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PCB CAD recommendations?

3/16/1998 5:30 AM
PCB CAD recommendations?
I've been using Easytrax PCB CAD (DOS) program for laying out pcb for now, but would be interested to try some other package. Which would you recommend? There seems to be many cheapo combined schematics & pcb cad packages with upto 200 pin capabilities, but none of these seem to support Gerber files or automatic ground fills. Any recommendations?  
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3/16/1998 9:03 AM
I have used Easytrax for all the GEO layouts. It fits my personal style for layout and it's free - what more could I ask for??? Your point about not having integrated schematics and ground fill is well taken, but I find that I've patched around that, and I personally have never found a schematics editor that does schematics the way I like them drawn. I don't do much ground fill, so that doesn't bother me.  
I realize that my needs are a very small subset of how the generic world of PCB layout works, so the things Easytrax is missing may be critical for you. Rules checking, ground fill, autorouting, and so forth are MANDATORY on modern state of the art layout, but layouts for effects are NOT state of the art, as this technology was current 25 years ago.  
I'm now trying out Electronics Workbench, so we'll see about that one in terms of schematics.  
Others may want other things, of course. I have played with PADs, Protel's advanced packages, and some others. I understand that TraxxMaker was the Easytrax package, bought from Protel and enhanced with an integrated schematics package, but I have not used it. Tango, Orcad, and Protel's Advanced series are good, but out of the question financially. I have not tested WinBoard.  
I demand Gerber, as you do, since I do have boards made at pro houses and Gerber is the lingua franca of board houses.  
Options are not good at under $500 or so. You might look into TraxxMaker and it's other packages. Let me know if you find something good.
3/16/1998 3:26 PM

I had EW5 but it does not contain a symbol editor. It is a great product, but without the editor, it was just about useless to me, since it doesn't even come with symbols for pentodes. I did some further looking and settled on Circuit Maker 5 from microcode which also publishes TraxMaker. I have been quite pleased with what I got for the money, and I find it easier to use than Microsim Design Lab which sells for about 10 times the price.
3/16/1998 7:32 PM

EWB5 can do a pentode though... there are models for the 6L6, EL34, AND EL84... Duncan's Amp Page has 'em... just point your browser to:
3/16/1998 11:16 PM

Yeah, it can simulate just about anything, but as far as printing out a schematic it is rather limited. Their tech support was really helpful, and told me that a symbol editor is supposed to be included in the next version.  

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