PCB123.COM - Anyone tried it?

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WWW.PCB123.COM
I just noticed this. Rapid prototype PC Board maker. Free software for schematic capture, parts libraries, PCB Routing, etc. 7MB download.
Their business plan seems to be to give away this software in hopes for more PC making business.

Looks new - they have a discussion forum with not too much on it yet.
Parts libarary has Microchip parts but perhaps AVR is not there yet.

Steve

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Looks like they're pretty expensive.

$100 for two no-frills small boards and $300 if you want a soldermask or silkscreen on those small boards.

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Forget it.

Use Olimex at run.to/pcb

MUCH cheaper at about $26 for a euroboard including soldermask and silkscreen.
And use the FREE software from EAGLE - www.cadsoft.de

/jesper
www.yampp.com

/Jesper
http://www.yampp.com
The quick black AVR jumped over the lazy PIC.
What boots up, must come down.

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Nah, just trying to use PCB123s software made my head hurt. Try

http://www.expresspcb.com/

3 little boards for $60.

j.

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At PCB123, I was more interested in their schematic capture and PCB routing software (free) than how much a few boards cost.

My experience with EagleCAD was not good, to say the least. And others agreed with my observation that it was very frustrating - non-intuitive user interface backed up by an incoherent and incomplete user manual. So, hoping that PCB123 software is good.

I'll pay more for proto PCBs if I can just get on with the schematic entry and layout without making a career of the software's use.

ExpressPCB and Olimex and most others have PCB layout tools but no schematic capture and net list generator to feed into the router.

I've used Olimex AVR proto boards - good stuff.

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Yeah, but with their software you HAVE to use PCB123's boards. If you want to use a different board place then you're screwed.

Eagle pisses me off every time I use it, but the vast number of people using it and who are very willing to help offsets alot of that.

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I just spent a little while playing with their software. I didn't think it was possible but it's more annoying then Eagle. Unintiutive user interface. Very few parts in their libraries and difficult to find the parts you want.

The PCB layout part is especially poor.

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Did you _really_ expect that it would be useful?

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useful? Well, yes!

At least I was able to draw schematics in a few minutes with PCB123.
With Eagle, I'd rather eat nails.
Time may show that PCB123 is too primitive. Or that their pricing for boards with silk screens is just too far out of line.

But the user interface in PCB123, to me, seems fairly intuitive.

If you've learned to use software, by trial and error, like Eagle, it's "intuitive to you" !!! Me, I want it to be intuitive on day 1 and again 60 days later when I use it again after a lapse.

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I've heard complaints about EAGLE's user interface a number of times, and I agree that it is perhaps not what you're used to.
But I wonder if all you who complain have taken some time to read through the tutorial, and experimented a little with it.
EAGLE is extremely powerful, you can do a lot of things that is not possible on other packages. Adding chips to the library also seems to be difficult at first, but I can easily add a new chip in a matter of minutes.
Use some time to learn it properly, it's absolutely worth it.
And you can't beat the price ;-)

/Jesper
www.yampp.com

/Jesper
http://www.yampp.com
The quick black AVR jumped over the lazy PIC.
What boots up, must come down.

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I devoted a lot of hours to trying to learn Eagle. I'm not inept. I really tried. I've been in the industry a long time and am seasoned.

I searched far and wide for tutorials and examples. Never found much. Best I found was from the EE department of a University.

Eagle's manuals are pathetic.

I'd try it again if I could find some decent documentation for it.

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Umm.. Did you try the /doc directory? ;-) There's a 60 page tutorial in there that's good. Covers the basics pretty thoroughly.

I find the 200 page manual that comes with it decent enough. What isn't covered is solved by a 30 second search in the Eagle newsgroups. The newsgroups are your best resource for Eagle questions and tips.

Granted, I still hate Eagle's interface, but you sure as heck can't beat the price and the power that you get for that price.

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