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  1. #1
    Warren fsaviator's Avatar
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    Electronic Circuit design and Simulation Software

    Can anyone recommend a good, solid, but cheap, software program for designing electrical circuits and testing/simulating them? If it also creates PCB layouts that would be great.

    I'm interested in building some electronics for my simpit.

    Thanks!

    Warren

  2. #2
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    Warren,

    If you're looking for modelling software for linear circuitry, it's hard to go wrong with LTspice from Linear Technology http://www.linear.com/designtools/software/ This is a free Spice 3 program preloaded with the device models of Linear Technology products.

    Many people use Eagle for PC board layout. The free version is limited in board size and number of holes per board, but still allows for a reasonably sized hobby project. It's a bit complex to learn, but has the advantage of being capable of producing industry standard plot and drill files. http://www.cadsoftusa.com/ BTW, the Cadsoft site is good source of DIY information.

    An alternative to Eagle is WinQcadFree http://www.winqcad.com/

    You can also use the free software from a few of the PC board manufacturers. For example, ExpressPCB has a basic schematic capture application and PCB artwork editor. www.expresspcb.com It does not produce industry standard files. It feeds directly into their manufacturing facility. Basic, but very easy to use, and it offers online quotes. I've used their services several times and have been pleased.

  3. #3
    Warren fsaviator's Avatar
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    Mike,

    Thanks a bunch! I'll check out LTSpice. I've already got WinQcadFree, but I'll check out PCBExpress too.

    Incidentally, I've got your first book on my wish list and I've talked my wife into buying it for my upcoming Birthday.

    I'm eagerly waiting for you to finish up the new book though... I'll be jumping on that!

    Thanks for all the info and the work you've put into your site. It's a mainstay stop for me as I work on my sim. In fact, that's what's given me the itch to start building more of my own components.

    Warren

  4. #4
    150+ Forum Groupie Kerbo's Avatar
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    I use the free version of Eagle from Cadsoft for boards I am making myself, one you learn the program it is pretty intuitive. I have also used ExpressPCB for several projects and have not been disappointed with their software or finished boards.

    Quote Originally Posted by wsoeldner View Post
    Incidentally, I've got your first book on my wish list and I've talked my wife into buying it for my upcoming Birthday.
    I highly recommend the book, I had it on my wish list and received it for Christmas.

    Quote Originally Posted by wsoeldner View Post
    I'm eagerly waiting for you to finish up the new book though... I'll be jumping on that!
    Ditto!
    Kerbo on YouTube or Twitch
    github.com/wriley

  5. #5
    Heli Builder fweinrebe's Avatar
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    I'm also waiting for the second book. I then want to order both books to save on the shipping charges.

    Mike, I hope the shipping cost for both books will be a money saver.
    Fritz -> Helicopter Cockpit Builder
    (FSX | TH2Go | Arduino | C# Avionics | CNC)

  6. #6
    300+ Forum Addict



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    Quote Originally Posted by fweinrebe View Post
    I'm also waiting for the second book. I then want to order both books to save on the shipping charges.

    Mike, I hope the shipping cost for both books will be a money saver.
    Fritz,

    I use a "flat rate" Priority Mail International service. It seems to be the most cost effective air mail solution to getting books delivered, but it's limited to 4 pounds. The first book is 400 pages and weighs just under 2 pounds. The new book is expected to have 608 pages. I won't be able to send both books together using the flat rate service because of the weight limit.

    It appears the least expensive air mail shipping solution is to send each book separately using the flat rate service. Non-air mail shipping is a possibility, but I've been told delivery is very, very slow.

    http://pe.usps.gov/text/imm/mo_019.htm#ep1724272

  7. #7
    150+ Forum Groupie Roland's Avatar
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    Talking about electronics and books, I can also highly recommend "The Art of Electronics"
    Camebridge press, ISBN 0-521-37095-7
    Clear, understandable text, very practical, lots of examples and covers a lot of topics.
    RR

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