design tools

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I've been looking at various EDA tools and stumbled across Autotrax EDA,
at http://autotraxeda.com . It looks interesting, but I wonder whether
anyone here has any experience with it. The price is better than for
Eagle, and it includes Spice...

Bill

Re: design tools
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I've been monitoring the Yahoo users group, out of curiosity; it's got lots
of problems. Some people have managed to get PCBs made using it, but have
had to resort to editing the Gerber files.

Leon



Re: design tools
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What a shame -- it looks good on the surface. But the claim if 40,000
users doesn't seem to mesh well with a flaky product, nor with the short
list of replies here.

Bill

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Looks interesting. There is a free download, but I don't see what the
limitations of the free version are.

I am using the non-profit version of Eagle and am reasonably happy with it.

-- Georgi

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It does look interesting. The free version is much more limited than the
free version of Eagle, and comes with only a very small set of
libraries. A superficial test of schematic capture and layout didn't
make me scream, but did uncover a couple of things that they might
certainly have handled better. Still, if they get the bugs under
control, for US$195, with Spice in the package, it sounds a lot nicer
than US$1200 for Eagle.

My concerns, other than with bugs, are with the component libraries that
ship with the full version (I've seen no list anywhere), and with the
fact that my e-mail to them from a few days ago remains unanswered.

Bill

Re: design tools

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Some of the EE's around here use it to whip up the prototype boards
that we etch ourselves.  Production PC boards are layed out on ORCAD,
though.

Regards,

                               -=Dave
--
Change is inevitable, progress is not.

Re: design tools
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Interesting. Is it simply inertia that keeps production boards on ORCAD,
or are there problems with Autotrax that the EE's have flagged?

Bill

Re: design tools

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First, I was wrong, conflating a PPOE with my present employer.  It's
CADSTAR, not ORCAD.

Second, well, inertia, yeah, but more than that.  This is kind of a
strange place.  We build everything we sell except the components,
wires, and PCB blanks.  We've even been known to make our own coils,
switches, and relays.  We have metal stamping and injection molding
capabilities as well (including the ability to make our own molds).

So the layout area uses libraries that call out parts in inventory
tied to MRP software to generate BOM's that Material Control uses to
order parts, and Manufacuturing uses to load the Pick and Place
machines, etc.  A lot of capability built up over a lot of time,
that's working well, with no driving force motivating change.

Rather than use a CADSTAR license for a one-off, they use Autotrax.  

Being a software guy, I'm unaware of any particular problem with
Autotrax, other than it isn't built into the larger system.  It seems
to work well for its intended purpose here.  Otherwise, the EE's would
have abandoned it for something else.

Regards,

                               -=Dave
--
Change is inevitable, progress is not.

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Thanks.

Bill

Re: design tools

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While we are on this subject; has anyone used VuTrax
(http://www.vutrax.co.uk /) at all? I'd be interested in comments.

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