My friend and former boss, Jon Titus KZ1G, sent me this:
When it comes time to draw schematic diagrams, take a look at DesignWorks Lite, a nice shareware version of the Capilano Computing professional DesignWorks software. You can use a free version for 30 days, or register for $40 and have unlimited use, plus access to new symbols and devices. It took me an hour or so of practice and fooling around, but I found it easy to master the software, which Capilano supplies for Windows or Mac OSs.
I particularly like the ability to change the attributes of devices. I can hide IC pin numbers, re-label gates, select generic parts, etc. But if I want an SN74ALS373 buffer, I can find one, with all of the pins called out. I can also flip, rotate, and reflect the diagrams to make sense for my layout. Connections “rubber band, so when I move a device, the connections move, too. I’ve tried Visio, but because it’s a drawing package, it lacks the EE look and feel of DesignWorks lite.
Here’s another recommendation for schematic drawing by my friend Martin Rowe. He writes:
I’ve always believed that what engineers most want to see in an engineering magazine are schematics and source code. This morning, I found a little schematic-capture program that you can download for free. It’s called TinyCAD. It does more the just drawings, but that’s all I’ll even need.
The user interface could use some simplification. Finding circuit symbols could be easier but I was able to get started in just a few minutes. Cost: Free. Download size: about 4.5 MB.
From KE0X via the Elecraft mailing list:
I just found Eagle Version 4.13 which is available FREE for non commercial use at their website. I know nothing about these programs but I was using it in 5 minutes and made a template for a PCB in two days. Best of all you can print either layer and make your own PCB (ala laser masking, etc.) and not have to get it made from the supplier of the “proprietary” software that wont even let you print it. Yet, this program is sophisticated enough to make 8 layer boards….Rich, KE0X