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The competition might look ancient, but IMO, a 2D interface would be much more productive and easier to work with. This site is completely unusable for me in Firefox (it does work in Edge though).

Yea, the whole "looks old = bad" meme rears its head again. Some of the most usable web sites in existence like Craigslist and McMaster-Carr look "old" but they do what you need them to do and do it cross-platform/cross-browser.

I would add Hacker News itself as a great example.

Indeed. Hacker news is about as responsive as the native site.

Reddit on the other hand went to being completely unusable. So much so, that I don't understand who and what motivates it to be the way it is. It's having on due to "old.reddit", but that too is a pain to use on mobile.

There’s also i.reddit.com with its early-iPhone-era mobile interface.

Hacker news has horrible accessibility though. Voting on touch devices, readability of downvoted comments, screen reader behaviour, …

Of course all of these would be solvable in a "retro" design as well.

So many times this. There is a reason why engineers use schematics instead of assembly diagrams or renderings when designing circuits or discussing how they operate. In particular, layouts on solderless breadboards tend to become incomprehensible for any sort of even mildly complex circuit.

> layouts on solderless breadboards tend to become incomprehensible for any sort of even mildly complex circuit.

Translating non breadboard circuit schematics to a breadboard is definitely something some people struggle with, It would be useful to have a tool that could do that for you.

The tools with origins >2003 are pretty useless beyond making things out of prefab parts. That’s cool for beginner stuff, but I feel like we’re dropping people off a cliff from there. Most are really just sales platforms for parts or PCBs.

My workflow is a complicated combination of LTSpice, KiCAD, prototyping from the schematic and then ordering PCBs. It’s a little painful, but the tools are fast to use. I wish KiCAD’s SPICE integration was as natural as LTSpice and I could maintain 1 library of parts.

Breadboards are getting too painful for me to use. Too much time dealing with bad connections or noise from jumper wires being little antennas. It’s more of an issue with audio circuits than digital.

I guess my dream is if you could easily get a symbol, footprint, SPICE model, and 3D model of parts from vendors that all dropped into 1 toolchain.

Maybe a commercial offering is more like that. I’ve never really looked.

If LTSpice :

   1. was OpenSource

   2. would *please* switch to modern conventions for Load/Save/Cut/Paste/Undo/Redo/Exit keyboard shortcuts

   3. would have a larger, *online*, library of standard parts instead of having to download every missing ones every time from random obscure places on the internet

   4. had a setting for switching off showing the names of *all* the new components on the circuit

   5. had a vaguely sane way to keep all the .asy and .sym files used by a .asc in the same directory

   6. had a central repo of example circuits / standard circuits

   7. had an API to its spice engine
It'd be the perfect tool.

But in the meantime, and in spite of its old age, it's still light-years ahead of the web-based thing from 2022

The demo lets me choose "PNP transistor" or "NPN transistor", and that's it for transistors.

One reason is a noncritical third-party dependency; the circuit canvas will patiently wait in line to load forever until fonts.gstatic successfully loads. Normally I wouldn't post that kind of feedback here, but there's no readily apparent way to submit feedback or bug reports at the site so here we are.

thanks for the feedback!

ironically maybe it's also feedback that our share feedback button is too hidden

Why is it even a web site? Maybe I'm just old fashioned, but this seems slow and unusable. But more importantly, I have a hard time bringing myself to trust anything that isn't saved locally.

edit: Also I feel terrible that my negative comment has any weight in this thread. I don't want to be a detractor. It's just that this is not for me.

People work hard to make things and you can't please everybody. You definitely can't please curmudgeons like me sometimes.

Yeah, so we started diode 3 months ago and in the beginning here we're focused mostly on making electronics more accessible to youth/beginners.

One major advantage of web based tools is shareability and we hope to see content creators writing articles with embedded diode projects so that tutorials can include inline interactive examples.

This is already common in the software world with tools like codesandbox and stackblitz, but not so much in the hardware world. Hardware tutorials often include fritzing diagrams, but we think the next step is interactive simulations anywhere and everywhere.

I would just like to say that this work is amazing.

I get what people are saying, but for people trying to dip their toes into electronics (and who maybe can’t afford the equipment just yet), this might be just the thing! I don’t mean to restrict the use cases, I just think a both/and world is just fine. And this is some excellent hacking.

I tip my mouse to you.

Thanks, appreciate the kind words!

It's been challenging to say the least, but that's half the fun.

Just don't want you to be too discouraged by the HN pile on. A lot of this is stuff to think about (and I'm sure you're doing just that!). But really, creating a new system like this is a massive achievement, and you should be proud of what you've done.

I agree with the goal, and agree with web based tooling, but the design-centric approach feels like dangling keys to keep my attention. Anyone who's attention can be captured with dangling keys doesn't have the attention to do circuits.

If you have ever used LTSpice you'd know, the "old" looking layout is not really a problem but the arcane way anything is done, different from every app I ever used.

I jump from altium to kicad to solidworks multiple times a day but the most annoying jump is when I go to ltspice and go, why is move bound to F7. I stopped even bothering to try to use hotkeys on LTspice.

The key shortcuts in ltspice are hilarious, it took a decade before I found another program that used R and E for rotate and mirror instead of right clicking in some way. I still haven't decided whether I prefer the horror of embedding models, creating single-system-only library files that I can't give to anyone, or ... it's amazing.

I'd probably pay if it was just simple to import 3rd party models, even if they're encrypted. Every time I have to screw around with some encrypted model I worry about whether it's going to end up accurate.

LTSpice is pretty great. I used it in undergrad to design and simulate a single block of CMOS memory. It was a little tough getting going, but once I figured things out it was a great experience.

I just started using LTSpice a few days ago. It's pretty arcane for sure but at least it's consistent. The tool is really not that complicated at all. Its value seems to be in its simulation capabilities as well as its selection of standard components. It does crash here and there, though, but I haven't lost any work yet.

Well, yes. LTSpice is not for schematic capture. It's for simulation. If you have to do power supply design, LTSpice lets you almost get it right before you order parts.

Here's one of mine.[1] I built that, and it works pretty much the same as the simulation does. Except for the depletion-mode FET current limiter. The resistor that sets the current limit had to be adjusted after building to get the same current limit as the simulation.

LTSpice doesn't help with layout. I had to follow the layout instructions in the switcher control data sheet to get it to work. Some of those paths have to be very short.

[1] https://github.com/John-Nagle/ttyloopdriver/tree/master/circ...

> LTSpice is not for schematic capture. It's for simulation.

That may well be. IN that case, LTSpice would benefit greatly from being able to import the output of a proper schematic capture tool.

If LTSpice was OpenSource, that could be added in a day of work.

I love LTSpice, but the fact that

   1. the software sees very little updates over time

   2. it's closed source and all the cool shit that could be added to it by the community won't happen
is really a huge downer.

You usually use LTSpice only to simulate difficult analog parts of a circuit. Not the whole thing.

The important part is the device models that simulate components. Those do get updated as new analog ICs come out. It's finding a good model that's hard. Linear Technology keeps the models updated for their own parts, but you have to look around on the Web for many non-LT parts.

To show my age, during digital circuit design classes I used something similar but targeted to Windows 3.x.

It was much better than the simulator shown on this thread.

Agreed. I can't figure out for the life of me how to move this LED upward in the Z direction. Or bend the pins so I can plug the LED into 2 different Arduino pins e.g. GND and A0. I have the same problem with most 3D software, I have a 2D mouse and it's a fundamentally inadequate human interface device to manipulate things in 3 dimensions.


I think a modern 2D UI (i.e. with nice looking fonts, swipe gestures, hamburger icons, generous margins and space) would be nice.

Does the page just show up mostly blank for anyone else?


Well, it is like 2003 as far as the real-time performance of the graphics go. Or maybe more like 1993.

Yeah on my machine it's a lot slower using Firefox than chrome. We can investigate and see why it's happening.

Also I do agree that 2D interface is probably important to add at some point too!

I think right now the skeuomorphism is nice for folks wanting to get their hands dirty with circuit projects but don't have all the materials/supplies available for whatever reason (cost/space/etc)

macOS Safari (2020 Intel MacBook Pro) is unusably slow.

The title does seem like a misaimed comparison.

3d opens up a few extra possibilities for us, but i think there's definitely advantages to 2d as well and seeing every solder joint on the arduino board is just a waste of cpu/memory at the moment. We have some camera presets that let you position the camera directly overhead for a top-down view which effectively is a 2d building experience. We might create a dedicated 2d view if there's enough demand for it!

The overhead view might not be enough. Performance issues aside, if I take your sample and rotate the camera to the overhead view, the wires that power the Arduino overlap in a kinda confusing way. It’s even worse if you swap them around, with the wire colors randomly mixing in the middle (but it is also broken when looking at it from the side). A 2D-first design wouldn’t need to worry about it, but it would instead route the wires in a way that avoids overlapping wherever possible (and two parallel wires would be quite trivial).

And on the good software the 2D interfaces take customizable color parameters, any level detail you like 3D files, customizable fonts.

Just take 20 minutes to customize a settings file and reuse for every new project after, iterating as you go and you'll get yourself pretty realistic outputs long term.

Also doesn't seem to work in Chrome: I see a toolbar and the rest of the page is blank.

looks like we got the HN hug of death lol, back up now

On Chrome on 2019 MBP, nothing loads until 5secs later. Zooming lags 2+ secs. Probably only good for making a presentation on a beefy machine, not useable otherwise.

doesn't seem to work on chrome either

Do you perhaps have "Advanced Security" mode enabled, where JIT is disabled for new sites? Site was super jank at first but once I added it to my exception list it was buttery on my M1.

Hey! Would love to investigate and see why this isn't working for you. Any more info on your OS/specs/browser version or what exactly isn't working? Should work on chrome.

latest linux chrome Version 108.0.5359.124 (Official Build) (64-bit) on ubuntu latest LTS, directly from google (not in a snap). Starts up but central window just has a rotating loading icon that never goes away

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