Altium Designer for PCB design (written in 15 million lines of Delphi code ?! =D)

Just came across this product:

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A piece of software written in Delphi with 15 million lines of code ! =D

Finally something usefull for you electronics designers ! =D

(Any of you already using this ?)

Bye, Skybuck =D

Reply to
skybuck2000
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The local job ads for electronic engineers routinely ask for Altium experience.

The firm was Australian, and is now based in San Diego in the US and the product was originally called Protel. It's been around for about 35 years now.

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I'm not using it because it costs money, and KiCad doesn't.

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Bill Sloman, Sydney
Reply to
bill.sloman

Altium is megabucks.... I've used Protel 3.2 for years and years.Could never justify Altium as all my work is small D/S stuff. Plus my massive libraries....

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Reply to
TTman

Am 15.06.2018 um 11:58 schrieb TTman:

I have some Altium libraries that started life in Protel. Just don't rename them to .SchLib .

regards, Gerhard

Reply to
Gerhard Hoffmann

I use their older product, Protel 99 SE, which does just about everything that I need. Also written in Delphi (which is a descendant of Pascal).

I've been using it for about 18 years.

A LOT of people are using Altium Designer, now. It is about a $9000 per seat product, but if you beg, they often give discounts. The big plus is that it is very fast to use, lots of things are two key strokes. It has schematic entry, PCB design, simulation and also FPGA design. I don't use their FPGA features.

Jon

Reply to
Jon Elson

afaikt no one ever used they FPGA features

Reply to
Lasse Langwadt Christensen

Yes, your company history is right, but the new product is not a true descendant of the old Protel.

Protel's original Autotrax software was marketed in the US by Accel under the Tango Schematic and Tango PCB name. Then, there was a falling out, and Accel wrote their own package in Delphi. It was a completely hideous mess. But, they struggled onward, and finally fixed some of the problems. Then, Accel bought out Protel and renamed themselves Altium. Their new Tango package morphed into Protel 95, which was a completely unusable wreck. Protel 98 was showing progress, but still had tons of issues. Protel 99 was vastly better, proved they were working on the right things, and finally came out with Protel 99 SE, and then 6 service packs to fix bugs.

I was one of the people who contributed lists of fixes and enhancements back in the early Accel Tango days, and they did implement all of the easy ones, and most of the harder ones.

Protel Pty Ltd of Australia produced some of the most bug-free software I'd ever used. Accel's first versions were so laughably bad in comparison it would make your head spin. At one point I had totally given up hope that the Accel version of Tango would ever be usable, and refused to pay them one nickel more, but they kept sending demo disks of the next versions. So, we sat out several updates to Protel 95 and 98, and kept on using the old stuff. Finally with Protel 99 we felt it was going to again make boards without lost work, so we paid for the upgrade. Protel 99 SE with SP6 installed is quite reliable. I really have to trust really complicated stuff like design rule checks on 6-layer boards with a thousand or more vias and through holes. Never had it fail to detect a real issue on the inner layers.

Jon

Jon

Reply to
Jon Elson

And finally dropped in version 17 or 18 IIRC.

I also never used, or checked...

I've seen it sell for as low as $5000, and they sometimes offer discounts for existing users -- even for historic versions like Protel!

If you're making more than one or two large designs per year, the added features since, say, AD12 or so, will be well worth it.

If you're mostly making small designs, you won't have much value in it, no.

FYI, AD seamlessly imports Eagle files. And they have a "lite" version called Circuit Studio, and by "lite" I mean free*. As far as I'm concerned, your choice is between that, and KiCAD (which is, of course, free-as-in-beer).

*With restrictions, obviously. But much better than Eagle's.

Tim

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Seven Transistor Labs, LLC 
Electrical Engineering Consultation and Contract Design 
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Reply to
Tim Williams

I was a PCAD user up to 12 years ago, but then added Altium Designer licenses. A PCB layout is the path to productivity for an electronics design, and using an efficient layout tool is critical for productivity and good results. I've laid out several hundred PCBs over the years, and now only use and recommend Altium.

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Reply to
Winfield Hill

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