Free PCB Design Software

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anarkavre's picture
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Free PCB Design Software

I found these two free programs for designing PCBs that are pretty good. I don't know if any of you already know about them, but I thought I would post them anyway.
http://www.pcb123.com/
http://www.pad2pad.com/

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Tom Owad's picture
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McCAD

I know you said you bought Apple I Replica Creation. Have you looked at the included McCAD software? It's far superior to these.

anarkavre's picture
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McCAD

I would be more than happy to use McCAD, but I'm not really a Mac user. Would be nice to have the Windows version, but that costs way too much than what I'm willing to pay for software. By the way, your book is great. I'm almost finished reading it.

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Emulation

McCAD's got pretty low system requirements and should run in the Basilisk emulator on a Windows machine. Granted, that's not ideal, but it beats ending up with your work stuck in a proprietary format, as they are with most (all?) of the free programs mentioned here.

And I know I've mentioned this before, but it's a really good program. You'd be hard-pressed to find anything similar for under $500.

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I recommend eagle light to ma

I recommend eagle light to make my pcbs, although im limited on size, I can always make more than one board. Where I get my boards made is from sparkfun they are pretty reasonable although it takes a while to get a pcb from them.

www.cadsoftusa.com
www.sparkfun.com

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Basilisk emulator

Thanks for the idea to use a emulator.. I just got the book for christmas and i realized the cd is only mac os compitable and that sucked Smile since i don't have the money to buy a mini...Anyway i will give it a try using the emulator...

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you dont need a mini you just

you dont need a mini you just need a macintosh with a cdrom i think, i run my copy of my imac, which cost me $25

Tom Owad's picture
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Funnyman's correct. Minimum

Funnyman's correct. Minimum required processor, IIRC, is a 68030, so you can find some very affordable hardware that will run it.

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back from the dead

i dont know if every one knows this or not, but mccad is available for free officially at
http://www.mccad.com/TotallyFreeMenu.html

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It's free but...

Having just had a wonderful (really) chat with the McCad folks, if I understood them correctly:

1. The "Totally Free" version is just that, but handles a particularly limited board layout. I say layout because the tech said the restrictions are based on memory blocks used, so a small, more densely populated board might be too big, where a "large", sparse board might not. It just depends. However, I was pretty sure that the board of the size and complexity in Apple I Creation is just too much of the totally free version. I guess it certainly won't hurt to try! The McCad from the book is also memory block limited, BTW, but is good enough for the Apple I board.

2. I've already told one person this, and it is slightly off topic, but it's info I wish I'd had! When you do up and install that McCad SE version from the book, you had better plan on the copy staying on that machine forever. Really. In perpetuity. Pick your box with that in mind. I can't be re-registered. I tried.

My $0.02, as they say.

Mike

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McCAD

The limitations of the the McCAD version included with Apple I Replica Creation are as follows:

~750 pins (Replica uses 554 pins)
11x17" maximum sheet size (Replica uses 6x10")
6-8 data layers (Replica uses 2)

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McCAD specs

Tom-
Thanks. You, of anyone, should know those specs. The tech couldn't tell me exactly where the limits were for McCAD SE. I wonder what they are for the "Totally Free" version? In my case, it will actually make sense to buy another copy of the book, just for the software!

thanks,
Mike

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If I remember correctly; when

If I remember correctly; when the replica 1 was being set up for McCad they had to adjust the settings to fix the replica 1. I don't think you get as good of a "free" product from the website. Have you written McCad about the license issue?

Vince

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McCad license

Vince,
I spoke with a support tech, who seemed to me (the uninitiated) to be knowledgeable. What I took away from the conversation was that the McCad SE that came with the book was a special deal worked out with between the publisher and Vamp. As such, the permanent binding to a specific machine (or basically a onetime use of the software serial number) was a tradeoff of software quality (which is great) for cost to the publisher and consumer. It sounded iron-clad to me. Looking at Vamp's prices, just buying another book is far and away cheaper than anything on their price list!

I agree with you about the freebie version. It would be great from something small- probably most of the stuff that I cobble together- but not for the Replica 1.

thanks,
Mike

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PCB software

There is usually something fairly cheap on ebay.

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Thanks for the useful tips!

Thanks for the useful tips!

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