Independent Protel users FAQ
CadsoftUSA Eagle CAD new user notes
Apart from these limitations the freeware EAGLE Light Edition can do anything
the Professional Edition can do. You can even load, view and print drawings
that exceed these limits! Registration is $49. Seems to jump up in price
pretty fast if you wanted to make a little bigger board. The user interface
is... less than intuitive and the parts librarys are hell to find anything
in. Windows users should read some notes
from a new user which are sort of a quick start.
The librarys provided with the program are less than stellar. Probably the biggest problem is the lack of standardization of which layer the legend (aka silk screen) symbols go into. Not to mention the messed up legends for SMDs. You can find a number of user posted libraries in the forums at cadsoft.com but beware, many are sloppy and some are just wrong! Wrong pin outs, wrong part names and wrong land patterns. And there is no standard in how to draw the schematic symbols so some may look quite odd. Also, there is considerable duplication of effort.
At least one library that you can be confident in is the PIC library (pic.scr) created by Olin Lathrop of EmbedInc.com. Mr. Lathrop is a highly paid, professional consultant, who, from time to time, shares his valuable work in the hopes that it will be a good advertizement for his business. It contains device definitions for 16C773, 16F876-?, 16F877-?, 16C622A-?, 16*F628-?, 12F629-?, 12F675-?, 18F452-?, 18*F1320-?, 18*F252-?, 16F630-?, 30F2010, 18*F6520-?, 30F6010-?, 16*F648A-?, 10F206-*/?, 30F4011-?, 10F204-*/?, 10F200-*/?, 10F202-*/?, 30F4012-*/?.
Or if you like the minimal approach: A 'Sharpie' permanent marker works great as a etch-resistant pen
I have used Protel DOS version forever and wanted to upgrade to a windows version. I tried Protel 99SE and didn't like it at all, it was so bad as to be unusable. I also tried DipTrace and it's fantastic. I was surprised and dissapointed as I have always considered Protel the best. Now I am finding that PCB makers are going to have more support for Protel and wondering about converting my DipTrace files to a Protel readable format - does anyone know of any converters?
I think your caveat about ExpressPCB on www.piclist.com/techref/pcbcads.htm is unfair. I've been using the software for several years and I've never had a file that didn't run on a newer version. The fact that the software changes is a big benefit, not a liability. It means they're active in developing it. For example, it now includes a schematic program that can be linked to PC boards.+
DipTrace is a complete state-of-the-art PCB design system with easy-to-learn user interface. It includes Schematics, PCB, powerful autorouter, 40.000+ standard components and you are able to create your own.
To convert a standard board image to an outline for isolation etch or mill using Photoshop:
1.) Load the board image
2.) select magic wand - make sure anti-alias & contigous is disabled.
3.) click/select the black color (non copper area) this will select all the black color since contigous option is disabled.
4.) contract the selection/marque to 5 pixels. From Menu: Select->Modify->Contract, then choose 5.
5.) Hit del key, to delete the selection/marque.
6.) Now etch the PCB with your favorite solution.
One users opinion:
|You will not be able to move to another package later and they may upgrade the program and invalidate your files. Other than that, it is the easyist, quickest, cheapest way.|
|Pro||Hire out the work||Pay someone to design it for you. Concentrate on what you know.|
|Regular||Hobbiest||TCI||Most of the features of ExpressPCB, all that you need. Makes Gerbers directly so can be used with just about any board house|
|Pro||?||There are lots of options here...|
|The very strange user interface and quirks will waste a lot of your time at first, but eventually, you will be able to make really nice boards and do just about anything the pro's can do.|
|Pro||Protel||All in all, over all, and in general, this is the one...|
|file: /Techref/pcbcads.htm, 18KB, , updated: 2011/11/7 09:45, local time: 2013/12/5 03:23,
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