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Anyone using the latest CircuitMaker on Windows?

Started by UsableThought, February 02, 2016, 02:26:55 AM

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[NOTE: I thought I could answer this question for myself by searching the forum for "CircuitMaker" - but the search mechanism gave me zero hits, so either I did it wrong or it's balking for some reason. So I'm posting this question instead.]

I saw CircuitMaker recommended by many folks as an alternative to LTSpice or other programs. A link was given to an old, XP version, but I'm running Windows 7 (via Parallels on a Mac) and the program installer is 16-bit and refuses to work.

So I Googled and they are still around - web site at https://workspace.circuitmaker.com which has a "community" aspect of course - and still offering a free version - there may be paid options as well, I don't know. I've installed and the exe is DXP.EXE, version 11 something-or-other, for Windows 7.

So far it seems very slow - which is not my usual experience with Windows 7 via Parallels - and not brilliantly designed. From the look of it they are running it on a browser platform of some sort and those can often be rather clunky.

Is anyone using this? Thumbs up or down?

My alternatives are:
- iCircuit, Mac only - very pretty & works well for simple analog circuits, but the component library is way too small for anything more than that
- LTSpice on Mac - terrible interface!
- Fritzing, which is a neat newish layout program, also browser-based but better built it seems. You can lay out a schematic, then "breadboard" it, then do a PCB, both manual and autorouting available. However I can't see that it runs simulations. It seems strictly layout.

iCircuit works very well but is too limited. What I just realized I ought to do is download LTSpice for Windows, which looks to have a much better interface than the Mac version (e.g. a toolbar, amazing!).


Just a follow-up to my own post - one bad thing, one good thing:

1) The bad: I've done a bit more playing around with the current version of CircuitMaker a bit more and it is definitely not for me - it has a serious flaw: If you just want to sketch a schematic, you can't drop in a symbol & give it some values; you are forced to select a real-world component, which requires browsing in a very slow catalog, etc. This is a limitation the old CircuitMaker 2000 didn't have nor do other simulators.

Another big flaw: it is cloud-based, including all your data files! This may or may not explain why it's so slow. Apparently you can't even use if if you are offline  Or so this review of the beta release from this past summer says.

2) The good: I found a download of the old CircuitMaker 2000; this is apparently the version people actually liked. The link I used came from here; I don't know how long it will be good for. It's a RAR file but so far no viruses - I am running a virtual Windows so not too worried about that anyway. And unlike the new CircuitMaker, CircuitMaker 2000 seems quite easy to use.


I used the student version (only sims 50 components) for a very long time and still use it for a quick test of simple things.
LT spice is likely far more pro but heck It's only guitar circuits so Cmaker suits a hobby chap like me. :dbtu:

I've learned so much from that small limited program. Between that and 5 worn out bread boards I've lost count of all the circuits I've built,, quite a few are posted here.
From tricked up tone circuits to reverb drivers to full Amplifiers,, all done with the aid of Cmaker.
A lot of reading books helps also. 8|

You never totally trust the sim but it helps to find where you win and loose gain/freq response and stuff like that.

Student version is still the easiest and fastest to use but i recently acquired the 2K version and it's good but not as fast when reloading saved plots and such.
The XY cursor in student Version was brilliant,,,  gone in 2k which is a darn shame but hey you work with what you are given.