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Topic: Eagle or DipTrace (Read 23323 times) previous topic - next topic

Eagle or DipTrace

Hi,
I just want to know if anyone tested Diptrace and/or compared it to eagle?

I would like to buy a version of Eagle, but Diptrace is really very cheap compared to eagle. I don't know how it compares to Eagle?
In light versions, eagle is really expensive when we see its limitations.


Re: Eagle or DipTrace

Reply #2
I have used both as well as the PCB4 Free tool. They all do a good job for the price. The Diptrace tool set may require you to build a lot of libraries but dont let that be a reason to not look at it.

Re: Eagle or DipTrace

Reply #3
@PurpleSquirrel
I tried DipTrace yesturday, and I was really estonished. Without reading ANY doc, nor checking any help file, right after having installed it, I could create a schematics (TQFP PIC chip+24LCxx + some resistors and capa), check it for EE validity, convert it to PCB, do autorouting and rework some tracks and render it in 3D. All that in less than 15 min !!!! I could even move parts from one side to the other with simple  mouse clicks.

It's really extra intuitive especially when interacting with mouse. You mouve parts naturally, you copy/paste them, you move tracks, rework them, the contextual menus works really very well and all commands are available there.
This product is really far better than Eagle (from the intractivity side). For the libs, it really lack a lot of libs, but I saw on the web that it's able to import Eagle libs and parts (didn't tried that yet). The parts builder is really very simple to use.

Now need to check some details about import of Eagle libs, and if it's done ok, I'll for sure buy this one. For about 120$, you could get the NON PROFIT Standard edition (1000 pins, 4L) with no limitation in board size. The Lite version(500 pins, 2L) is free and has also no size limitation on board (and everything is included even the autorouter). At these prices, it's really very cheap compared to Eagle prices.

Eagle is a very powerful package, but it's too expensive and the GUI is really 1980 likes. Even in v6, the developpers seems to never heared about something named Graphics GUIs or interactivity. I think that even Kicad will beat it in few years.

Re: Eagle or DipTrace

Reply #4
@arhi
I never tried it. Will check it today.

Re: Eagle or DipTrace

Reply #5
[quote author="octal"]@arhi
I never tried it. Will check it today.[/quote]

I have not tried it myself, but it's free and lot of ppl recommend it .. so it deserves a shot :)

Re: Eagle or DipTrace

Reply #6
Have you heard of DesignSpark PCB

http://www.designspark.com/pcb

Its propriety software not open source but free to use without any size or commercial limitations. RS Components are behind it, promoting it as an alternative to Eagle CAD now that Farnell Components own Cadsoft.

I've been using it for over a year now and find it easy to use. Plus you can import Eagle CAD designs and libraries which is useful.
Tony

Re: Eagle or DipTrace

Reply #7
@TonyD
I agree, DesignSpark is an excellent software, and if needed, all your experience can be reused on Pulsonix if you need a commercial better software (costs starting from 2000$ if I remember) or Easy-PC (starts from about 700 euros).
The only thing that ennoy me with DesignSpark, is that you need to activate it via Internet each time you install it on any pc. This is ennoying if you need it urgently and you dont have an internet connexion.

Re: Eagle or DipTrace

Reply #8
True, its activation via the internet can be a problem. I've got it installed on two different PC's now using the same user account but different activations codes. Its a decent PCB program I would recommend to anyone.
Tony

Re: Eagle or DipTrace

Reply #9
Hi Tony,
I tried its component editor yesturday, and I must agree it's a very good and very intuitive software. Creating a new part is extremely easy. I would recommand it to any new developper.
Importing Eagle libs works partially with complex parts. I think you could import any Eagle Part, but you need to check all nets and connections. I find it even better to import a new part from Eagle just to got 80% of the schematics drawn, and then redo all pins and connections numbering by hand. For the PCB pattern, it's better to make it from scratch and redo the pattern to sch mapping by hand.
DesignSpark also makes you really productive when switching more advanced software like EasyPC or Pulsonix. Both those softwares have same GUI and technology paradigms, and use same concepts, and they both costs less than Eagle.

I really think that with DipTrace free non profit edition or DesignSpark, we really have no excuse continue advice users to learn and use  Eagle.

Re: Eagle or DipTrace

Reply #10
There's one huge thing Eagle has over DesignSpark and that's it's muti os capabilities. Eagle is not winblows only as  DesignSpark is. Wrt DipTrace, I never used it but it looks like a nice multi os app too with free version just that is not that different from Eagle (there are still limitations, not as limited as Eagle but not that unlimited also...)... I would not dismiss Eagle, but I do believe everyone should try the competing products too. Don't forget how many resources are available for Eagle, that is not something you can just ignore..

Re: Eagle or DipTrace

Reply #11
arhi,
I agree with you that eagle has huge support and huge number of libs. Eagle is multiplarform simply because eagle does not obey any GUI logic.
For me, I'm checking to find alternatives because I'm tired to have to check help and doc and google each time I want to do something special in eagle or each time I got a cryptic message.
For people making huge number of PCBs or working for a PCB fab, spending time learning eagle is maybe a good thing, for me, a hobist who make a PCB per month or less, having to re-learn and learn again and again things each time I have to draw a PCB is not that cool.
For example, putting a part on second (bottom) face of your PCB is done by simply selecting a part and selecting (via a context menu) something like "switch side, or send to top/botton side" .... While in eagle I need to reread again the doc to remember how I have to swith its side using symetry ...
For newbies, I would for sure not recommand Eagle anymore.

Re: Eagle or DipTrace

Reply #12
Don't get me wrong, I do not use Eagle, I tried and tried and tried it, then I tried few FOSS apps too (kicad, geda..) and then decided to spring $500 for "second choice" commercial CAD tool (as $5000 for the "first choice" one was just too rich for my blood)... but you can't ignore what Eagle brings to the table (just as you can't ignore what KiCAD, gEDA, DipTrace, DesignSpark and  PCB Artist brings to the table). If I knew about all of them (when I paid $500 DesignSpark did not exist and I didn't know about DipTrace and PCB Artist) I might chose them instead of my choice attm .. it's just on all forums I popped up a question there was an Eagle clan and KiCAD/gEDA clan, and all other apps were never mentioned :(... and KiCAD/gEDA are seriously flawed in the logic imo and Eagle is just too "not for me" hence I decided not to use any of those... and not to repeat the "eagle vs kicad/geda" I like to tell ppl to try them all for a while (min 2 projects in each application) and to decide for themselves.

Btw, one think I want to add... yes Eagle comes with huge part library, many other apps do too, but I do not think this is a big bonus at all nor that it is important thing. First, most eagle schematic parts for e.g. I had to redo myself when I was using Eagle as I do not think schematic part should look identical as physical part, that's imo very very very very wrong. It's the same issue with most other apps as well (on the other hand commercial apps like Proteus, orCAD, Altium.. have symbols that make sense). Secondly you don't use 100k different parts, when you find a part that you want to use in your project, its few minutes to add that part to your own library... even with commercial package I use, I copy all the parts I use from "general" libraries into one "my own" library and use parts from there. In that library I keep track of "Real footprints", "where I can purchase this parts from", "what the read datasheet for the part is", "what's the order code for that part" etc etc ... as I design stuff by looking at what's available for me (how much and how hard) and not by "what I have in CAD library" and then I try to locate those parts around the globe...

Re: Eagle or DipTrace

Reply #13
This is a very professional approach Arhi. Sincerly this is first time I got asnwers about (mainly) Eagle and/or other EAD software without the emotionally charged fan-boy exchanges we usually got on most forums.
I saw some of your schematics and I know you are using Proteus, which I personally may say is an excellent EAD package.
As for the libs, I agree with you, creating or collecting and selecting parts in personal lib is not a heavy work and makes you very productive. And I agree with the fact that sch parts representation should follow signals types, nature and functionnnality instead of the PCB package drawing.
As for PCB Artist, it's almost the same as DesignSpark: screens, menus, icons, .... all the same (including the PDF tutorial). Both are made by the **SAME** company, and both are simply the downgraded versions of EasyPC/Pulsonix. I didn't compared the PCB Artist limitations, but the PDF, examples and all screens and functionnalities are the same as those of DesignSpark.
DesignSpark seems to offer the 3D view and the 3D models (free on RS website) for connectors, parts, ...

anyway, I think that the main interresting thing in DesigSpark is the fact  that you can switch later to a better pro software (EasyPC mainly at 700 euro I think or Pulsonix $2000++) without losing your work, your parts and (most important) your habits and training (screens and paradigms are the same).

Re: Eagle or DipTrace

Reply #14
btw, Arhi, PCB Artist seems to be limited in the fact that it does NOT generate Gerber files :( here is what I found about it in a forum discussion (dont have it under hand to check that)
Quote
We did end up purchasing Easy PC as we needed to generate Gerbers and the PCB Artist version does not do this (you can get project Gerbers after you place an initial PCB order with Advance Circuits).

You can find a good discussion here:
http://www.numberone.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=441