I fell in love with Fritzing pretty quickly. It has 3 mode. Breadboard, schematic, PCB. I was able to copy my physical breadboard layout over to the virtual one. From that, it basically gave me a schematic (what I wanted) and a PCB layout (not entirely useful for me). I had to touch up the routing and fix some lines that wanted to connect VCC straight to GND. I was able to figure it out pretty readily and fix it all and now have a working PCB.
All this is to say, if you're a noob, Fritzing is great. This (circuits.io) is probably geared at non-noobs, and I'm sure it's fine for them. I am not quite able to jump right into drawing a schematic, though. As such, I can't provide much of an opinion on it. :)
1) Let me import my Eagle components
2) Give me more control over grid sizing
I'm also interested in seeing the fabrication prices. Right now I use batchpcb.com (a Sparkfun service). There really aren't any other good options for printing a single PCB.
Grid and measurements are definitely on top of the list.
Autorouter is a bit lower, but want that. We will probably first do some form of assisted routing.
At this point you can download your gerber files and send them to a manufacturer of your choice, but we are working on integrating with services like BatchPCB.
I also find routing by hand to be sort of relaxing.
And for pure price, Seeed and ITead (both are rumoured to use the same PCB fab) are very popular with their $10 for 10 copies of a 5cm*5cm board service. The quality is reportedly much more variable with these guys, and the shipping takes a lot longer to reach the US, but you can't beat the price. For the rest of the world, the shipping from China is probably cheaper and faster than from OSH Park, so unless you need the quality of OSH Park this is probably both cheaper and faster.
Bay Area Circuits, free layout tools & plenty of short run cheap boards starting at $30 (!) and up:
For a list:
DipTrace for most other things.
I have a quick question about PCB layout. In the video, when you switch from the schematic to the PCB layout view, there are thin lines which are clicked to become red. There is a final line that is clicked to become blue. Can you explain what is going on there?
FYI: I'm a CS person who is learning about electronics and circuits. I started building radio and op-amp circuits, and have read that prototyping on breadboard doesn't work well. I tried going from schematic to directly soldering on a perf board and it ended in disaster. This tool seems exactly what I need ... though I could use it to figure out my perf board layout.
To the OP: Looks great! I like the approach for modules, I've often wished Eagle had an easier way to achieve this =) A question though, it looks like there's only one ground source allowed? Or, can those properties be changed? I prefer to separate AGND from GND when I have both analog and digital interfaces to the outside world.
have read that prototyping on breadboard doesn't work well.
That's definitely not my experience. Using a solderless breadboard may add more noise, but it's much easier to assemble and correct mistakes.
Noise isn't usually the major problem with breadboards, though it is an issue. The much more troubling issue and what makes breadboards useless for a large number of circuits are the parasitics from the connections. The stray capacitance and inductance can cause large problems and even outright oscillation of even relatively low frequency circuits.
I must say, going from a novice who can make LEDs blink or hook together a few ICs to op-amps and RF circuits is turning out to be a big jump! If anyone has tips, those would be much appreciated.
You will learn a ton from this and you'll gain good insight into how other circuits work. This is the hardware guy equivalent of reading other peoples code.
Complicated circuits, circuits with components only available in SMT packages, high-speed circuits, circuits sensitive to noise (sensors)- these are a few examples of devices you may wish to prototype on something other than breadboard.
Does the layout editor support design rule settings/verification--things like clearance around traces and vias, via diameter, etc.?
An awesome feature would be a way to pull up a datasheet for a part by clicking on it in either the schematic or layout views. When I work on a project, I usually keep a paper binder of datasheets for quick reference. Having everything one or two clicks away would be great.
Using the Octopart API to build a BOM broken down by best vendor, per-part, would be cool too.
It wasn't clear when I tried using the site: Will it give me gerber files I can send to a fab? What about a completed board rendering a la OSH Park?
Any plans to support components/footprints/libraries/whatever you want to call them from KiCAD or Eagle? Orcad? Altium?
Any plans to hook up with a fab, and panelize orders to optimize for low cost boards?
I'm now working hard at integrating with octopart and pulling up the datasheet for a part is already in there, but there is a lot more ...
Next thing on the list is DRC. We already have the algorithms in place, so its basically down to doing the visualization. You can expect that soon!
You can easily download your gerber files. Just click "make" and then "download".
We have plans to build the largest shared component library in the world. Soon!
We are also currently working on hooking up to a fab and panelizing is certainly part of that. We want you to order a board with one click and receive it in the mail just a few days later. And all that at a good price!
I really like the idea of circuits.io. Here some things i noticed during a short test. (Probably you already know all these things)
Some kind of an "Push Obstacle" Layout mode would be nice. (Move the obstacles when you try to lay down an wire) Or at least a "Walk around Obstacle".
Have an adjustable keymapping. (i prefere to have zoom on "A" + "D", pan on "W", start routing on "S" etc. )
I wasn't able to change the layer (| is Alt+7 for me which your app doesn't seem to recognize)
Add more layer and Polygons/Planes. (Our standart pcb has 4 Layers. GND, VCC, 2 times routing)
The device search is just lame.
It would be nice to be able to edit a project as a team. (Have a history of changes and who made this changes, add a possible to review the changes, etc.)
That sounds like the assisted routing we are working on. Now we are focusing on getting the parts search a lot better. It will be amazing and should be online in a few days.
To change the layer you have to push 'l'((l)ayer) not '|'. Sorry about that it must be the font we use. Thats a good idea to have a custom keymapping! We will look in to that.
We are also working hard at version control, visualization between commits and more social features,...
Thanks for the feedback!
What type of Library features are you expecting? That's a major pain point with Eagle (Libraries are crap). If you're able to nail-down the collaboration, libraries, and version control features I'd certainly be up for switching our team over.
Would love to provide further input if you guys are interested. Shoot me an email if so: stephen at stephenlake.ca
However, I love the module concept! Perfect way to combine open source hardware designs together!
2. Don't click "save" unless you mean it. Oops. You just lost your work.
Those were minor complaints, these are not.
3. Searching through the components. You must let us see what we're browsing through. You must also let us filter.
4. PCB - How do I scatter components? Or must I pluck them out one at a time?
5. No Test Point footprint! Why does nobody use test points?
6. I know someone already said grid, but, grid.
I know you like your nice clean simple no-clutter UI, but put the help text on the screen, in the margins or something. You can make it optional.
1) You need to make the final output embeddable, like slideshare, so that people who are creating schematics using your software are able to put it on their blogs and website
2) The embedded version can have a link back to your site, e.g. "Modify this circuit" or better "Run this circuit" so that you get backlinks and the visitors can interact and come to your site.
3) You are 100% correct with the "try it now" button, but instead of redirecting them to a signup page, try using a modal popup over the circuit. I'm sure you'll see a good increase in signups with a split test.
4) You can also create a shareable URL (like tinyurl) where even without signing up a person can send that URL to a friend or post it on twitter/facebook. This will get you even more traffic / backlinks.
Just a few things on the top of my mind.
[Edit] A grid would be killer too; great suggestion.
[Final Edit] Tooltips on the components/actions would help your goal of making electronic design simpler/easier to do.
Selecting: Hold down shift and left click elements.
Box select: Hold down shift and drag a box around the elements to be selected.
Deselect All: Left click on the canvas.
Move Element: Just drag it.
Connect Terminals: Drag from schematic terminal to other schematic terminal.
Disconnect Terminal: Left click terminal. Click 'X' .
Rotate Element: Select element and push 'r'.
Remove Element: Select element and push 'del'.
Flip Element Horizontally: Select element and push 'h'
Flip Element Vertically: Select element and push 'v'
Definitely contact us if you have any trouble.
How about telling the guys what you'd like to see to improve the service ?
Comparing the linked product with the product in the article would be a good start. The fact that he/she is anonymous does not make this invalid feedback, just like the fact that you are anonymous yourself does not make your comments invalid.
I don't see any common libraries being used, though.
Not you must use company X's product, no matter how good it is. Because once they'll get 99% of the market, they'll trash it in the name of profit. It's inevitable.
That's why i don't like "chrome only".