(Topic ID: 175015)

Circuit Design Software Suggestions? Drawing schematics for a game w/o paperwork


By ForceFlow

4 years ago



Topic Stats

  • 23 posts
  • 9 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 4 years ago by ForceFlow
  • Topic is favorited by 1 Pinsider

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  • War Viza Manufacturing, 1978

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#1 4 years ago

I have a game I'm working on where it's looking like paperwork does not exist.

In order to help troubleshoot, I need schematics. To get those schematics, I'll need to draw them myself.

I've worked with CAD software in the past, so I should be able to handle something beyond a simple point-and-click beginner tool.

Any suggestions? Thanks

#2 4 years ago

LT Spice.

#3 4 years ago

I use DipTrace. But, honestly, if you have a chance to use something else, go for it, honestly.

#4 4 years ago

I tried LT spice, diptrace, and fritzing. I'm having a tough time finding something with an IC library, specifically, 7400-series chips. Is there anything that has a ready-made library for those ICs?

Basically, I want to end up with something like this:

http://pinwiki.com/wiki/images/e/ea/03-cpulogic-sys6.pdf

So, I guess that would actually be a logical diagram.

#6 4 years ago

You might be able to import those libraries.
For some reason every simulation or schematic capture tool I have ever used always makes the component import process torturous.

#7 4 years ago

If you're looking to simulate a bunch of 7400 series logic, you might want to download Altera's (now Intel) Quartus II software. It's FPGA / PLD design software. However, they have schematic entry and a 7400 series library that you could use as well as simulation tools. The 7400 series library isnt complete, but it does have a *lot* of those classic components .

If you're planning on making a PCB, this won't help ... But if you want to see how a circuit works (or is supposed to work), you might want to check that out.

The learning curve is a bit steep, but there are tons of tutorials and the like on their website.

I'll let you know if there's something else out there that I'm forgetting . That was the first thing that popped into my mind when I saw this.

#8 4 years ago

Well, made some progress with eagle. Can't seem to find anything that I can use for the edge connector though. Or how to clean up the mess of lines between components.

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#9 4 years ago

If you just need the diagram Visio works too.. not sure about 7400 series chips though it's been a while since I've used it

#10 4 years ago
Quoted from Mbecker:

If you just need the diagram Visio works too.. not sure about 7400 series chips though it's been a while since I've used it

Yeah, that was my first impulse, but I was hoping to do this the "right" way without using visio to cheat

I'll probably play around with eagle some more unless there other suggestions. I'm not really too fond of the interface of eagle, though. It's pretty clunky.

#11 4 years ago
Quoted from ForceFlow:

Well, made some progress with eagle. Can't seem to find anything that I can use for the edge connector though. Or how to clean up the mess of lines between components.

You have to clean those by hand or hope the auto-router can but the traces in good places when you do the board layout. I like to keep it neat from the schema view as it helps trace (no pun intended) problems with your wiring.

#12 4 years ago
Quoted from lyonsden:

You have to clean those by hand or hope the auto-router can but the traces in good places when you do the board layout. I like to keep it neat from the schema view as it helps trace (no pun intended) problems with your wiring.

Hm, I can't seem to find the auto routing feature in the schematic view. Is that even a feature available in the schematic view?

#13 4 years ago
Quoted from ForceFlow:

Hm, I can't seem to find the auto routing feature in the schematic view. Is that even a feature available in the schematic view?

The autorouter is for when laying the traces out on the board (getting ready for manufacturing), not on the schematic view. As long as you can follow a rats nest of lines (which I can't), you can get away with not worrying about it. However, I have noticed that if you have a lot of crossing over lines in the schematic view, you tend to get a lot more VIAs when the traces are routed. In the end, I end up spending a lot of time redoing my lines in the schematic view to keep things neat.

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#14 4 years ago

Also, I wouldn't call Eagle great software. It has a crazy user interface and figuring out how to do things was a lot of googling and trial/error/asking people. Learning it was like learning Adobe Photoshop, GIMP, or VIM. Very crappy UI and menu organization, but you just learn it. And once you do, everything else seems crazy to use because your expectations has been warped by the first software's design.

#15 4 years ago

If you just want a schematic you could try DesignSpark it's free and has 74LS libraries

https://www.rs-online.com/designspark/pcb-download-and-installation

#16 4 years ago
Quoted from lyonsden:

As long as you can follow a rats nest of lines (which I can't), you can get away with not worrying about it.

The whole idea behind this this exercise was to draw readable schematics for a game that has nothing available.

Quoted from lyonsden:

Also, I wouldn't call Eagle great software. It has a crazy user interface and figuring out how to do things was a lot of googling and trial/error/asking people. Learning it was like learning Adobe Photoshop, GIMP, or VIM. Very crappy UI and menu organization, but you just learn it. And once you do, everything else seems crazy to use because your expectations has been warped by the first software's design.

I work with all different kinds of software on a regular basis. I can pick out good UI design from bad UI design fairly quickly.

#17 4 years ago
Quoted from Coyote:

I use DipTrace. But, honestly, if you have a chance to use something else, go for it, honestly.

There are certainly tools more capable than DipTrace but it really is more intuitive than Eagle and fairly well suited for quick jobs like the OP's. DipTrace has decent libraries for common parts.

Eagle's interface is just total crap. it's a shame they never improved it. Lyonsden's observations are spot on.

KiCad is free but that is it's only redeeming quality and even that isn't enough to save it. Using it requires a level of self-hatred that is beyond me. I don't know about library quality.

Altium Designer is probably cost prohibitive if you don't already have the license but there are so many third party libraries available. Altium is overkill for this job unless you are already trained up on it.

#18 4 years ago
Quoted from woz:

If you just want a schematic you could try DesignSpark it's free and has 74LS libraries
https://www.rs-online.com/designspark/pcb-download-and-installation

Thanks, I'll give it a whirl

#19 4 years ago
Quoted from ForceFlow:

The whole idea behind this this exercise was to draw readable schematics for a game that has nothing available.

I work with all different kinds of software on a regular basis. I can pick out good UI design from bad UI design fairly quickly.

Just sharing my thoughts on Eagle. It is what I use and I don't really like it. No judgement on you, but just letting you know that I think it sucks in some ways. But it does get the job done for making boards, which I misunderstood as not being your purpose. If you find something you like, please share.

#20 4 years ago
Quoted from PinNerd:

There are certainly tools more capable than DipTrace but it really is more intuitive than Eagle and fairly well suited for quick jobs like the OP's. DipTrace has decent libraries for common parts.

Oh true - my issue is the horrible UI design, and the odd handling of nets (in Schematics) and traces (in PCB). Some really annoying, project-breaking things if planning PCBs, like nets appearing connected but not, and no error list reporting unconnected nets. (Unconnected Pins, yeah, but not dead nets.)

#21 4 years ago

Check out kicad. free as in free beer. No limits. I use that for schematic and pcb design. Lots of libraries for it. It even fetches them online for you.

#22 4 years ago
Quoted from woz:

If you just want a schematic you could try DesignSpark it's free and has 74LS libraries
https://www.rs-online.com/designspark/pcb-download-and-installation

Well, that one ended up being a bit of a nightmare. The libraries are a mess. I had to create all the chips I needed on componentsearchengine.com, and the "library loader" tool crashed each time after importing something. Additoinally, it didn't even have the FND507 7-segment LED digit in the database, so I couldn't even create the library item like with the 7400 series chips.

The application requires registration to even run, which I don't like. You would be left in the lurch if they ever decide to shut things down.

Unless there's a compelling reason to go with this software, I'm not thrilled with this one either, unfortunately.

#23 4 years ago
Quoted from DDDwingmaster:

Check out kicad. free as in free beer. No limits. I use that for schematic and pcb design. Lots of libraries for it. It even fetches them online for you.

Thanks, I'll give this one a try. Hopefully I'll have better luck with it.

I would think what I'm trying to do is fairly simple and straight-forward, yet just about every piece of software has not been up to snuff in some way. Sigh.

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