Free software was $$$$

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Many years ago (>25), I used Microcap circuit drawing/simulation package extensively (on a '486 PC, with an early version of Windows) ...our engineering center paid several thousand $$ to get it. Microcap folks were always very helpful & supportive & a class act.  They have, of course, improved it along the way, but I was no longer at the same company, so lost track of it.  But they continued on over the years.

 

Cash Price Credit Card Price
Micro-Cap 12 $4495 $4720
Micro-Cap 12 LAN Version ( Per Seat / Two Seat Minimum ) $4495 $4720

 

Apparently they went belly up (probably due to competitors like Linear Tech's free simulation offerings).  So it was harder to sell for thousands of $$

Anyhow, they did something really COOL, they now say they it's free for anyone who wants it:  

Effective 7/4/2019, Spectrum Software is closed. Micro-Cap is now free.

These new versions do not require the security key, so they make Micro-Cap free to the entire engineering community. Thank you for the honor and privilege of serving you for the last 39 years.
Spectrum Software  

http://www.spectrum-soft.com/download/mc12_brochure.pdf

http://www.spectrum-soft.com/download/download.shtm

 

Get it while the website is still around!  ...of course there will be no updates & you have to consider whether it is worthwhile to invest your time learning a software that is defunct....but hey, who can resist?
 

Extensive Features•64-bit version for large circuits• Multi-page hierarchical schematic editor• PSpiceTM, SPICE3, and many HSPICETMcommands and models supported• Threading support for multiple CPUs and faster simulations• Native digital simulation engine• Periodic Steady State analysis• Integral circuit optimizer with multiple optimization methods• Worst Case analysis with RSS, Monte Carlo, and Extreme Value Analysis• Smoke / Stress analysis• Harmonic and intermodulation distortion analysis• Stability analysis for linear systems• Integrated active and passive filter design function• Parts library with over 33,000 parts• Analog and digital behavioral modeling• Schematic waveform probing• On-schematic voltage/state, current, power, and condition display• Dynamic analysis updates waveforms and curves as you edit• During the run plotting• Smith charts / polar plots• Multidimensional parameter stepping• Monte Carlo analysis• Integrated spreadsheet that recognizes simulation values• 3D plotting• .Measure and Performance Function plots• Optimizing parts modeler• Gummel-Poon, Mextram and Modella bipolar models• Berkeley BSIM 1, BSIM 2, BSIM3, and BSIM4 MOSFET models• EKV V2.6 MOSFET model• Hefner IGBT model• IBIS model translator• Animated LEDs, switches, bars, meters, relays, stoplights, and DC motors• Jiles-Atherton nonlinear magnetics model• PCB interface to popular packages• LAN version for collaborative projects

 

 

 

When in the dark remember-the future looks brighter than ever.   I look forward to being able to predict the future!

Last Edited: Thu. Jan 2, 2020 - 09:04 AM
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Lately, I visited the site and downloaded almost all its files and info (150M). Yes it is free, but learning it and be familiar with... cost time and I am 70 smiley

I wonder if there is a group/forum about Micro-Cap 12.

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avrcandies wrote:
Get it while the website is still around!

 

Fortunately most of it seems to be already archived in the Wayback Machine. So even if it goes down, something will survive.

https://web.archive.org/web/2019...

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avrcandies,

 

Thanks so much for the link.  Download was quick and the MC-12 software will even work with a XP machine (although i will use it on a Windows 7 Dell).  I generally do not draw more than three schematics per year and use pencil / paper so it will be interesting to learn the SW and try its simulation capabilities.   Since I'm retired, learning will be part of the fun.

 

Alan

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 I generally do not draw more than three schematics per year

That's smart, there is probably some state tax if you draw 4 or more.  surprise  Enjoy microcap...it was a really useful tool & at the time I started using it (around 1991), it was the only program that let you both draw & analyze the circuit.  We also had some expensive pspice packages, but you had to create your own netlist file to use them (hence, no circuit probing).   LTspice is also free & good for simulation.

When in the dark remember-the future looks brighter than ever.   I look forward to being able to predict the future!

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Thanks for the share. The name Micro-Cap rings a bell with me from many moons ago although I also remember somehing called Micro-Sim. I guess that was a predecessor.

 

Only glanced over the site but didn't see much drum banging about why one should spend thousands versus free-of-charge LT-Spice or even TINA from TI. Death of a company by poor marketing perhaps.

 

 

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I also remember somehing called Micro-Sim.

Ah yes, that is the other package I was referring to!!...you couldn't just draw & hit simulate with micro-sim. In fact, I think we had to use a separate "app", or draw on paper & make a netlist file ourselves to send to it.  At the time, Microcap beat the pant off micro-sim for ease of use.   In, fact the power of the internet brings it all back:

Using Microcap seemed like a HUGE leap forward...I was even allowed to get my own PC....utopia! 

When in the dark remember-the future looks brighter than ever.   I look forward to being able to predict the future!

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This "tour" shows some impressive capabilities:

 

http://www.spectrum-soft.com/demo/schemati.shtm

 

I forgot about their monte-carlo, used it many times years ago.

 

this "tutorial" video might be useful:   https://www.youtube.com/watch?reload=9&v=vd1W7_Sj9jI

When in the dark remember-the future looks brighter than ever.   I look forward to being able to predict the future!

Last Edited: Thu. Jan 2, 2020 - 06:20 PM
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N.Winterbottom wrote:
why one should spend thousands versus free-of-charge LT-Spice or even TINA from TI

 

One thing that helps Labcenter to still be able to charge for Proteus, IMO, is that it can integrate MCUs (with a loaded program) in an analog simulation.

 

note: the full version of TINA can also do that (not the free one from TI)

Last Edited: Thu. Jan 2, 2020 - 06:20 PM
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One thing that helps Labcenter to still be able to charge for Proteus, IMO, is that it can integrate MCUs (with a loaded program) in an analog simulation

I'd like to see a Bode plot of that!!...sounds a bit absurd. Perhaps useful in a transient response of a control loop (such as a software PID). 

When in the dark remember-the future looks brighter than ever.   I look forward to being able to predict the future!

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avrcandies wrote:
sounds a bit absurd.

 

I don't know how well it works, really. I just used it a couple of times several years back. For simple things like this it's ok: https://youtu.be/xyZHl9Y5RPo

How well is that crystal connected to the MCU simulated, for example? IDK.

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I mean absurd in terms of putting in a micro & trying to do an analog freq sweep with the whole kaboodle.  Once you start simulating the AVR, it seems like you'd be stuck in the time domain...but perhaps not? 

When in the dark remember-the future looks brighter than ever.   I look forward to being able to predict the future!

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Yeah, that's an interesting question. Maybe the simulation can cope with a frequency sweep while running the MCU emulation. I'm not sure.

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Hi Everybody,

 

I picked up the (now free) Micro-Cap too - and went looking for a user forum but couldn't find one... so I've set one up: https://mc12.createaforum.com/in..., do come and join me for mutual support (no support available from Spectrum Software any more!).

 

avrcandies wrote:
Get it while the website is still around!

El Tangas wrote:
Fortunately most of it seems to be already archived in the Wayback Machine. So even if it goes down, something will survive.

Having an active user group should also give it some longevity.

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avrcandles, thank you for sharing the link, I have it safely in my archive now.

Wayne

East London
South Africa

 

  • No, I am not an Electronics Engineer, just a 54 year old hobbyist/enthusiast
  • Yes, I am using Proteus to learn more about circuit design and electronics
  • No, I do not own a licensed copy of Proteus, I am evaluating it legitimately
  • No, I do not believe in software or intellectual property piracy or theft
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avrcandies wrote:

Once you start simulating the AVR, it seems like you'd be stuck in the time domain...but perhaps not? 

Analogue simulation uses SPICE to solve the circuit network, but any digital devices are simulated purely behavioural (eg for an inverter: if the input goes below the threshold voltage, the output goes to a logic '1' voltage after the defined gate delay).  The IO ports have DC (and maybe AC) SPICE parameters to interact with external component models, but how IO ports effect each other internally is driven by truth tables and timing diagrams.

 

That said, it isn't impossible to create an AVR model which properly simulates the characteristics of the crystal oscillator... but what's the point?  Does anybody really need to use a different circuit than the manufacturer recommended one?

 

In reality, you might use Micro-Cap to confirm your design for an input or output subsystem in isolation - a FET driver, for example, or a PWM filter circuit - with a voltage source representing the AVR output.

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MC12 User wrote:
The IO ports have DC (and maybe AC) SPICE parameters to interact with external component models, ...
SPICE for AVR DB's op amp; otherwise IBIS.

MC12 User wrote:
... but how IO ports effect each other internally is driven by truth tables and timing diagrams.
Most AVR have Microchip digital simulation models for CPU, local memory, and some peripherals.

MC12 User wrote:
Does anybody really need to use a different circuit than the manufacturer recommended one?
Yes (not a Pierce oscillator)

 


What are the AVR28DA128 AVR32DA128 AVR48DA128 AVR64DA128 ?? | Page 4 | AVR Freaks

IBIS Models (Document Title pull-down, enter AVR)

 

Features | Microchip Studio

  • Cycle correct simulator with advanced debug functionality

 

"Dare to be naïve." - Buckminster Fuller

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gchapman wrote:

Most AVR have Microchip digital simulation models for CPU, local memory, and some peripherals.

Sorry, you've lost me.  Are you saying Micro-Cap can import an IBIS model and then simulate the digital operation of an AVR?  I know there are simulators which can provide simulation of a programmed micro, but I don't think Micro-Cap is one of them.

 

gchapman wrote:

Yes (not a Pierce oscillator)

OK, I'll bite: why?

Last Edited: Thu. Feb 18, 2021 - 11:59 PM
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MC12 User wrote:
Are you saying Micro-Cap can import an IBIS model and then simulate the digital operation of an AVR? 
No answer as I'm not a Micro-Cap operator; Microchip Studio has an AVR digital simulator.

MC12 User wrote:
OK, I'll bite: why?
phase noise, gross tuning (Hartley), VCO, PLL, etc

 

"Dare to be naïve." - Buckminster Fuller

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gchapman wrote:

MC12 User wrote:

Are you saying Micro-Cap can import an IBIS model and then simulate the digital operation of an AVR? 

 

No answer as I'm not a Micro-Cap operator; Microchip Studio has an AVR digital simulator.

Ah, well, this thread is specifically about Micro-Cap not other simulators.