Author Topic: Circuit drawing software for dummies  (Read 2683 times)

Offline abstruse1

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Circuit drawing software for dummies
« on: September 12, 2022, 03:33:52 AM »
If I can find the software to do so with a minimum learning curve, I'd like to take messy, hand drawn schematics and convert them to neat, color coded and labeled schematics.  At this point, I think I only need 2D software.

Ease of learning foremost.  Price probably not an issue.

I use PC, not Apple.

Suggestions?  Thanx!

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Offline Twospoons

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Re: Circuit drawing software for dummies
« Reply #1 on: September 12, 2022, 07:20:11 AM »
  • Kicad - then you can continue through to pcb.
  • One of the many free SPICE apps (LTSpice, TINA, SIMETRIX etc)

Personally I find Simetrix very easy to use for a quick circuit sketch.

Offline Mads Barnkob

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Re: Circuit drawing software for dummies
« Reply #2 on: September 12, 2022, 01:09:53 PM »
The easiest and free PCB and schematics software is the ExpressPCB software package. The downside, its proprietary to that company and you can only order your boards from them. BUT its super fast and easy to use for schematics. I posted some screenshots here: https://highvoltageforum.net/index.php?topic=43.0

I also use the PCB layout editor as I make my own PCBs with laser printer toner transfer method. I wrote a guide here: https://highvoltageforum.net/index.php?topic=59.0

Download the classic version, its the most simple: https://www.expresspcb.com/pcb-cad-software/

I use it for all my schematics at kaizerpowerelectronics.dk :)
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Offline LoOdaK

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Re: Circuit drawing software for dummies
« Reply #3 on: September 12, 2022, 02:26:47 PM »
I personally use KiCAD.
I'm not professional; I'm still learning, but it is pretty easy to use.
A schematic drawing is relatively straightforward, you can customize the theme to suit your style.

After drawing you can convert the schematic to the PCB and continue there. It has a pretty good components library.

Check it out: https://www.kicad.org/

Offline Mads Barnkob

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Re: Circuit drawing software for dummies
« Reply #4 on: September 12, 2022, 04:34:54 PM »
I personally use KiCAD.
I'm not professional; I'm still learning, but it is pretty easy to use.
A schematic drawing is relatively straightforward, you can customize the theme to suit your style.

After drawing you can convert the schematic to the PCB and continue there. It has a pretty good components library.

Check it out: https://www.kicad.org/

I am also switching to KiCAD to be able to share gerber files etc. Use a open standards program.

...but for the original question for a drawing program for dummies, I doubt there is much to beat ExpressPCB in simplicity and just-working-out-of-the-box-dont-have-to-care-about-linraries-and-netlists-and-knowing-how-to-use-professional-tool :)
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Offline LoOdaK

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Re: Circuit drawing software for dummies
« Reply #5 on: September 12, 2022, 09:45:41 PM »

I am also switching to KiCAD to be able to share gerber files etc. Use a open standards program.

...but for the original question for a drawing program for dummies, I doubt there is much to beat ExpressPCB in simplicity and just-working-out-of-the-box-dont-have-to-care-about-linraries-and-netlists-and-knowing-how-to-use-professional-tool :)

I have never used ExpressPCB so I can't comment on that hahaha 😄

I'm pretty satisfied with KiCAD, it does the job for me and it is pretty straightforward. The 3D viewer is really cool because it has raytracing.
The only thing that bothers me is gerber export. It is kinda confusing at first, at least it was for me :)

Offline Twospoons

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Re: Circuit drawing software for dummies
« Reply #6 on: September 14, 2022, 12:31:44 AM »
Any new software is going to take a little time to learn. Sometimes its better to invest a bit more time upfront in something a little more sophisticated, because you'll be better off in the long run.
ExpressPCB may be the easiest to learn (don't know- never used it myself), but the vendor lock-in may turn out to be a problem later.

A lot of learning is transferable though, so its seldom a complete loss changing to a new software package.

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Re: Circuit drawing software for dummies
« Reply #6 on: September 14, 2022, 12:31:44 AM »

 


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