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View Full Version : Schematic/Layout Software for MAC OSX!!!



DavidM
04-08-2007, 01:02 PM
Hi,

I have lots of projects that I want to complete this year, that uses the PROPELLOR chip, the only problem I have is choosing software for board/schematic design. ( am am fairly new to electronics )

I have been looking everywhere for SCHEMATIC/PCB LAYOUT software for the MAC OS X.

I know that there are hundreds for the PC ( many are free) but My PC is ONLY used to run SPIN! and some serial utilities, Its not networked or anything ( its got to many viruses to be usable! even the anti virus programs wont remove them) but spin works very well and I am happy with it.

I have 3 MAC's in my office that I want to use ( for hardware development) and I have currently been using OSMOND PCB for the MAC. it's free up to 700 holes!, It is actually the ONLY one that works well and is very easy to use,stable etc But it lacks a decent LIBRARY and has no schematic application. ( that I know off) which means I have been design boards without doing a schematic first.

Some others I have tried ( on the mac ) are pathetic, I mean really pathetic, they claim to have all these sophisticated features which is well and good, but just try to get them even running is a chore!, Just try to even find a part in the library and drag it to the layout, it doesn't happen, They don't respond to emails, there are no easy to access forums for support, and the trial's don't run long enough to figure out if they are useful. apart from that, they expect you to pay A LOT OF MONEY for junk software!

So , apart from my ranting! What do you guys suggest I do?

1) Stuff the MAC ( at least for SCHEMATIC/PCB design) and just find a PC solution. ( anything good for free out there?)
2) Pay for the EAGLE FULL License and get stuck into the manuals and get to like the interface
3) Suggest something else for the MAC ( if possible)

so far I have looked at..

DESIGNWORKS ( this sucks, they don't respond to emails)
EAGLE ( the most promising, but the free / light version has a board size limit, the paid version is very expensive)
OSMOND PCB ( very good for layout easy to use ( its the most MAC Like GIU), but no schematic, supposed to work with design works?
EPOXY, lots of nice features but very hard to get running, the library sucks, the interface is the most confusing thing I have seen, I just could get going on it.

4) Why isn't there any ( decent) software for the MAC? There are always new users ( of electronics) in the world, some of them may be mac users, there are many macs as well in the world, is this just an unexplored software market??
I mean I HAD TO PURCHASE a PC to run SPIN, it hurt http://forums.parallax.com/images/smilies/smile.gif , but I am very happy with it, so why cant PC users by a MAC to run PCB design software? is it because no software exists?

I kind of like EAGLE ( because of its full features) , but its difficult to use , the interface is very ugly, but not the ugliest, but it has the best library!

If there are any PCB SOFTWARE DEVELOPERS our there , PLEASE, write a decent APP for the MAC! Please!!! There are cross platform development tools you can use ( realbasic e.g.)



regards ( and sorry for ranting)

Dave M

Paul Baker
04-08-2007, 01:21 PM
This thread has been moved to the Sandbox.

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Paul Baker (mailto:pbaker@parallax.com)
Propeller Applications Engineer
[/url][url=http://www.parallax.com] (http://www.parallax.com)
Parallax, Inc. (http://www.parallax.com)

Mike Green
04-08-2007, 01:45 PM
I currently have an Intel MacBook with Parallels Desktop running Windows XP, but I used to have a PowerBook G4 with a PowerPC processor. There's a program called GuestPC that simulates a PC and lets you run Windows on a PowerPC Mac. It runs fairly slowly, but I did a little bit of ExpressPCB stuff and it did work. You'll do better performance-wise with Windows 98SE than with XP and most stuff other than the Propeller Tool will run under it.

DavidM
04-08-2007, 01:51 PM
Thnaks Mike,

I am not worried if I use either MAC or PC, its the fact I am not sure what application to use! I would prefer the MAC but from what I have discovered, there not much out their if anything worthwhile.


regards

Dave M

Mike Green
04-08-2007, 02:04 PM
Other than Eagle Lite (and I don't want to spend the money for the full version), there indeed doesn't seem to be much. I think that with all new Macs capable of running Windows programs, you won't see anything new. There will be a little incentive to have programs that work without Windows itself (like under Wine which is free or CodeWeaver's commercial version which is not), but that's all.

T Chap
04-08-2007, 02:06 PM
I think Eagle is incredible, never read the manual, never did a tutorial. I think if I had of done the tutorials, I would have had a smoother time with it though.

DavidM
04-08-2007, 02:13 PM
So guys, Your suggesting EAGLE, I just have to get to know It?

Dave M

T Chap
04-08-2007, 02:16 PM
If you intend to send out for boards, PCBexpress allows you to send in a single .brd file, they will convert and make your boards. Many large companies use Eagle, you see their schematics everywhere. You really need the full blown version though.

DavidM
04-08-2007, 02:23 PM
Doesn't EAGLE have a board size limit of 100mm x 60mm or something?

Dave M

T Chap
04-08-2007, 02:32 PM
No, much more than that in the pro version, I am not sure the max but I have boards that are 12" x 14"

Paul Baker
04-08-2007, 02:33 PM
3"x4" yes, but you'd be suprised what you can do in that space.

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Paul Baker (mailto:pbaker@parallax.com)
Propeller Applications Engineer
[/url][url=http://www.parallax.com] (http://www.parallax.com)
Parallax, Inc. (http://www.parallax.com)

DavidM
04-08-2007, 02:41 PM
3" x 4" , ?

Well that would be fine for my first BOARD as I am firstly making a PROPELLER CPU Card, which is small.

But most of our other boards are 10" X 8" so i will have to check out the limits.

dave M

T Chap
04-08-2007, 02:58 PM
maximum drawing area 1.6 x 1.6m (64 x 64 inch) pro edit

Phil Pilgrim (PhiPi)
04-08-2007, 04:33 PM
Douglas Electronics (http://www.douglas.com/) has been making Mac-based PCB design software for years. (I do my CAD work on a PC, though, so I can't vouch for them one way or the other.)

BTW, the last board I designed was 0.75" x 0.375". I'm amazed APCircuits was able to router them out without their getting sucked up in the dust extractor!

-Phil

Tracy Allen
04-09-2007, 02:04 AM
I've been using McCAD (http://www.Mccad.com) since it first came out, and bought the package at the same time I bought a Mac Plus. I used it in conjuction with a utility called Stepping Out that created a large virtual screen for fast scrolling outside the small Mac+ window. There was nothing available on the PC at the time. It is an expensive package though and I've fed them plenty of money through the years for upgrades. They do have a lite version, but it is very stingy in board area and pad count. I don't use the schematics capture, drawing the schematic in Canvas instead, where I have my own library. Most of my boards are small, but tightly laid out. Layout is more fun than crossword puzzles, but there would be great advantages to working from a net list.

The Douglas $25 package is nice, but it ties you into using their fabrication service, and it does not include schematic capture. Maybe their fab service would be fine, but I have not tried it. If you want Gerbers from their software, you have a lot more and more still if you want the schematics capture.

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Tracy Allen
www.emesystems.com (http://www.emesystems.com)