

unknown_entity
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Re: Electronics Simulation Software

Post by unknown_entity » Thu May 15, 2003 9:57 am

actually i have Electronics Workbench on a CD I could send you. Email me if your interested.
[email protected]

russlk
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Re: Electronics Simulation Software

Post by russlk » Thu May 15, 2003 3:13 pm

I had electronics workbench several years ago, the schematics were terrible so I continued to use Intusoft's ISPICE even tho it was an old DOS version, until I downloaded Switcher Cad II, which I now use exclusivly.

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Re: Electronics Simulation Software

Post by Douger » Wed May 21, 2003 2:57 pm

I really like AutoTRAX. It is an unlimited FREE circuit simulation program and it has a lot of very nice features like automatic board layout generation and being able to render the final board design in 3D (and AutoTRAX is controllable by Visual Basic). There is also a Yahoo! group for support. <p>I have also tried Switcher Cad II and Micro-Cap 7 Student (my old favorite) but recently I have found I really like AutoTRAX.<p>See: http://www.autotraxeda.com/

dave8976
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Re: Electronics Simulation Software

Post by dave8976 » Mon May 26, 2003 4:26 am

My interest in circuit simulation programs has been rekindle for the past year with the attempt to recreate a number of the circuits that are presented in the various projects and in the TJByers Q&A forum such in Nuts & Volts. In some cases I thought why did I not think of that in terms of the design approach. I find it is a great way to develop a better understanding of circuit design. The programs allow you do easily alter the component values or circuit and to see the effect. I only wished I used this approach before building a circuit and trying to trouble shoot it afterwards. So I was very interest in trying out some of the other software suggestions.
I initially started out using CircuitMaker the student version. I found the manual to be excellent. You really need to read the manual in order to get the spice simulation working and it has a number of examples that are covered at the beginning in order to get you started. The manual also has a detail reference section that spans several chapters. I initially started using this program when my home computer had Win98 running. Now since my machine has been upgraded to Windows XP the program’s appearance is difference with certain features and functions missing. I noticed in the documentation that the recommended operating system requirement is up to Windows 2000. So I am wondering is anyone has heard if a Windows XP version is coming out soon?
As I mentioned I have also tried a couple of the other suggested programs. I found Switch Cad III a step backwards in ease of creating the schematic drawing and could not find any manual to help in developing a better understand of the program. It seamed to have a good source of component library. I then tried the AutoTrax and found it to have a very user-friendly interface. It appears to be a recently released software with limited component library. The software crashed a few times while using it and it appears to have a number of software bugs as reported by other users. I found not user manual other than on-line reference under the help menu. Thus I am now back at using CircuitMaker the student version. and now wondering if I need to re-install Windows 98 in order to run the program properly?
I conclude that the continued use of a specific program is based on user preference and what the user is most comfortable with and probably what the user has started out with. I find the licensing of these programs to be too expense to justify their use as a hobby resource. I am glad some of them are available free or available as a limited student version. But you get what you have paid for! At least there is an opportunity to experience the ability to simulate circuit without having to make a large financial outlay. I would think there is a sizable market for companies to offer a fully supported product to the hobbyist market that is reasonable priced $100-$300 with limited licensing on a home computer for non-commercial use? This may also help to promote their more expensive product offering?

dave8976
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Re: Electronics Simulation Software

Post by dave8976 » Thu Jun 12, 2003 9:33 am

I recently came across the B2 Spice A/D and v4 product from a company called Beige Bag Software. Has anyone tried this out. Their pricing appears reasonable. They provide a 30 day trial. the Tend heir web site is www.beigebag.com.N.

RWA
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Re: Electronics Simulation Software

Post by RWA » Fri Jun 13, 2003 5:05 am

Dave F, you mention a manual for circuit maker. I downloaded the student version of CM. How can I get a manual? The tutorials in the help files refer to the manual. I searched the web site for one with no success.

wd5gnr
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Re: Electronics Simulation Software

Post by wd5gnr » Fri Jun 13, 2003 5:42 pm

I did an article on Switcher CAD awhile back in N&V. Great program.

dave8976
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Re: Electronics Simulation Software

Post by dave8976 » Fri Jun 13, 2003 6:12 pm

Beginer, Yes I do have the manual for Circuit Maker. I downloaded from the site. I will send it to you if you will send me your e-mail address. I found the student version does not work as outlined int he manul under Windows XP but does under Windows 98. But I found the 30 day trial version works well.<p>I noticed no one commented on the Beige Bag product. My earlier posting somehow got a number of errors in the text. The correct URL is www.beigebag.com<p>Al, do you remember which issue you wrote the Switch CAD article. I have been a subscriber to N&V for a few years this may have been before I subscribed. Also I am guessing what was known as Switch CAD has now been replaced or updated by Switch CAD III. I never came across the manual for his one so it was somewhat difficult to understand the full capabilities of this program. I am finding this the same with the Beige Bag product although it appears simple to use.
Dave

wd5gnr
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Re: Electronics Simulation Software

Post by wd5gnr » Sat Jun 14, 2003 7:59 am

July 2002 -- Just a general introduction and I mentioned a few other spice programs too.

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Joseph
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Re: Electronics Simulation Software

Post by Joseph » Sun Jun 15, 2003 4:49 am

I like the demo version of MicroCap because even a slow learner like me can use it easily.

dave8976
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Re: Electronics Simulation Software

Post by dave8976 » Sun Jun 15, 2003 5:31 am

Al, I read your article - it is a great one, well worth the read for anyone interested in starting out on using circuit simulation software. I think a great follow up article for N&V would be to cover full range of available software and the functionality that is offered. Provide a more indepth coverage on using these programs from a hobby perspective in building a project. Any thoughts on this Al? From what I found there is quite the list. For example from my review I came up with the following:<p>Product Company
--------- -------------------------
SwitcherCADIII/LTSpice Linear Technologies
- easy to use with a complete library set well support , easy to obtain software updates and free<p>CircuitMaker 2000 Protel International Ltd
- very good functionality but pricing at $995 a student version is available free but limited functionality ex: cannot upgrade library and does not run well under Windows XP. Not sure if the company will continue to support this product as they are promoting their Protel DXP line in their brochures with no mention of CircuitMaker. <p>B2 Spice Workshop Beige Bag Software
- very easy to use, well supported and well priced at $250<p>Auto Trax EDA Kovac Software
- Early release does not have a complete library, active user forum and active participation by the software designer, heavy graphics focus, software available free with manual but frustration by the limited component library.<p>Ivex Complete Plus650 Ivex Design International Ltd
- little on the pricing side at $699 for the version that includes simulation<p>EDWin XP 1.2 Visionics
- the non-commercial version is available at $550<p>Protolab 4.0 Global Specialities Software
- basic functionality and limited to AC and DC circuits does not include logic, priced at $49<p>Proteus VSM Labcenter Electronics
- Micro processor design focus<p>(Please not I have not represented the above products completely and is only based on my limited use or viewing of the product information. Others may have different views.)<p>I would think this area would have significant interest as by using these tools helps to develop a better understanding of circuit design. Lately I been rebuilding a number of circuits presented by TJ Byers as well as in the Tech Forum understand or to confirm that’s how the circuit works. Also it is a great way to add modifications to the given circuit to suit your own applications.

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