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OrCAD fun & games
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Brad Velander
electronics forum Guru Wannabe


Joined: 10 May 2005
Posts: 118

PostPosted: Fri Jul 07, 2006 3:07 am    Post subject: Re: OrCAD fun & games Reply with quote

Joel,
Okay, sounds very similar to what Altium is now doing. Can't comment on
how easy it is to set up or how robust but I have been reading of a number
of users setting it up successfully in the past few months and then they
have helped a few others with problems/issues, possibly issues where they
didn't read the available white papers/instructions on how the set-up is
accomplished. You know the routine, why read anything when you can just type
a quick 1 minute email?

Of course Altium has been able to import data into schematic symbols
from external databases (DB3 or DB4 anyways) for many years now, I had
set-up a system to do it in P99SE back in 2000. I hear that the latest is
much more robust and simpler, I believe that it may also be using ODBC
databases as well.

--
Sincerely,
Brad Velander.

"Joel Kolstad" <JKolstad71HatesSpam@yahoo.com> wrote in message
news:12arcnc2age6n4b@corp.supernews.com...
Quote:
Hi Brad,

Essentially what CIS does is to provide a GUI-based front-end to a
database (pretty much any ODBC database -- you need no customize about a
dozen lines of script to connect it up to your particular database) that
lets you browse and search for parts based on their hierarchical
categories, values, etc. (there are many standard fields); it then selects
a part from the symbol libraries you have open and automatically files in
all the attributes of that part with the values from the database (part
no, value, tolerance, vendor, internal part no, etc. -- whatever fields
you want).

Additionally you can take a part (or a bunch of parts) that's already been
placed on a schematic and "link" them to a database part, which simply
looks up the part in the database (by name) and pulls in all the
attributes.

The on-line CIS databases (which now seem pretty much dead) were so that
you could search by, e.g., DigiKey part no. and get the part symbol &
attributes pulled in.

---Joel

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Joel Kolstad
electronics forum Guru


Joined: 03 May 2005
Posts: 695

PostPosted: Fri Jul 07, 2006 1:03 am    Post subject: Re: OrCAD fun & games Reply with quote

Hi Brad,

"Brad Velander" <bveland@SpamThis.com> wrote in message
news:tL0rg.123815$iF6.32424@pd7tw2no...
Quote:
not sure what features are available/supported through the CIS you
mention but Altium has recently made some rather large leaps with regards to
tying schematics (and now SCH symbol libraries) to external customer
controlled databases. With the new features you can build SCH symbol
libraires from external databases once the basic symbols have been created.
If I recall correctly that is essentially what CIS did, only I don't recall
if it did it to customer databases or something online and externally
controlled. I seem to recall people selling access/subscriptions to their
online CIS databases many years ago.

Essentially what CIS does is to provide a GUI-based front-end to a database
(pretty much any ODBC database -- you need no customize about a dozen lines of
script to connect it up to your particular database) that lets you browse and
search for parts based on their hierarchical categories, values, etc. (there
are many standard fields); it then selects a part from the symbol libraries
you have open and automatically files in all the attributes of that part with
the values from the database (part no, value, tolerance, vendor, internal part
no, etc. -- whatever fields you want).

Additionally you can take a part (or a bunch of parts) that's already been
placed on a schematic and "link" them to a database part, which simply looks
up the part in the database (by name) and pulls in all the attributes.

The on-line CIS databases (which now seem pretty much dead) were so that you
could search by, e.g., DigiKey part no. and get the part symbol & attributes
pulled in.

---Joel
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qrk
electronics forum Guru Wannabe


Joined: 07 May 2005
Posts: 167

PostPosted: Fri Jul 07, 2006 12:54 am    Post subject: Re: OrCAD fun & games Reply with quote

On Wed, 05 Jul 2006 16:28:43 -0700, Jim Thompson
<To-Email-Use-The-Envelope-Icon@My-Web-Site.com> wrote:

Quote:
On Wed, 5 Jul 2006 15:11:57 -0700, "Joel Kolstad"
JKolstad71HatesSpam@yahoo.com> wrote:

Hi Jim,

"Jim Thompson" <To-Email-Use-The-Envelope-Icon@My-Web-Site.com> wrote in
message news:93boa2lk9i3uc3lg7599pftkd75po1bjtq@4ax.com...
I'm PSpice's biggest critic.

What's your opinion on how close LTSpice is to being ready for prime time?
I'm guessing it lacks support for BSIM models, which I would imagine is a
non-starter for you.

I haven't tried but just a few things with LTspice, though it seems
pretty robust. Actually I believe it does support BSIM3, but I'm not
sure.
[snippage]


Jim, There were BSIM3 (Level 7) models in the Polar Fab libraries that
we ran thru LTspice a couple years back. The version at the time
barfed on BSIM3. Mike E. fixed it on a Sunday after Hulmut S. figured
out the problem. I have found that LTspice has excellent compatibility
with PSpice syntax.

---
Mark
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PeterSmith1954@googlemail
electronics forum addict


Joined: 04 Jul 2006
Posts: 79

PostPosted: Thu Jul 06, 2006 11:22 am    Post subject: Re: OrCAD fun & games Reply with quote

Brad Velander wrote:
Quote:
Joel,
not sure what features are available/supported through the CIS you
mention but Altium has recently made some rather large leaps with regards to
tying schematics (and now SCH symbol libraries) to external customer
controlled databases. With the new features you can build SCH symbol
libraires from external databases once the basic symbols have been created.
If I recall correctly that is essentially what CIS did, only I don't recall
if it did it to customer databases or something online and externally
controlled. I seem to recall people selling access/subscriptions to their
online CIS databases many years ago.

I don't currently use the latest Altium software but monitor their
NG/forum for the day that we do deploy the newer versions.
--
Sincerely,
Brad Velander.

"Joel Kolstad" <JKolstad71HatesSpam@yahoo.com> wrote in message
news:12aob03nmqoae4@corp.supernews.com...

There are also many features that ORCAD capture is missing that most other
schematic capture tools have these days. I don't think there's anything
inherently wrong with Cadence choosing to keep the ORCAD feature set
pretty much frozen in time, but if *I'm* the one shelling out bucks for an
EDA tool, it's very difficult to make ORCAD look like a good value
proposition. The one area where it still tends to be much better than
other programs is with the built-in database integratoin (CIS option) --
Pulsonix, Protel, Kicad, etc. don't even attempt to do this, last I
looked.

CIS uses any ODBC compliant database for it's data. There were a few
really nice things about it

1. I could map (in an external database) a schematic part to a layout
footprint (which Allegro would pull in automagically when reading the
netlist)

2. We could set the status of a part to new, unkown, checked, approved
etc., and you could check all your parts from the Orcad menus - would
come up green, yellow or red depending on part status.

3. You could select 'database part' during capture so you always used
parts from the database, not the shipping orcad libs (which, because
they all hide the power pins, are pretty much useless without editing
in a non-trivial design)

4. It was very simple to replace a part just by highlighting and
right-click (such as if I stuck the wrong diode in or something - just
select the new part and off you go).

CIS is certainly a very good part of Orcad, although I'll admit there
are areas it's not as good ;)

It's because of the control of used parts (and the fact one could only
use approved parts if set up that way) that many places still use
Orcad.

Cheers
PeteS
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Brad Velander
electronics forum Guru Wannabe


Joined: 10 May 2005
Posts: 118

PostPosted: Thu Jul 06, 2006 4:58 am    Post subject: Re: OrCAD fun & games Reply with quote

Joel,
not sure what features are available/supported through the CIS you
mention but Altium has recently made some rather large leaps with regards to
tying schematics (and now SCH symbol libraries) to external customer
controlled databases. With the new features you can build SCH symbol
libraires from external databases once the basic symbols have been created.
If I recall correctly that is essentially what CIS did, only I don't recall
if it did it to customer databases or something online and externally
controlled. I seem to recall people selling access/subscriptions to their
online CIS databases many years ago.

I don't currently use the latest Altium software but monitor their
NG/forum for the day that we do deploy the newer versions.
--
Sincerely,
Brad Velander.

"Joel Kolstad" <JKolstad71HatesSpam@yahoo.com> wrote in message
news:12aob03nmqoae4@corp.supernews.com...

Quote:
There are also many features that ORCAD capture is missing that most other
schematic capture tools have these days. I don't think there's anything
inherently wrong with Cadence choosing to keep the ORCAD feature set
pretty much frozen in time, but if *I'm* the one shelling out bucks for an
EDA tool, it's very difficult to make ORCAD look like a good value
proposition. The one area where it still tends to be much better than
other programs is with the built-in database integratoin (CIS option) --
Pulsonix, Protel, Kicad, etc. don't even attempt to do this, last I
looked.
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Jim Thompson
electronics forum Guru


Joined: 06 May 2005
Posts: 5440

PostPosted: Thu Jul 06, 2006 12:29 am    Post subject: Re: OrCAD fun & games Reply with quote

On Wed, 05 Jul 2006 16:59:24 -0700, Charlie Edmondson
<edmondson@ieee.org> wrote:

Quote:
Jim Thompson wrote:

[snip]

There's several other ploys in PSpice...

(1) Edit the *.CIR file to contain multiple runs, then the Probe
output will be overlaid

(2) Save each run under a different name, then "Append" those DAT
files.

...Jim Thompson
Also, if you are using Capture as the front end, you can set up multiple
simulation profiles to generate individual runs that you then just load
into Probe... 8-)

Charlie

One good deed doesn't offset 20 bad features ;-)

...Jim Thompson
--
| James E.Thompson, P.E. | mens |
| Analog Innovations, Inc. | et |
| Analog/Mixed-Signal ASIC's and Discrete Systems | manus |
| Phoenix, Arizona Voice:(480)460-2350 | |
| E-mail Address at Website Fax:(480)460-2142 | Brass Rat |
| http://www.analog-innovations.com | 1962 |

I love to cook with wine. Sometimes I even put it in the food.
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Charlie Edmondson
electronics forum Guru Wannabe


Joined: 02 May 2005
Posts: 251

PostPosted: Wed Jul 05, 2006 11:59 pm    Post subject: Re: OrCAD fun & games Reply with quote

Jim Thompson wrote:

Quote:
On Wed, 5 Jul 2006 15:11:57 -0700, "Joel Kolstad"
JKolstad71HatesSpam@yahoo.com> wrote:


Hi Jim,

"Jim Thompson" <To-Email-Use-The-Envelope-Icon@My-Web-Site.com> wrote in
message news:93boa2lk9i3uc3lg7599pftkd75po1bjtq@4ax.com...

I'm PSpice's biggest critic.

What's your opinion on how close LTSpice is to being ready for prime time?
I'm guessing it lacks support for BSIM models, which I would imagine is a
non-starter for you.


I haven't tried but just a few things with LTspice, though it seems
pretty robust. Actually I believe it does support BSIM3, but I'm not
sure.

I'm not fond of its output GUI, and I'm REALLY fond of PSpice
Schematics, so it's hard to pull me over ;-)


As for overlaying multiple simulator runs on top of each other I have
a trick...

Yes, and it's a good trick; I just still consider it a lot harder than it
should be -- other simulators I've used (such as SIMetrix) by default overlay
all subsequent runs, and if/when you get sick of that you can specify each
probe to have a "persistance" over a specified number of runs (e.g., setting
it to 1 makes it behave like PSpice, I find it often useful to see the last
2-3 runs).

---Joel



There's several other ploys in PSpice...

(1) Edit the *.CIR file to contain multiple runs, then the Probe
output will be overlaid

(2) Save each run under a different name, then "Append" those DAT
files.

...Jim Thompson
Also, if you are using Capture as the front end, you can set up multiple

simulation profiles to generate individual runs that you then just load
into Probe... 8-)

Charlie
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Jim Thompson
electronics forum Guru


Joined: 06 May 2005
Posts: 5440

PostPosted: Wed Jul 05, 2006 11:28 pm    Post subject: Re: OrCAD fun & games Reply with quote

On Wed, 5 Jul 2006 15:11:57 -0700, "Joel Kolstad"
<JKolstad71HatesSpam@yahoo.com> wrote:

Quote:
Hi Jim,

"Jim Thompson" <To-Email-Use-The-Envelope-Icon@My-Web-Site.com> wrote in
message news:93boa2lk9i3uc3lg7599pftkd75po1bjtq@4ax.com...
I'm PSpice's biggest critic.

What's your opinion on how close LTSpice is to being ready for prime time?
I'm guessing it lacks support for BSIM models, which I would imagine is a
non-starter for you.

I haven't tried but just a few things with LTspice, though it seems
pretty robust. Actually I believe it does support BSIM3, but I'm not
sure.

I'm not fond of its output GUI, and I'm REALLY fond of PSpice
Schematics, so it's hard to pull me over ;-)

Quote:

As for overlaying multiple simulator runs on top of each other I have
a trick...

Yes, and it's a good trick; I just still consider it a lot harder than it
should be -- other simulators I've used (such as SIMetrix) by default overlay
all subsequent runs, and if/when you get sick of that you can specify each
probe to have a "persistance" over a specified number of runs (e.g., setting
it to 1 makes it behave like PSpice, I find it often useful to see the last
2-3 runs).

---Joel


There's several other ploys in PSpice...

(1) Edit the *.CIR file to contain multiple runs, then the Probe
output will be overlaid

(2) Save each run under a different name, then "Append" those DAT
files.

...Jim Thompson
--
| James E.Thompson, P.E. | mens |
| Analog Innovations, Inc. | et |
| Analog/Mixed-Signal ASIC's and Discrete Systems | manus |
| Phoenix, Arizona Voice:(480)460-2350 | |
| E-mail Address at Website Fax:(480)460-2142 | Brass Rat |
| http://www.analog-innovations.com | 1962 |

I love to cook with wine. Sometimes I even put it in the food.
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Joel Kolstad
electronics forum Guru


Joined: 03 May 2005
Posts: 695

PostPosted: Wed Jul 05, 2006 10:11 pm    Post subject: Re: OrCAD fun & games Reply with quote

Hi Jim,

"Jim Thompson" <To-Email-Use-The-Envelope-Icon@My-Web-Site.com> wrote in
message news:93boa2lk9i3uc3lg7599pftkd75po1bjtq@4ax.com...
Quote:
I'm PSpice's biggest critic.

What's your opinion on how close LTSpice is to being ready for prime time?
I'm guessing it lacks support for BSIM models, which I would imagine is a
non-starter for you.

Quote:
As for overlaying multiple simulator runs on top of each other I have
a trick...

Yes, and it's a good trick; I just still consider it a lot harder than it
should be -- other simulators I've used (such as SIMetrix) by default overlay
all subsequent runs, and if/when you get sick of that you can specify each
probe to have a "persistance" over a specified number of runs (e.g., setting
it to 1 makes it behave like PSpice, I find it often useful to see the last
2-3 runs).

---Joel
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Jim Thompson
electronics forum Guru


Joined: 06 May 2005
Posts: 5440

PostPosted: Wed Jul 05, 2006 9:25 pm    Post subject: Re: OrCAD fun & games Reply with quote

On Wed, 5 Jul 2006 14:15:46 -0700, "Joel Kolstad"
<JKolstad71HatesSpam@yahoo.com> wrote:

Quote:
colin_toogood@yahoo.com> wrote in message
news:1151997260.163689.263060@v61g2000cwv.googlegroups.com...
There are two things you can't do with layout, microvias (difficult to
stop a microvia being put on top of a buried via) and decent SI
controls such as length matching etc.

There are also many features that ORCAD capture is missing that most other
schematic capture tools have these days. I don't think there's anything
inherently wrong with Cadence choosing to keep the ORCAD feature set pretty
much frozen in time, but if *I'm* the one shelling out bucks for an EDA tool,
it's very difficult to make ORCAD look like a good value proposition. The one
area where it still tends to be much better than other programs is with the
built-in database integratoin (CIS option) -- Pulsonix, Protel, Kicad, etc.
don't even attempt to do this, last I looked.

I have no spice experience so can't comment

I suspect that even Jim would admit that doing something that *should* be
simple -- like overlaying a couple of simulator runs on top of each other on
the same graph -- is a lot harder in PSpice than it should be!


I'm PSpice's biggest critic.

I don't do PCB, so I can't comment there, but Capture is just a
*horrible* schematics program.

So I use the venerable original (MicroSim) PSpice Schematics.

As for overlaying multiple simulator runs on top of each other I have
a trick...

(1) Print each run to a PostScript (*.ps) file

(2) Concatenate all your *.ps files along with the appropriate header
and footer () using ConCat (from www.jddesign.co.uk)

(3) Edit out any conflicting/overlapping text.

(4) Convert to PDF with Adobe Acrobat

() Contact me for the header/footer files if you're interested.

...Jim Thompson
--
| James E.Thompson, P.E. | mens |
| Analog Innovations, Inc. | et |
| Analog/Mixed-Signal ASIC's and Discrete Systems | manus |
| Phoenix, Arizona Voice:(480)460-2350 | |
| E-mail Address at Website Fax:(480)460-2142 | Brass Rat |
| http://www.analog-innovations.com | 1962 |

I love to cook with wine. Sometimes I even put it in the food.
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Joel Kolstad
electronics forum Guru


Joined: 03 May 2005
Posts: 695

PostPosted: Wed Jul 05, 2006 9:15 pm    Post subject: Re: OrCAD fun & games Reply with quote

<colin_toogood@yahoo.com> wrote in message
news:1151997260.163689.263060@v61g2000cwv.googlegroups.com...
Quote:
There are two things you can't do with layout, microvias (difficult to
stop a microvia being put on top of a buried via) and decent SI
controls such as length matching etc.

There are also many features that ORCAD capture is missing that most other
schematic capture tools have these days. I don't think there's anything
inherently wrong with Cadence choosing to keep the ORCAD feature set pretty
much frozen in time, but if *I'm* the one shelling out bucks for an EDA tool,
it's very difficult to make ORCAD look like a good value proposition. The one
area where it still tends to be much better than other programs is with the
built-in database integratoin (CIS option) -- Pulsonix, Protel, Kicad, etc.
don't even attempt to do this, last I looked.

Quote:
I have no spice experience so can't comment

I suspect that even Jim would admit that doing something that *should* be
simple -- like overlaying a couple of simulator runs on top of each other on
the same graph -- is a lot harder in PSpice than it should be!
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Joel Kolstad
electronics forum Guru


Joined: 03 May 2005
Posts: 695

PostPosted: Wed Jul 05, 2006 9:11 pm    Post subject: Re: OrCAD fun & games Reply with quote

"JeffM" <jeffm_@email.com> wrote in message
news:1151704841.160808.90740@y41g2000cwy.googlegroups.com...
Quote:
I also find the use of non-open software odd
in an academic setting in the year 2006.

IMHO this largely parallels the fact that most universities have given up
generating *high quality* software themselves. Why is it that SPICE,
originally developed nearly 100% at universities, now has almost *no* ongoing
development in academia? Most software that comes out of academia today is
considerably buggier than what comes out of the open-source movement, much
less commercial software houses.
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Joel Kolstad
electronics forum Guru


Joined: 03 May 2005
Posts: 695

PostPosted: Wed Jul 05, 2006 9:08 pm    Post subject: Re: OrCAD fun & games Reply with quote

"Stuart Brorson" <sdb@cloud9.net> wrote in message
news:12ab50bnjmtt30c@corp.supernews.com...
Quote:
Ummm, is there any reason you aren't using a free, open-source CAD
package for your class? Both gEDA and Kicad are great for an
academic setting

I'd suggest this isn't really the case. Just getting gEDA and Kicad
*installed* on the average student's laptop is a lot more effort than the
running of "setup.exe" that you do with ORCAD.

Quote:
And if OrCAD is too buggy for the teacher, how will the students learn
from it?

ORCAD is actually not particularly buggy in my opinion, compared to many other
EDA packages I've used. To some extent this derives from the fact that ORCAD
is a pretty mature product -- very little new development is occurring with
it; it hasn't had any large changes in 5+ years now.

Quote:
I often wonder why we teach students using programs they can't afford
in school

Because most students fully expect to work for employers who *will* be able to
afford those package. In many companies, the cost of software tools is
realatively small compared to the overall cost of doing business.

Quote:
aren't any better than the FOSS versions

gEDA and Kicad don't seem to fall into this category yet.

Quote:
and they may not
use in real life anyway....

The average student graduating this year or in the next few years has a far
better chance of ending up using ORCAD commercially than gEDA or Kicad.
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Jim Thompson
electronics forum Guru


Joined: 06 May 2005
Posts: 5440

PostPosted: Tue Jul 04, 2006 11:56 pm    Post subject: Re: OrCAD fun & games Reply with quote

On Tue, 04 Jul 2006 23:27:33 GMT, qrk <SpamTrap@spam.net> wrote:

Quote:
On 4 Jul 2006 05:49:16 -0700, "PeterSmith1954@googlemail.com"
PeterSmith1954@googlemail.com> wrote:

[snip]
I was not amused when my battery sensing was not connected at the
layout stage. As I said, that's why I now check my netlists manually
from OrCad.

Cheers

PeteS

One of the reasons I still use SDT (Orcad's old DOS schematic
program). Stable, fast, and produces solid net lists.

---
Mark

As does Ol' Original Flavor PSpice Schematics.

If you want the .INI file that allows Schematics to "talk", send me an
E-mail.

...Jim Thompson
--
| James E.Thompson, P.E. | mens |
| Analog Innovations, Inc. | et |
| Analog/Mixed-Signal ASIC's and Discrete Systems | manus |
| Phoenix, Arizona Voice:(480)460-2350 | |
| E-mail Address at Website Fax:(480)460-2142 | Brass Rat |
| http://www.analog-innovations.com | 1962 |

I love to cook with wine. Sometimes I even put it in the food.
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qrk
electronics forum Guru Wannabe


Joined: 07 May 2005
Posts: 167

PostPosted: Tue Jul 04, 2006 11:27 pm    Post subject: Re: OrCAD fun & games Reply with quote

On 4 Jul 2006 05:49:16 -0700, "PeterSmith1954@googlemail.com"
<PeterSmith1954@googlemail.com> wrote:

Quote:
Jim Thompson wrote:
On Mon, 03 Jul 2006 19:37:41 -0400, Phil Munro <PcMunro@cc.ysu.edu
wrote:



Jim Thompson wrote:
On Fri, 30 Jun 2006 16:28:44 -0400, Phil Munro <PcMunro@cc.ysu.edu
wrote:

I'll be teaching a course ...

I was finally able to get it started and working again, but I am not
sure what I did to help it go again! --Phil

You probably re-booted.

OrCAD Capture sucks the biggest lemon ;-)

...Jim Thompson
Am I right that people still don't like OrCAD Capture? On the other
hand, I'm getting a little more comfortable with it. Interestingly, I
did use task manager and close a program that was running and shouldn't
have had anything to do with OrCAD; I did not reboot.

Thanks for the few useful comments besides those who think I should
be using some other software. --Phil

OrCAD under DOS was a good program... under Windows it has gone
steadily downhill... Cadence has about killed it.

Cadence discontinued direct sales of OrCad some time ago. It's still
available, but only through 'partners'.

OrCad under Linux or Solaris (when part of the pack with Allegro) is
far less crash prone, but has the same general issues it has under
Windows.

My favourite internal gotcha with OrCad is if a net is dual aliased
(for some reason), it can sometimes rename (effectively disconnecting)
the net.

This happens if you alias a net offpage first, but not all the time -
it's one of the reasons I manually check the nets in the netlist.

Have some net going to an offpage connector, and name it at the offpage
connector (Offpage1, for instance).

Now go off and do some other stuff with a netlist in the middle (sanity
check perhaps). Note that attaching an offpage connector with a valid
name aliases the net automatically (and silently) on the same page.

Now name the net (with any name, same or different) and attach
something else to the net (with a separate wire), using CTRL-N to alias
that part of the net.

About 50% of the time, you'll get two different nets.

The percentage goes higher if you alias the net on another page (from
that offpage connector) with a different name.

I have had this - I had a net (BATT_SENS) that went offpage, but had
been aliased prior to this as BATTERY_SENSE. I cleaned up the aliasing
(but without deleting the old wires and reconnecting).

I ended up with two nets (that according to OrCad internally were
connected) in the netlist:

BATT_SENS
BATT_SENS_Nxxxxxxxx (where Nxxxxxxxx is a standard autoname for a net
in OrCad).

I was not amused when my battery sensing was not connected at the
layout stage. As I said, that's why I now check my netlists manually
from OrCad.

Cheers

PeteS

One of the reasons I still use SDT (Orcad's old DOS schematic
program). Stable, fast, and produces solid net lists.

---
Mark
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